Australian Superbike front runners Jamie Stauffer and Glenn Allerton have been confirmed as wild-cards for the upcoming opening round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island.
The pair finished third and fourth respectively in the 2012 ASBK standings, behind BSB-bound Josh Waters and Wayne Maxwell, and will prepare for their forthcoming domestic seasons with the opportunity to test themselves against the world's best.
The appearance of Stauffer and Allerton at Phillip Island will mark a significant boost for the series since, as it stands, not a single Australian (or non-European) is confirmed to the current 16-strong 2013 grid.
The experienced Stauffer will bolster the CBR1000RR ranks with his Team Honda Racing machine, the 33-year-old excited about the prospect of going head-to-head with the WSBK riders on his home circuit.
“My career has seen me race both in Australia and overseas and I have had a lot of success, but to have the chance to race against the world's best Superbike riders starts my 2013 season off with a terrific challenge. I'm really excited about the prospect and I have every confidence that Team Honda Racing will provide me a strong set up in the CBR1000RR so that I can give it 110% and be competitive.”
Allerton, meanwhile, will line up on his Hepburn BMW S1000RR and is confident he can measure up against his international rivals.
“It has always been a dream of mine to compete on the world stage and to compete against the best rider in the world. It has been a long time waiting and the team and I really appreciate the opportunity that we have been given and are going to give it our best to show case what talent we have in Australia.”
In addition to Stauffer and Allerton competing in the Superbike class, the World Supersport category is set to include appearances from Honda's Josh Hook – runner-up at ASS level in 2012 – and former WSS race winner Kevin Curtain on a Yamaha.