ASBK Supersport leader Sam Clarke on season 2016 ahead of the Winton showdown

Sam Clarke heads into the final round of the Australian Supersport Championship with an eight-point lead over nearest rival Troy Guenther. The young Western Australian took a clean sweep at Wakefield Park, and also topped his home round at Barbagallo Raceway. Clarke finished second to Luke Mitchell at the recent Morgan Park round and topped last week’s official test session at Winton ahead of this weekend’s championship decider at the central Victorian circuit.  Trev caught up with him after the test to recap season 2016 ahead of the Winton finale.

ASBK Morgan Park - Image by Keith Muir - Sam Clarke
ASBK Morgan Park – Image by Keith Muir – Sam Clarke

 

Sam, you’re leading the Australian Supersport Championship into the final round at Winton.  You just topped the Winton test, but you also had a big off in the wet first day of the test session.

asbk-2016-test-winton-sam-clarke-crashed

“Yeah, I haven’t been here to Winton before so was learning the track, but two laps in I threw it away heading into turn one. Not the way we wanted to start, but that’s part of riding, I haven’t had a crash for a while. We copped a bit of damage, but thanks to my team we were able to get the bike going again and set the fastest time in the dry. So today felt like a new track again after not getting much time on the track yesterday.”

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Sam Clarke tops Supersport testing at Winton.

There’s been a lot of new tracks for you this year in your first full national season.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better season this year. We came in thinking a top ten this year would be great, and we have been consistent just about every round. This couldn’t have happened without Banhams my sponsor, my great team and the family support that comes from back home.”

ASBK-2016-Rnd2-TBG-Sam-Clarke-2
Sam Clarke, ASBK 2016, Round 2.

It’s all coming down to the final round here at Winton, you must go into the last round full of confidence?

“I’ve been really working on my fitness and my diet just to make sure I am 100 percent fit for the last round. My team back me all the way so now it’s just all up to me. If we can take it out it’s going to be a great positive for the team and for what’s to come.”

Sam Clarke leads Motul Supersport - ASBK 2016 - Round Two - Wakefield Park
Sam Clarke leads Motul Supersport – ASBK 2016 – Round Two – Wakefield Park

The circuits have been very different from back home at Wanneroo, what’s your favourite circuit?

“I liked Wakefield, I clean sweeped at Wakefield. But I don’t mind this track, it’s very challenging, it adds a bit of contrast, the fast sections then the tight sections. I’ve enjoyed just about every track though this year and I’ve had a great season. It’s just nice to ride different tracks to be honest. I’ve enjoyed the season and I’m looking forward to this last round. It all comes down to this last round but I like the pressure!”

ASBK Morgan Park - Image by Trevor Hedge - Sam Clarke
ASBK Morgan Park – Image by Trevor Hedge – Sam Clarke

So, what does 2017 have in store for Sam Clarke?

“At this stage we don’t know, it’s an open book. We are going to take any opportunities we get, we are going to see what’s around, hopefully we can get something good if we can take this title out or if people look at what we’ve achieved this year. So yeah… really an open book, but hopefully we can take this title out. Then we’ll see what comes our way.”

Supersport Winton Test Times
  1. Sam Clarke – Kawasaki – 1m24.550
  2. Mark Chiodo – Triumph – 1m24.597
  3. Callum Spriggs – Kawasaki – 1m25.073
  4. Ted Collins – Suzuki – 1m25.097
  5. Robbie Menzies – 1m25.265
  6. Thomas Bryden – Yamaha – 1m25.649
  7. Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki – 1m25.875
  8. Javad Ashgari – Honda – 1m32.529
  9. Douglas Bloomer – Yamaha – 1m33.389
  10. Ryles Simons – Triumph – 1m37.848
2016 ASBK Australian Supersport Championship standings
  1. Sam Clarke – 202
  2. Troy Guenther – 194
  3. Luke Mitchell – 180
  4. Callum Spriggs – 152.5
  5. Ben Blyth – 138.5
  6. Ted Collins – 114.5
  7. Nic Liminton – 112.5
  8. Chris Quinn – 110
  9. Robbie Menzies – 98
  10. Mark Chiodo – 81.5