Team McLaren race at Island
LEONGATHA Supersport racer Kris McLaren experienced the highs and lows of racing in the sixth round of the Australian Supersport Championship during the Phillip Island Grand Prix on the weekend.
Heading to Phillip Island last Thursday Kris had high hopes for a top ten placing. Unfortunately his dreams were dashed after he was T-boned by another rider on MG corner in his first race on Friday.
The crash put paid to his immaculately prepared, Multiclad sponsored Honda CBR 600 motorcycle and Kris said the incident would have cost them about $5000.
His father Craig and support crew only had one hour to put the bike back together ready for the next race.
To say Kris, mother Pam and father were disappointed is an understatement, especially when Kris has done so well, stepping up a class this year into the Australian Supersport Championship series and racing all around the country against some of the best in Australia.
Thankfully for Kris Saturday, being his 24th birthday, delivered a better result. At least he was able to finish the race and placed 16th out of 37.
Kris was also thrilled his Aussie Superbike racing hero Troy Bayliss, dropped into the pits to say hello and wish him a happy birthday.
Talking to The Star in the pits on Saturday an obviously unhappy Kris said he was hoping for an eighth place but the T-bone incident on the Friday meant the bike wasn’t at its best.
Kris puts the ups and downs of racing down to experience and looking ahead he has big plans.
As Kris only started road racing in March 2008 he has come a long way and already has an offer to ride a Honda 1000 Superbike next year for Wangaratta-based GAS Racing.
Kris is thrilled to have the backing of Geoffrey Winzer, owner of GAS Racing, as he said “out of the last six riders Geoffrey has helped out at, four have headed off overseas to race and one is the current Australian Superbike Champion, being Glenn Allerton.
“He is a good bloke and really knows his stuff when it comes to racing at the top level,” said Kris.
Kris has high expectations and a lot of drive and while he has 100 per cent backing from his parents, owners of Leongatha Body Works, he is still looking for more financial backers.
“This year it cost us $100,000 to complete the Australian Supersport season, but stepping up to the next level and racing Superbikes, we will be looking at spending about $150,000,” said Kris.
Racing is not cheap but it is where Kris wants to be and his ultimate dream is to be racing in the World Superbikes series and he would love to head off overseas.
“You have to be exceptional to make it at this level, you need a lot of luck and good people skills,” said Kris.
Yamaha’s Bryan Staring took out the third and final Supersport race at this year’s 2009 Iveco Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Phillip Island. With just one round remaining in the championship at Phillip Island in November, Kris will be working hard to see his bike is back in top shape.
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