Reigning two-wheeled champs looking for Winters glory

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When it comes to the ultimate level of drag racing competition in this country, it is not just dragsters and funny cars on four wheels which keep fans entertained all across the country.

Nitro-powered Top Fuel Motorcycles and impressive Pro Stock Motorcycles impress on two-wheels amongst the professional ranks, with 16 of these weapons set to take to Willowbank Raceway next weekend to play their part in the biggest show in Australian drag racing – the Fuchs Winternationals (4-7 June).

The defending event winners in each bracket – Chris Matheson (Top Fuel Bike) and Luke Crowley (Pro Stock Bike) – will lead the way for their fellow two-wheeled compatriots. As a three-time former national champion and current two-time national champion respectively, these riders can be expected to leave nothing on the table.

“As the last round in a short season, the Fuchs Winternationals are going to be absolutely huge,” said Matheson.

“Willowbank Raceway is our home track and we have won the Fuchs Winternationals event three times and been to the final on two other occasions only to be rained out before greeting the starter. On top of that it is also the home of our Australian record on our previous bike ‘Nitro Voodoo’ – so it is safe to say that we know the ropes, we just need to step it up, and you can be guaranteed we will be pulling out all the stops when it comes to next weekend.

“After winning the first round of a five-round championship earlier this year and then running into trouble at the Perth double-header before round four was rained out, we aren’t in a mathematical position to challenge for a fourth championship with just the one round left to run. What we do have potential to do though is to take second position from 2013 champ Chris Porter, and that is definitely our goal.

“We will also be looking to go after the V Twin ET record for Australia of 6.37 seconds currently held by championship leader Mark Drew – when our bike was in the States with USA champion Doug Vancil it ran more than a tenth quicker than that marker, so we are hopeful that after more track-time we can look to really chase after some low six-second efforts.”


Two-time and defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Crowley has been taking a time-out this season following a knee reconstruction, but is ready and rearing to launch back into the sport he loves starting with next weekend’s Fuchs Winternationals. The event will see him debut a brand new Pro Stock Motorcycle ahead of plans to expand to a two or even four-bike team.

“While away from racing I have purchased a newer rolling chassis that I had ridden for the previous owner in testing, and I am in talks to bring a two-bike team to the track for next season, and possibly even expand that even further to a four-bike line-up depending on how things go,” said Crowley.

“The Fuchs Winternationals for me is my home race, after growing up only a few kilometres from the track I have raced more events and done more rounds than I could possibly count down the Willowbank Raceway quarter-mile.

“After 20 years of racing I can truly say that the Winters is the big show of drag racing here in Australia, everyone wants to race at this event – it is the must-do event on the calendar. Everyone will be going fast, and Pro Stock Motorcycle will be a class to watch that is for sure.

“The last few years have been very kind to me and I have been able to come away with the ‘gold Christmas trees’ from the last two Fuchs Winternationals I have competed in, so it is fair to say that I have high expectations for myself and my team to put on the best show that we can – hopefully we can use the best weather conditions and the best prepared track to make it stick and see if some records can be broken – that’s the goal this year.

“While we will be debuting a new bike, it has raced at the track before and also in the United States’ NHRA as well – so it is a proven bike and I believe it is going to be capable of great performances.”

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