Sheene tribute

Sheene tribute

Riders from across Australia head to Phillip Island each year for the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, with hundreds officially starting their ride in Bairnsdale.

Entering its 16th year on October 25, the annual Barry Sheene Tribute Ride will leave from Bairnsdale’s central business district with the support of East Gippsland Shire Council.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation in consultation with the Sheene family, developed the concept of honouring Barry Sheene, one of MotoGP’s champion of champions who died of cancer in 2003, with a tribute ride from Bairnsdale to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Hundreds of riders of all ages from all across Australia will gather together to ride out as one to pay homage to the late, great Barry Sheene, some having not missed a tribute ride since its inception.

All riders will have the unique experience of completing a lap around the famed Phillip Island circuit as part of the ride.

East Gippsland Shire Council mayor, Cr Joe Rettino, said council works closely with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation each year to run the event.

“Council provides $5000 in recognition of the economic and social benefits that the ride brings to the region. This event is also a fantastic way to showcase East Gippsland,” Cr Joe Rettino said.

The Barry Sheene Tribute Ride includes the Champions Dinner at the Bairnsdale RSL on Wednesday, October 24, from 6pm with entertainment and, importantly, an auction to raise funds for the official charity of the 2018 Australian MotoGP – prostate cancer.

“For those purely interested in seeing the bikes and the spectacle of hundreds of bikes departing with a police escort, the riders will leave the Service Street staging area (opens at 7am) at 8.30am on Thursday, October 25. I encourage everyone to come along and cheer on the riders,” Cr Rettino said.

To participate in the ride, all participants must register online at the Moto GP website.

PICTURED: More than 300 riders took part in last year’s Barry Sheene Tribute Ride and another big crowd is expected for this year’s event.