Rob Phillis will make his Bikers' Classics debut in the first weekend of July on a 1998 factory Kawasaki ZXR750.
The popular Australian is already looking forward to re-acquainting himself with Spa Francorchamps, the track where he won a World Superbike race in 1992. “It will be a bit emotional to meet all my old mates again too”, thinks Phillis.
Although Phillis also raced other bikes in his career he will always be remembered as that hard charging, never surrendering Kawasaki rider. On his 750 four-cylinder Green Meanie he took on the bigger bore Ducatis of Doug Polen, Raymond Roche, Stéphane Mertens and Giancarlo Falappa in the early Nineties. In 1991 and 1992 Phillis finished third in the Superbike World Championship. At Francorchamps he beat crowd favorite Stéphane Mertens in a gloves-off battle in 1992. “It was a huge battle with many riders and a very tough race, so I was really happy”, remembers Phillis. “When I won the track was fast but quite an awesome place to race. There was no particular part I liked better than the rest but I did pass Doug Polen underneath in the fastest left hander on the track just before the Bus stop chicane. I had a huge set of balls on that lap.”
Nowadays Phillis acts as a jack-of-all-trades for his son Alex who races in the German Superstock championship and he hasn't given up racing bikes himself. Phillis still rides his old bikes from the Seventies and early Eighties at home in Australia and New Zealand.
Phillis is looking forward to his first Bikers' Classics from July 5th until July 7th at Spa Francorchamps. “I can't wait to see all of my old mates at Spa”, admits Phillis. “I have great memories of all the old boys on and off the tracks. I miss them all and now I get to see them again. With a box of tissues, I'm sure. It will be a bit emotional to meet them all again.
Bilder: © Johan Vandekerckhove