Alastair’s Australian Superbike Championship Round One Review

On the 20th of February I travelled to Phillip Island for the first round of the ASBK in conjunction with the WSBK.

Thursday I had my first practice in the afternoon and was the fastest Suzuki in 8th. A tad slower than last week’s test I had attended but it was early days.

Friday was to be my busiest day, Practice 2 and Two Qualifying sessions. The Australian 600’s and 1000’s 1st qualifying was canned as the World 600 racers kept red flagging the session (over 5 red flags and at one stage 10 riders crashed in four laps!) The Ambo was doing more laps! Finally we managed to get out on track and after I found some clear track with the 25+ riders on track my tyres had passed their best and could only put the bike in 13th. Not the end of the world, with a good start I should be sweet.

Saturday we had one warm up and one 10 lap race, I got not the worse start but it wasn’t good. I was about 16th in turn one. The first few laps I worked my back up to 13th as quick as I could and set after catching the group of 6 in front of me. I never did catch them but they never got away. So the goal for the next race was to get in that group. I finished the race in 11th after a few fell during the race. We had all our racing done by 1pm so we got ready for Sunday and watched the WSBK guys qualify.

Sunday was the same story, Warm up at 8.45 and race at 10.30 (the rest of the days was all World 600 and 1000 racing) Race two’s start was a lot better but about the same as everyone else. After a few laps I found myself in 12th following to Kawasaki riders. I spend so long trying to pass this one bike (struggling with top end power) the group I wanted to mix with slowly broke away. I soon passed this rider and set off after his team mate who had just been dropped by that group of 5 or 6. With two laps to go I caught him and waited for the last lap as the next group was too far away to catch. I made the pass on the last lap and ended up 10th doing a personal best time of 1.38.5.

I had no idea where I would be sitting amongst the Ozzy 600 guys until the first timed session but I am happy with 10th in the championship… AT THE MOMENT!

I really enjoyed this trip, racing on one of the best tracks in the world taking turn three almost pinned in 6th, meeting and chatting to the likes for Carlos Checa, Troy Bayliss, Pippa ( Laverty’s girlfriend) Karl Muggeridge etc and attending my first ever WSBK event.

Next round is at Queensland Raceway in April, But the next ride will be at Hampton Down for our Nationals.

I would like to thank all the guy at CUBE RACING (follow them on twitter) and all there sponsors, all my personal sponsors, James Hoogenboezem for working on the bike and not letting me lift a finger all weekend and as always Mum and Dad.

I thank you all you guys for your support and following me on Facebook and also a big thanks to Motorcycling Canterbury for getting in behind me and supporting my with my racing in Australia. What a Club! See you soon at the Race track

Al Hoogie #43