The heading has an historical ring to it, but it’s not world superbike legend Troy Bayliss who has started the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) weekend at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in winning form, but instead his teenage son Oli.
The 14-year-old’s promising road racing career was again on full display as he won the opening race in the 2018 Australian Supersport 300 Championship, which is one of the four support classes at the WorldSBK opener.
The teenager was in red-hot form on his Kawasaki, carving his way to the front on the final lap as he started the new season with maximum points.
Oli will saddle up again in race two at 4:15pm, just before his dad makes his celebrated comeback to racing in the Australian Superbike Championship – his first time in the series since 1997. Troy qualified in third position on his no 21 Ducati, alongside reigning champion Josh Waters (Suzuki) and Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha), so he’s placed himself in a strong position to run at the front at a circuit where he won six times in the WorldSBK category.
In WorldSBK, there are a few more preliminaries to get through before the lights go green for the season-opening 22-lap race at 3:00pm, including a practice session before the battle for the final grid positons gets underway with the two Superpole sessions at 12:30pm.
In yesterday’s timed practice, Italian Lorenzo Savadori produced the first real shock of the season when he set the fastest time on his Aprilia ahead of Leon Camier (Honda), Eugene Laverty (Aprilia), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), world champion and Island specialist Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), Marco Melandri (Ducati), Michael van der Mark (Yamaha), Xavi Fores (Ducati), Chaz Davies (Ducati) and Alex Lowes (Yamaha).
Aussies Maxwell (Yamaha), Troy Herfoss (Honda) and Daniel Falzon (Yamaha) are also in the WorldSBK field.
The world supersport field will also be on track today for practice and Superpole, with Aussie Anthony West (Kawasaki) looking strong as he looks to take up the battle to riders like world champion Lucas Mahias (Yamaha).
The WorldSSP also features Aussie teenagers Tom Toparis (Kawasaki) and Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki).
There will also be support races today for Australian supersport, supersport 300 and the YMF R3 Cup.
Nothing Beats World Superbikes Live At The Island
World Superbikes is super affordable with a 3 Day General Admission ticket just $155 at the gate. In an absolute first for World Superbikes at the Island, all 3 Day ticket holders in 2018 gain FREE Paddock access.
Add camping at the circuit campground for up to four nights, and you’ve the perfect location for a summer long weekend away with your mates or family.
And as always with World Superbikes Kids 15 & under are FREE**
Nothing beats World Superbikes…Live At The Island.