Oleon Motologic Racing Honda's Wayne Maxwell continued his domination of the Australian Superbike Open by setting the fastest ever ASBK lap on his way to Superpole and then winning the opening race from Josh Waters and Shannon Johnson.
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Team Oleon Oils Motologic Honda rider Wayne Maxwell continued his domination of this weekend’s Insure My Ride Australian Superbike Open at Victoria’s Phillip Island circuit, run in conjunction with the V8 Supercars L&H 500 event.
The 26-year-old Victorian marked the return of the popular 2-plus-4 concept to the national V8 Supercars calendar with the fastest ever national Superbike lap of the 4.45km circuit in Superpole this afternoon, then followed up with a 1.899sec victory in the opening 10-lap race over team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Josh Waters.
Maxwell had been fastest throughout every practice and qualifying session over the past two days, but was challenged in this afternoon’s race by Superbike rookie Waters, only breaking clear in the final two laps after light rain had drifted across the circuit.
“I slowed the pace a little when the rain came as the track was a bit slippery in some parts,” said Maxwell. “I got a fair bit sideways in Turn Two, but then the shower cleared and with two laps to go I put the hammer down.”
Waters was disappointed with his second placing, admitting that he’d made a mistake when the first rain spots hit his helmet visor.
“I sat up and slowed, and I shouldn’t have,” said the 22-year-old. “Wayne is riding so well you can’t give him any advantage, and I did.
“Early on I was comfortable with the pace, and felt I could have pulled out and passed into Turn One, but once Wayne got the break with two laps to go I couldn’t chase him down. He outsmarted me in that one, but I’ll know better tomorrow.”
Third today was privateer Honda rider Shannon Johnson, the 29-year-old getting the better of three-time national champion Shawn Giles’ Team Joe Rocket Suzuki in a last-lap battle to the chequered flag by just 0.0230sec.
“I could stick with Wayne and Josh in the early laps, but it’s my first time racing with those guys on this bike and when the grip went away I faded,” said Johnson. “It’s my first national Superbike event this year, and they rode better than me – simple as that.”
Maxwell had earlier qualified on pole in an exciting one-lap Rockstar Energy Drink Superpole Shootout with the fastest ever national Superbike lap of the 4.45km circuit at 1:32.6990. With a tailwind assisting riders down the front straight, Maxwell recorded a top speed of 298km/h through the speed trap, 27km/h up on the V8 Supercar top speed.
“With a slipstream tow behind a group of bikes tomorrow I reckon close to 310km/h is on the cards,” said Maxwell. “Not that I’m planning on being behind…”
Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Robbie Bugden crashed out of the event when he hit a damp patch at Turn Two, but was uninjured in the high-speed tumble.
INSURE MY RIDE AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE OPEN RESULTS
ROCKSTAR SUPERBIKE SUPERPOLE
1 Wayne Maxwell (Vic), Honda 1:32.6990
2 Josh Waters (Vic), Suzuki 1:33.2250
3 Shannon Johnson (Vic), Honda` 1:33.3120
4 Glenn Allerton (NSW), Honda 1:33.5220
5 Shawn Giles (NSW), Suzuki 1:33.8050
6 Craig Coxhell (Vic), Honda 1:34.1480
7 Robert Bugden (Qld), Suzuki 1:34.2820
8 Chris Trounson (Vic), Honda 1:36.4450
SUPERBIKE RACE ONE (10 laps)
1 Wayne Maxwell (Vic), Honda 15:44.1230
2 Josh Waters (Vic), Suzuki
3 Shannon Johnson (Vic), Honda
4 Shawn Giles (NSW), Suzuki
5 Glenn Allerton (NSW), Honda
6 Craig Coxhell (Vic), Honda
7 Trent Gibson (Vic), Suzuki
8 Chris Trounson (Vic), Honda
9 Marty Craggill (Vic), Suzuki
10 Matthew Griffin (Vic), Honda
Fastest lap: Josh Waters 1:33.1250