WEST Australian racer Bryan Staring has signed up to the Kawasaki BCperformance Racing Team to tackle the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship — but he won’t get to race in front of his home crowd and he’ll have to beat a former world champion to take the champagne.
The ASBK calendar has been released showing no gig, again, for Western Australia’s Barbagallo raceway circuit in 2018. And locally, Motorcycling Western Australia has released its race calendar for 2018, with only one open-class road racing event penned in for the year — the historic bikes’ State titles on the Collie circuit, two-and-a-bit hours south of Perth, in September. (We went to a race meeting at Collie earlier this year, and it was a hoot. See our story here.)
The future for bikes at the Barbagallo circuit will be discussed at a high-level meeting at the end of January, with invitees including WA’s Minister for Sport and Recreation Mick Murray (who’s from Collie, as it happens), plus the WA Sporting Car Club which operates Barbagallo, Motorcycling Australia and Motorcycling WA. The track has been closed to bikes since November last year amid safety concerns and after two fatal accidents.
Riders remain hopeful that Barbagallo will be available for non-competitive riding during 2018.
But for top-level road racing, we might have to be content with following Staring’s performance and seeing whether three-time WSBK world champ Troy Bayliss still has what it takes to win trophies. The 48-year-old New South Welshman has announced he’s coming out of retirement and riding the Aussie superbike titles next year, on a Ducati (of course).
Staring returned home to Australian racing in 2017 after a stint on the world stage in the WSBK Superstock class.
The 29-year-old has made his mark in Australian motorcycle racing with titles including the 2009 Australian Supersport Champion and the 2010 Australian Superbike Champion.
“Since 2011, I have gained a lot of experience with the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R across many different championships around the world and I look forward to partnering with Kawasaki again to take on the ASBK championship with the BCperformance team,” Staring said.
Team Manager, Kelvin Reilly, says he’s pleased to have Staring on board.
“Bryan showed good speed this year in the Australian Superbike Championship and I believe with his experience we will be a real title threat from the start.”
2018 ASBK Calendar
Round 1- WSBK, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit VIC February 22 – 25
Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14
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