Australia’s former MotoGP rider Bryan Staring will compete in the 2014 Supersport World Championship on a Honda, beginning his campaign at Phillip Island next weekend, February 21-23.
The 26-year-old Australian will ride for the Russian-backed, Jeremy McWilliams-managed Rivamoto team, as he attempts to become Australia’s first World Supersport champion since Andrew Pitt in 2008. Rivamoto was seventh in the 2013 world supersport title, thanks to Irishman Jack Kennedy.
“I’m very happy to be on a motorcycle again within the Superbike World Championship. And it’s great to be working with Jeremy McWilliams and all the Rivamoto crew,” said Staring.
“I absolutely expect nothing less than to be competitive. If I didn’t believe I could fight for a championship I wouldn’t enter. But as far as a big result at the opening event of the season goes, I just want to do my absolute best and I know everything will fall in place.”
Staring is no stranger to the world supersport and world superbike paddock, having spent 2011 and 2012 competing in the FIM superstock 1000cc European-based support class. The Perth native really came to the fore in 2012 with three victories in a brilliant campaign, before heading to MotoGP on a Honda powered CRT machine in 2013.
But it was a hapless period for the three-time Australian road racing champion, who only managed to cobble together a few points on his way to a lowly 26th place finish.
After such a difficult MotoGP season, Staring is delighted to be given another chance in a sport that he says “can be very punishing”.
“I have all the motivation I need to succeed, but sometimes motivation alone isn’t enough and sometimes it can make the difference. There are a lot of variables in road racing and my 2013 season was a great example of this.”
The last time Staring competed on a Supersport machine was in 2009, when he edged out Yamaha teammate Jamie Stauffer to win a gripping Aussie championship. And he also set a new domestic lap record of 1:35:200 at Phillip Island that year – a benchmark that still stands today.
2014 will see Staring – the only rider in the Rivamoto outfit — take aim against the likes of three-time world Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki), Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta), 2013 Suzuka 8-Hour winner Michael van der Mark (Honda), and Roberto Rolfo (Kawasaki). At the Phillip Island season opener, Australia will also field two wildcards: Victorian Ryan Taylor (Yamaha) and UK-based South Australian Billy McConnell (Triumph).
Staring will be playing catch up on his opposition after the late call-up for WSS duties, and his first ride on the Rivamoto CBR600RR will be in the final pre-season test at Phillip Island next Monday and Tuesday (February 17-18).
“I’ll have to rely on some old (supersport) experience for the start of the season, but I hope I can get the feeling back quickly and I’m so happy to have the two days of testing to bring some feeling back on the supersport bike.”
After the test, it will be down to real business with opening practice and qualifying on Friday, February 21, before final qualifying on Saturday and the 18-lap World Supersport race on Sunday.
Bryan Staring Profile
Born Perth Age 26
2004 – Australian 125 GP champion
2009 – Australian supersport champion
2010 – Australian superbike champion
2011 / 2012 – European FIM Superstock Championship – finished 4th in 2012
2013 – MotoGP racing CRT – FTR Honda