WSBK wildcards for Phillip Island announced
Motorcycling Australia (MA) have announced that a total of five Australian riders will compete as wildcards in the opening round of the World Superbike Championship (WSBK) at Phillip Island on February 26-28, 2016.
Australia will be well represented with two riders in the World Superbike (WSBK) Class and three competing in the World Supersport (WSS) Class.
- Mike Jones – DesmoSport Ducati, Ducati
- Jed Metcher – Race Center, Kawasaki
- Anthony West – X50 Racing, Yamaha
- Kane Burns – Burns Racing, Suzuki
- Mitch Levy – Landbridge Racing, Yamaha
After taking out his first Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) in 2015, Mike Jones (DesmoSport Ducati) said he couldn’t wait to take it up to the world’s best.
“It’s very exciting to receive the wildcard to race at Phillip Island with the World Superbikes,” Jones said.
“Obviously to race in the World Superbike paddock is a dream of mine, so to make that a reality is certainly very cool and I’m looking forward to the opportunity – hopefully we can get a good result.
“After winning the Australian Superbike Championship in 2015 and now having the chance to race in the first round of the World Superbikes is certainly an exciting feeling, and I feel that it is a good step to compare the level that you are at with the world’s best.”
Jones will be joined by Jed Metcher (Race Center, Kawasaki), who pending funding will take his place on the World Superbike Class grid for the second time after receiving a wildcard in 2015.
In the World Supersport class, Kane Burns (Burns Racing, Suzuki) has described his wildcard selection as, “A dream come true.”
The 19-year-old will make his first appearance on the international road racing stage after running second overall in the ASBK Supersport classification in 2015.
“It’s been a long time coming and there has been a lot of ups and downs to get there, but it’s a dream come true for me and it is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Burns said.
“I want to finish as high up as I can; the goal is to run right up at the front and hopefully get a full-time ride in Supersport and go from there.
“Hopefully the Suzuki bike is going to be the one after not being in there for a few years, and I think it’s definitely going to be a surprise package and I think it can run us up the front.”
X50 Racing’s Anthony West will also be making his debut in the World Supersport class, and hopes his wildcard appearance next month will act as a launching pad into future success.
“I think it will be a good thing; I don’t think I’ve ever had an Australian sponsor this big to go racing, so it is going to be pretty different having an Australian team, Australian sponsor and an Australian built bike that has a chance of being competitive, so it’s pretty exciting for me and everyone that will be at Phillip Island,” West said.
“It’s more or less trying to work for 2017 and trying to keep my name out there and keeping the good results up, and I think in the World Supersport it gives us the best chance to have a good result.”
Mitch Levy (Landbridge Racing, Yamaha) will be the third Australian wildcard racing in the World Supersport class, and the 21-year-old says he is looking forward to taking in all he can during his Phillip Island appearance.
“World Supersport is my dream and it’s coming true, so I’m just super excited to get out there to give it my best shot,” Levy said.
“The experience from riding on the world stage with the fastest riders in the world and learning from them will be completely different from what I’m used to and will definitely prepare myself for the future to ride overseas.”
Image: Russel Colvin