News 15 Apr 2010

ASBK: McLaren surprises with Hidden Valley performance

Kris McLaren was a standout at Hidden Valley's ASBK round. Image: Keith Muir.

Kris McLaren was a standout at Hidden Valley's ASBK round. Image: Keith Muir.

Superbike rookie Kris McLaren was a standout performer at last weekend’s second round of the 2010 Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship, making a massive step forward on his Multiclad-backed GAS Racing Honda CBR1000RR at Hidden Valley in the Northern Territory.

McLaren impressed by making the Superpole shootout on Saturday afternoon, which puts the top eight riders from regular qualifying head-to-head in a series of one-lap sprints to see who could claim the fastest times for the final grid positions, with McLaren rounding out row two for Sunday’s races in eighth position.

Come race day on Sunday, McLaren again put his best foot forward with a stellar fifth place finish in the opening race, contested in wet conditions, marking 23-year-old McLaren’s best race since stepping to the Superbikes, beating out a number of established ASBK stars including ex-multiple champions Shawn Giles and Jamie Stauffer.

“We’re very happy with the weekend overall, we made a lot of progress and inroads, which is good,” McLaren said yesterday afternoon. “I need to put my head down and focus on what we need to do for the next round, which is to be consistent and not make mistakes.”

Race two saw McLaren suffer a disappointing fall in the early laps of the race, the first in dry conditions of the weekend, putting an end to his weekend while chasing after Giles on lap three.

“I got my head around the first race really well, finished in the top five, but in the second one I crashed out,” he explained. “But I’m learning a lot and it’s good for my confidence to be up near the front with the top guys, they’re so consistent and they don’t make mistakes.”

The end result was a 14th place finish overall for the Victorian, hampered by the fact that only half points were awarded for the opening race, however still content with his weekend after featuring amongst the top five on the time sheets throughout much of the weekend.

This year’s ASBK series will now move on to Queensland Raceway on 3-6 April, where McLaren will again continue his steep learning curve as one of Australia’s most promising Superbike newcomers.

“The bike’s working well, and I’m trying to ride it well, so going into Queensland will be good. I’m happy to get on the motorbike at any track and I like riding as much as I can, so hopefully we can test before the next round and get some good results up there come the race weekend,” concluded McLaren.