2019 ASBK Official Test
Wakefield Park – March 4-5, 2019

By Trevor Hedge – Images by TDJ Media

While Wayne Maxwell showed some stellar speed at the Phillip Island season opener, including surprising himself with victory in race one, when I spoke to him during the weekend he said the Suzuki still didn’t feel like ‘his’ bike, and that he was still far from fully comfortable.

ASBK Round TBG WSBKPI PI Wayne Maxwell TBG
Wayne Maxwell was clearly emotional after winning the opening race of ASBK season 2019 at Phillip Island – TBG Image

This week, alongside many of the ASBK regulars present for an official two-day test at Wakefield Park, Maxwell got to turn plenty of laps on the Team Suzuki machine to further familiarise himself with the GSX-R1000R. 

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Wayne Maxwell
Wayne Maxwell

Today Maxwell got familiar enough to top the two-day test with a best of 57.659. That was today’s official benchmark by a slender margin over Troy Herfoss’ 57.728. 

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Troy Herfoss
Troy Herfoss

The defending champion getting back down to the business of preparing for his ASBK Championship defence now the troubled WSBK wildcard appearance at Phillip Island is firmly behind him. 

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Troy Herfoss
Troy Herfoss

The test gave Maxwell enough seat time to experiment with different settings on the machine, and to learn more about what affect those changes had on the bike. This will arm him with more knowledge to give better feedback to the team throughout each session from hereon in, as the season progresses.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Wayne Maxwell
Wayne Maxwell

Max Croker air-lifted to hospital

Unfortunately though another Suzuki rider was made very uncomfortable today. Young Max Croker crashed heavily and was air-lifted to hospital. There it was confirmed that he has broken the same collarbone that he broke last year, from which he only had the plate removed from about four months ago. The more worrysome injury is to his hand, where early indications suggest that multiple breaks have been sustained that will leave him on the sidelines for some time.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Max Croker
Max Croker

He is currently waiting to see a hand specialist before any treatment plan and prognosis can be made. Team owner Mat Mladin rang in to tell us that they will support Max the best they can on his road to recovery, and when he is ready to go again, his Mladin Racing Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and all the team support will be waiting for him. 

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Max Croker
Max Croker

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Aiden Wagner
Aiden Wagner

Aiden Wagner put in a 58.067 to end the second day third quickest on the time-sheets ahead of Josh Waters.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Josh Waters
Josh Waters

Alex Phillis stopped the clocks at 58.896 ahead of Lachlan Epis who with a 59.964 was the final rider to lap under the minute mark.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Alex Phillis
Alex Phillis

Was Mike Jones actually quickest today….?

One rider missing the test, while recovering from surgery after being injured at round one, was none other than Troy Bayliss.  With TB laid up after surgery and wanting to rest up in order to have a fighting chance of some good results when ASBK returns to Wakefield Park to race in a few weeks time, DesmoSport Ducati recruited Mike Jones for testing duties aboard the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Mike Jones
Mike Jones

The recently turned 25-year-old turned up on a K&R Hydraulics backed ZX-10RR for the season opener at Phillip Island where he scored a best of second place, and a fourth overall for the round.  That’s a pretty good scorecard by anyone’s standards.

Jones of course is no stranger to Ducati machinery and took little time get back in the groove. The team elected to not run a transponder, thus no times were registered on the circuit timing system, but talk around the paddock suggested that Jones might have actually undercut Maxwell by two-tenths-of-a-second to end the day fastest, unofficially at least…

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Mike Jones
Mike Jones

DesmoSport Ducati were not originally planning to attend this test and actually have the track booked for next Wednesday. But after Troy’s injury they decided to attend anyway and put Mike on the bike. They will test again next week and have now opened up an opportunity for other interested parties to join them on track at that test.

Mike Jones will ride the bike again next week and unless Troy’s hand gets a hurry-on in its strength and dexterity, Jones might actually ride the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition at the race here at Wakefield Park later this month.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimages Mike Jones
Mike Jones
What is YRT’s form like heading to Wakefield Park…?

The Yamaha Racing Team also tested at Wakefield Park recently but their pace is an unknown. Likewise, how will the Kawasaki and the Dunlop challenge via Bryan Staring fare around the tricky Wakefield Park layout? 

We will have to wait until the weekend of March 24 when the second round plays out around the 2.2-kilometre Wakefield Park circuit, situated on the outskirts of Goulburn between Sydney and Canberra. See you there!

ASBK Test Times – Wakefield Park – March 5th
1Wayne Maxwell Suzuki GSX-R1000R0:57.659
2Troy Herfoss Honda Fireblade0:57.728
3Aiden Wagner Yamaha YZF-R10:58.067
4Josh Waters Suzuki GSX-R1000R0:58.563
5Alex Phillis Suzuki GSX-R10000:58.896
6Lachlan Epis Kawasaki ZX-10R0:58.964
7William Davidson Yamaha YZF-R11:01.151
8Aidan Hayes Yamaha YZF-R61:01.426
9Rhys BellingYamaha YZF-F61:01.468
10Reid Battye Suzuki GSX-R6001:05.756
11Mitch Kuhne Yamaha YZF-R31:05.995
12Max Stauffer     Yamaha YZF-R31:06.138
13Seth Crump KTM RC3901:06.957
14Kyle O’Lonnell Yamaha YZF-R31:07.906
15Tom Connors Yamaha YZF-R31:11.189
16Ben Angelidis KTM RC3901:11.384 
17Marianos Nikolis Yamaha YZF-R151:16.755
18Jacob Hateh Yamaha YZF-R151:19.389
19Lincoln Knight Yamaha YZF-R151:20.520

Wakefield Park Map

Lap Records
Wakefield Park Best LapWayne Maxwell – Yamaha – 2018 FP – 57.182s
Wakefield Park Race Lap RecordTroy Herfoss – Honda – 2016 – 57.540s
2019 ASBK Championship Points Standings
1Aiden WAGNERYamaha71
2Cru HALLIDAYYamaha Racing Team, Yamaha55
3Josh WATERSTeam Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, Suzuki50
4Mike JONESK& R Hydraulics, Kawasaki49
5Bryan STARINGBCperformance, Kawasaki48
6Troy HERFOSSPenrite Honda Racing, Honda41
7Wayne MAXWELLTeam Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, Suzuki40
8Glenn ALLERTONNext Gen Motorsports, BMW40
9Daniel FALZONYamaha Racing Team, Yamaha32
10Ted COLLINSNext Gen Motorsports31
11Matt WALTERSKawasaki Australia, Kawasaki30
12Glenn SCOTTGSR, Kawasaki28
13Max CROKERMladin Racing, Suzuki27
14Mark CHIODOPenrite Honda Racing, Honda24
15Alex PHILLISTeam Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, Suzuki19
16Arthur SISSISSuzuki18
17Sloan FROSTFILTA NZ, Suzuki12
18Damon REESTony Rees Motorcycles, Honda11
19Lachlan EPISBCperformance, Kawasaki10
20Phillip CZAJEco Light Up, Aprilia8
21Ryan YANKOForce 8 Contracting, Ducati3
22David BARKERKawasaki1
23Matt TOOLEYPhillip Island Ride Days, Yamaha1

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