BALLAN’s Matt Barton is keen to prove a point at next week’s 2016 Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island after last year’s wildcard performance which saw him crash during qualifying as well as a blown tyre on the tenth lap of the main race at last year’s competition.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom at last year’s event, however, with the 19-year-old achieving a personal best time around the world-renowned circuit of 1:42.588.
Matt has once again secured another wildcard entry into the Moto3 class from Motorcycling Australia and is keen to improve on last year’s performance. The Australian MotoGP will take place at Phillip Island from October 21-23.
“Obviously, we’d like to qualify and qualify easily. It’s a big effort for a wildcard to qualify, we found that out last year. Being a wildcard you have to be realistic about things in that you’ll be at the back of the pack but it is how close to the back of the pack that you are going to be which will give you credibility with the other teams and, hopefully, the fans as well,” Matt said.
“The Suus Honda team and I are pretty confident that we can do what we did last year and pull it out when it counts,” he added.
Barton has competed at Phillip Island throughout the year at the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championships and the 2016 Motul Pirelli Victorian Road Racing Championships.
“In the VRRC at Phillip Island in August, we won the overall round in the Moto3 class, which was really positive. We did some good times and it was important to get all the testing that we can before the MotoGP,” Matt said.
“What we’ve done all year has been geared towards being eligible for the wildcard and to give it our best shot. What we’ve put into it this year financially as well is going to make a big difference to my performance,” he added.
Matt is keen to mix it with the world’s best young talent, including Moto3 leader Brad Binder from South Africa. “I think Phillip Island is one of the best tracks in the world. Every rider that has ever rode it will tell you that. It’s got some hard-breaking corners, blind corners, and it’s got a mix of everything,” he said.
“It’s fast and flowing, which is something that Australian riders have excelled on overseas. All the international teams love coming here,” Matt added.
“I’d really like to thank Suus, who jumped on board straightaway after we told them that we had a wildcard again. They’ve been a massive part of our plans this year. I’d like to thank Blue Marlin Pools, one of our new sponsors that have come on board, and they have made it very clear that they want to build towards something big over the next few years and hopefully that will help us in getting a full-time ride overseas as well,” Matt said.
“I’d also like to thank our sponsors that have come on board for the MotoGP; Dolphin Fencing and Moto Heaven, as well as our longer-term sponsors RST, NZi Helmets, Morris Lubricants, West Sliders and Stevenson Strength. Any support is invaluable,” Matt added.
“It’s going to be an awesome weekend,” he said. You can follow Matt’s MotoGP journey via his official Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/mattbartonracing/.