Cube Racing teenager sets realistic wildcard goal at Phillip Island.
National front-runner Tom Toparis has his sights set on finishing inside the points when he makes his anticipated World Supersport Championship (WorldSSP) race debut at Phillip Island tomorrow.
Toparis has emerged as one of the sport’s finest new talents in recent seasons and will start out of 17th on the grid in the opening round of the 2018 series with Cube Racing.
With a mixture of limited international experience including a start at last year’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Moto3, the 17-year-old is taking valuable experience out of this week’s WorldSSP opportunity. His 1m35.417s in Superpole 1 had him wedged among a host of world championship full-timers.
“Points have been the goal the whole time,” Toparis told CycleOnline.com.au. “To get a world championship point or two would be a good achievement, but it’s obviously just so hard. It’s so much harder than it looks – I feel like I’m on the limit, but they’re so good.
“Anyway, I am learning so much and I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. I’m starting from P17, so I just need to hang in there, see what we can do. It’s been a busy week because we have been here for over a week now… early mornings, late nights and hopefully I can repay everyone. It will be interesting!”
Toparis also got his Australian Supersport Championship campaign off to the best start possible this weekend, scoring pole position and then sprinting away to a dominant 6.454s victory in race one this morning to lead the point-standings one race into the new season. He will also have two domestic races tomorrow.