|Tex & Bundy Charity Fundraisers at the Expo.|
The California Superbike School had a stand at the expo. Steve Brouggy runs the school and when I said “I always read Steve Brouggy’s articles in Two Wheels Magazine,” who should turn around but Steve himself. Steve willingly talked to us about motorcycle skills and techniques and we nearly booked in for two days tuition when the school meets at Queensland Raceway in June; maybe next time around.
|Playing at being a media photographer.|
As Phillip Island is the first World Superbike race of the year, there is always a little extra tension wondering who will be out performing whom. We watched the first qualifying session from the pit roof. It’s fun up there, looking down on the guys riding in and out of their garages. Michel Fabrizio, riding an Aprillia for Red Devils Roma, caught my eye. Fabrizio was the talk of the town on Friday night as he was top of the board when the first qualifying session was over.
|Marco Melandri at MG corner.|
One of the wonderful things about the WSBK’s at Phillip Island is they allow the bikes to park inside the circuit. We left our lunch in Red Devil’s aluminium panniers and I was the one sent on the mission to retrieve it. Lying there, right beside by bike was an ignition key. There were plenty of bikers taking a breather in the shade but no one had lost their key. We placed the key on an old Akubra hat and laid the hat down in a prominent place. We all thought that if we had lost our key the first thing we would do is retrace our steps.
While I was collecting lunch there was a bit of banter going on between the bikers. One guy asked me “Are you going to upgrade the BMW when Volvo releases their motorcycle?” I just smiled. Surely this was a case of the pot calling the kettle black; this guy was riding a Suzuki V-Strom! When I found a wicked looking Husqvana motorcycle, I said “It could be handy to ride a bike that can sew a patch on your jacket too.” Luckily the owner didn’t hear me.
Superpole was good value and I think it made nearly everyone smile when old favourite Carlos Checa, riding his Ducati Panigale 1199R, took out pole position.
|Race day action at Siberia.|
The racing was spectacular with Aprillia taking out the entire podium in the first superbike race. Unfortunately, our man, Marco Melandri, was taken out of the race by pole sitter Carlos Checa. Race two was a little more democratic and although the Aprillia’s of Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli were first and second, we were delighted to see Marco Melandri, on his BMW S 1000RR, taking out third place.
On Monday morning, still high on our latest motor racing fix, we rode away from Phillip Island in a heavy sea mist. I noticed I had a lump in my throat and I felt certain that one day we’d be back for more.