Features 9 Feb 2016

Fast Thoughts: Robbie Bugden

SA Kawasaki BCperformance rider on 2016 comeback.

After a fill 12 months off from racing, experienced Queenslander Robbie Bugden will make a popular return with SA Kawasaki BCperformance in 2016 aboard the brand new ZX-10R. CycleOnline.com.au spoke to Bugden at this week’s Phillip Island test for a Fast Thoughts interview.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Riding the new Ninja ZX-10R…

It’s been great. It’s obviously a brand new bike and still has plenty of development to come from. Straight away we rode the bike and it was fast, makes a whole bunch of power and it handles quite nimbly. It’s been really refreshing actually, it’s been really nice to get back on a bike, and I think it’s going to be quite a contender.

Having a year away from racing…

I guess it was good and it was bad. I missed the racing, I missed the people, and it certainly made me realise what a massive part of my life racing has been. It’s one of those things which is hard to stay away from and when the opportunity came up to ride for Kelvin [Reilly] on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R it was a no-brainer really. I jumped at the opportunity and we’ll give it 100 percent! Hopefully we can put the SA Kawasaki BCperformance up the front.

Working with SA Kawasaki BCperformance…

It’s been really good. I think we have underestimated the challenges that lie ahead – we’re up against world class teams and world class riders. I spoke to Kelvin at length before he put the agreement together, he showed really good attitude and I have meet all the team. Everyone is striving to get out there and win. Their attitude made the decision pretty easy to jump on board. We’re here to win and everyone is pushing hard to do that.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Developing talent in the Ninja Cup…

I think it’s great. It’s fantastic to see Kawasaki get behind a series like that. When I was growing up we had 250 Production and the top five to eight riders were all battling it out for the lead every weekend. You look back at some of those results and some of those guys have gone on to make a career out of motorcycle racing. I reckon a lot of the credit has to go to that series we had back then, because the competition was just so tough and we had to learn so much. There were big grids and if you we’re not on 100 percent of your game you were spat right at the back of the field. I think the Ninja Cup is becoming a very similar series, hopefully that continues to grow and I’m sure it will. That class will bring up some future champions for sure.

WorldSBK title favourite…

I think Johnny Rea will get it done, right? Well look, Kawasaki has come up with a great bike this year. In pre-season testing they have proved they are going to be strong, we are riding one here and we are proving it’s going to be strong, so I’m going to say Johnny Rea for sure.