Magee closes on Superbike berth
BEERWAH'S Linden Magee is closing in on a berth in next year's Australian Superbikes Championships.
Magee, 30, proved his wares by finishing second in the national ProStock series last year and he's started this season in impressive fashion.
Magee boasts 109 points after three rounds to trail Victorian Chas Hern by just nine points.
"Last year was my first season in the class and my first full season of road racing," he said.
"I hadn't ridden a lot of the tracks before then so I learned more about them as the year went on.
"And after finishing second last time I'm in it to win it this season.
"This year I want to get a good result and progress up to the Superbikes class for next year and I want to be competitive when I go there."
Magee should be aggressive at that level. This year he is out-performing more highly fancied bikes in races that include Superbike and ProStock competitors.
"I'm running inside the top seven or eight on a ProStock bike, which is considerably slower than a Superbike," he said.
And while he was a privateer last season, Magee has the luxury of team backing this time.
"I've joined the Procon Maxima BMW team, so working with those guys has definitely helped," he said.
"It's easier when you've got guys who know what is going on. Also my teammate is Glenn Allerton, who is the reigning Australian Superbike champion.
"We're still coming to grips with the 2012 bike. BMW has made a few changes and we're still trying to get it to work 100 per cent for both of us. I think as the season progresses we're both going to get stronger."
Magee could have been leading this year's ProStock standings if it wasn't for an incident in race two of the season-opening event at Phillip Island.
"I won race one and was looking good for the weekend when I was leading the second race but I ended up colliding with Matt Walton, so I didn't finish the race," he said.
Magee has since been among the front-runners, snaring third and second at Hidden Valley. Last weekend he was first and second at Phillip Island.
Magee trained with MotoGP rider and fellow Sunshine Coast product Chris Vermeulen in the off-season.
"I did a bit of cycling with Chris over Christmas. I had a bit of a dodgy knee from 2010, which was kind of why I got into cycling to strengthen my leg. Chris is also part-owner of the Motorlife BMW shop, which gave me a bike."
Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast young gun Lincoln Gilding is leading the Australian Superlite Championships.
The next round of the six-round series will be contested at Queensland Raceway from June 1-3.