O'Brien's podium at iconic Aussie venue
Former Skerries resident Callum O'Brien got his 2019 racing season off to a mixed start last week in the iconic Australian course of Phillip Island. Callum was having his first race with the new Kawasaki, and his races were part of the World Superbike meeting.
He takes up the story.
'Well, the weekend was pretty exciting as I was having my first race with the BC Performance Kawasaki factory team. It was great because ASBK were racing alongside the World Superbikes at Phillip Island, and the atmosphere on the island was electric. Over the weekend I also got to have a chat with Eugene Laverty and Johnny Rea, which was a cool experience.
'In qualifying on the Friday I just missed out on pole and took second on the grid on the ninja 400 Kawasaki. I was pretty stoked, as this is the first time Dunlop tyres have taken a podium in the Supersport 300 class in Australia. The team were delighted too.
'In race one I had a disastrous start and finished ninth of 40 riders, so I was determined to improve for race 2.
'In race 2 I struggled to get the machine off the line again, mainly due to the tall gearing we needed to use, but once moving I started making ground. I came back from eighth place to lead the race and it was a really tight battle to the line, but over the line I was slipstreamed by two other riders and I finished in third place, my first podium in ASBK. In fact the top five riders were covered by just 0.2 seconds at the chequered flag.
'In race 3 in was unlucky to fall off while battling for the lead, but all was okay and with such a positive start to the season, I can't wait for the next round in a month's time.
'In the meantime, I have just found out that I will be racing a 600 Kawasaki for the first time next week in the WA State rounds. I've never ridden a 600 before, so it will be a learning experience. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes, so wish me luck.'
You can follow Callum on www.facebook.com/racercallum/