Australian representation in the opening round of the 2018 Motul FIM World Superbike Championship, to be held at Phillip Island from February 23-25, has been boosted with the announcement that four of Australia’s hottest riders have been approved to race in the Yamaha Finance round.
South Australia’s Daniel Falzon and Goulburn’s Troy Herfoss have been granted wild card status for World Superbikes, while Wollongong campaigner, Wayne Maxwell has been awarded one event entry.
In World Supersport, Goulburn’s new teenage sensation, 17-year-old Tom Toparis, will race against the world’s best as a wild card in World Supersport – alongside Australia’s season campaigners, Anthony West and Lachlan Epis.
Australian Wildcards for World Superbike and World Supersport
One Event Entry to World Superbike*
Daniel Falzon – Yamaha Racing Team
After recently signing a factory deal with Yamaha Racing Team in the ASBK Championship, 23-year-old Falzon is fulfilling a dream to compete in World Superbike as a wildcard. Falzon is two-time Australian Supersport Champion and recently completed his best ever result in the Australian Superbike class with a fourth-place finish as a privateer Yamaha rider.
“Of course, it’s always been a dream of mine to compete on the world stage and any experience we can gather from this opportunity will be valuable as we contest the 2018 ASBK season.
I’m very accustomed to the Yamaha YZF-R1 package after racing it for several seasons and the bike we are racing as a WSBK wildcard will be very similar to what we’ll be riding in ASBK.”
Troy Herfoss – Honda Racing Team
The 2016 Australian Superbike Champion, Herfoss came devastatingly close to clenching back-to-back titles with the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team in 2017, but a mechanical retirement at the final round at Phillip Island had Herfoss finish third overall. He has gained a reputation as one of Australia’s fittest and most determined riders.
The 30 year old has recorded achievements such as Australian Supermoto Champion, multiple AMA Supermoto Champion, Australian Supersport Champion, two-times Australian Superbike Champion and is also a bicycle riding enthusiast, regularly competing in national cycling tours.
He now is raring to compete against several of the world’s elite riders at February 23-25’s WorldSBK round.
“Riding in the world superbike championship is without a doubt what I have been striving for, and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.
Everyone within the team is really excited about the possibilities ahead and hopefully we can be somewhere in the mix for a positive result. The world superbike field is full of world class riders but it will be a great opportunity to show what we are capable of,” said Herfoss who will continue to campaign the Honda in 2018.
Tom Toparis – Cube Racing Team (Kawasaki)
The young gun hailing from Goulburn, NSW is ready for the challenge of his WorldSSP debut. Seventeen-year-old Toparis completed a wildcard appearance in the Moto3 class in last year’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and came third in the Australian Supersport class last year. ‘Torpedo’ Toparis will be riding an upgraded ZX-6R that he rides in the ASBK.
“After the team and I did the Moto3 wildcard last year in October, we thought we would give the World Supersport wildcard a go.
World Supersport is of course a lot different to Moto3. It’s much closer in terms of Australian Supersport compared to Moto3 or Moto2, so we should have a better understanding on how everything works. I’m hoping when I get to the Island there will be a noticeable boost with the engine package straight away. That will just be so good. If I go straight away and the engine is just that little bit faster, then the Pirelli tyres and a few other bits here and there which all factor into making the lap time faster.
Just being on track with the world guys, who are all circulating faster, is going to be great for me as a whole. Hopefully I can gain some experience and learn from them and be able to apply that experience in the ASBK for the 2018 season,”
Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha Racing Team
Wayne Maxwell from Wollongong NSW won the ASBK’s Superbike Championship in 2013 and has been a regular contender as a Yamaha Racing Team rider. The ‘Wayne Train’ came second in last year’s Australian Superbike Championship. Joining his teammate Falzon on a YZF-R1 for 2018, he can’t wait to get amongst the WSBK field.
“The opportunity to represent Yamaha Racing Team amongst the WSBK field is a great boost for us. The team have always wanted to become involved in WSBK and now that opportunity has become a reality.
In terms of our Yamaha YZF-R1 package, it should be pretty similar to ASBK spec with minor alterations to make it fit for WSBK completion. If we do have one advantage it is that we know Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit very well and it’s not out of the question that a top fifteen or higher result may be possible if we put in a good performance.
I cannot thank Yamaha Racing Team and all my sponsors enough for the opportunity. I’ve been training hard over the off-season and hopefully we can secure a positive result at Phillip Island in both WSBK and ASBK, it’s going to be a busy weekend!”
*Awarded by the FIM and DORNA to Wayne Maxwell a one event entry. Under a technicality, only two wild cards can be approved per category in world superbike and world supersport but the FIM and DORNA made dispensation for Maxwell as “one event entry”.
Nothing Beats World Superbikes Live At The Island
Action kicks off Friday morning (February 23) with the season’s unveil debuting new rider line ups and liveries in their first international practice sessions for the year.
Saturday and Sunday (February 24 & 25) are packed from sun up to sun down with qualifying and racing, with world superbikes racing on both days.
World Superbikes is super affordable with a 3 Day General Admission ticket just $120^. In an absolute first for World Superbikes at the Island, all 3 Day ticket holders in 2018 gain FREE Paddock access.
Step it up a notch in Bar SBK for only $260 and capture all of the exhilarating action from the circuit’s optimum viewing locations or opt for a VIP Hospitality package.
And as always with World Superbikes Kids 15 & under are FREE**
Nothing beats World Superbikes…Live At The Island.
Book your tickets for the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance Round, Phillip Island, February 23 – 25 2018.
For more information contact the circuit on the toll free World Superbike Hotline 1300 728 007 or www.worldsbk.com.au
^All ticket prices quoted purchased in advance and subject to Ticketek processing fee.
**Children 15 and under are free and must be accompanied by a paying adult.