Ballan’s Matt Barton is keen to prove a point at this weekend’s Australian MotoGP meet at Phillip Island.
The 20-year-old has for the second year in a row gained a wildcard for the Moto3 class and is determined to make up for his misfortune of 2015 when he crashed in qualifying and then had a blown tyre on the 10th lap of the main race
While it did not all go his way in his debut, Barton did manage to produce a personal best time of one minute, 42.588 seconds around the world-renowned circuit.
“Obviously, we’d like to qualify and qualify easily,” Barton said.
“It’s a big effort for a wildcard to qualify. We found that out last year.
“Being a wildcard, you have to be realistic about things. You’ll be at the back of the pack, but it is how close to the back of the pack that you are that will give you credibility with the other teams – hopefully the fans as well,” he said.
Barton has competed at Phillip Island throughout the year in the Australian Superbike Championships and the Victorian Road Racing Championships.
He won in the VRRC at Phillip Island in August.
”We did some good times and it was important to get all the testing that we can before the MotoGP,” Barton said.
“What we’ve done all year has been geared towards being eligible for the wildcard and to give it our best shot.
“What we’ve put into it this year financially as well is going to make a big difference to my performance,” he added.
Barton is keen to mix it with the world’s best young talent, including Moto3 championship leader Brad Binder from South Australia.
“I think Phillip Island is one of the best track in the world.
“Every rider that has ever rode it will tell you that.
“It’s got some hard-breaking corners, blind corners, and it’s got a mix of everything,” he said.
“It’s fast and flowing, which is something that Australian riders have excelled on overseas.
“It’s going to be an awesome weekend,” he said
Spanish star Marc Marquez will arrive in Australia this week as the newly crowned MotoGP world champion after winning the Japan round on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Marquez took some of the fizz out of the Australian MotoGP as he clinched the title with three races remaining.
Marquez's task was made easier as his nearest championship rivals Valentino Rossi and defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo crashed out. Marquez is the youngest rider to reach the milestone of five world championship titles across all classes, taking the record from Rossi who was 24 years when he won his fifth title in 2013.