What a difference a year makes. At the start of last year’s ASC it seemed like just another year...
What a difference a year makes.
At the start of last year’s Australian Superbike Championship it seemed like the start of just another normal year of racing as Australia continued to produce some of the best talent on the planet.
That was the case on-track, with Glenn Allerton proving his might to snatch the crown from two-times defending series champion Jamie Stauffer, in what was a spectacular year of racing.
But the happenings off the track behind the scenes was anything but rosy as the relationship between AUSCO partners Motorcycling Australia and Terry O’Neill soured to a point of no return.
Fast forward to 2009 and we have an entirely new series set to begin this fortnight with the International Entertainment Group (IEG)-promoted ASBK championship. O’Neil’s out and Yarrive Konsky is in as the series’ main man.
It hasn’t been an easy transition to the new promoter by any means, as a late decision awarding IEG the series’ rights put them on the back foot from the beginning.
We’ve had a delayed sponsorship announcement, late purchase of air-fence, ongoing speculation regarding TV coverage, and controversial supp regs. The calendar and prize money have had more ups and downs than Gazza McCoy’s career.
But now that the first round’s just around the corner, IEG’s secured a major naming rights sponsor, MA has announced they’ve got air-fence and TV sorted, and any error in the supp regs has been corrected – all despite rumours of a total collapse.
The calendar and prize money have both been reduced since Konsky’s initial claims via IEG’s sporadic press releases, but it’s all come together in time for round one, and some prize money is better than none.
Australia’s premier road racing series will return to the Island for the first time since 2005, as a support class for the first round of WSBK, which is a great step forward in itself even if it isn’t a standalone ASBK round for this year at least.
Now that the time’s come, let’s all get behind the new ASBK promoter and ensure that the series’ future is as glowing as its 20-year history.