Aussies revvedup­for open­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motorsport -

FIVE Aus­tralians will be on the grid for the open­ing round of the World Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship at Phillip Is­land on Fe­bru­ary 25-27.

Mark Aitchi­son this week an­nounced he had been con­tracted to race the sea­son with the Ital­ian-based Team Ped­ercini Kawasaki.

He’ll join 2010 na­tional su­per­bike cham­pion Bryan Star­ing in the Ped­ercini garage, af­ter Star­ing se­cured a wild­card ride with the team for the Phillip Is­land round.

The pair will join SWBK reg­u­lars Troy Corser (BMW) and Chris Ver­meulen (Kawasaki), along with 2009 na­tional cham­pion Josh Waters, who will race for Yoshimura Suzuki.

Aitchi­son, 27, left Aus­tralia af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the 2006 Aus­tralian Su­per­sport Cham­pi­onship.

He was fifth the next year in the FIM 1000cc Su­per­stock Cup on a Suzuki. In 2008, he was Tri­umph-mounted in the Su­per­sport World Cham­pi­onship. He re­mained in that ti­tle the fol­low­ing year when he was eighth on a Honda, with a num­ber of top five fin­ishes to his credit.

Aitchi­son com­peted in sev­eral 600cc World Su­per­sport Cham­pi­onship races to­wards the end of the 2010 sea­son, be­fore be­gin­ning ne­go­ti­a­tions to make the switch to the 1000cc su­per­bikes.

‘‘To say I am ex­cited now about my sea­son ahead is a ma­jor un­der­state­ment,’’ Aitchi­son says.

‘‘To race in the World Su­per­bike class has al­ways been a dream of mine and to be given this op­por­tu­nity with a team that has such long his­tory in World Su­per­bike rac­ing is some­thing I am very proud of.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to this new chal­lenge, and I’m es­pe­cially look­ing for­ward to get­ting back on to the Phillip Is­land cir­cuit, which I love to race on.’’

Aitchi­son will have his first ride on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R in the sec­ond and fi­nal of­fi­cial pre­sea­son test at Phillip Is­land on Fe­bru­ary 2122, ahead of the cham­pi­onship round at the spec­tac­u­lar sea­side cir­cuit start­ing Fe­bru­ary 25.

Broc Parkes is the sole Aus­tralian in the World Su­per­sport Cham­pi­onship. A three-day gen­eral ad­mis­sion ticket is $130. Go to worldsbk.com.au or ph: 1300 728 007.

Ex­cited: Mark Aitchi­son is keen to race.

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