News 13 Jan 2016

Record-breaking Epis set for WorldSSP campaign

Australian to become youngest ever in category fulltime.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Australian Lachlan Epis will become the youngest ever rider to compete in World Supersport fulltime when the 2016 championship gets underway at Phillip Island on 26-28 February.

Epis, who turned 16 on 22 December and hails from Sydney, will eclipse the previous benchmark held by Frenchman Maxime Berger, who was about sixth months older when he made his debut way back in 2006.

After competing in the 2015 Superstock 600 FIM Cup, Epis was all set to continue on the same path in 2016 before it was announced the series would be discontinued. Epis and his family then made the decision to “jump to another level” and go WorldSSP racing over the next three years.

“All our realistic options, after Superstock 600 was dropped, were a step back or sideways,” Epis said. “And sideways meant not racing on the World Supersport or Superbike tracks. Australians don’t step back real well and stepping sideways just seemed to add years and cost to the original plan.

“After some serious thinking, we started work on building an all-Australian WorldSSP team, sponsored by Australian businesses. We approached Dorna with the idea of a three-year plan to get to the top step of the podium by 2018 and now we have been invited to do just that.

“It’s totally bold, crazy, ambitious and risky, but riding my Kawasaki ZX-6R with an Australian team with the knowledge I can learn and have time to become competitive at the front is a dream come true. As is the case with all young sportspeople I couldn’t do it without the huge support of my family.”

Epis’ background, like so many Aussie road racers, is dirt track and he predominantly plied his trade at the Nepean Raceway in Sydney before moving to the junior road racing ranks with MRRDA in 2013. Over the next two seasons he was second and first in the 150cc four-stroke class and in 2014 also finished runner-up in the Moto3 title.

Armed with major backing from the Epis family businesses, Response Real Estate and Blue Tongue Finance, he embarked on a fly-in fly-out European campaign in 2015 on a ZX-6R and finished six of the seven races – a crash in the final race at Magny-Cours blotting his copybook. His best result was 23rd in the penultimate round at Jerez.

Epis’ 2016 ZX-6R will be prepared locally, but the team has organised race engines through the support of Kawasaki Europe. The team will have them in time for the final WorldSBK and WorldSSP pre-season test at Phillip Island on 22-23 February, with round one getting underway just three days later.

Entry to the 2016 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship Yamaha Finance round at Phillip Island will cost $115 for a three-day pass, $80 for a Sunday-only pass, while kids 15 and under are free. On circuit camping is just $100 for four nights, with kids 15 and under free. Visit for tickets or for info.