News 30 Nov 2009

Krusty: Back on track

The old wise one is back on two wheels and can't keep away from the racing action...Krusty checks in after his Island adventures.

Krusty ready to hit the track at the Island. Image: IEG.

Krusty ready to hit the track at the Island. Image: IEG.

Well it has been quite a time since my last blog, but I have been quite busy.

You never really understand how much you miss bike racing until you get right back in the thick of things, and that is exactly what happened last weekend at the final round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Phillip Island.

Basically what the weekend entailed was for me to scare the hell out of a few unlucky people who apparently wanted the chance to get on the back of a bike with me for a couple of laps around the greatest racetrack on the planet.

Based upon the feedback that I received, I managed to achieve that feeling exactly.

I will have to say that there is no better feeling than having someone get off the back of the bike with mixed emotions of shock, fear and exhilaration. Personally, I have no idea why they would want to do that, as the very idea of getting on the back with some of the fastest riders in the country frightens the hell out of me.

The final round turned out to be a very busy weekend for me as I had to do the pillion rides, as well as taking part in some radio commentary on Melbourne’s SEN network, but those of you that know me know that I love to talk about racing anyway, so it comes naturally to me.

I would have to say that the highlight of the weekend for me was taking part in the Harvey Wiltshire Memorial race, which was the last event of the day.

Coming into the weekend, I did not even have any illusions of participating in any event, but as the opportunity rose, the same feeling that I always had as a rider stirred deep inside me.

The rules for the event said that you had to be entered for the entire weekend to be eligible, but luckily for me the officials gave me a special grant to participate.

The downside of this was that I was to grid up for the race on a bike that I had never seen, let alone taken any laps on, and all I had to prepare for it was the sighting lap around the 4.445-kilometre circuit.

One and a half minutes to get used to a bike??? You are kidding me right?

This race was never meant to be anything other than fun for me, using the opportunity to play around on a modern day Superbike that the crew at Evolution Sports Group was gracious enough to loan me.

With no word of a lie, I was very nervous before the race as I had not started a race in a national field for over two years, and because I had no lap times for the weekend I was to be gridded at the rear (Ed: He probably would have qualified at the back of the pack anyway!).

I did have quite a few people asking me what my intentions were for the race, but I had to assure them that I had no desire to win the thing, just to have some fun. This is especially important when you just happen to jump on some other rider’s $40,000 motorcycle. The last thing you want to do is to go crazy and throw the bike into the fence…

Needles to say, I had a lot of fun, but was a little disappointed with the lap times that I achieved for the race. I honestly forgot how fast the Phillip Island circuit is, and to be quite frank, I was intimidated.

But at the end of the day I had a great time on the bike and I would like to take this time to thank everyone who allowed me to bend the rules a little and allow me to race in this one event.

I felt very privileged to hop onto one of the greatest Superbikes, and to cut a few laps with no pressure. My only remorse is that I really wanted to push a little harder, but I think that is what happens when you get older and fatter…. ;-)

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas, and a safe and prosperous new year, and you never know…. maybe Mr Fergusson may wander out on the track sometime again soon.