News 6 Oct 2017

Double crash spells Island disaster for Kawasaki BCperformance

Final round of ASBK season off to a rocky start for title-contending team.

Image: Keith Muir.

Kawasaki BCperformance team manager Kelvin Reilly has labelled Friday at Phillip Island’s YMF Australian Superbike finals as one of his team’s toughest yet.

Australasian champion Robbie Bugden crashed heavily in turn one during the second practice session, resulting in teammate Kyle Buckley going down with him while taking evasive action.

The incident’s left both riders’ ZX-10Rs badly damaged and has forced them to revert to their back-up bikes for the final session. Bugden suffered extensive bruising in the fall, while Buckley dislocated his shoulder in what was his second crash of the day.

“Robbie crashed in turn one and Kyle had to drop it in avoiding him,” Reilly told “Both riders are pretty beat-up. They went out in the third session, did a couple of laps and then went home to rest. We will reevaluate tomorrow.

“It’s probably the worst position we’ve ever been in. We believe the corner was wet and the showers had been coming in and out all day long, so Robbie just got caught out at turn one. He high-sided on the exit and Kyle was avoiding his bike, so we have two broken motorcycles – we’re down to two bikes with very bruised riders.”

With Bugden still in with a legitimate shot of taking the championship, currently fourth in the standings and 25 points outside of series leader Troy Herfoss, the team is focused on resetting ahead of Saturday qualifying.

“This is racing and tomorrow’s another day,” Reilly added. “I think there’s another twist in this championship to come – people have been throwing away points and making mistakes all over the place. We could have a wet race on Sunday as well, so as a team, we are 100 percent focused on pushing ahead. We’ll live to fight another day.”

Bugden ended today in 14th overall with his time set in the opening practice, while Buckley was a lowly 22nd on the time-sheets. Both circulated in the final session this afternoon.