News 8 Apr 2010

ASBK: Supers back at the Top End for first time since '99

The current crop of Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship stars will do battle on a level-playing field this weekend, with Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway hosting a round of the premier road racing series for the first time in 11 years.

Just one of the riders competing this weekend was on track in 1999. Team Suzuki Racing’s Shawn Giles, now a three-time Superbike class champion, went on to finish fourth for the round.

The GSX-R1000 pilot heads to round two sitting equal fifth in the championship chase.

Giles predicted that whoever managed the heat and changing weather conditions the best would prosper.

“I am looking forward to getting on track for this event,” Giles said. “The Northern Territory Government have really gotten behind this event and there is an amazing atmosphere up here.

“Even though I am the only current rider to have competed in the last Superbike event here in 1999 it doesn’t give me any sort of advantage as the bikes are vastly different now.

“Coming to what is effectively a new event provides a level playing field. This is a very technical track so it will interesting to see who does well.”

Another well-credentialed rider tipped to take honours in the Top End is Ducati Motologic Racing’s Jamie Stauffer.

The NSW-based rider enjoyed two straight seasons of dominant results in 2006 and 2007, taking back to back premier-class titles. He finished the 2008 season in second place and is quietly confident about his chances after a change of camp at the end of 2009.

“Everyone has been looking forward to racing at Hidden Valley, myself included,” said Stauffer. “We’ve made a few changes to the bike since Phillip Island, and the bike was pretty good there, so we’re looking forward to being competitive.

“I’ve been training hard since the last round, it does take some time to get used to the heat but having raced in Japan and America I’m not really a stranger to it; they key will be keeping hydrated and being smart about recovery off the bike.”

Yesterday Stauffer and teammate, young gun Jordan Burgess visited Troops at Darwin’s Robertson Army Barracks.

“We had a great day out at the Army barracks and were made to feel welcome by the troops. Jordan and I checked out the Tiger helicopters which were super impressive,” he continued.

“We were also able to have a go at the flight simulator which was very challenging, but fun at the same time. It’s good to know we weren’t actually wasting a quarter of a million dollars each time we fired a missile from the simulator!”

Splitting current leader Wayne Maxwell and Stauffer on the championship points table is Cougar Bourbon Racing Honda’s Bryan Staring. Staring’s strong form at Phillip Island assures he will be a genuine contender for race wins as he quickly comes to grips with his 1000cc Honda Superbike.

The ASBK field is stacked with talent in 2010, with the likes of defending champion Josh Waters (Suzuki), 2008 champion Glenn Allerton (Honda) and new KTM recruit Shannon Johnson all eager and willing to challenge for a podium finish.

Round two of the championship gets underway on Friday morning, with a number of classes taking to the track for their initial practice and qualifying sessions.

The popular Superpole format is back on the Superbike bill for 2010, with riders participating in a series of merged qualifying sessions to determine the top 10 to take part.

Sunday’s competition will feature two, 17-lap Superbike races. The support card includes Superstock 1000 A&B (racing with the Superbike class), Supersport 1000, Superstock 600, 125/250 GP and the popular Aussie Racing Cars.

Motorcycle riders are encouraged to ride their bikes to the track where they can park in special designated areas trackside.

Alternatively the Territory Government will be providing free buses for the public to attend the event from 9-11 April. Services will run to and from Casuarina, Darwin, Nightcliff, Palmerston and rural areas.

Visit for bus timetables and all other event information.