Australian Superbike 2008 – Round Seven – Eastern Creek (NSW)
By KW

ALLERTON CLINCHES SUPERBIKE CROWN

Teknic Honda rider Glenn Allerton clinched the 2008 Australian Superbike Championship at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway this afternoon with a calculated ride to third place in the second of today’s two 13-lap races.

The 27-year-old needed to finish ahead of defending champion Jamie Stauffer in the final race of the 2008 series to be assured of the championship, but admitted the race gave him a few nervous moments when rain started to fall in the final two laps.

“I had trouble reading my pit board when the clouds came over as I had a dark helmet visor, so I wasn’t sure how far Jamie was behind me,” said Allerton. “I knew if I put my head down and kept him behind me the championship would be mine – but it wasn’t easy.

“The bike misfired once coming out of Turn Seven, and then the track got really slippery over the back part of the circuit with the rain.”

Allerton was involved in a tense battle with Stauffer in the opening laps of the final race, before the two-time champion began to fade to an eventual sixth place with tyre traction problems on his Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1.

“I gave it my best shot, but it just wasn’t good enough on the day,” said Stauffer. “My bike seemed to struggle when the track lacked grip in the hot conditions in the early part of the race – it’s something we need to work on.

“That’s the way it goes. Congratulations to Glenn – he’s been strong all season.”

Allerton finished second behind his Teknic Honda teammate Jason O’Halloran in the first of the day’s two 13-lap races, getting the better of Stauffer by just 0.208sec in the run to the chequered flag to open up a 7pt lead over his arch rival in the battle for the championship and set up the winner-take-all finale.

The first race, held in temperatures which soared to 35 degrees, set up a tense final showdown to the seven-round series. O’Halloran was again victorious in the second race, but not before a high-speed battle with Allerton and MV Agusta rider Kevin Curtain had thrilled the crowd.

With their bikes topping 285km/h down the long front straight and into Turn One, the trio went side by side through one of the fastest corners in Australia on five consecutive laps.

“They weren’t giving an inch – it was full-on,” said Curtain. “At one stage Glenn’s shoulder was rubbing on my front wheel as we went around Turn One. It was hairy stuff.

“When the rain came in the final couple of laps I thought it was better to finish second than end up in the gravel trap.”

The championship win is Allerton’s first national title after he secured last year’s Superbike Privateer Cup, and the first Superbike crown for the factory-backed Honda team since 2005.

Allerton finished on 268pts to Stauffer 258, with Stauffer’s Yamaha teammate – and elder brother Daniel – third on 245. O’Halloran was fourth on 239pts.

Jamie Stauffer received some consolation for losing the Superbike title he won in 2006 and 2007 when he claimed the 2008 Australian Supersport Championship for the Yamaha Racing Team. The 28-year-old finished 8pts ahead of Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Josh Waters (279pts to 271pts), with Teknic Honda rider Wayne Maxwell third (237pts).

2008 Championship Points – Final

SUPERBIKE
1 Glenn Allerton Honda CBR1000RR 268
2 Jamie Stauffer Yamaha YZF-R1 258
3 Dan Stauffer Yamaha YZF-R1 245
4 Jason O’Halloran Honda CBR1000RR 239
5 Craig Coxhell Suzuki GSX-R1000 190
6 Robbie Bugden Suzuki GSX-R1000 172
7 Kevin Curtain MV Agusta 312R 168
8 Chris Trounson Honda CBR1000RR 157
9 Zac Davies Yamaha YZF-R1 130
10 Jon Cartwright Yamaha YZF-R1 124
SUPERSPORT
1 Jamie Stauffer Yamaha YZF-R6 279
2 Joshua Waters Suzuki GSX-R600 271
3 Wayne Maxwell Honda CBR600RR 237
4 Ben Attard Yamaha YZF-R6 235
5 Judd Greedy Suzuki GSX-R600 214
6 Jeremy Crowe Yamaha YZF-R6 191
7 Grant Hay Yamaha YZF-R6 164
8 Chris Casella Yamaha YZF-R6 144
9 Chris Quinn Yamaha YZF-R6 134
10 Mitchell Carr Suzuki GSX-R600 119