Motorsport: Bikes off to Island Classic

Twenty seven motorcycles are packed and ready for shipping to Phillip Island for the 20th International Island Classic on January 25-27, 2013.

Team captain Kevin Grey, who will be racing a McIntosh GSX1100, is hoping for some better luck for the team as last year several bikes experienced mechanical issues and were unable to compete.

The bikes vary from classic British racers such as the Manx Nortons and Matchless G50s to the big Japanese 1100cc machines in the pre-1982 and pre-1989 classes. Last year the NZ team was joined by a few American riders to challenge the UK team and the all conquering Australian Team who have never lost at Phillip Island.

Competing against Australian champions like Robbie Phillis (ex World Super bikes), Malcolm Campbell, Josh Brookes (British Super bike rider), Steve Martin, Shawn Giles (3x Australian Super bike champion), was always going to be a tall order.

The UK team captain Moto GP star Jeremy Mc Williams and Irish road race champion Ryan Farquhar put on a great display of speed and skill but the overall team results still went to the Australians.

This year the NZ team has several new riders including Jay Lawrence on a Suzuki GSX1100 and Damian Mackie riding a Suzuki RG500. Rotorua rider Peter Smith is hoping to improve from his third place finish last year in the pre-89 F1 class on his 180HP GSXR1100, supported by Bike Force and Pirelli tyres.

The anniversary dinner at the weekend had a special guest, motorcycle racing legend Giacomo Agostini (winner of 15 world titles) as well as interviews with Alan Cathcart. Results and timing can be followed on the Natsoft Race Results website.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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