Trev: We’ll start off with the Darwin weekend, you and the Boost Mobile squad had some unique challenges with Crew Chief Adrian working from home, which meant the team was all wired for sound and Greg was on the tools. Somewhat of a strange weekend I guess?
Wayne Maxwell: “It was definitely somewhat of a challenge in that respect, trying to set everything up, and try and make sure it worked but overall we sort of got through it and everyone stepped up in the team and knew what we were up to before we got there. A few people stepped in over the weekend who usually aren’t in those roles and those guys were great.”
And that two-plus-four lap with the Boost Mobile car, via your shared sponsor, did you let the car through on purpose around the back of the circuit when you looked around, was there bit of a game plan on that to line up that run to the line?
Wayne Maxwell: “Yeah that was the overall plan, you being a Ford man, I dunno if you would have been going for the Ducati or Ford, but that was the aim to try and make it a drag race to the line, so obviously I let him past and James went underneath, and then he sort of had to wait for me a little bit, so he’d ruined his run onto the straight but the Ducati can definitely out-accelerate the V8.”
I’d always go for the bike, did you go out in the car with him on the weekend and experience that braking power?
Wayne Maxwell: “No I didn’t, I’ve never been in a V8 actually. I let Craig and Julie go out and do it. I didn’t know whether it would scare me or not, I just stuck to riding the motorbikes for the weekend. Hopefully there’ll be some opportunities to do some more activations with Boost down the track.“
So obviously there are some pros and cons running ASBK alongside supercars, what’s your take on it? The air fence being moved on and off, is far from ideal, and scheduling changes etc, but I guess when you’re trying to satisfy your team sponsors there are some definite positives.
Wayne Maxwell: “Definitely, the camera footage quality, and the professionalism that some people in our paddock haven’t experienced before, to see the premium motorsport category in Australia up close, we need to get to that. Scheduling was good, they cleaned the track thoroughly, M.A. and whoever looked after the V8 side of safety all worked together. Coverage wise I think it was one of our better events.“
So you’re keen to see more of this in the future?
Wayne Maxwell: “I think two rounds a year would be enough to be honest with you, one to two. Just to keep the exposure. It all depends, we sort of have a support round with WSBK normally but that’s not going to come any time in the next year, so we’ll wait and see and go from there. Our categories I think are better than people are giving it credit for at the moment and we can stand on our own two feet and make sure we race at all the best tracks in Australia, and put on a good show.”
Wayne Maxwell: “Darwin obviously works but it’s obviously a big expense, so I don’t know if the rest of the paddock want to go to Dawrin. They are talking about the V8s racing at night in Sydney, which would be a great opportunity to get a foot back in the door there at SMP. We could race in the day and add the 600 category which would be a pretty cool event and that is the hot rumour at the moment...”
You’re leading the championship, you said you have a good package but obviously there’s a long way to go, that is if the plague stays abated so we can run the full calendar. I guess the main talking point out of the Darwin weekend was young Oli stepping up to take you on. Have you followed him much before? Give us your evaluation of where you think he’s at, at the moment and if you think his form may continue to the other tracks.
Wayne Maxwell: “Yeah look, I’ve always said on the record that my legacy is to try and promote and set a standard for these young guys, we’ve had world champions in the past and we could have more in the future. Oli did a fantastic job all weekend, he didn’t make many mistakes for someone of his age and experience, less mistakes than I would have made at that age for sure, so he did a fantastic job. His riding, he’s well in control, I haven’t watched the race back yet, but it’s great.
“Hopefully it gives everyone, some of the other guys in our category and other categories, an example – look it is achievable, so they say… now how do we achieve it. It’s fantastic. I don’t know how he will go at other tracks, obviously Morgan Park he’s done a few laps at. It’s hard to say whether that form will stay, or if the bike worked for that track for him on the day. Time will tell. Eventually it shows he’s going to work it out and he’s going to be a really good motorcycle racer and hopefully follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a World Champion.“
It looked liked you gave him heaps of room as he came past at the end of the straight, maybe more than you’d give Herf or Mike?
Wayne Maxwell: “I don’t know, my head wasn’t really in it, I was having issues in the race and I just thought I’d let him go through, he wasn’t even close to the limit of trying to stop, it was a real calculated easy pass, so he was just better than I was in the race. There is no excuse, and he’s a deserving winner.“
Your head wasn’t it, was that because Herf had been taken off to hospital?
Wayne Maxwell: “That as well and being such a massive three weeks, being away and unorganised and not having everything there, like the whole team, it was quite a fair bit of stress. I just wasn’t at my best for some reason and I guess that’s part of it, I haven’t raced anyone but Troy for the last so long, so maybe that was it.“
You looked like you did try and have a go a couple of corners from the end, but had a rear end slide there, was that part of the game plan to leave it to that final lap, and then that slide robbed you of that chance?
Wayne Maxwell: “Nah, I never really think I had a chance with the issues we had going on. I was in a little bit of a rhythm and then it was a bit unusual for me, as normally I’m fairly good right at the end and fight back, but it just wasn’t my day and wasn’t meant to be. That’s a bad day so we’ll move onto the next one.”
That sounds like you may have had an issue you don’t want to canvas with the bike or tyres?
Wayne Maxwell: “No definitely not the tyres, just some stuff because Adrian wasn’t there, we had some problems like with the electronics, which were out of our control, just having that one less person, but nothing major and it probably might not have made the difference to win the race, but as usual our bikes were fantastic, so there’s no dramas moving forward.
“I’m excited to see how we roll on to Morgan Park, as that’s pretty much marked down on the calendar as the biggest challenge for us. Obviously maybe a tiny bit easier as Troy doesn’t look like he’ll be back for that one, but it’s still going to be a massive challenge. Mike has a point to prove, Oli is on a mission and there’s other guys with new motorbikes, you can’t really rule out anyone.”
So I guess as you’ve said you’re probably going to give the game away at the end of this season, after hopefully defending your championship, which you’re looking in good shape to do, for the rounds coming ahead, and then your focus is going to switch to running the Ohvale FIM MiniGP World Series in Australia, which is going to step up a few gears next year, is that right?
Wayne Maxwell: “That’s the plan, definitely going to finish the end of the year. I love motorbike racing and I love all that, so I want to make a difference, we see so many people come and go from the sport and when their time is up, they don’t give back as good as they should have. I’m not in the financial position of some of the guys overseas are to help, but with my knowledge and understanding I would like to work closely with the M.A. guys to get the ASBK to a level where it’s more sustainable. And that side of it, help some of the other teams to get more sponsors and show what I’ve learned and help in that way.
“Craig and I have talked about running the bike next season, there’s a number of options for riders, we’ll see how that goes. The Ohvale is going to be a massive focus for us, to bring through the next generation of Jack Miller, Remy Gardner and perhaps the next Oli Bayliss.“
Now you bring that up, with you and Craig talking about continuing with the Boost Team and running the Ducati. I had heard a rumour that you might have had Herf in line to ride for you and Craig next year, if you continued down that line.
Wayne Maxwell: “Yeah, if as a Team Manager you’re not asking the best most dedicated guy in the paddock to ride your motorbike, you’re not doing your job are you? So regardless of the contract or whatever he’s got, I’m confident we have a really good package and he’s been around motorcycle racing so he knows how that works, so he knows how I operate pretty well and I know how he operates, and he knows how good Craig’s bikes are.
“Obviously those talks have completely stopped right at the moment with his current situation. But if he wants to come and ride a motorbike with us we’d be mad not to consider it and try and of course bend over backwards to have him on the bike.”
Thanks for the chat.
Wayne Maxwell: “Thank you.“
ASBK Championship Points
2021 ASBK Championship Calendar (Updated)
Round 1 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC February 18-21 Cancelled
Round 2 Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC March 12-14
Round 3 Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn, NSW April 16-18
Round 4 Hidden Valley Raceway, NT – Supercars 2+4 (Superbikes only) June 18-20
Round 5 Morgan Park Raceway, QLD August 20-22
Round 6 The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA September 23-26
Round 7 Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn, NSW October 15 – 17 *
Round 8 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC November 5-7 *
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