— Team Reports – ASBK at WSBK
— Team Suzuki
Maxwell scores magnificent debut win for Team Suzuki at Phillip Island
Team Suzuki’s Wayne Maxwell claimed debut victory aboard the GSX-R1000 at Phillip Island’s ‘WSBK Cup’ in Victoria on 21-24 February, a non-championship event on the Australian Superbike Championship schedule in 2013.
Hosted alongside the opening round of the Superbike World Championship at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, it was the 30-year-old Cranbourne resident Maxwell who mastered the 4.445-kilometre circuit best in the national support category, in what was his maiden outing with Team Suzuki.
Maxwell commenced his Suzuki career on top during Thursday’s opening practice session and continued that form into Friday by capturing the first pole position of the year in the single 30-minute qualifying session with a flying 1:33.695 lap time.
Saturday saw Maxwell dominate the opening 12-lap race of the weekend, leading from flag-to-flag with a comfortable 4.796-second victory. It was a confidence inspiring performance, setting the quickest lap of the race at 1:33.535.
“To start from pole position and win the opening race is an ideal situation for all of us at Team Suzuki and I’m really happy about that,” Maxwell commented. “This weekend was great to collect valuable data and my first race on the bike was important for that, which set us up nicely for race two on Sunday
Maxwell again dominated Sunday’s proceedings in the delayed second race, leading all 12 laps in superb fashion as he consistently lapped within the low 1:33 bracket. His best of the weekend came with a 1:33.073 on lap eight as he charged out front, eventually winning by 7.198 seconds.
“Working with Team Manager Phil [Tainton] has been exceptional since I joined Suzuki, he’s great at making a connection with the riders, as is the whole team. It’s been fantastic in that sense, I can tell him what I am feeling on the bike and he understands me clearly to help us make real progress in these early stages of the year.
“This weekend was a nice way to race the Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the first time without the pressure of championship points on the line, just starting off with another few days to get comfortable and work closely with the team in race conditions.
“We used two bikes in each practice session and two in the qualifying session, exploring the settings of the bike throughout. To reach the best setting in the final race just shows the strength of the Team Suzuki crew as we work together, plus Dunlop was able to supply great tyres for a consistent effort in both races. I really have to thank everybody involved in this result.”
Team Suzuki Manager Phil Tainton was pleased with Maxwell’s first official race aboard the GSX-R1000, using the weekend as a test bed as the team prepares to defend the national championship that they won with Josh Waters last year.
“It was a really good weekend for Wayne and the team,” Tainton explained. “We’re certainly working around set-up to get him comfortable on the GSX-R and also to adapt to the new track surface at Phillip Island. In the last race we made some more changes and Wayne said we’re getting close to the money, so by the end of the weekend I believe we accomplished our goals.
“It has been great working with Wayne, he’s quite strong-minded, knows what he wants and comes with a lot of experience. He’s very decisive and positive with his feedback and what he wants out of the bike, which I’m really happy with because it makes us all dig that much deeper as well. We’re all getting along extremely well and this result is a perfect beginning to 2013.”
The Australian Superbike Championship will officially commence at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on 5-7 April.
— Yamaha Report
The Yamaha R6 combined with the Yamaha Racing Team Development program proved an unstoppable force at the opening round of the Australian Superbike Championship that was run in conjunction with the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island over the weekend.
YRT supported riders of Aaron Morris and Daniel Falzon both won a race each of the 600cc Supersport category while Chris Quinn was at his consistent best taking second in both races in a Yamaha display of dominance that was even further highlighted when the top six riders in race two were Yamaha R6 mounted.
Daniel Falzon on his Jon Daniels Racing Yamaha R6 took the round win on 43 points with a third and a first in the two events held over the weekend. Race two was easily the highlight of the weekend when a fast freight train of riders went to battle for the full 10 laps. Falzon was in fifth place as they entered the last lap but was able to make some impressive passes on the final lap to take the win by a narrow .2 of a second. The race win was enough to secure him the overall round victory.
“That second race is what racing is all about. All the guys were riding so well and we were all so close, it was just good to be a part of it. I knew I needed to win the race to get the round win and I was fortunate to have a few things go my way on the final lap and I was able to take advantage of it.
“That’s just the start the team needed for the championship and everyone on the Jon Daniels Racing team has put in a huge effort. We look forward to the next round and hope this is the start of a successful year,” Falzon said.
Chris Quinn showed blistering speed over the weekend and used his years of experience to be well placed after the opening round. He overcame issues during timed qualifying and a third row start on the grid to post fast laps and good results. His second place finish in both races gave him second for the round, just three points off Falzon but more impressive was his speed in the final race, clocking the fastest lap of the race and one of the best laps on a 600cc bike seen at Phillip Island in an amazing battle for the lead, on his Coopers Pale Ale Yamaha R6.
Aaron Morris started out the weekend as the man to beat qualifying on pole position and then went on to win the opening race in convincing fashion. Race two began to look like a repeat with Morris again charging his way to the front, only to fall on lap two and he was unable to remount. Fortunately, he wasn’t injured but his bike was damaged and he took the long walk back to pit lane. Despite the final leg DNF, Morris still finished the round in eighth overall.
“It was a very pleasing weekend,” stated YRT’s John Redding. “Both the YRT development riders and those with YRD assistance performed well and it was a great weekend for Yamaha in the Supersport class.”
“Race two was an incredible race and one of the best I have seen. All six guys were in an intense battle for the lead and it showcased the talent and skill of the riders and the performance of the Yamaha R6.”
“It was a great start to the series for Daniel and Chris, while Aaron showed his has the speed and I’m sure he will make up the lost points in the coming rounds.”
— Kawasaki Report
Rover Coaches/ Kawasaki Connection rider Matt Walters has gotten his 2013 racing campaign off to a brilliant start winning both Pro Stock races in convincing fashion at the Phillip Island WSBK meeting.
The 2010 Australian 600cc Superstock champion put a lot of work and effort in during the off season including the implementation of a more vigorous fitness schedule and the hard work is paying off.
Walters qualified his Rover Coaches/Kawasaki Connection Ninja ZX-10R in number 1 position setting a new Pro Stock qualifying record in the process.
In the first race, Walters rode well to be the first Pro Stock bike across the line followed by two other Ninja ZX-10R’s (Dustin Goldsmith & Phil Lovett) to give Kawasaki a clean sweep of the race for the class.
Walters backed up his race one victory with another win in the second race. Walters was so competitive on board his Pro Stock Ninja ZX-10R, he was only 3 seconds behind the 4th placed Superbike of Glenn Scott. Fellow Kawasaki rider Dustin Goldsmith took 3rd place overall for the round in the Pro Stock class with 2-3 results.
In what turned out to be a very promising weekend for Matt Walters, the Kawasaki rider not only came away with a maximum points haul for the round, he also twice beat his own lap record set during qualifying on the newly re-surfaced Phillip Island track. Walters broke the lap record in the first race, then again in the second race clocking a best of 1:34:858.
Matt Walters say’s, “It was certainly a successful weekend for us. Everything went to plan. I felt good on the bike, I felt fit and strong and the bike was fast. I’m very optimistic heading into the 2013 racing season. I just can’t wait for the first round of the Formula Xtreme series. I’d like to thank Aaron from Rover Coaches, Bell Helmets, RST Leathers, Alpinestars and Kawasaki.”
Matt Walters will now focus on the opening round of the Australian Formula Xtreme series at Sydney Motorsports Park this weekend.
In the Supersport class, Kawasaki supported rider Michael Lockart managed a 5th place finish in Race 2 on board his Ninja ZX-6R. He came away with 7th place overall with 5-9 results. Aaron Gobert finished in 6th overall on his ZX-6R with 6-8 finishes and Mackay Kawasaki’s Luke Burgess finished in 11th.
— Team Honda (WSBK Wildcards)
A huge campaign for Team Honda Racing at the 2013 World Superbike event at Phillip Island is complete and the Australian Honda team performed extremely well on the world stage!
With 2 riders entered as Wildcards in the event the preparation was intense. Team Honda Racing rose to the challenge. Jamie Stauffer competed under #21 for the event and through qualifying the NSW rider recorded strong lap times, his fastest a 1:31.874 sec in the 2nd Qualifying session which was the 11th fastest lap time and just .667 sec off the outright fastest lap time of the session.
Stauffer’s lap times secured the Honda rider a position in Superpole 1 which included only the top 15 riders from Qualifying. Unfortunately, Stauffer crashed on his 2nd lap in Superpole session 1. He recorded a lap time of 1:32.353 sec on his first flying lap which placed him in P14 on the grid for Sunday’s races.
Jamie Stauffer finished Race 1 of World Superbikes in 15th place and Race 2 in 13th place with his fastest lap time a 1:32.690 sec in Race 1. It was a big learning curve, even for the experienced rider and Stauffer can be proud of his efforts, placing 16th overall for the event and scoring points in the World Superbike Championship against the best Superbike riders in the world.
Stauffer: “Overall we had a good weekend. At times we were quite fast in relation to the top World Superbike riders and we learned a lot about the bike over the weekend racing in this event. Crashing in Superpole was not ideal as I think we could have recorded a pretty good time and hurting my knee certainly didn’t help in the race. From the 1st race to the 2nd we made changes to the set-up to better accommodate the tyre and track surface and our overall race time was much better. All in all it was a fantastic experience and gives us valuable information going into the Australian Superbike Championship. I can’t wait to get on the CBR1000RR and start racing at the 1st Round of the ASBK in Tasmania. The team have worked so hard not just in the lead up to the World Superbikes, but also during the event. I want to thank everyone including all of our team sponsors for their support in what has been a huge effort.”
The other Team Honda Racing Wildcard competing this weekend in the World Supersport race was Josh Hook sporting the #16 on his CBR600RR, the young Honda rider coped extremely well with the pressure of the World Championship category to finish his race in 17th place. Unfortunately, Hook suffered a crash in Free Practice on Friday and the team worked tirelessly to ensure he was race-ready on Sunday. In the Sunday morning warm-up, Hook felt comfortable on his CBR600RR and come race time he held his own very well in the international field, moving up to 13th place by mid-race.
Hook: “This was my first World Supersport championship race and it was an amazing experience to be riding against such experienced riders. I learned so much from them and taking part in the event has definitely opened my eyes. On race day, we had the bike settings working well, I felt good in morning warm-up and obviously I would have liked to have placed better in the race, but to have raced against the best in the world and come 17th is really exciting. Huge thanks to Team Honda Racing who worked really hard over the last few months preparing a competitive motorcycle. I also must thank HRC for their invaluable support in building me an engine capable of competing in the World Supersport race. I am really looking forward to this year competing in the Australian Superbike Championship onboard a Honda CBR1000RR.”
Team Honda Racing Team Principle, Paul Free is proud of his team.
Free: “When I came up with the idea some time ago to compete in the World Superbike and Supersport event and enter our riders as Wildcards I had a couple of goals in mind; One was to give the riders an amazing experience and a challenge by competing against the best WSB and WSS riders in the world, and the other was to put our team / sponsors and our supporters in front of a global audience. We certainly achieved both. I know myself and my techs learned a massive amount about our motorcycles and have a much deeper understanding of our Honda’s. Additionally, Jamie and Josh have also learnt just how hard they need to push themselves to be competitive on an international level. Even as a multiple Australian Superbike champion, Jamie commented to me that riding with the world class riders has opened up his eyes and given him some new ideas on his race craft, particularly at Phillip Island which he put to good use over the weekend. Overall, huge thanks must go out to Honda and our sponsors for their support in assisting us to make this WSB experience happen.”
Team Honda Racing would like to extend their thanks to the team sponsors for their attendance and support at the event including AWS Vantage, BOQ Honda Finance, Western Freight Management, Honda Motorcycle Insurances, Monza and NGK.
Thanks also to Isle of Man winner, Cameron Donald for thrilling guests of Team Honda Racing onboard the team’s CBR1000RR 2-Seater at the event. Three very lucky guests from AWS and WFM were treated to the thrill of their lives on Sunday, completing a Hot Lap with Cameron.
The next event for Team Honda Racing will be the first Round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Symmons Plains 5-7 April.
— Dynotech Maxima BMW Report
WSBK wildcard Allerton in the points at Phillip Island.
Glenn Allerton, riding the Dynotech Maxima BMW S 1000 R HP4 made the most of his wildcard entry in Round 1 of the World Superbike Championship by collecting WSBK points in both races.
Apart from some minor engine upgrades, the locally prepared Next Gen Motorsports HP4 was standard. Allerton gave away both horsepower and weight but made up this with corner speed and local knowledge, he acquitted himself well over the weekend only missing Saturday’s Superpole by one place.
In Race 1 Allerton finished a creditable 14th. In Race 2 he was in the thick of the action as he worked himself well and truly into the race after making great position following the early race incident at MG Corner. Unfortunately this saw BMW GoldBet’s Chaz Davis out of contention. Allerton had the HP4 working well on the deteriorating tyres and finished in 12th position.
Allerton was both excited and delighted by the performance on the weekend.
“This weekend has been an awesome experience, every riders dream to compete against the best in the world. So much preparation has gone into this weekend and I’m immensely proud of our team’s achievements. To earn world championship points was fantastic, ” said Allerton.
General Manager BMW Motorrad Australia and New Zealand, Tony Sesto was also delighted with the result.
“Glenn and the Dynotech Maxima BMW Team are to be congratulated on the weekend, it was a fantastic achievement to race against the best and gain World Championship points. The BMW HP4 is a fantastic motorcycle and I am looking forward to the Australian Superbike season where Glenn will showcase is immense riding talent” said Tony.
— TBR / D&D
Continuing with his recent form at the Phillip Island Classic Shawn Giles won the Australian Historics support event at the 2013 Phillip Island WSBK, dropping the P5 lap record to 1:36.91 in the process. Steve Martin had to sit out the event doing his day job commentating with Jonathan Green for SpeedTV. Shawn was also kept busy with commentating much of the weekend for the Phillip Island crowd.
Shawn started from pole for the three races, winning the two on Friday and a settling for a second in the last race on Saturday after some over-exuberance coming out of turn 12 on the penultimate lap meant dirt tracking it through the gravel trap and allowing Beau Beaton on the Irving Vincent to claim victory in that one. It was a brilliant save according to all who witnessed it.
“This event is quite different for us going from top of the bill at the Island Classic to the bottom here, it actually makes for a rather relaxing weekend”, said Trevor.
“A quiet weekend in the pits for the team with no unscheduled work required on the bike. Shawn has run the same engine for the Classic and now this event,” said Dale.
“All I had to do was some minor tweaks to the rear shocks and it was good to go”, said the team suspension guru Tony Hamilton, from RaceBike Services in Adelaide.
Shawn said, “It was a great weekend for the team with the Suzuki Katana working brilliantly and the Dunlops holding up well to the new track surface now there’s a little more rubber down than at the Classic. I made a slight error in that last race but managed to keep it rubber side down using the throttle and some rear brake through the gravel and after than I was happy to settle for second.”
Next outing for the full team will be the Barry Sheene Festival of Speed at Sydney Motorsport Park on 15-17 March.
— Racers Edge Performance Suzuki
Racers Edge Performance Suzuki have shown they will be a force in the 2013 QBE Australian Superbike Championship after an impressive first round held in conjunction with round one of the World SBK at Phillip Island over the weekend of 22 – 24 February.
Fine and sunny conditions graced the circuit over the three days of the event but the sun wasn’t the only thing shining. Beau Beaton got the year off to a blazing start qualifying the Racers Edge Performance Suzuki on the front row of the grid, and Mitch Levy qualifying eleventh in the massive thirty four bike Supersport field set the tone for the weekend.
Saturday’s opening Superbike race saw Beau get a flying start and slot into second place behind Team Suzuki’s Wayne Maxwell. Despite being involved in a titanic struggle with Suzuki mounted Chas Hern and Ben Henry along with 2012 ProStock Champion Linden Magee, Beau was able to maintain second position at the completion of each lap until lap seven when he slipped back to third.
Unfortunately a small mistake in the heat of battle on the entry to turn six on lap nine saw Beau run off track costing nine positions. Showing true grit and determination Beau got back on track and fought his way back to eleventh at the chequered flag.
Sunday morning warm up saw Beau post one of his best laps of the weekend but unfortunately a crash at the ultra-fast turn one in the closing stages of the session halted his progress. Greg, Darryl and the team worked hard to get the bike ready for the second race to be held in front of the large Sunday crowd.
Beau once again got a blinding start but a warning light on the dash indicating a possible problem necessitated a return to the pits. Not wanting to risk damaging their equipment The Racers Edge Performance team decided to play it safe and not return to the track, as this was not a point scoring round for the Superbike Class
“There are so many positives to take from this meeting” said an upbeat Beau after the weekend. “We had no testing prior to this round so to be so fast, so soon, was a bit of a surprise really. I’ve never raced Chas before but that first race was great fun with him, Linden and Ben and it all felt pretty safe too, which is good because I don’t think it will be the last time this year. The Pirelli tyres were great and after how fast we went on them with no testing it has given me a real confidence boost for the remainder of the season, podiums are a realistic goal for us now”.
In the Supersport class rider Mitch Levy did his fastest ever laps of the Phillip Island circuit to qualify eleventh. Mitch then further improved his time in Race one to finish an impressive tenth after running as high as ninth mid race
After a great start in race two Mitch completed lap one in eighth position. Lapping quicker than he ever has before, Mitch finished seventh and recorded a fastest lap some 1.4 seconds quicker than his qualifying time.
“I’ve lapped faster this weekend than I ever have before thanks to these new Pirelli’s” commented an ecstatic Mitch Levy. “I am a bit disappointed with myself though, in race one I got caught up with some slower riders and had to work had to get through, that slowed me up for the whole race. In race two I got a good start but I wasn’t fast enough in the first few laps, but I think I showed in the second half of the race the real pace I can run at on the Racers Edge Suzuki, in fact my fastest lap was faster than the fastest lap of the guy that won. All I need to do is get away with the leaders. The new Pirelli’s were brilliant and they were lasting well enough for me to do my fastest lap in race two on lap nine of ten.”
Team Manager Greg Maher was excited by the potential shown by both riders and the Pirelli tyres “We had a great weekend this weekend. I am really happy with how both Beau and Mitch rode considering we had not tested on the Pirelli tyres. We found the tyres to be great; they have a good window of operation and were very flexible. Beau rode well in the first race considering the amount of time he had on the tyres, and that he hadn’t ridden the bike since the GP last year. With a little bit of testing he may not have been involved in such a tight battle as he was in race one. Mitch also rode really well, especially in the second race and he continues to grow in confidence, I must also thank Warwick Nowland for having a few words with Mitch over the weekend. I hope to be able to do some testing before the next round and if we do we’ll be aiming at the podium in both classes”.
The Racers Edge Performance Suzuki Team would like to thank its long time sponsors, as without them it is impossible to go racing; Suzuki, Vern Graham Suzuki, Phil Tainton Racing, Link International, Motul, RK Chains, Performance Friction Brakes and Quick Lap Performance.
— Australian Superbike / ProStock Race Two Report
— By Trevor Hedge
The second ASBK Superbike race of the World Superbike weekend was delayed until after the conclusion of the second World Superbike race after delays earlier in the day interrupted the schedule.
Pole-sitter and race one dominator Wayne Maxwell blasted off the line and into the lead ahead of Chas Hern and Linden Magee in tow while the leading ProStock competitor of the weekend Matt Walters tried to stay with that leading trio through the opening turns.
Magee took Hern around the outside at the Hayshed in a brave move up to second place.
Ben Henry crashed out of fourth place at turn 10 in a disappointing end to the West Australian’s WSBK weekend.
Hern got back up the inside of Magee at turn four on the second lap and the pair looked to have half a chance of keeping Maxwell within striking distance for a little longer in this bout.
A great battle was unfolding for fourth place with Walters, Scott, Nicolson and Goldsmith the protagonists, Adam Christie also trying to stick with that second group.
Linden Magee had a huge moment out of turn two that was an oh-so-close to hospital moment but the BMW man rode out the wobbles and got quickly back on the race line, losing almost a second to Chas Hern.
Superbike class debutante Glenn Scott was level-pegged with Walters’ ProStock spec’ ZX-10R but Scott held the advantage into turn one, taking fourth place with nine laps to run.
Chas Hern was running very strongly in second place, only a second adrift of Maxwell after three laps and lapping only a couple of tenths slower than his more fancied rival. Both riders Suzuki mounted in season 2013.
Dustin Goldsmith lost the front at the exit of turn four with eight laps to run, he recovered well but lost a little ground on Scott and Walters as a result. That trio had built a small buffer over Nicolson and Christie as the race approached half-distance.
Up front Maxwell was winding up the speed to pull away from Hern. Chas acquitting himself very well this weekend, to be, on average, in the early laps at least, around half-a-second a lap down on Maxwell in his premier class debut a very impressive show of speed. The real measure will be to see if he can lower that gap and threaten Maxwell a little as the season progresses. Phillip Island is Maxwell’s turf, clear and simple, thus Hern will be heartened greatly to not be too far behind what many would call the Championship favourite at a circuit where he has proved virtually unbeatable.
Magee’s scares had seen the BMW rider button it off a little and lose sight of the leading duo – 8-seconds behind Hern with five laps to run, and in danger of being closed down by Glenn Scott and leading ProStock rider Matt Walters. Magee must have realised he had buttoned off a little too much as on the next lap he upped his pace again to try and prevent his pursuers from closing any further.
As the race started to wind down Maxwell was a country mile ahead of his competitors, despite backing his pace off by two-seconds in the latter stages of the race. Maxwell celebrated the victory by dipping back down into the 1m33s on the final lap complete with victory mono.
Chas Hern in second place, 7.2-seconds adrift of Maxwell. Magee a further 11-seconds down in third place with a two-second buffer over fourth placed Glenn Scott.
Matt Walters dominated the ProStock category, coming home only three-seconds behind fourth placed Scott after running with the Insuremyride sponsored racer for the majority of the race.
Maxwell the SBK points victor, although with this event is a non-points scoring round for the Superbike category it gives him no advantage in the Championship, other than important set-up and seat time on the GSX-R1000.
“The boys gave me a great bike this weekend and the circuit was very grippy – we came here to win and that’s what we did which is good,” said Maxwell.
“This has been a very valuable testing opportunity for us. We changed the bike in every practice, qualifying and warmup session and in the end settled on the best setup which resulted in the lap times we knew we could do.
“This is a fresh start, I feel like I have a good connection with this team.
“I’ve been a contender for race wins for 5 years and I’m confident we can win our fair share of races in 2013.”
In the points-scoring and much better subscribed ProStock Championship, Kawasaki ZX-10R pilot Matt Walters celebrated a perfect 51-point haul for the weekend to lead the ProStock series by 13-points from Dustin Goldsmith.
The ASBK Championship reconvenes in Tasmania where it joins the V8 Supercar Series for the Symmons Plains round. The Superbike category will be back in full force in Tasmania when Team Honda’s Jamie Stauffer and Josh Hook step back in the ASBK ring after their WSBK wildcard entries, the latter of that pair to make his Superbike debut at the challenging Symmons Plains circuit.
— Australian Superbike / ProStock Race One
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell scored the holeshot in the opening ASBK stanza of the weekend from Chas Hern before Beau Beaton pushed his way past the Victorian at Lukey Heights as Ben Henry, Linden Magee and leading ProStock rider Matt Walters gave chase.
Up front though it was Wayne Maxwell streaking away on the Team Suzuki GSX-R1000, his prime rivals for 2013 from Team Honda absent from the ASBK field this weekend due to wildcard entries in the World Superbike and Supersport Championship events.
While Maxwell disappeared up front Beaton, Magee, Hern and Henry tussled hard for second place, with Matt Walters looking on from sixth place behind that pack, well clear of the next best ProStock competitor Dustin Goldsmith who in eighth place was trying to challenge Superbike debutante Glenn Scott on the Insuremyride Fireblade.
Linden Magee seemed to improve as the race wore on and challenged Beaton for second place with seven laps to run only to be rebuffed by a fiercely determined Beau Beaton, making Magee get out of the throttle and also allowing Hern back through as he was forced to pull out of his overtaking manoeuvre. Up front Maxwell was g-o-n-e, to the tune of 8-seconds.
Lapped traffic started to become a factor with five laps to run, but the combatants in that battle for second place negotiated them safely as only 7-tenths covered that Hern-Beaton-Magee-Henry quartet.
Beau Beaton then had a huge moment, his Racers Edge GSX-R1000 getting completely sideways and oh-so-close to launching him into orbit, Beaton saved it but was forced to run off the circuit, through the gravel trap and had a soft tip-over before his machine brushed the tyre barrier, a great escape from what could have been a massive crash.
With Beaton out of the battle for second place Chas Hern capitalised to pull away from Magee and Henry, who looked to be struggling to stay on the tail of Magee as the laps counted down.
Out front Maxwell had buttoned right off through the lapped traffic to ensure he came home for his clear and easy win.
“We couldn’t ask for much more today, a flag to flag win is a good way to start things off,” said Maxwell.
“I got a good start and the bike was very consistent. There are a few things we are not quite happy with but we’ll stick to our plan of trying as many different settings as we can over the weekend to collect as much data as possible.
“We’re keeping focused on the main goal which is being ready for the first point-scoring round of the Championship in Tasmania.”
Despite enjoying a clear second place for the final couple of laps Chas Hern kept the CM Racing GSX-R1000 pinned and continued to lap in the low 34s to take second place from Magee by six-seconds. Ben Henry was not far behind in fourth place.
Glenn Scott managed to get the better of leading ProStock competitor Matt Walters to take fifth place outright. Walters set a new ProStock lap record of 35.05 on his way to sixth place outright, well ahead of ProStock rivals Dustin Goldsmith and Phil Lovett and revelled in opening his ProStock win account for the weekend and thus earning the ProStock Championship lead.
“It was a good race and good to be up amongst the Superbike guys in the early laps – that was definitely an eye-opener,” said Walters.
“It all went to plan but in the last few laps I got some arm pump and my hands just stopped working so I drifted back a bit.
“It’s great to be quick again and come away with the race lap record, I think tomorrow we might be able to go faster again if the conditions are right.”
— Earlier — Friday — Maxwell takes pole position at Phillip Island
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell stamped his authority in ASBK during qualifying for this weekend’s World Superbike Championship event at Phillip Island today with a 1m33.695.
“It’s my first official qualifying session on the bike and I couldn’t ask for much more than to come away with P1 to start the year,” said Maxwell.
“I’m treating this as a testing weekend and trying to get a good feel for the Suzuki and make any adjustments I need to at a track I am familiar with.
“The Dunlop tyre is hanging in there over the duration and I’m doing a lot of my fast laps at the end of the sessions which is promising.
“The next step is to find a bit more feeling in the bike and I’m hoping to have come on leaps and bounds by the end of the weekend.”
Last year’s ProStock Champion Linden Magee showed that he may be a force to be reckoned in the Superbike category this year with a 1m33.766. With Magee riding on Pirelli tyres and proving competitive it could also signal that Pirelli might be in a position this season to impinge on the Dunlop dominance of the ASBK ranks.
Beau Beaton (34.04) was next best on the Racers Edge Suzuki ahead of CM Racing’s Chas Hern (34.47).
With the Superbike category not running for championship points this weekend, and Team Honda incumbents Jamie Stauffer and Josh Hook missing from the ASBK events due to wildcard entries in the headline events, the focus is somewhat more directed at the well subscribed ProStock category.
Matt Walters set a new ProStock qualifying record of 1m34.927 on the Rover Coaches sponsored Kawasaki Connections ZX-10R. Four-tenths of a second ahead of Glenn Scott on the Insuremyride Fireblade, the ex-Supersport competitor using this non-points scoring round for the Superbike class to get his head around the full Superbike spec’ Fireblade.
“The conditions weren’t ideal, it was pretty windy out there but we came in knowing we had the bike setup pretty well and this session verified that,” said Walters.
“Everything went to plan to day, hopefully I can stick with the leaders during the races and all my fitness work will pay off.”
Ben Nicolson piloted his BMW S 1000 RR to the seventh overall fastest time – second best of the ProStock competitors.
Aaron Morris topped a Yamaha triumvirate of YZF-R6 Supersport machines. The Maxima Yamaha pilot’s 37.18 ahead of Daniel Falzon (37.36) and early pacesetter Ryan Taylor (37.81).
“We started off the day struggling a bit and were down by around 0.7 of a second but put on a new set of tyres and went 1.5 seconds faster which I was ecstatic with,” said Falzon.
“The new surface is super smooth and it’s hard to get a lot of feeling in the front end, I think that’s why there were a few people crashing.
“There is lots of grip though and it gives you a lot of confidence, especially with the run off areas at turn 1 and 4.”
Superbike/Prostock*: W Maxwell (Suzuki) 1m33.695s 1, L Magee (BMW) 1m33.766s 2, B Beaton (Suzuki) 1m34.046s 3, C Hern (Suzuki) 1m34.476s 4, M Walters (Kawasaki) 1m34.927s 5*, G Scott (Honda) 1m35.386s 6, B Nicolson (BMW) 1m35.555s 7*, B Henry (Suzuki) 1m35.704s 8, D Goldsmith (Kawasaki) 1m35.798s 9*, A Christie (BMW) 1m36.348s 10*.
Supersport: A Morris (Yamaha) 1m37.183s 1, D Falzon (Yamaha) 1m37.369s 2, R Taylor (Yamaha) 1m37.818s 3, M Lockhart (Kawasaki) 1m37.960s 4, C Spriggs (Yamaha) 1m38.055s 5, A Wagner (Yamaha) 1m38.133s 6, M Blair (Yamaha) 1m38.188s 7, C Quinn (Yamaha) 1m38.247s 8, A Gobert (Kawasaki) 1m38.404s 9, L Burgess (Kawasaki) 1m38.559s 10.
Shawn Giles got the better of Beau Beaton in the opening Historics race of the weekend with a 4.16 second win over the Irving Vincent rider. Robbie Phillis rounded out the podium a further 23-seconds down on the leading duo.
Beau Beaton was determined to give Shawn Giles a hurry up in the second Historics bout but the Irving Vincent called it a day with three laps to run, leaving Giles with a 16-second lead over Michael Dibb.
A lap later Dibb also suffered problems and pulled into the pits, promoting Scott Webster in to second place ahead of Robert Ruwoldt.
In the closing laps Stuart Loly got the better of Ruwoldt for the final step on the podium ahead of Robert Cole, Ruwoldt and Craig Ditchburn.
— Yesterday…..ASBK gets underway at Phillip Island
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell was the first man to dip into 1m33s bracket today at Phillip Island, suggesting his move to Team Suzuki for season 2013 is not going to slow the Phillip Island specialist down. Maxwell set his 1m33.945 halfway through the 30-minute session, a full two-seconds faster at that point than next quickest rider Linden Magee (Dynotech Maxima BMW), the Queenslander stepping up to the Superbike category this year and helping bolster the Superbike field.
Team Honda’s Josh Hook and Jamie Stauffer absent from their domestic duties due to WSBK being a non-points scoring weekend for the premier category, the pair instead taking on the world in World Supersport and Superbike.
Previous Team Honda incumbent, Wayne Maxwell, whittled his way down to a 33.846 before the chequered flag signalled an end to the day’s proceedings.
Magee hustled the BMW around in a 35.034 to finish the opening SBK session in second place, Linden the sole BMW entrant in the ASBK category this weekend due to Glenn Allerton’s wildcard entry in the World Superbike class.
Chas Hern, mounted on a PTR prepared Suzuki GSX-R1000 in Superbike this year, recorded a 35.552, half-a-second ahead of Cube Racing’s Ben Henry (36.03) and Beau Beaton (36.09), that trio all GSX-R mounted this season.
Glenn Scott debuted his Insuremyride Honda Fireblade with sixth place in opening practice, six-tenths ahead of top ProStock runner Matt Walters, the Kawasaki pilot putting in a 36.90 to ease Phil Lovett out of top spot in the category.
Once upon a time ProStock would have been called the supporting act for Superbike but with ProStock numbers more than double that of the Superbike class, p it should perhaps be seen as the other way around in season 2013…?
Or should – as promoter IEG has been consistently pushing for only to be continually rebuffed and frustrated by the controlling body and other interests – the premier class should have moved to ProStock specification rules across the board…? Continually trying to keep the Superbike category alive on life support, while it parasitically sucks the life out of the series as a whole, seems total madness….?
The Supersport category this year has been incorporated with the Superstock category, but the technical rules now allow for more extensive (expensive) modifications than Superstock has previously allowed, thus the category is now perhaps closer to Supersport, a category that has been struggling for numbers in recent seasons, not just in Australia but around the world, rather than the seemingly more successful and less modified Superstock category machines.
Chris Quinn headed the Supersport field with a 1m39.565, just pipping Aaron Morris for top spot (39.65).
Michael Blair (39.73) and Callum Spriggs (40.25) completed the all-Yamaha top four ahead of Kawasaki’s Michael Lockart (40.47).
Sixth and seventh places also went to Yamaha men, Daniel Falzon (40.53) and Aiden Wagner (40.57).
New Zealand’s Alistair Hoogenboezem was the top Suzuki rider (40.73) ahead of Aaron Gobert (40.89) and Alex Phillis (41.29), both Kawasaki mounted and rounding out the Supersport top ten. Mackay Kawasaki’s Luke Burgess suffered from electrical gremlins in the opening session and will surely move up the order tomorrow.
The booming Historics category saw Beau Beaton sneak the delectable Irving Vincent ahead of the recently all-conquering Shawn Giles on the TBR/D&D Springwood Suzuki Katana. Beaton’s 36.461 narrowly eclipsing the 38.491 of Giles, setting up what could be a fantastic battle to thrill Phillip Island this weekend.
The fact that the Historic machines hold perhaps even more interest for spectators while stationary in the pits, compared to their also very impressive on track exploits, is a big reason for the success of the burgeoning Period 5 and Period 6 Historic categories.
It seems clear that the battle for the win will see Giles and Beaton go head-to-head, but the battle for the final spot on the podium will see the CB 1150 R mounted Michael Dibb (43.67) battle with GSX Suzuki mounted Laurie Fyffe (47.78), Moto Martin Suzuki pilot Scott Webster (49.15), Kawasaki Z runner Albert Tehennepe (50.37) and quickest two-stroke pilot Michael Teniswood (50.69) all try to put their boots on the rostrum.
A full schedule and entry list for the weekend can be downloaded from the link below. Stay tuned to https://www.mcnews.com.au for all the action from Phillip Island this weekend.