News 25 Jul 2016

Troy Bayliss Events pulls plug on 2017 ASBK plans

Motorcycling Australia currently working toward 2017 season.

Image: Keith Muir.

Image: Keith Muir.

Troy Bayliss Events (TBE) has confirmed it won’t be involved in promoting the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship, the decision made earlier this year after a final joint-venture agreement couldn’t be clinched with Motorcycling Australia (MA).

TBE managing director Mark Petersen, who has a rich history in operating Australia’s motorcycle exhibitions and is in partnership with triple world champion Troy Bayliss, said it was a case of the ‘goal posts’ being moved amid a turnover of CEOs at MA that caused the outcome.

It was announced at last November’s Sydney Motorcycle Show that TBE would be taking over the ASBK under the guise of ‘motoSBK’ in what was initially intended to run as a summer series between October 2016 and April 2017. The agreement was announced as a three-year term via then acting MA CEO Jeremy Kahn.

However in February after David Cottee took charge as MA CEO it was revealed that those summer series plans had been shelved, with the decision made to host season 2017 within the calendar year. It was then that speculation began to surface regarding the ongoing involvement of TBE and its since been widely-known that they’re out of the race.

“Troy Bayliss Events obviously at the Sydney Motorcycle Show last year announced that we were going to be running the 2017 ASBK season,” Petersen told “That was with Jeremy Kahn that we announced that.

“Jeremy actually left and then we started our negotiations again with David Cottee, the [next] CEO of Motorcycling Australia. We went to World Superbikes thinking that would be the ultimate place to officially launch the season.

“We turned up and there was talk that, potentially, the contract or the offer that was put forward to Troy Bayliss Events had changed a little bit. We had to weigh it up, obviously our interest is for all motorcycle racing in Australia and recreational as well, and effectively in a nutshell the goal posts got moved. That sort of ruled us out.

“That’s not to say we don’t care about ASBK. Troy has his race team and he’s an ambassador – there’s nothing more that he or myself want than to see ASBK get back to a serious, premier class, somewhere along the lines of Supercars.

“I come to all the MX Nationals as well, so we’re always out and about at the major events, we have our expos that we are really focusing on and, of course, the Troy Bayliss Classic. We’ve always got our eyes and ears open and it’s a shame because we were very excited about [ASBK], but we have to make the right decisions.”

Following Cottee’s sudden departure as MA CEO in April, highly-respected industry identity Peter Doyle has been at the helm as acting CEO of MA. He said that further information on the ASBK’s future will soon be released in a bid to further establish the series’ rebuild.

“We are moving forward with plans for next year, based upon similar lines, but working out how to take it to the next level,” Doyle commented. “There will be more to come in the next few weeks. The first year was a case of getting it going again, this year has been about stabilising it and trying to grow it, then next year we need more of that and to take it to another level for everybody involved.”

Further advancements are in the pipeline for the final two rounds of the 2016 season, which could form the platform of what’s to come for next season with the unanimous and pivotal support of the state controlling bodies. Doyle said the addition of an outside promoter isn’t ‘off the table’, however the series would continue in its positive current direction regardless.