One-on-one with Troy Corser | Columns | Gassit Garage
Wollongong-born Troy Corser loved racing motorcycles as a kid. And it was thanks to this very Suzuki RGV250 and bit of encouragement from another well-known Wollongong racer named Wayne Gardner that Corser went on to win two World Superbike titles.
Are you the type of guy who looks back and likes to collect memorabilia and old bikes?
Yes, I’ve got a few bits and pieces, a few old bikes from my career, but nothing from back at the start. I would like to start getting some bits and pieces, though.
Does it interest you to ride bikes you’ve raced and perhaps relive the memories?
It’s always interesting to get to throw a leg over the old stuff. I’ve ridden my RC30, the Yamaha YZF, the Ducati championship-winning bike, and I’m going to ride my K5 at Eastern Creek later this year.
What are your memories of the RGV?
Close racing – lots of close racing – racing Kenny Watson, Buster Saunders, all those guys. Banging handlebars and learning off those guys, the good old days of racing, when sheep stations mattered.
Kenny Watson owns the bike now and he reckons it was nothing special and that you just rode the wheels off it. Do you think that was the secret to your success?
Absolutely. Nothing’s ever perfect on a racing bike, so back then we had to learn to adapt to the situation, ride around problems and push way over the limit to go fast. I also learnt that sometimes you need to slow down to go fast. It taught me about using different lines to gain an advantage – being slower in some spots to gain an advantage somewhere else. It’s something that’s stuck with me.
What was your goal back then; were you aiming to be a world champ?
Honestly, we just did what we did. The dream was to just go racing and have some fun. It wasn’t until I started speaking to Gardner that I took it a bit more seriously. I was still doing some dirt track at that point, but Gardner said if you want to make money it was in road racing, not dirt, so we followed that path.
A privateer riding the RGV was a long way away from winning your first world championship in 1996. When did you first get a sense that you were on your way to being a professional racer?
When I got called up for the Peter Jackson ride on the TZ250 things started ramping up. I was working as an apprentice air-conditioning mechanic and taking a lot of time off for racing. My boss said I had to make a choice, and I said, as long as you ring my dad, tell him that’s that. I chose to race and the rest is history.