MV Agusta Australia entered two teams in the IMS Adelaide 3 Hour Endurance Race at Mallala Motorsport Park over the weekend, forging a new beginning in Australian road racing.
Team ‘MV Agusta Allstars’ with the red and white F3 800 was ridden by former BSB rider Paul Young and current Australian Supersport rider Chas Hern. And team ‘MV Agusta Quickshifters’ with the black and white F3 800, was ridden by former WSBK rider Steve Martin and MV Agusta Australia’s own Anthony Nicolo.
Friday practice sessions showed original settings were good and only marginal improvements were made to setup for Saturday’s qualification for the Endurance event. Five sessions were undertaken for both teams, whilst Anthony Nicolo used the last session to qualify for the 75km 1000 cc Superbike race on Saturday, setting his own PB.
Feeling confident in setup, Saturdays qualification for the Allstars entailed a minimal amount of laps to get P5, showing a pace that Paul Young was happy with. For the Quickshifters the 75km 1000 cc Superbike race showed how technical the Mallala track is and how comfortable the F3 is in bigger cc company, Anthony Nicolo moving up from 13th to finish in 8th position.
Sunday began with early morning practice showing Mallala’s renowned hot track temperatures were effecting all teams going out. Both teams rehearsed their game plan which included the changing of tyres, refuelling and swapping riders. In fact the Allstars and Quickshifters were the only teams on grid which had one bike per team and performing a refuel, tyre change and rider swap at each pit in.
The race started in Le Mans fashion, both riders sprinting across the baking tarmac to jump on their F3. Chas Hern jumped from 5th to P4 in the opening laps challenging a Superbike, whilst Anthony got away quickly moving through the field to P8.
Lap 35 Allstars pitted whilst in P3 to change tyres and rider as planned whilst the Quickshifters stayed out in P8. With the rocketing 50+ degree track temperatures and the time spent duelling behind a Superbike for so long took a toll on the Allstars F3 standard cooling system leaving them with no option but to retire. The Allstars regrouped quickly to help the Quickshifters in the pits and rider stints.
Anthony brought the Quickshifter’s F3 in after a long 40 minute stint to find his gap behind to 9th position fade quickly as the pit crew fought with a belligerent rear wheel nut. Steve Martin was next out and fought back lost time for another long stint showing the locals how an MV can do wheelies heading down into turn 3, before handing over the job to Paul Young. However in the pits a tricky fuel change cost the team at least four minutes, once again shutting down the good gap they had all made. Finally Paul was away and shot out the gate instantly showing the F3’s capability against the bigger cc bikes and made some serious ground before coming into the last pit for change of tyres, fuel and rider. It was then Chas Hern who took to the track for the final stint leaving no fuel in the tank to get the F3 across the line in 10th position.
10th position was an amazing achievement for many reasons, one being the most obvious, MV Agusta were the only team with one bike per team on grid changing rear tyres and riders, as well as refuelling.
Former BSB rider Paul Young, Former WSBK rider Steve Martin, current Australian Superbike rider Chas Hern and MV Agusta Australia’s own Anthony Nicolo did their best by consistently putting in quick laps, chasing down the field on lost pit time. They achieved 7th fastest lap time for the race.
Each rider praised both of their F3’s ability which were the very same F3 800 motorcycles that recently completed the national MV Agusta Riding Experience days across Australia, as well as rigorous press rides at Phillip Island and Eastern Creek race tracks without any OEM modification. Additionally the Quickshifters F3 was the same bike that recently won the F3 class race in the National BEARS at Phillip Island and even more surprisingly, it was that the same bike the day before at Mallala secured 8th position in the 75km Superbike race .
With over 200 laps including the 350km 3hr race and with scorching 50+ degree track temperatures on a motorcycle with such history shows a remarkable amount of reliability and engineering.
MV Agusta Australia wishes to thank the sponsors on the day that include Pirelli Tyres, Motul Oils, Arrow Exhausts, SBS Brake Pads, Venhil Brake Lines, Underground Designs, Auldana Foundations and Chas Hern Racing. Special thanks also go the riders and amazing team including Richard Limington, Peter Hern, Marty Redshaw, Lillish [Snoop] Ross and Joshua Pilley.
We look forward to racing in the future.