Team Joe Rocket Suzuki's Josh Waters debuts the 2009 model GSX-R1000 with the overall victory at Eastern Creek's Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship round, turning the tables on race one winner Glenn Allerton in the second outing.
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Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Josh Waters turned the tables on reigning champion Glenn Allerton at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway this afternoon, powering to a dominant 2.985sec victory in the second of the day’s two 13-lap Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship races to claim the overall round win and close the points gap to championship leader Allerton to just seven points.
The 22-year-old, who is in his first season of Superbike racing, was outsmarted in the opening 13-lap by Allerton on the last lap when the Team Motologic Honda rider muscled his way past the Superbike rookie to claim victory by a mere 0.150sec.
But Waters, who had qualified on pole position, led every lap of race two as he gave his new 2009-model Suzuki GSX-R1000 a debut win in the series.
“It’s the first race meeting for the new bike, and it was on the pace from the first practice session on Friday,” said Waters. “I didn’t change anything on the bike between the two races – it was perfect.
“Glenn outsmarted me in the first race, but I wasn’t going to let him do that to me in the second,” said Waters. “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.”
Waters fastest lap came on lap three as he broke clear of the pursuing pack, his 1:30.998 a new Superbike lap record for the 3.93km circuit. Waters’ time eclipsed the previous record of 1:31.057, set by two-time Australian Superbike Champion Jamie Stauffer in March 2008, and came within 0.538sec of the outright motorcycle record of 1:30.360, held by Spaniard Alex Criville on a Honda NSR500.
With the Superbikes hitting speeds of 285km/h along Eastern Creek’s long front straight, the racing had the large crowd on their feet as riders entered the daunting Turn One three and four abreast in a high-speed game of cat and mouse.
Second overall with a win over Waters in the opening heat and third in heat two was Allerton, the 28-year-old fortunate to have even made the start in the opening race after his bike started misfiring as he left pit lane. Allerton, the defending champion, returned to his team pit to swap to his spare bike before taking up his grid position.
“We had a mapping issue with the fuel injection system just before race one, so I was just happy to get out there in time,” said Allerton.
“Race two didn’t go to plan as I got a bad start, but Josh was on fire. I doubt anyone was going to catch him in that one.”
Second in race two was Allerton’s Team Motologic teammate Wayne Maxwell, who passed his teammate in the closing stages. When coupled with a fourth in race one, the Victorian’s tally of 37pts for the day gave him third overall for the round.
“I got bad starts, which made it hard for me in each race,” said Maxwell. “The bike had the pace, but it’s pretty hard to close down the gap once you’ve given them that sort of advantage.”
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 good weekend for the team with three riders in the top five.
Craig Coxhell (CJC Racing / Bisley Workwear CBR1000RR) finished sixth overall and took top honours in the Australian Motorcycle News Superbike Privateer Cup with maximum points, a third outright against his distributor-backed opponents in the opening 13-lap race the icing on the cake.
“The bike was up to it, but I had a dose of flu which knocked my fitness around as the weekend progressed,” said Coxhell. “It was hard to hold on in the closing laps – I was hanging out for the chequered flag.”
Yamaha Racing Team rider Jamie Stauffer finished a disappointing seventh overall by his high standards, commenting that he couldn’t find a setting on his YRT YZF-R1 that allowed him to run consistently with the lead group.
There was consolation though for Stauffer in the Insure My Ride Australian Supersport Championship, where he claimed round honours over YRT teammate Bryan Staring, with privateer Shannon Johnson third on his ESG/Woodstock/Procon Honda CBR600RR.
Zac Davies (Yamaha YZF-R1) and Grant Hay (Shock Treatment / Big Kahuna YZF-R1) finished second and third respectively in the AMCN Superbike Privateer Cup, with Jordan Burgess (Motologic / Teterin CBR1000RR) victorious over Chris Knox (CAGE Security Ducati 1198S) and Matthew Griffin (Griffo Racing YZF-R1) in the Superstock Triple Challenge, run concurrently in the Superbike events.
After four rounds Allerton leads the seven-round Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship on 177 points from Waters on 170, with Maxwell third on 147 and Giles fourth on 133.
Full results for all six national championship classes – Superbike, Supersport, Superstock 1000, Superstock 600, 125GP/250GP Mono and Sidecar – can be found at www.computime.com.au.
Round five of the series takes place at South Australia’s Mallala circuit on August 28-30.