News 28 Feb 2010

ASBK: Maxwell sweeps ASBK opener for GAS Honda Racing

Demolition Plus GAS Honda Racing’s Wayne Maxwell has taken a sensational clean sweep of the weekend at Phillip Island’s opening round of the 2010 Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship alongside the World Superbikes today.

Maxwell won this morning’s first of two 12-lap races at the picturesque 4.445 kilometre Victorian circuit, backing the feat up again this afternoon with a 0.101 victory over Ducati Motologic Racing’s Jamie Stauffer – the team’s first podium in its return to the ASBK.

“To come out here and win both races without much testing, hats off to the team, they gave me a motorbike that could win, and I’m absolutely stoked with the result,” Maxwell said.

“I’m aggressive into the turns and gentle coming off the turn, so we’re going to do some testing and see how we can get more out of the tyre and continue this momentum into Darwin. I don’t think there are many riders who have ridden at the Darwin circuit before so it’ll interesting just to see who can pick up the circuit and adapt and get their motorcycle working.”

Third for Cougar Bourbon Honda Racing’s Bryan Staring capped off a consistent weekend as he again battled for the lead, finishing the race just 0.739 behind Maxwell in his return to the Superbikes.

KTM’s Shannon Johnson finished fourth after making a late race move on fellow ESG rider Glenn Allerton, the Valvoline Superbike Team ex-series champion rounding out the top five.

Racers Edge Suzuki’s Scott Charlton finished sixth as the surprise top Suzuki in the race ahead of Team Suzuki factory rider Shawn Giles, while the big news of the race was defending champion Josh Waters’ 14th place finish after dropping down the order early in the race when his GSX-R1000 got stuck in gear.

“On the fourth lap the bike just got stuck in third gear, so it’s a bit of bad luck really,” Waters explained. “I was able to gap them and I was up for it – I wasn’t going to let them have it easy, so I was confident that I could have finished in the top three.”

Ninth in his debut as a factory Superbike rider for Ducati Motologic was rookie Jordan Burgess, edging out top Superstock 1000 rider Ben Attard, who put in a solid effort to round out the top 10 overall and snatch a clean sweep of the class.

Maxwell won overall from Staring and Stauffer, while Johnson finished a solid fourth in his first official ASBK outing with KTM.

The series will continue in the Northern Territory at Hidden Valley Raceway on 9-11 April.

Click here for detailed results

Wayne Maxwell: “I couldn’t be happier with our weekend. This is a new Team so to be able to pull off really a perfect round so early into the season is very confidence inspiring. The next round at Darwin should be interesting as the circuit is new to most of the riders. The conditions will also have a big part to play in who can win so I’ll be training as much as possible in the lead up.”

Bryan Staring: “This is more than I ever imagined going into round 1. The Honda CBR1000RR is awesome; I made a few mistakes in the 2nd race whilst I was leading and I started to over think. I must extend my thanks to everyone on the team as well as the sponsors that got behind us. It feels great knowing these guys had faith in me. We really put this together with 4 tests in 3 weeks. It is remarkable what the team has done. We had a 2008 CBR1000RR that had done two seasons; we modified the suspension, freshened it up, and worked on the gearing and set it up as best we could to suit my style. The Honda is a dream to ride and that made the whole job easier. I am looking forward to a new motorcycle and some more testing before round 2. In saying that, I don’t want to take anything away from the team or the winner on the day. Wayne (Maxwell) did an amazing job on his Honda and I just need to concentrate on getting more prepared.”

Jamie Stauffer: “Today was very important for us to see where we were at in full race condition. In race one we were very fast and got into the lead early on and I was setting a quick pace, After 4 laps I slowed down to try not to over heat my rear tyre and was sitting in 3rd position. With 5 laps to go I had tyre issues and had to manage it as best as I could and ended the race in 4th position. Race two I didn’t get the start I wanted and had a busy time in the race to get to the front guys, once I was with the leaders I sat behind them in 3rd trying to keep my tyre in good condition for the end of the race. On the last lap I passed Bryan Staring on the entry of southern loop but couldn’t quite chase Wayne down before the finish of the race. Over all we had a great weekend on the Ducati 1198R and I’m looking forward to developing the bike more and going to the next round in the Northern Territory.”

Shannon Johnson: “It was a hectic lead up with planning, structuring and building a brand new team leading up to this event, and I couldn’t praise the guys at Evolution Sports Group (ESG) and KTM enough for their combined efforts to get us here in the best possible position to race. Qualifying was really frustrating for me, I wasn’t riding very well and that reflected in my results. Having a great team behind me really lifted my spirits and my riding after the first qualifying session, as the crew analysed data and made some set up changes to the KTM 1190 RC8 R to shave seconds off my lap times. I qualified in sixth position and started both races from the second row. I progressed through the first race maintaining good lap times, but I felt I could have been going faster. I finished ten seconds behind the race leader and rode home in fifth place further improving my previous best lap time, a position I wanted to improve on come the second race. Between races the ESG team again made some changes based on data they could see on the screen, and we shaved five seconds off my previous race time, in doing so we closed the gap to five seconds behind the race winner Wayne Maxwell, and positioned myself in fourth crossing the chequered flag. Combined my 5-4 result gave me fourth overall for the opening round. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t podium, but now that the cobwebs have cleared and the most nerve racking round is out of the way it’s only on-ward and up-ward from here. Together with ESG we’re up for the challenge and are looking forward to the next round at Darwin.”

Glenn Allerton: “That was a disappointing race [race one], to charge through to forth position in the first lap, mix it up with the leaders and then to have tyre problems was frustrating, I felt the rear tyre coming apart and I decided to salvage as many championship points as possible. Apart from the tyre issues, we showed that the Valvoline Superbikes are on the pace and that we can run at the front, driving through to lead the race from 7th position on the grid in 3 laps will send a loud and clear message to all of the competition, that the Valvolines Superbikes are here and that Glenn Allerton is back.”

Jordan Burgess: “I’m pleased with my overall result for the weekend and very happy for the team overall. As this is my rookie season in SBK and first season as a factory rider, everything is new and I am having a load of fun so far on the 1198R. This was the first time all of us have worked together and everything ran very smoothly and professionally. I must say I am humbled at the welcoming we have received by the Ducati family and I am becoming very passionate about the brand and look forward to a great year ahead with Ducati Motologic Racing.”