Former MotoGP legends Jeremy McWilliams and Colin Edwards will battle it out at Phillip Island in the 2018 International Challenge match races, alongside stars, past and present, from WSB, BSB, TT, American and Australian superbikes.
Former 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP hard-charger, McWilliams, will captain an illustrious Team UK, who aim to make it four in a row over the January 26-28th weekend. Joining him to battle against teams from Australia, USA, New Zealand and Ireland are Glen Richards, Peter Hickman, Michael Rutter, Dan Linfoot and Lee Johnston, together with Craig Ditchburn, Derek Brown and Michael Neeves.
But the competition will be stronger than ever with the Americans fielding fellow ex-MotoGP star Colin Edwards, as well as Jake Zemke and Jason Pridmore. The Australians hope to claw back the trophy, after three years without a win, with the help of WSB champ Troy Corser, David Johnson, Steve Martin, Shawn Giles, Alex Phillis, Cameron Donald and Beau Beaton.
The Island Classic is Australia’s third largest motorcycle event behind MotoGP and WSB. It’s a glistening, ear-splitting festival of vintage, classic and modern classic motorcycles, on and off-track. The International Challenge is the main event with riders battling it out on early 80s superbikes, including Suzuki XR69 replicas and Harris-framed Yamaha FJ1100s.
McWillliams says: “This event still gives me goose bumps, even after doing it every year since 2005. I still get butterflies, mainly because I haven't been training or actually riding much this year and the International requires a big effort.
“Team USA and Australia have realised that coming 2nd or 3rd isn't much fun and wheeled in the big guns. Team UK have had it all our own way lately, winning the team and individual honours for the last three years. Hopefully with our rider line-up and Rutter, Linfoot and Johnson joining us for the first time, we are aiming to continue this winning streak.”