News 10 Aug 2009

ASBK: Suzuki's Waters wins with lap record, Herfoss podiums


Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Josh Waters gave the new Suzuki GSX-R1000K9 a dream debut when he powered to overall victory at the fourth round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway on Sunday, August 9.

Waters’ victory also resulted in a debut win for the Team Joe Rocket Suzuki

The 22-year-old, who had qualified in pole position in Saturday’s Superpole Shootout, also claimed a new Superbike lap record for the 3.93km Sydney circuit as he charged to victory in race two.

Waters’ benchmark 1:30.998, set on lap three, was just 0.538sec shy of the outright motorcycle record of 1:30.360 held by Spaniard Alex Criville on a 500cc Grand Prix bike.

Waters’ win in race two, close second in race one to reigning Australian Superbike Champion Glenn Allerton and bonus point for qualifying in pole position moved the Victorian to within 7pts of the championship lead with three rounds still to run.

In his first season of Superbike racing, Waters admitted he was outsmarted by Allerton on the last lap of race one when the reigning champion muscled his way past the Superbike rookie to claim victory by a mere 0.150sec.

But Waters commented he was not going to make the same mistake twice, and led every lap of race two as he gave his new 2009-model Suzuki GSX-R1000 a debut win in the series.

“The new bike is awesome, but I felt like I let the team down in that opening race when Glenn got past on the last lap,” said Waters. “I wasn’t going to let that happen in race two, so I put my head down and tried to break away in the early laps.

“It’s been a great day, and I can’t thank the team enough.”

Waters fastest lap in race two came on lap three as he broke clear of the pursuing pack, his new lap record of 1:30.998 testimony to his pace.

Three-time Australian Superbike Champion Shawn Giles and reigning New Zealand Superbike Champion Robert Bugden finished fourth and fifth overall respectively, the two Team Joe Rocket Suzuki riders rounding out a memorable weekend for the team with three riders in the top five.

Giles had topped the timesheet after Friday’s practice sessions before strong winds battered the Sydney circuit. Saturday’s qualifying was unfortunately hindered by a bug in the ECU programming, however the problem was rectified in time for Sunday’s racing.

“The bike performed faultlessly on Friday and raceday,” said Giles. “Phil was able to isolate the bug that effected qualifying and had the GSX-R1000 dialled in come Sunday.”

Second overall for the round with a win over Waters in the opening heat and third in heat two was Allerton, with Wayne Maxwell third (4th, 2nd).

Waters has now closed the points gap to series leader Allerton to just 7pts (177 to 170). Maxwell lies third on 147pts. With Giles fourth (133pts) and Bugden fifth (120pts), Team Joe Rocket Suzuki has three riders in the top five.

In the Australian Supersport Championship 22-year-old Troy Herfoss had a meeting of highs and lows on his Team Joe Rocket Suzuki GSX-R600.

Herfoss, the 2008 US Supermoto Champion and in his first full season of road racing, proved how quickly his learning curve is developing with the fastest lap in race one and a podium finish in race two.

In both races Herfoss was in a winning position as he battled with reigning Supersport champion Jamie Stauffer and Bryan Staring, losing out to his more experienced adversaries by just 1.302sec in race two to finish third.

In race one a missed downshift as he entered Turn Nine on lap six sent Herfoss crashing to the tarmac, but by then he’d signalled his ability to run at the front of the Supersport pack.

Stauffer took overall round honours in the Australian Supersport Championship from Bryan Staring courtesy of the bonus point for pole position, with Shannon Johnson third. Stauffer and Staring shared a win and second apiece.

The next round of the 2009 Australian Superbike Championship is at South Australia’s Mallala Motorsport Park on 28-30 August, 2009.

“It’s been a great weekend for the team.

“Josh’s win and new lap record, the pace of the new GSX-R1000K9s in their first race meeting, and Troy proving he can run with his more experienced Supersport rivals has made it a memorable weekend for the team.

“Shawn topped the timesheets on Friday, Josh grabbed pole position on Saturday, and then delivered with the win and a new record on Sunday – it’s hard to imagine a better debut for the new K9.

“Three Superbike riders in the top five shows just how good the new GSX-R1000K9 is.

“It’s only in the very early stages of development, and I’m confident there’s more to come.

“With Josh winning, Shawn in only his fourth race meeting back from injury, Robbie consolidating fifth in the championship, and Troy continuing to impress in only his fifth road race meeting it couldn’t have been much better from an overall team result.”

“Glenn outsmarted me in the first race, but I wasn’t going to let him do that to me in the second. I put my head down from the start and tried to open a gap in the early laps – I couldn’t believe the lap time when it flashed up on my dash.

“It’s the first race meeting for the new bike, and it was on the pace from the first practice session on Friday. I didn’t change anything on the bike between the two races on Sunday – it was perfect.

“The team has been awesome all weekend and given me the equipment to do the job, so it’s up to me now. I felt like I let them down in that first race.

“I started the season riding the Superbike a bit too much like my Supersport bike of last year, but I’ve been working on my riding style for the bigger and more powerful Superbike. You need to get it upright out of the turns sooner so you can get on the power harder.”

“The new bike is fantastic – it feels like a 600 Supersport bike, but with the power of a 1000 Superbike.

“It was pretty exciting being in a group of Superbikes heading into Turn One at over 280km/h. I love it.

“Fourth overall is OK. Being fastest on Friday and then Josh’s round win shows the pedigree of the new GSX-R1000.

“I can’t wait for the next round to really show what the new bike can do”

“The new GSX-R1000K9 is just so fast. I got faster and faster across the weekend with every session as we made adjustments to the set-up and got it dialled in.

“I feel really comfortable on the new bike, and I feel I can run with the leading group now.

“Fourth in race two was a good result, but it would have been even better to have got on the podium – missed it by just six tenths.

“Bring on Mallala.”

“I was happy with my pace this weekend, and I learned a lot from racing with Jamie and Bryan.

“Battling for the lead with those guys was a real buzz, and shows that the GSX-R600 is up to it. I just need to get some more experience, but that’s coming with every outing – it was only my fifth road race meeting.

“The crash in the first race was my fault – inexperience I guess. I missed a gear on the down change, but instead of running off I tried to make the corner.

“The podium in the final race was a great way to finish off – I can’t thank the team enough for the support.”