Shaw and Chandler Wild Cards at 2019 Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island

Motorcycling Australia (MA) is excited to announce Australian Yannis Shaw and New Zealander Rogan Chandler will be the two Moto3 Wild Card riders for the 2019 Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, which will run at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, October 25-27.

Both riders will spearhead an assault racing with the Double Six Motor Sport outfit, which is headed by Team Manager Jack Clay.

Shaw, who currently sits in sixth position in this year’s Australian Supersport 300 Championship, expressed that it has been very surreal, since he got the nod from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) to be able to race as a Moto3 Wild Card rider.

Since the age of 20, which was when Shaw started racing motorcycles, it was always a dream of his to be able to race as a Wild Card in the MotoGP World Championship.

“I’ve always said I’ll get there one day, and since that day I’ve had nothing else on my mind,” said Shaw, who won this years New Zealand Moto3 Championship; finishing first in nine out of the 14 races earlier this year.

The 25-year-old will pilot the exact same bike that he raced in the New Zealand Superbike Championship at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix; an ex Brad Binder 2014 Kalex KTM machine.

“FP1 and FP2 will be crucial to be able to get a good setup on the bike before we head into FP3 on Saturday, then Qualifying. We are drawing on a lot of people we know to be able to get as much data as possible for when the riders were riding that bike in that era to help with gearing and gear box ratios and other bits and pieces,” he added.

In terms of expectations, Shaw doesn’t know what to really expect. To qualify for the race would be his first goal.

“To be able to finish with a few other riders behind me, I would be over the moon with. Anything more than that would be a complete bonus. If it’s wet weather, I would love to be able to be up there in the top 10, as I love riding in the wet weather. On top of that, the wet conditions are a real equalizer, as everyone knows. I know how quick the Moto3 paddock is, so all I can do is give it everything I have to be as competitive as possible,” he finished.

Chandler, who hails from the Wellington Region of New Zealand’s the North Island, has expressed that he is very excited to compete in his first Wild Card event.

The 22-year-old will make history by becoming the first ever New Zealand rider to take part in a World Moto3 Championship event.

Chandler has spent most of racing career in his homeland but did compete in the final three rounds of Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) back in 2017 in the Supersport 300 category. With a brief cameo appearance in Australia, Rogan has managed to start a total of six races at the 4.455km seaside circuit in the Supersport 300 category racing in the ASBK series as well as the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix support event.

Chandler has made a name for himself in his homeland racing in the New Zealand 125GP Championship, winning the title in 2016 that saw him taking pole position and winning every one of the 12 races along the way in the four-round championship. Since 2018, Chandler has been racing in the New Zealand Supersport Championship.

“I think it’s going to be a great experience and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about what it’s like to race against the best riders in the world,” said Chandler.

Chandler, who is more than excited to get to the ‘Island’ and get the show started, expressed that his goal would be just to qualify for the race and simply do his best for himself and the Double Six Motor Sport team.

“Luckily, I’ve raced Phillip Island before, so I’m pretty confident in that area as I won’t have to learn the track so much. In saying that, I understand what I’m up against in terms of the level of competition, as the World Moto3 Championship is so cutthroat. I feel confident about where I am speed wise currently and think the team and I will have a positive weekend,” concluded Chandler.

Clay has expressed for himself personally that if he and his team can get to the end of the weekend and both of the riders have qualified and enjoyed the experience that he would be more than happy with that.

“I believe Yannis has a very strong future, even though he got into racing quite late. He has the determination and drive to see it through. Given the right opportunities, he could take it all the way,” said Clay.

“Rogan is experienced as he has ridden a lot of 125GP bikes, prior to the fact that he’s now racing in the New Zealand Supersport Championship. We did some testing with him and it’s something he greatly desired to do,” added Clay.

“It’s not a common thing to see Australians and practically the New Zealand riders racing in the World Moto3 Championship. It has become a rarity. It would be really good to see the crowd get behind these guys, as it isn’t easy, even with the right gear underneath them. It’s going to be a tall order for both Yannis and Rogan on the weekend of the event. However, we believe they will put on a good show,” finished Clay.

Experience life on the edge. Tickets for the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019 are available now. Get in quick and catch the thrills on 25-27 October at Phillip Island » BOOK NOW


Words by Andy McGechan, Photo by Russell & Aaron Staples.