Giles rid­ing off into re­tire­ment

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motorsport -

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.

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