Features 8 Feb 2018

Rated: Leading Australians overseas

Five racers from five different series to watch for throughout 2018.

Australia has been recognised for many years as one of the most capable countries on the planet when it comes to producing world-class road racers and, for 2018, we have a heap situated in varying series globally. But some do stand out more than others, competing in the most notable of series, and CycleOnline.com.au put together this Rated feature to outline our thoughts on their prospects for the season ahead.

Image: Supplied.

Rider: Jack Miller (MotoGP)
Rating: A
Rundown: Three full years into his MotoGP career, Jack Miller’s experience in the premier class is beginning to show ahead of the 2018 season. After a few years with Honda, the talented 23-year-old is on target for a breakout year after signing with Pramac Racing Ducati. So far in testing he has been super-impressive on the Desmosedici GP, consistently in the top five during last month’s test at Sepang. A Moto3 and MotoGP race winner already, the time is right for Miller to arrive and doing so could see him on a full-factory ride come 2019.

Rider: Remy Gardner (Moto2)
Rating: B-
Rundown: Son of 1987 500GP world champion Wayne Gardner, Remy’s time in Europe to date has been mixed, but there’s definitely been signs of potential along the way. Moto2 has to be one of the most challenging classes there is and he’s been good enough to finish as high as ninth at Brno in the restarted wet affair last year. Back with Tech3 for a second term, Gardner will be looking for more this year and some focus on his interviews would do him a favour, so lets see how he fares.

Rider: Anthony West (WorldSSP)
Rating: B+
Rundown: Queensland gun Anthony West has been around the world more than a few times in his decorated career, but this year could be his best chance yet at getting some stability back once and for all with his own EAB Racing Team, campaigning Puccetti Racing Kawasaki-prepared ZX-6R machinery. We have huge respect for West, who has to be one of the most versatile in the game, and he’s ridden everything from 250GP, 500GP, MotoGP, WorldSBK, WorldSSP and more during the past 20 years. A top three in the WorldSSP championship should be on the menu for 2018.

Image: Supplied.

Rider: Broc Parkes (EWC)
Rating: B+
Rundown: Another race who has spent the best part of two decades racing in Europe, Broc Parkes has risen to become one of the most respected riders in the Endurance World Championship (EWC). As part of the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team, Parkes should be in the frame for the 2017/2018 title despite a DNF at last year’s French opener, and we expect he’ll once again impress at the Suzuka 8 Hours in July. With MotoGP, WorldSBK, WorldSSP and BSB experience to his credit, Parkes has found a neat place to wind-up the latter stages of his career.

Rider: Josh Brookes (BSB)
Rating: A-
Rundown: A fascinating fact about Josh Brookes is that he has spent more time racing in the British Superbike Championship than anywhere else in his career to date. A former Australian Superbike champion who tried his hand at WorldSBK and WorldSSP prior to ending up in the UK, he is established as one of the leading domestic series’ brightest stars. After winning the 2015 BSB title he made a difficult return to the world championship only to go back last year and, at this point, he is entering 2018 as a true favourite for the championship with the McAMS Yamaha team.