Jed Metcher – Kawasaki (Melb), Matthew Walters – Kawasaki (Nulkaba, Cessnock, NSW)
Aiden Wagner – Yamaha (Wamuran, QLD) Sam Lambert – Triumph (Darwin), Tim Boujos – Yamaha( Perth)
Young guns Jed Metcher and Aiden Wagner are among the five local riders who will make one-off appearances as ‘wildcards’ in the opening round of the 2015 Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island from February 20-22.
Metcher will join Matthew Walters in the world superbike class at the Swann Insurance-backed Phillip Island round, while Wagner’s compatriots in the world supersport category will be Sam Lambert and Tim Boujos.
Australia’s best chance of a strong result at Phillip Island probably rests with 20-year-old Wagner, who hails from Wamuran in Queensland.
Not only is he the current Australasian supersport champion, but he also competed in the 2014 Moto2 world championship round at Phillip Island as a wildcard, producing a solid performance.
“I had a go at Moto2 and a lot of things didn’t go my way,”
“This year I am racing with my Victorian-based Oz Wildcard Racing Team for world supersport we are in control of our own destiny and have put in a lot of time and development over the last year.
“We currently have three world supersport-spec Yamahas on the go, but when the race comes around we’ll have the best engine in the best chassis.
“We have put a lot of effort into the electronics side of things, and I’m banking on our bike being able to get a tow from the international bikes down Gardner Straight, although we’ll probably be down a few horsepower.
“I’d love a top 10 finish, and top five would be out of this world.”
Wagner has another six days of pre-season testing in the pipeline before round one commences, including an official two-day session at Phillip Island on February 16-17.
Meanwhile, Darwin’s Lambert will race a Triumph 675R (Sam Lambert Racing) and Perth’s Tim Boujos (JR Racing) will mount a Yamaha R6 for the world supersport race over 21 laps. Frenchman Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta) will start the championship as favourite, and he also won at Phillip Island in 2014.
Metcher and Walters to join a cracker Superbike field
Melbourne-based Metcher, a former world supersport campaigner and European 600 superstock champion, will be making his first appearance in the world superbike ranks, riding a Kawasaki ZX-10R. Following his wildcard appearance, he’ll be jetting off to England to race in the 2015 British Superbike Championship alongside a brace of other Aussies, including Josh Brookes, Broc Parkes and Josh Waters.
Cessnock’s Matt Walters returns to Phillip Island’s WSBK round for the second year running, but this time with a clear mission: to make it to race day. In 2014 he was an 11th hour replacement for injured Italian Luca Scassa in the Pedercini Kawasaki squad but then crashed on Saturday in a high-speed bingle and withdrew. He will also be on a ZX-10R at Phillip Island.
In 2015, the entire world superbike field will be racing under standardised new rules, which will combine superbike class chassis with superstock-spec engines – a cost-saving format which should allow Walters and Metcher to really give some of the internationals a fright in the two 22-lap races.
Among the riding talent on the 2015 world superbike grid includes reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli (Honda), Kawasaki teammates Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, new entry Randy de Puniet (Suzuki) and Briton Chaz Davies (Ducati).
Tickets for World Superbikes on sale now
Tickets for world superbikes are now on sale. At $110* for a three-day pass purchased in advance, children under 15 free**, and on-circuit camping options, world superbikes is an event for the entire motorcycling community to enjoy. People can bring their bikes and ride to any part of the circuit to watch the action and celebrate the enjoyment of life on two wheels.
BAR SBK and VIP Hospitality packages also available.
Tickets are on sale by ringing the circuit on 1300 728 007.
*plus processing fee – offer valid to Wednesday February 18 at 2pm AEST. At gate, a three day general admission is $150 so buy in advance, and save $40
** children are classified as 15 and under, and must be accompanied by a full paying adult.