-- Maxwell marches on with Phillip Island Superbike sweep
A calculated pass in the closing stages of race 2 has sealed a clean sweep for Team Honda Racing rider Wayne Maxwell at round 4 of the QBE Australian Superbike Championship at Phillip Island.
Setting himself the goal of maximum points from the weekend, the polesitter bided his time in today’s 12-lap race, pouncing on race leader Josh Waters with 2 laps remaining to take his second win from as many starts.
Team Volvo Group Suzuki’s Robbie Bugden was the early leader but fellow GSX-R rider Waters wasted little time with a swift pass by turn 3 of the opening lap.
Maxwell muscled his way through to second before the Honda and Suzuki heavyweights went to war once more.
Evenly matched for pace, Maxwell seemed to have the measure of Waters but, fighting his own handling issues, waited until lap 10 to make his move at Lukey Heights.
As it did yesterday, a spirited battle played out for the final spot on the podium.
Bugden got the nod from defending champion, Procon Maxima BMW’s Glenn Allerton and Team Honda’s Jamie Stauffer, with just 0.2s separating them as they crossed the finish line.
Fastest in practice, qualifying, winner of Superpole, race 1 and 2 and the round, Maxwell proved the man to beat this weekend and would not have been satisfied with anything less.
“I got a better start today, Robbie led it into turn 1 and I could see Josh was eager to get by and stretch his legs,” explained Maxwell.
“By turn 4 I was right back on Josh and I could see he was struggling for grip.
“We’d made some changes for the warmup but it was wet so we couldn’t test them out, and when it came to the race it turned out they weren’t ideal at all.
“I just had to make the most of it. I was honestly struggling and with two laps to go knew I just needed to make quick work of it.
“It gives us the result we needed – we came here to get maximum points so hats off to the team who has worked hard for this.”
The Victorian rider collected 51 points today, and moves to within 22.5 points of Waters.
Still in the box seat for his second title, Waters could feel the Honda of Maxwell breathing down his neck and had no answer once the deciding move was made.
“The first 10 laps of the race were good, the last 2, not so good,” said Waters.
“Wayne got the pass done at the place he passes everyone.
“The bike was pretty good but again I was struggling for grip and couldn’t find a way to break clear.
“We’ll look forward to Queensland Raceway now which is a place we do pretty well at.”
Bugden was pleased to finish on the podium at a place he identified as his bogey track.
“The races were really tough this weekend, it was on for the full 12 laps both races, so it’s good to come away with the third,” he said.
“We had a really tough round in Perth and they guys have worked extra hard to get the bike ready for this weekend so I’m glad I could pay them back with a result.
“I’m pretty sore still and it was uncomfortable work on the bike but once the adrenaline kicked in I just focused on the job.
“We’ve got a couple of rounds at Queensland Raceway coming up which is my home track so that always gives me a bit of a boost, it should be a good finish to the season.”
Stauffer finished fourth for the round collecting 34 points, with Allerton a point shy in fifth.
The 2011 champion is now 19 points adrift of Maxwell and will need to be on maximum attack in the remaining rounds if he is to defend his crown.
Linden Magee and Chas Hern traded Prostock race wins and second places across the weekend, with Magee taking the round win thanks to his additional point for pole.
Hern remains in the championship lead, 9 points ahead of Magee, with Nicholas Waters, absent this weekend with a broken wrist, holding down third.
The QBE Australian Superbike Championships resume at Queensland Raceway from June 1st to 3rd featuring a full compliment of classes.
AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE C'SHIP at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Victoria. Rd 4:
Race 2: W Maxwell (Honda) 1, J Waters (Suzuki) 2, R Bugden (Suzuki) 3, G Allerton (BMW) 4, J Stauffer (Honda) 5, B Attard (Suzuki) 6, S Charlton (Suzuki) 7, B Waters (Suzuki) 8, C Hern (Suzuki) 9, L Magee (BMW) 10.
Round: W Maxwell (Honda) 51pts 1, J Waters (Suzuki) 40pts 2, R Bugden (Suzuki) 35pts 3, J Stauffer (Honda) 34pts 4, G Allerton (BMW) 33pts 5, B Attard (Suzuki) 30pts 6, S Charlton (Suzuki) 27pts 7, B Henry (Suzuki) 26pts 8, B Waters (Suzuki) 25pts 9.
Championship: J Waters (Suzuki) 170.5pts 1, W Maxwell (Honda) 148pts 2, G Allerton (BMW) 129pts 3, J Stauffer (Honda) 121.5pts 4, R Bugden (Suzuki) 118pts 5, B Attard (Suzuki) 115.5pts 6, B Henry (Suzuki) 106.5pts 7, S Charlton (Suzuki) 89pts 8, B Waters (Suzuki) 45pts 9, C Trounson (BMW) 26pts 10.
May 20 - News - ASBK Race Two -
May 19 - Interviews -
-- Team Honda Report
In a thrilling display of man and machine over the weekend at Phillip Island, Team Honda Racing dominated Round 4 of the Australian Superbike Championship with #47 Wayne Maxwell making a clean sweep onboard his Honda CBR1000RR and #27 Jamie Stauffer finishing 4th overall.
The Motologic-prepared Honda CBR1000RR featured at the top of the timesheets all weekend with Maxwell recording the fastest lap time in every session he took part in. Fastest in practice and qualifying, Maxwell took the Superpole point and then went on to win both Superbike races in front of a very appreciative crowd of V8 Supercar and Superbike fans.
Both Team Honda Racing riders challenged for the Superpole point on Saturday having performed well in qualifying practice. The lap time that placed Maxwell in P1 on the grid for both races was a 1:34.905 sec and Stauffer recorded a flying lap time of 1:35.678 sec in the Superpole session which saw him start both races from P3 on the grid.
The front row start was precisely what the Team Principle ordered and the Honda team was looking strong. Race 1 saw the Hondas get off the line well and Maxwell looked comfortable in 2nd behind Waters as he waited for the right moment to pounce. That moment was in lap 8 when Maxwell made the move and made it stick, taking the lead for a convincing win with the fastest lap time of the race, a 1:33.986 sec, 1.466 sec ahead of Waters. Stauffer finished the race in 3rd place, taking some very important points.
The 2nd Superbike race of the event was extremely entertaining with not only a battle for 1st between Maxwell and Waters, but also a very close battle for 3rd involving Stauffer and 2 others. Maxwell again sat unnervingly behind Waters for much of the race until lap 10 when he took his CBR1000RR to the front to win again.
Maxwell: “A big thank you to the team this weekend, their hard work has paid off and we had a really strong weekend. We have made great improvements to the set-up of the CBR1000RR over the last couple of events and I’ll always be looking for more, but the Honda felt good all weekend. I’m very happy with the result and it has allowed me to move forward in the championship now so I am looking forward to getting to Qld to test and keep the momentum going into Round 5.
Stauffer found himself in a battle for 3rd during Race 2 and looked strong, however a lack of grip meant he was unable to hold on and he finished the race in 5th. Stauffer now finds himself in 4th place in the championship and is hoping the team test this week will help him iron out the wrinkles prior to Round 5.
Stauffer: “Congratulations to Wayne on his Round win, that was a great effort. My weekend wasn’t quite as strong, but P3 on the grid, a 3rd and a 5th to finish 4th overall is not bad. I had very good pace during the weekend, but the changes we made after race 1 probably didn’t provide the feel I needed for the 2nd race and I struggled with grip. We are testing in Queensland this week and I feel confident we will find the right set-up for Round 5 at Queensland Raceway so I can increase my overall points and move up in the championship.”
Heading immediately to Queensland Raceway for testing this week ahead of Round 5 being held there on June 1-3, Team Honda Racing is not looking to hold back on their points charge. Team Principle, Paul Free is very positive heading into Round 5.
Free: “Well done to Wayne on such a strong weekend. His crew, Shaun and Glenn have put a lot of hard work in and it is terrific to see it pay off. A clean sweep is as good as it gets so hopefully they can continue that at the next event.
"Jamie had a good weekend also, showing really good pace throughout. Front row starts and strong racing, it was unfortunate his grip levels were not as good in Race 2 as I know he would have been on the podium for that race too. Jamie still takes some solid points from Round 4 and we are all now focussing on Queensland Raceway for Round 5.
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank one of our team partners, Doric Products for their terrific support over the weekend. It was just fantastic to see such a hive of activity on the Superbike grid and Doric were difficult to miss! The atmosphere at the V8 Supercar Phillip Island 300 was great and we always enjoy being involved in the 2 + 4 events. We are definitely looking forward to more events with the V8’s, the feedback I get on combining the 2 disciplines is extremely positive.”
-- Suzuki Report
Team Suzuki's Josh Waters maintained his lead in the 2012 Australian Superbike Championship over the weekend, finishing second overall at Phillip Island in Victoria on 18-20 May.
Waters qualified second at the picturesque 4.445-kilometre Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on a weekend that saw the Superbikes compete alongside the V8 Supercars, before going on to seal two second place finishes in the pair of 12-lap races.
The 25-year-old from Mildura led seven laps in Saturday's opening race and nine laps in race two on Sunday, but was edged out for the victory on both occasions by title rival Wayne Maxwell.
Waters finished 1.466 seconds behind Maxwell in race one and 0.571sec off the win in race two, but has retained the championship lead by a healthy 22.5-point margin following four of seven rounds.
"It was really close in all sessions and both races were good for us as far as the championship goes," the 2009 series champion said. "Second isn't a win, but it's still good for me in what was a pretty tough weekend. I led for a lot of laps during the races, so we were definitely really close during the sessions and in the races. We'll move onto Queensland now and hopefully do well up there."
Queenslander Robbie Bugden made it two
Suzukis on the podium at Phillip Island with
third overall, bouncing back from an incident in
Western Australia a fortnight ago to seal his
second podium of the season. Despite a cracked
tailbone and with his wrist not yet at 100
percent, Bugden qualified fourth via Superpole
and raced on to
"It was a good weekend for me and having two Suzukis on the podium is never a bad thing," Team Volvo Group Suzuki satellite rider Bugden explained. "Phillip Island has always been a bit of a battle for me, so to pick up third place was great heading into my home round at Queensland next.
"The 2012 GSX-R1000 really suits me and it's a full credit to the team after I crashed hard in Perth a couple of weeks ago. The guys work hard and I have to thank the entire Volvo Group Suzuki team for making my job easy. Hopefully we can climb a couple of steps up the podium in Queensland."
Waters' Team Suzuki teammate Ben Attard had a consistent weekend with sixth in both races and overall, but he's aiming to compete further toward the front in upcoming rounds. During race one on Saturday, Attard was recorded with the fastest top speed of the weekend at a blisteringly quick 303km/h aboard the potent 2012 GSX-R1000.
"It wasn't the best of weekends for me and I really feel like I'm letting the team down with the results I'm getting on that bike," Attard reflected. "I know it's capable of so much more, but at the end of the day that's all I felt comfortable doing last weekend. I look forward to Queensland, where hopefully I can push through and get back up the front there.
"My GSX-R1000 is really quick and I was able to get a good draft when I recorded my top speed, but I seemed to have the quickest bike all weekend in the speed trap, so the team have done a great job of preparing the motorcycle. It's definitely fast - I just need to go through the turns a bit quicker!"
Bugden now sits fifth in the championship chase and in a position to battle for an outright podium, while Attard is directly behind him in sixth following a consistent maiden season with Team Suzuki to date.
Team Suzuki Supersport regular Brodie Waters returned for his second Superbike outing on the GSX-R1000, claiming ninth overall as he gains further experience in the sport's premier category on a domestic level. With ninth in race one and a promising eighth in the second, Waters enjoyed the additional seat time during the weekend.
"The weekend went well for me and I was able to get faster in every session," Waters commented. "It was good to battle with the likes of Ben Attard and Scotty Charlton, even though I was further back than where I'd like to be.
"Those guys have a lot of experience, so it's good to learn a little bit from them what Superbike racing is all about. I had a little bit of arm-pump, but I look forward to more seat time in the future."
Victorian privateer Chas Hern took over the lead in the Australian Prostock Championship at Phillip Island, riding his superstock-specification GSX-R1000 to the round win. Hern finished second in race one before taking the win in race two, cementing the overall. Hern claimed a new Prostock lap record of Phillip Island with a 1:36.024 and now enjoys a nine-point lead in the series.
The Australian Superbike and Supersport series will be back in action at Queensland Raceway in a standalone event on 1-3 June.
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