Lachlan Epis Set to Make His Mark in ASBK | Sport
Lachlan Epis will be competing at Rounds 5 & 6 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK). The World Supersport (World SSP) competitor had a successful Official ASBK Test at Morgan Park Raceway and will be looking for solid results this weekend, in the Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance (YMI) Superbike and Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 classes.
You will be competing in ASBK Rounds 5 & 6, what was the thought process behind coming back to Australia in between World SSP commitments?
“When young ace Scott Nicholson from the NextGen Motorsports Team couldn’t ride for the next two rounds due to injury, I was asked to fill in on his Kawasaki Ninja 300 machine. We also have a 2010 Honda CBR1000RR Superbike and we thought it would be excellent training to do both classes and learn from Australia’s best. It will also be great for my fitness.”
How would you say the Official ASBK Test days went for you, did you quickly get up to speed on the bikes?
“It was awesome and tough at the same time, Scotty’s (Nicholson) bike is specifically set up for him and we haven’t quite got into the zone yet. The NextGen Motorsports Team are a professional outfit and will have the bike primed for this weekend. The CBR1000RR in the YMI Superbike class is just like a bigger Supersport 600, so I was closer in lap times than we all thought the bike was capable of, due to its age. We’ve installed several upgrades to the bike, so hopefully that puts us in good stead for the races.”
With your short stint in the ASBK Championship, how do you think the championship has progressed in recent years?
“The depth of each class is definitely on the up and that makes the racing extremely competitive. The Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 class is really building competitor numbers up and that is great for the sport.
Will the tracks here take some getting used to compared to the European tracks you’ve been racing on?
“Yes, and the bikes need different settings to what we are used to in Europe. It took 18 months to start to figure that out, when we first arrived in Europe and it isn’t easy unlearning that for a couple of rounds in between World SSP rounds, but it is all in the search for becoming a faster adaptable rider.”
Is the travel between Europe and Australia difficult?
“My whole team travel between two lives, back home in Australia and New Zealand, where they have partners and families, jobs and businesses and really good lives. Then we all get on planes and travel 24-36 hours to get into vehicles and drive up to three days to get to a race track, live in a truck at the track for a week working 12-14 hour days and then drive to the next track and return.
“It’s not the travel that is hard, it’s the disjointed life of everyone involved and the hardship on relationships. It’s the biggest pressure I feel in getting results to balance out their sacrifice.”
How would you sum up 2017 competing in World SSP?
“So frustrating! The first two rounds were very encouraging and then as soon as we landed back in Europe, we seemed to go backwards and recently I have been pushing and crashing a lot and yet not going faster.
“I’ve just competed at the German round and I said to dad last night that if I don’t get back into the points in the next few races, then let’s stay home next year as this is so hard on everyone involved. I’m keeping my motivation up though and I’m confident improvement is on the horizon.”
You’re also planning on competing in Endurance World Championship?
“If dad can get fit enough, it would be cool to do the Suzuka 8 hour as a father and son team and if I could compete in several endurance races, I’m sure it would improve my riding.”
What are your expectations and goals for the two ASBK rounds?
“I think everyone is expecting I can be competitive in the Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 class and after the test we will have the bike set up much better for the race. I will aim to be somewhere in the front group slipstreaming for the win!
“Before the test in the YMI Superbike class I was expecting to be behind around one second a lap to all the rookies in the class, but now maybe we can race with a few of them except Corey Turner (Desmosport Ducati, Panigale 1299) as obviously he’s a mate and is going to win!” Epis finished.