Superbikes pull out as Barbagallo closure continues

THERE will be no Perth round for the 2017 Australian Superbikes competition — and this weekend’s planned ‘track day’ event has been cancelled — as the motorcycle ban at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway passes the 100-day mark.

There has been no motorcycle activity at Barbagallo since November 10 last year when circuit operator, the WA Sporting Car Club, banned bikes after the release of a report into safety. The report, commissioned by WA’s Department of Sport and Recreation, said there were multiple instances where the circuit did not comply with motorcycle racing industry safety guidelines.

Motorcycling Western Australia announced the cancellation of the superbike round on its website yesterday, with this two-paragraph statement:

“It is with much disappointment that unfortunately the Australian Superbike Round at Barbagallo Raceway has had to be postponed to 2018. Commercial deadlines and circumstances outside of the control of Motorcycling Western Australia and Motorcycling Australia has made it difficult to be able to meet commitments necessary.

“It is also in the best interests of the event that we work towards 2018 to make sure that the West Australian round Australian Superbike Championships can be the best event it can be. We are all disappointed but thank Motorcycling Australia, Australian Superbikes, Motorcycle Racing Club of Western Australia, Trakdayz and all those that worked tirelessly to get as far as we have.”

The Barbagallo circuit was inspected this week for an “independent assessment” of its safety. The Bike Shed Times understands the WA Sporting Car Club is waiting on the outcome of that assessment before making any decisions about bikes returning to the track.

BACKGROUND: Two riders died in separate incidents at the circuit in 2016. In May, Daniel Chadbund, 28, was killed when he was thrown from his bike and struck a tyre wall during the opening round of the 2016 State Road Racing Championships. Then in November, Chris Adley, 21, fell off his bike and was run over by the rider behind him during a race at the Kings of Wanneroo event. The two deaths took to six the number of fatalities at Barbagallo in 16 years.

Work at the track in recent weeks has included the extension of a wall of tyres at the track’s seventh corner, where Daniel Chadbund crashed.

 In his report into safety at the circuit, engineer Chris Hall said the circuit was associated with “a significant number of critical risk items” that rendered it “unsafe for motorcycle racing due to an unacceptable risk of serious injury”. Mr Hall identified several corners which he said had insufficient run offs.