Meet Michael Villani and the Green machine. Legally, Michael doesn’t have a license to ride anything over 50cc on public roads and just three years ago, he might have struggled to point Mallala Motorsport Park out on a map! Fast forward to 2016, aged 35, the meticulous owner of Villani Jewellers now has two years of racing under his belt riding a modest Kawasaki ER6 – a mild powered 650cc parallel twin. Earlier this year, in tough weather, Michael qualified his little green Kwaka on the front row, finishing second place to the almost unbeatable Royce Rowe on a Brian Rosser prepared Ducati Monster. Following that he won outright division 1 Brackets, an open capacity class designed for newcomers which had him line up against bikes with twice the power – proving fast lap times are made in the corners.
When asked why Michael started racing his 650 twin, his face wide grin gave it all away:
‘First of all, it’s pure fun.
It was the next progression from track days. After talking to other racers and seeing their excited and adrenaline fuelled reactions after finishing a race I thought I had to give it ago. I was very hesitant to start racing as I felt my skills were not up to standard, but I can honestly say it was the best decision. It has improved my riding immensely and the rush of racing, from the pre-race nerves, banging bars with your mates and the camaraderie among fellow racers makes it all worth it.
‘Racing tends to push you and your machine to the maximum as the inner competitive beast takes control. You can unlock that next level of riding or smash out a PB lap you’ve been trying for. Finishing in front of your mates is always good too!
‘I like the Pro Thunder class (650cc twins, 250cc two strokes, 400cc fours etc.) as we all enter the event on similar powered bikes, so there is a level playing field to start from. I enjoy working on my riding ability to beat the rider in front. Brackets is also a great way to enter the racing scene as you can compete on pretty much anything. Being on a mid-capacity machine is always fun in that class as the larger bikes tend to get a bit of distance on me down the straight but I can generally make it up through the corners. It is always a great feeling if you can finish in front of them.
The feature race has the Pro Thunder and C20/C20+ class bikes compete together over 50km’s of the hard braking Mallala circuit. A mixed range of motorcycles have won the event in the past, with Alex Bianchini-Kometer taking first place in 2012 on one of Michael Hewitt’s custom built Suzuki SV650’s, Justin Kelly on an early model Yamaha R1 in 2014 and Royce Rowe has claimed victory in 2013 and 2015 racing the fast and nimble Ducati 696.
The outright winner for 2016 Mallala 50 will take home over $1,000 in prize money, so we’re expecting to witness some fierce racing throughout the field.
Late entries are still open for riders wanting to test their skills, click here to be part of the action!