Melbourne’s Alex Phillis To Race WorldSSP At Phillip Island

By January 28, 2016 December 13th, 2019 WorldSBK

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Just turned 22-year-old Melburnian, Alex Phillis, is the latest Australian to join the mushrooming local roster at the opening round of the 2016 Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) at Phillip Island from February 26-28.

Phillis will ride an Aark Honda-entered CBR600RR in the 21-lap race, alongside Australian championship full-timers Glenn Scott (Honda), Aiden Wagner (MV Agusta) and Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki), as well as local wildcards Anthony West (Yamaha), Kane Burns (Suzuki) and Mitch Levy (Yamaha).

With the addition of Phillis, it’s now the largest Australian representation in a WorldSSP race at Phillip Island since way back in 2002 when the likes of Andrew Pitt, Chris Vermeulen and Kevin Curtain were in full swing. Pitt actually won the 2002 race on a Kawasaki as he made a bright start to the defence of his world title.

Aark Honda is owned and operated by long-time road racing backer Perth’s Andy Offer, who  has been supporting young local talent since 2006.   Offer has a workshop in Melbourne, and another European base north of Barcelona, and both he and Phillis hope they can find the funds to run a full-season campaign.

“I was really surprised and appreciative when I got a call from Andy (Offer) a few weeks ago; it really came out of the blue. In 2015 I was lucky enough to get a wildcard at Phillip Island, but it was a real whirlwind after spending six months off a bike.

This year I’m really a lot better prepared having competed in the New Zealand supersport title over the Australian summer. I really got to do a lot of laps.

I’m really hoping that I can continue working with Aark and do a few of the European rounds this season, but that will depend on some extra financial backing.”

Said Albury-born Phillis, who lives in Melbourne’s Kilsyth.

In recent times, Phillis spent three years racing in the German Superbike Championship, where he was fourth and fifth in the Superstock 1000cc class in 2013 and 2014.

After the WorldSSP ride at Phillip Island in 2015, he was a multiple podium finisher in the Australian Supersport Championship before being offered a ride in the final four rounds of the Superbike World Championship in Malaysia, France, Spain and Qatar.  In Qatar he gained his first world championship points.

Alex is the son of Robbie Phillis, who finished third in the 1991 and 1992 WorldSBK titles.

As well as the seven WorldSSP riders, four Australians will also compete in the two 22-lap WorldSBK races at Phillip Island on February 27 and 28: Josh Brookes, Josh Hook, Mike Jones and Jed Metcher.

The WorldSSP race at Phillip Island will be held over 21 laps at 1:20pm on Sunday, while the two 22-lap WorldSBK races are scheduled for 3:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Entry to the 2016 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round, Phillip Island will cost $115* for a three-day pass, $80* for a Sunday only pass, while kids 15 and under are free**.  On circuit camping is just $100* for four nights, with kids 15 and under free** Visit www.ticketek.com.au for tickets; or www.worldsbk.com.au for info. 

* Advance ticket prices only, delivery and processing fees may apply.
**Children must be accompanied by a paying adult

 

AUSTRALIAN ENTRY FOR WORLDSBK AND WORLDSSP

WORLDSBK

TEAM 

BIKE

AGE 

HOMETOWN

 
Josh Brookes Milwaukee BMW BMW S 1000 RR 32 Bringelly, NSW Back in WorldSBK for the first time since 2007, and on the back of a brilliant 2015 which saw him clinch the British superbike title in an utterly dominant campaign. Also a multiple Australian road racing champion and two-time WorldSSP winner, Brookes is now in the form of his life, mixing raw speed with phenomenal consistency — the razor-sharp formula that wins championships. Armed with the potent BMW, Brookes won’t be expecting anything less than mixing it with the established front-runners in 2016, particularly as he’ll be with the same team (Shaun Muir Racing) and sponsor (Milwaukee) that guided him to his British superbike success.
Josh Hook Grillini Kawasaki Kawasaki ZX-10R 22 Taree, NSW At just 22, Hook has packed a lot into his road racing career, from being a Red Bull MotoGP Rookies rider in Europe before spending four years back in Australia (first in 125GP followed by supersport and superbike) and then a season racing a superbike in Japan — where he scored the biggest result of his life with a superb second place in the famed Suzuka 8 Hour world endurance race. He saw out the back end of 2015 with four rides in the Moto2 ranks deputising for an injured rider, but he now joins the WorldSBK caravan on the updated ZX-10R to form the other half of the ‘Super Josh’s’ alongside Josh Brookes. The pair forms Australia’s most highly credentialed WorldSBK attack since the two Troys, Bayliss and Corser, back in 2008.

WILDCARDS

         
Jed Metcher Race Center Kawasaki  Kawasaki ZX-10R 25 Melbourne, Vic This will be Metcher’s second year as a WorldSBK wildcard at Phillip Island, and his first attempt was impressive as he finished on the tail of Troy Bayliss in race one to collect two world championship points. Gearbox problems then scuppered his chances in race two, but the 2011 European 600 superstock champion certainly knows the fast way around Phillip Island and top 15 results will again be on the cards if he can reproduce that same form.
Mike Jones DesmoSport Ducati Ducati 1199R 21 Brisbane, Qld The extremely talented 21-year-old steps up to the WorldSBK plate in the newly formed DesmoSport Ducati team co-managed by Troy Bayliss. Jones enjoyed a breakout 2015 which saw him clinch the Australian Superbike Championship and also win races in the Australasian Superbike Championship against much tougher opposition. Phillip Island will be his first ride with the new team, but with Bayliss in his corner to offer some sage advice — and lots of eyes looking on — Jones has the ability to hit the ground running.

WORLDSSP

TEAM

BIKE 

AGE

HOMETOWN 

 
Aiden Wagner GRT Racing MV Agusta F3 675 21 Wamuran, Qld After competing as a wildcard at Phillip Island in 2015, the motocross-loving Wagner returns as a WorldSSP full-timer in a new Spanish-based MV Agusta-supported team alongside Briton Gino Rea. Wagner has high hopes for starting 2016 with a bang after a full pre-season behind him and armed with the potent three-cylinder F3 675, which was particularly competitive in the hands of Frenchman Jules Cluzel in 2015 — including a victory at Phillip Island. Wagner was 13th in the 2015 WorldSSP race in Australia.
Glenn Scott Lorini Honda Honda CBR600RR 24 Mangrove Mountain, NSW Central Coast Scott returns for a second season of WorldSSP competition, switching to the very experienced Italian Lorini Honda squad which has been a championship staple for a number of years. Scott will also have a teammate for the first time to fast-track development of the CBR600RR, and there’ll certainly be high hopes of knocking on the door of a top 10 finish at Phillip Island.
Lachlan Epis Response Real Estate Kawasaki ZX-6R 16 Dural, NSW Lachlan Epis is already on the cusp of breaking a WorldSSP record:  he’ll become the youngest ever rider to compete in the series full-time in 2016. Epis, who turned 16 on December 22, will eclipse the previous benchmark held by Frenchman Maxime Berger, who was about sixth months older (16 years and eight months) when he made his WorldSSP full-time debut way back in 2006. Epis competed in the 2015 Superstock 600 European Championship, but has now made the jump to WorldSSP with backing from his family businesses. The team has committed to a three-year WorldSSP campaign.

WILDCARDS

         
Ant West Green Tea X50 Yamaha Yamaha YZF-R6 35 Bilmbua, Brisbane / born Maryborough West is a wildcard with all the trimmings, and returns to WorldSSP after a six-year break and in a class where he won races on Yamaha machinery way back in 2007. The Queenslander has produced some stirring rides at Phillip Island in the past, especially in the Moto2 ranks, and in 2015 was a substitute rider in the Marc Marquez-won MotoGP race. West’s Yamaha will race under the ‘Green Tea X50’ banner. In the 2009 WorldSSP race at Phillip Island West, a two-time Moto2 winner, finished third, just 0.153secs behind race winner Kenan Sofuoglu.
Mitch Levy Landbridge Racing Yamaha Yamaha YZF-R6 21 Sydney, NSW The 21-year-old makes his world championship debut after a solid domestic season in 2015, and certainly won’t be overawed by the surroundings based on the huge number of laps he’s logged at Phillip Island over the years. Levy will have a number of internationals in his sights during the 21-lap WorldSSP race.
Kane Burns Burns Racing Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R600 19 Hat Head, NSW (near Kempsey) A teenager with a bright future, and he’ll be showing his hand in the hurly burly of international competition on his privately entered Suzuki GSX-R600. Burns showed sizzling form in the support races at the 2015 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, so he’ll have some solid base settings to work with at his maiden WorldSSP race.
Alex Phillis Aark Honda Honda CBR600RR 22 Kilsyth, Vic, born Albury, NSW Alex Phillis saddles up in the Phillip Island WorldSSP round for the second year in succession, but this time much more battle hardened after seeing out the back end of 2015 in the WorldSBK ranks, and then logging plenty of laps as a frontrunner in the New Zealand supersport title. Was just out of the points at Phillip Island in 2015, so a top 15 result is the major target in 2016. Alex is the son of Robbie Phillis, who finished third in the 1991 and 1992 WorldSBK titles.

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