The start of the World Superbike season took a somber start this weekend in Phillip Island when Australian Superstock 600cc rider Oscar McIntyre lost his life in a fatal crash during the 2012 Superstock 600cc race, a support race to the World Superbike opener.
According to spokeswoman Ingrid Roepers, "Oscar was involved in a crash with two riders, Luke Burgess and Michael Lockhart, between turns two and three on the second lap of the 12-lap race." McIntyre was 17 years old. According to a statement from Motorcycling Australia, "McIntyre was immediately tended to by medical personnel after the incident, but his injuries proved fatal." Luke Burgess has reportedly been released from the circuit's medical centre, while Lockhart remains under observation with non life-threatening injuries.
Superpole qualifying for the 22-lap World Superbike race was cancelled to allow the authorities to carry out the necessary routine investigations regarding the accident. The track was then reopened 90 minutes later than scheduled for the subsequent Supersport qualifying session.
Sunday's grid was determined after combined qualifying and Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes will start from pole position. According to Sykes, “Pole position has come with mixed emotions because of some very bad news and first and foremost I want to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre. As far as our on-track weekend has worked out so far, yesterday we just made sure things were right with the bike and pushed a bit more in this morning’s qualifying session in cooler conditions.”
Aprillia Racing's Max Biaggi, World Champion Carlos Checa and Brett McCormick's Effenbert Liberty teammate Jakub Smrz complete the front row.
Sincerest condolences go out to the friends and family of Oscar McIntyre from all of us at Inside Motorcycles.