News 11 Jan 2016

Local internationals return home for Troy Bayliss Classic

New South Wales racers take to the oil of Taree.

Source: Archives.

Source: Archives.

For many of Australia’s leading motorcycle racers competing overseas this weekend’s Motul Pirelli Troy Bayliss Classic presented by InsureMyRide, Garden Master and Shark Helmets provides an opportunity to race in front of friends, family and their Australian fans.

All hailing from the north coast of New South Wales, Josh Hook, Broc Parkes and brother Alex Cudlin and Damian Cudlin will be crowd favourites when they take to the iconic Taree oil track on Saturday, 16 January.

For Alex Cudlin, who is a five-time Qatar Superbike Champion and spends seven months of the year racing overseas, the event also provides him the opportunity to race alongside his brother Damian.

“It’s a great feeling coming home to race in Taree especially it being my hometown,” said Cudlin. “This is where I had my first ever motorbike race, so it’s nice to support the club for the event.

“I don’t get the chance to race dirt track much anymore due to all my overseas racing commitments but when I get a chance to throw a leg over my KX450 I always do. I’m really looking forward to racing against some of the best dirt track riders in the world. I’m sure the racing will be really tough and I can guarantee there will be a lot of action.”

2015 was an incredible year for Josh Hook who contested the Japanese Superbike Championship with TSR Honda as well as the final four rounds of Moto2, replacing the injured Dominique Aegerter. The Troy Bayliss Classic will be Hook’s only Australian race before he jets to Europe to contest the World Superbike Championship with the Kawasaki Grillini Racing Team.

“The Troy Bayliss Classic is a great event for me,” said Hook. “I come home for the Christmas break and there’s not a lot a lot of racing at this time of year so it is awesome to be able to go racing with a bunch of competitive, fast guys, it keeps my skills and brain up to speed during the off-season.

“Everyone from all different genres of motorcycle racing and from around the world converge on my home-town of Taree for this event, it’s an amazing atmosphere and it really is a privilege to be part of it.”

During 2015 Broc Parkes raced select rounds of the British Superbike Championship before contesting the Endurance FIM World Championship aboard a YART Yamaha YZF-R1. Parkes was called up to contest the final round of the 2015 MotoGP championship in Valencia for Ioda Racing.

Back in Australia to visit family during the off-season, Parkes said he was really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd: “I am really looking forward to competing in the Troy Bayliss Classic,” Parkes said. “It is now the biggest domestic race in Australia and it is awesome to see it getting so much coverage.

“I grew up racing dirt track as a junior so it is always fun to go back to your grass roots. Hopefully, this I will have a bit more luck and be there at the end to fight for the win.”

Hook, Parkes and the Cudlin brothers joined international competitors including four-time Long-Track World Champion Joonas Kylmakorpi, Superprestigio winner Brad Baker, 2015 Troy Bayliss Classic winner Jared Mees and fellow American Henry Wiles to test at Kempsey’s Green Hills Speedway over the weekend.