VICTORIAN road racer Alex Phillis is primed to take on the world’s best up-and-coming motorcycle riders on his home-town track in the hotly-contested Supersport World Championship at Phillip Island’s Grand Prix Circuit this weekend, February 26-28.
Phillis, from Melbourne, was granted a wildcard by Motorcycling Australia after he received a call from Andy Offer, owner of Aark Honda, from seemingly out-the-blue. “I was approached by Andy because he was struggling with one of his current riders and we met previously at the end of last season when I was competing in some of the Superbike World Championship rounds. I was pretty happy to accept his offer,” he said.
The 22-year-old, who has competed professionally on the world stage in countries such as Germany, Malaysia, France, Spain, Qatar and New Zealand is revved-up to be racing on his own home track at Phillip Island this weekend.
“It’s always good fun racing at Phillip Island. Depending on where you’ve raced in the world it can take a few laps to get your head around it because it’s so fast. I’ve never liked it on the little bikes but on the CBR600RR it’s a really fun track. I love being there and it suits my riding style a lot,” Alex said.
“Obviously, this year I’m a bit more prepared than I was last year when I got a call up to do a wildcard. I’ve had a lot more track time over the Australian summer,” Alex added.
Phillis has been competing in the 2016 New Zealand Superbike Championship throughout the summer and has managed to get in some much-need testing a week ago. “It was just a bit of a shakedown really. It wasn’t really much to compare lap-times for as it was the first time the bike had been ridden. We had to iron out the problems,” Alex, who plans to compete in the final round of the NZSBK at Te Kauwhata in March, added.
On the Supersport World Championship, where he’ll compete against fellow Australians Aidan Wagner, Glenn Scott, and Lachlan Epis, Alex hopes to make as much ground work during two days of testing starting Friday, February 27, and deciding what tyres he’ll race on before the 21-lap race starts at 1.20pm on Sunday, February 28.
“My number one goal is to finish in the points, and being the first Aussie would be nice but anything can happen,” Alex added. “Of course, there’s going to be a lot of fast riders. The European guys are going to be fast but we’ve got a good mix of Aussie riders who I have competed against in the past. There’s going to be some quick guys, some guys will definitely shine, but I think it’s going to be quite competitive amongst the Aussies,” Alex continued.
Alex is the son of Superbike World Championship rider Robbie Phillis who finished third in the 1991 and 1992 WSBK titles but that doesn’t faze him. “I’m trying to make my own path at the moment. I don’t exactly want to be like him in every single way but I’m really enjoy riding motorbikes at the moment and I’ll see where that takes me,” Alex said.
Alex would like to thank Andy Offer of Aark Honda and Rod Price of Helicraft in New Zealand for supporting him.
To follow Alex’s progress this weekend visit: www.worldsbk.com.