Team Australia has taken out the International Challenge at the Visit Phillip Island International Island Classic, while it was Steve Martin who reigned supreme in the individual standings.
Australian riders finished at the pointy end in this morning’s International Challenge six-lapper, with experience coming to the fore in the shape of elder ‘statesmen’ Martin and Shawn Giles, who finished first and second ahead of day one hero and fellow Suzuki Katana rider Aaron Morris.
The local domination allowed Australia to build its buffer ahead of Team USA and New Zealand heading into the fourth and final race. Martin, the former world endurance champion and soon-to-be 51-year-old, showed he still has what it takes in race three, finishing a whisker in front of three-time Aussie superbike champion, 46-year-old Giles, also on the Katana.
Morris, who hails from Newcastle, looked set for another victory before he erred on his final run to the line, allowing Martin and Giles the opportunity to fly past. Morris struggled with his machine today, with the Katana jumping out of fourth gear. Melbourne’s Jed Metcher on the T-Rex Honda came in fourth, followed by USA’s Larry Pegram.
American did not give up in race four in quest for a win, showing why he is a four-time AMA Superbike champion with a resounding win in the fourth and final six-lapper at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit. Finishing more than four seconds in front of Martin in second, the top five was rounded out by New Zealand’s Alex Phillis, Metcher and Giles.
With three race wins to the Australians over the four six lap battles, the defending champions Team Australia walk away with the title once again finishing on 676 points, ahead of America on 634 points and NZ on 460 points. In individual standings, it was experience over youth in the end, when Melbourne‘s Martin taking out the Ken Wootton Perpetual Trophy. Morris was second ahead of Hayes.