News 25 Jan 2011

McWilliams takes victory as Martin flies at Island Classic

A brilliantly consistent performance from former MotoGP rider Jeremy McWilliams has given the Brit victory in the 2011 International Island Classic International Challenge at Phillip Island.

The lead international rider was a model of consistency, finishing second in each of the four races of the International Challenge.

Turning on a magnificent conditions, the picturesque island circuit was making for some fast lap times and it was Victorian Steve Martin who set the early pace.

Martin, on board his 1982 Suzuki Katana 1294, claimed race one honours more than four seconds ahead of McWilliams with Isle of Man star Cameron Donald a further nine seconds back in third.

Looking like the man to beat, Martin’s title hopes were dashed in race two when he suffered a mechanical failure while leading the race.

In some consolation for Martin fellow Aussie Donald claimed the chequered flag ahead of McWilliams.

Returning to the starting grid for race three Martin was again the star, taking out the race by more than three seconds.

While Martin eased out in front it was the battle behind him that had the spectators’ attention, with McWilliams and Donald duelling it out for second position.

Level on points after two races, it was McWilliams who got the edge and second place just 0.7 seconds ahead of Donald.

Heading into the final race it appeared a battle between McWilliams and Donald for the title, but the likes of UK Superbike star Ryan Farquhar and Aussie SBK legend Robbie Phillis were waiting in the wings.

Supported by an aggregate crowd of more than 20,000 over the three days of racing, Martin had the last the laugh, taking out race four in stunning fashion.

He recorded a scintillating lap time of 1:38:588 around the Phillip Island circuit, the fastest lap time of the meet.

While Martin claimed his third chequered flag of the Classic it was again Donald and McWilliams who slugged it out for the title.

As he had in race three, McWilliams showed his class holding off a determined Donald to finish second and claim the International Challenge crown by two points.

Outside the podium it was Victorian Michael Dibb who finished fourth, 12 points behind Donald with Farquhar, Phillis and Scott Webster on his heels.

After being edged by the United Kingdom riders in race one, it was the quality of the Australian riders that came through for the remainder of the International Teams Challenge, with the hosts claiming victory.

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