Giles riding off into retirement
AUSTRALIA’S most successful domestic superbike racer, Shawn Giles, has retired from top-flight racing. The three-time Australian Superbike champion announced on Monday he’d be hanging up his leathers— then immediately took up an offer to ride in this weekend’s International Island Classic at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
Giles will substitute for Craig McMartin on a highly-modified 1300cc Vincent V-twin Superbike in the International Challenge races for pre-1982 Grand Prix and Superbike machines.
His competition will include former MotoGP star Jeremy McWilliams (Suzuki XR69 F1), World Endurance champion and current lap record holder Steve Martin (Suzuki Katana Superbike), two-time Australian Superbike champion Malcolm Campbell (Suzuki RG500), multiple Australian champion Robbie Phillis (Suzuki Katana Superbike), and Isle of Man TT victors Cameron Donald and Irish champion Ryan Farquhar (both Suzuki XR69 F1).
The historic bikes pull big crowds and the inclusion of Giles is expected to bolster those numbers.
The 40-year-old racer is the only rider to win three straight ASBK titles (2000-2002) and has been a leading contender in the past few seasons.
But the New South Welshman has struggled to regain full fitness after a huge crash in 2008 left him with severe concussion and a badly broken leg and he’s decided to hang up the leathers before the start of the 2011 season.
‘‘The time is right, and it’s a satisfying way to finish,’’ says Giles, who finished third in the Phillip Island six-hour race last month with teammate Josh Waters on their Team Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Giles rates his 2001 win on the-then new Suzuki GSX-R1000 as a career highlight.
Suzuki Australia’s motorcycling general manager Perry Morison confirms Giles will continue with Suzuki in a promotional role and notes: ‘‘Shawn has not only been an ambassador for Suzuki, but an ambassador for motorcycle racing in this country.’’
Ticket to ride: Shawn Giles will ride in this weekend’s Island Classic.