News 8 Nov 2011

250cc Production class confirmed for ASBK comeback in 2012

Four-stroke proddies added to ASBK next year, as report in AMCN last month.

Aussie Matt Davies (44) is the European Cup Champion on Kawasaki's Ninja 250R.

Aussie Matt Davies (44) is the European Cup Champion on Kawasaki's Ninja 250R.

An all-new production motorcycle racing category will be introduced by QBE Australian Superbike (ASBK) promoter, International Entertainment Group (IEG), in 2012.

Motorcycling Australia (MA) has developed a 250cc Production class designed to foster new talent and assist riders in other disciplines to make the transition to the exciting sport of road racing, and is looking forward to working with IEG to deliver this new class in 2012.

Australian riders’ success on the world stage, most notably the recently crowned MotoGP champion Casey Stoner, has resulted in a surge of interest in the sport, and a national 250cc Production class will serve to introduce riders to the path they can take.

250cc Production will hold Australian Championship status in 2012, and will be run over four rounds, two each in Queensland and Victoria.

IEG Managing Director Yarrive Konsky is excited by the new development and the positive effects it will pass on for emerging riders.

“When I attended the MotoGP at Phillip Island I was overwhelmed by the level of support we have for racing in Australia,” said Konsky.

“If this class can encourage more enthusiasts to get involved and hone their skills at a national level then it must be a good thing.

“At a national level the 250 production class has previously kick-started the careers for riders the likes of Mat Mladin and Troy Corser, and we see it as the starting point for further success.

“The class rules will ensure riders race on an even playing field, putting the focus firmly on racecraft and learning the ability to setup and improve a motorcycle’s performance.”

Parity and affordability will be held paramount in the new class, which will be open to senior riders of all ages and grades.

In line with current Superstock 600 rules, there will be a control tyre specified and only one set will be allocated for qualifying and racing.

MA CEO David White said the new class would provide the opportunity for up-and-coming riders to compete at a cost-effective level.

“Motorcycling Australia is excited to introduce the new 250cc Production class,” said White.

“MA is strongly committed to ensuring the continual advancement of Motorcycle Sport in Australia, and the introduction of the 250cc Production class is a vital step in ensuring growth and sustainability.

“This new class will provide an equitable and cost-effective pathway for riders seeking an introduction to the Road Racing world, and add an exciting new element to our comprehensive Australian Motorcycle Sport calendar.

“We look forward to watching this all new class develop over the coming years.”

The new category has the endorsement of Kawasaki, Honda and Hyosung, who believe it will stimulate new interest in road racing.

“Kawasaki Australia is excited to see the all new 250cc production class introduced,” said Rob Walker, Kawasaki National Sales and Marketing Manager.

“Kawasaki dealers will be able to support riders in this class and offer products through preferred suppliers.

“The Kawasaki Ninja 250R is raced in the USA and Europe with great success and this class is seen as a great learning curve for future champions.”

Tony Hinton, General Manager, Honda Motorcycles said Honda was excited about the introduction of the new class.

“The introduction of the 250cc Production class into the Australian Superbikes series is an exciting step forward for racing in Australia,” said Hinton.

“Honda has always focused on supporting up and coming talent and this new class will provide the ideal platform for these riders to gain valuable experience.”

Simon Gloyne, Hyosung Brand Manager, welcomed the new class and hoped it would prompt increased involvement at road racing’s entry level.

“We can’t wait to expand our racing program,” said Gloyne. “The re-introduction of a true 250cc production class where I also cut my teeth in the early 80’s is a great opportunity and more affordable for riders of all ages. 

“Combined with our existing ‘650cc racers package’, there’s never been a greater choice for both entry level racers and lifestyle racers seeking an economical and competitive option.”

The 2012 QBE ASBK calendar will be announced on Monday the 14th of November ahead of the final round of the year.

Past 250 Production Australian Champions
1990: Troy Corser
1991: Mathew Mladin
1992: Fred Bayens
1993: Robert Baird
1994: Paul Young
1995: Kevin Curtain
1996: Chad Turnbull
1997: Matthew Turner
1998: Anthony West
1999: Broc Parkes
2000: Aaron Gobert
2001: Mick Kelly
2002: Jordan Coote
2003: Caleb Stalder