FOUR-TIME and current 2016 Victorian Supersport championship leader Ryan Taylor says that he is more than excited to get back down to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit this weekend for the second round of the 2016 Motul Pirelli Victorian Road Racing Championship (VRRC).
Taylor, 29, heads into this weekend with a healthy eighteen point advantage after he guided his RTR by Moto Obsession Yamaha R6 machine to three faultless victories at the opening round at Broadford’s State Motorcycle Sports Complex at the beginning of April.
“We had a pretty good run at Phillip Island in February at the opening round of the Australian Supersport Championship and were able to set some good lap times,” Taylor said.
“It saw us running at the pointy end of the field, so if we can do the same sort of times this weekend we shouldn’t have a drama.
“I see no reason why we shouldn’t be ultra-competitive this weekend,” Taylor, who is based in Garfield, about 100km from Phillip Island, added.
One thing which could be a factor this weekend at the seaside circuit is Mother Nature. The 4.445km circuit in August is known to sometimes have inclement weather which does sometimes throw a ‘spanner in the works’.
How does Taylor feel about racing in the wet, if it does rain? “I would prefer if it did stay dry to be honest. However, this is motorcycle racing, not lawn bowls. We’ll just do the best we can if the weather does turn on us.”
This weekend, Taylor will also have a new teammate in the Supersport class. Taylor and the RTR team have recruited 31-year-old Irishman Brendan Wilson, who now hails from Cheltenham.
“The whole project of the RTR team is to help and develop riders, both young and old,” Taylor explained.
“Brendan has proven that he has what it takes, and it shows as he is sitting in fourth position in the championship after a positive first round at Broadford. I’m looking forward to see what he can do this weekend with our support.”
“I’m very grateful for Ryan and the RTR team for bringing me on,” Wilson said.
“Running by myself for the last few years has been fun. However now joining a team such as RTR by Moto Obsession should help me progress a lot further, purely because I can focus on riding and getting the bike sorted out to suit the track.”
As a ‘young’ fella, growing up in Ireland watching the MotoGP race at the ‘Island’, Wilson honestly never dreamt that he would get to race at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
“I’ll never forget my first few laps,” Wilson, who first rode at Phillip Island in 2014 at the fourth round of the Hartwell Motorcycle Club Championship, beamed.
“I was like a kid on Christmas morning!”
“When anyone back home asks what’s the Island is like, my response is fast. Very fast!! The only fault with the place is the changing weather. However I guess everyone is in the same boat,” Wilson concluded.
Zack Johnson, last year’s Victorian 300 Production champion, makes his debut outing in this year’s VRRC this weekend.
The sixteen-year-old unfortunately missed the opening round of the VRRC, as two days after the second round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) series at Wakefield Park in New South Wales he crashed his dirt bike which saw him breaking his right fibber and shattering his ankle.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike again,” Johnson said.
“It’s going to be a good weekend, as technically speaking I have nothing to lose and everything to gain as I have missed out on the first round. So I’m just going to lay it all on the line and go for it and score as many points as I can. After this weekend we’ll see where we sit in the championship fight and go from there.”
Round 2 of the 2016 Pirelli Motul Victorian Road Racing Championships takes place at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on August 27-28.
For more information please visit: www.vrrc.com.au.
Story by: Russell Colvin