Team Honda Racing are set to defend their strong championship lead this weekend at Wakefield Park for Round 5 of the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship having dominated the podium at the previous 2 events
Currently holding the top position in points heading into the event is #47 Wayne Maxwell onboard the Motul Honda CBR1000RR SP who is recovering from collarbone surgery, yet is eager to increase his lead. “This weekend’s event at Wakefield Park is an important one for me. It is the penultimate round and I am currently leading so I want to come away with an even stronger lead going into the final event. I injured myself again after the last event whilst training and have had surgery on my collarbone however it has healed well and I am not going to let it stand in my way this weekend. I have been doing what training I can so I will give it 100% and see what happens.”
Placed 2nd in the championship at this stage is #27 Jamie Stauffer who trails Maxwell by 14 points. “My standing in the championship is strong at the moment, but having an ankle injury at the last round did hold me back a bit. My ankle has healed well and I don’t see it being a problem at this next event. We raced at Wakefield Park at the beginning of the season and I was able to finish that round the overall winner. It would be great to repeat that when we race there again this weekend, but it isn’t going to be easy. Hopefully we can continue the success we have been having this year so far and put Team Honda Racing 1-2-3 on the podium again.”
Rounding out the top 3 in championship points and emerging as a title contender is #17 Troy Herfoss who continues to impress with his strong form. “Round 5 at Wakefield Park is one I am really looking forward to because I will be racing in front of my home crowd. I have a lot of great support around my area and it will be really encouraging to have people there for me, cheering me on. I am currently 3rd in the championship and as it stands, I need to take maximum points and have luck on my side to take the title for the season. This is the 2nd last event and I have had a great season. The bike is fantastic to ride and I am really happy with what I have achieved so far. You just never know what will happen at any given event so I will stay focused and just keep racing for the win.”
#16 Josh Hook has battled hard to return from an injury which caused him to sit the first event out and battle he has, currently in 8th place in championship points; Hook is looking to move up this weekend. “I’m really looking forward to Round 5 at Wakefield Park this weekend so I can hopefully gain some valuable points and improve my championship standing going into the final round. This year I have really had to work hard to come back from injury and missing the first event. However, I have been able to get some solid results during the season; taking the overall win at Round 3 and taking 2nd overall at Round 4. The bike is great, I feel strong and the team has been terrific so bring on Round 5.”
Aaron Morris Preview
Maxima Yamaha rider Aaron Morris heads to Wakefield Park in New South Wales this weekend in a commanding position in both Supersport Championships, at the 2014 Australasian Superbike Championship.
The Newcastle born rider has a commanding lead in both the Saturday YMF Loan Series, and the Sunday Swann Series, and will be hoping that he continues his form into the penultimate round of competition.
Morris has dominated the Saturday Supersport category recording 11 wins from 11 races so far this season to build a 47-point series lead from his nearest rival, while he is winning the Sunday category with a 16-point championship buffer.
Speaking ahead of the Wakefield Park event, Morris said he is looking forward to hitting the track at the business end of both series.
“I’m looking forward to the weekend – the weather is looking pretty good, and I am looking forward to it,” he said.
“Getting to the second last round, we are looking pretty good in the championship, so I am really looking forward to getting back to Wakefield Park.
“I haven’t actually ridden a lot at Wakefield. I hadn’t been there since 2009 until we got there earlier this year, so I hadn’t been there in ages.
“It’s a good track and it is pretty tricky with some of the resurfacing patches, but as long as you keep an eye out for them it’s a pretty fun track to ride at.”
Morris said that despite being the rider everyone is trying to catch, he doesn’t feel like there is a target on his back.
“Not really – I have been leading the Saturday championship all year and got in front of the Sunday Championship halfway through, but really for me it doesn’t bother me too much.
“In the end I just have to try and do what I can do, and anyone who wants to try and beat me they can try their hardest and I am going to keep riding how I am riding and we’ll go from there.”
While the Sunday Supersport Championship – part of the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship, carries more prestige, it is actually the Saturday event that Morris has been aiming to win first and foremost.
“We are actually aiming to win the Saturday championship, because in the Saturday championship we win a 2015 R1 so it is pretty much like a $20,000 up for Saturday,” he explained.
“Whereas on Sunday it is nowhere near that prize – so we have actually been aiming for the Saturday Championship, and I have been undefeated so far.
“I think everyone else seems to learn, they don’t seem to be on pace on Saturday and get their set-up right for Sunday when they are a bit closer to me – that seems to be what keeps happening.
Morris believes that his string of wins on Saturday means that riders will now be focusing solely on trying to take top spot on the podium in the Sunday series.
“I think most of the others are focused on the Saturday series but I have won 11 out of 11 so there’s not much they can really do on the Saturday.
“It makes sense for Aiden (Wagner) who I think is only 16 points behind me on the Sunday, so he’d obviously be focusing on that.
“I think he’d be giving up on the Saturday because if I come third in every race moving forward I win it, so makes sense for them to focus on the Sunday.”
Mike Jones Preview
Queensland’s Mike Jones will be looking to make further inroads at the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship at this weekend’s fifth round of the series and its second appearance at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park Raceway for the 2014 season.
The opening round in March was held at the Wakefield Park track with that having only been Mike’s second race meeting on the Crazy Dogs Kawasaki ZX-10R. This weekend, Jones is hoping to use the experience gained throughout the previous three rounds in order to give him the best opportunity to return to the Superbike podium
“I’m thoroughly excited and looking forward to being back on the Crazy Dogs Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R for the second last round of the championship. It will be interesting to see the amount of improvement that’s been made to the bike and my riding skills, considering we already raced here for the first round of the championship at the beginning of the year,” Jones said.
Mike has continued to work closely with XXX Rated Race Suspension in an effort to identify further improvements on his Crazy Dogs Kawasaki ZX-10R. With recent testing in addition to a local state level race meeting, Jones admits they are closing in on finding the ideal setup to take race victories.
“Further testing and development has been made to the bike by XXX Rated Race Suspension since the previous round at Winton which we’ll continue to work on at Wakefield. The bike is really starting to feel good and is becoming easier to ride which should allow for some decent race results,” Jones added.
Since the start of the 2014 season, Mike has continued to make strong advancements both with his own riding and personal development in the Superbike class against an array of factory supported opposition riders. With two rounds remaining, Jones has targeted goals in addition to preparing for an outright attack on the Championship next year.
“It’s been a successful year so far, coming into the final two rounds our goal is certainly to claim more race podiums and potentially an outright race win. I feel as though we have made some very strong ground throughout this year and are already working on putting together our plans for next season on the Superbike,” Jones concluded.
Aiden Wagner Preview
The Sunshine Coast’s Aiden Wagner recently took part in extensive recent test schedule ahead of the event.
In the build up to this weekend’s event, Aiden has spent time alongside SW Racing to prepare his Yamaha YZF-R6 Supersport bikes for racing. The recent rise in success for Wagner is something he credits to his new team around him since the Queensland Raceway round.
“I’m looking forward to what should be a great weekend at Wakefield Park, I have been working hard in the last couple of weeks on bike setup and development that will put us in a good position to take race wins. Without the help of Stewart (Winton) and the SW Racing Team, I wouldn’t have made the improvements that I have now so I can’t thank them enough,” Wagner said.
With this weekend being the second time the Wakefield Park track has hosted a round of the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship in 2014, Aiden admits he and his SW Racing team have spent a lot of time to identify and further improve the setup from Winton, a track with a similar technical layout to the Goulburn circuit.
“We have spent a lot of time on preparation on my Yamaha YZF-R6 Supersport bikes. The whole SW Racing Team have been an amazing support in ensuring I have the best equipment possible, it’s not an easy track to prepare for but I’m looking forward to the challenge and getting back on the bike again in the Supersport field,” Wagner added.
Aiden currently sits second in the Supersport Championship with two rounds remaining and the Wamuran rider is extending his focus upon gaining podium finishes in the races to gain critical points towards a tilt at the series victory.
“The Championship race is getting a lot closer with only two rounds to go, it will be critical to get podium results this weekend to consolidate our position and challenge for the series lead. I have to put my head down and go for a couple of race wins to really give myself a chance of going into the final round with a chance of taking the win,” Wagner concluded.
Bailee Perriton Preview
New Zealand’s Bailie Perriton focussed upon building on the experience he gained at the Wakefield Park circuit at the first round of the Championship in an effort to gain further race wins and podium finishes.
On the back of his first ever win in the Kawasaki Insurance Ninja FX300 class at the last round at Winton Motor Raceway, Bailie will be looking to use developments made on his bike at each event in an effort to return to the top of the field and gain more race wins before the season finishes.
“I’m really looking forward to hitting the track at Wakefield Park this weekend, we had a great result last time out at Winton where I took my first ever race win and another round podium so I’ll definitely be looking to continue that form into this round. I feel like we are making some great improvements with the bike every time we are on track so hopefully we can make the most of those developments and return to the winners circle,” Perriton said.
The first round of the 2014 series was held at Wakefield Park, subsequently this weekend will be the first time Bailie will enter a round being familiar with the circuit. After extensive preparation in the lead up to this weekend, Perriton is looking forward to getting back on the bike and returning to the Championship battle.
“The Wakefield Park circuit is a very technical one but I am feeling a lot better going into this event, knowing that I don’t have to learn a new track as I have done in the first four rounds of the series. I’ve spent a lot of time in the lead up to this weekend familiarising myself with the layout and my setups so I can’t wait to hit the track,” Perriton added.
With race wins being shared throughout the Ninja FX300 field across the last few rounds, Bailie admits the race for the series win will go down to the wire with only two rounds to go, culminating at Sydney Motorsport Park in November and the kiwi rider is focussed on delivering his best effort to take some silverware home at the end of the year.
“It’s been a really enjoyable season so far, I have learnt so much and I can’t thank my sponsors enough for their support. The Championship battle will go down to the wire I’m very sure so I have to put my head down and commit myself towards more race wins in an effort to have a good crack at a series victory both at Wakefield Park and Sydney Motorsport Park for the final round,” Perriton concluded.
Brayden Elliott Preview
Brayden Elliott will be out to continue his rise in the Supersport Championship on the back of his career best result at the last round at Winton Motor Raceway as the Tumut rider continues his recovery process from a shoulder injury sustained at Queensland Raceway.
After securing a string of top ten race finishes and seventh overall for the round at Winton Motor Raceway, Brayden will be looking to capitalise on his extensive experience at Wakefield Park this weekend in an effort to rise further into the front running pack in the Supersport field as he chases an elusive podium finish.
“I’m really looking forward to round five of the Australasian Superbike Championship at Wakefield Park this weekend. Finishing strong at Winton has definitely boosted my confidence leading in to the second last round of the championship. With a personal best finish of seventh overall I’m hoping to keep building further ahead in the Supersport field,” Elliott said.
Following his crash at Queensland Raceway, Brayden has continued to work extensively on his physical preparation before each test day and race meeting in an effort to ensure he is able to encounter the tough rigours of three eleven lap races on each day on the technical Wakefield Park circuit.
“I have had a few weeks to continue building strength and movement in my injured shoulder and feel my fitness levels are extremely good. The tight Wakefield circuit is a very demanding track but I feel like my perpetration has been great in the build up to the meeting,” Elliott added.
Elliott has taken part in recent test days at Wakefield Park ahead of this weekend, with the track effectively being his home circuit, the 19-year old is looking to build upon his experience gained throughout this year. With the assistance of race coach, Shawn Giles and mechanical improvements made since the Winton round, Brayden is hopeful to step back into the top ten on a more regular basis.
“Thankfully I have been lucky enough to do some testing at Wakefield in the build up to the round which should definitely help me with some track knowledge. With only two rounds to go it will be extremely important for me to continue to gain some much needed championship points.”
“I will once again have the coaching and mentoring support of Shawn Giles which I see as a huge benefit for myself. Shawn has been a major factor in helping me progress and improve all year and I am definitely looking forward to once again having his support throughout the weekend.”
“Both of my Hankook Tyres Suzuki GSX-R 600s have undergone some mechanical changes prior to this round which I am still yet to try. I’m confident the changes will help fix certain issues I am having and will help contribute to my progress,” Elliott concluded.
Josh McHenry Preview
Melbourne’s Josh McHenry is upbeat about his chances at Wakefield Park Raceway with the event being the second time the series has visited the Goulburn circuit this season.
With a tight technical layout, Josh is looking forward to returning to the track and building upon not only his experience in the Kawasaki Insurance Ninja FX250 class but that gained at the circuit from the opening round in March.
“I’m super excited to go back to Wakefield Park, I really enjoyed the track layout last time I was there and now with the confidence I have developed since the first round I am hoping to put a good performance together all weekend and bring home a podium,” McHenry said.
This weekend will present an extra challenge for Josh with it being some of his key rival’s home round, however the Hoppers Crossing teenager is adamant that he can use the wealth of experience he has gained throughout the year as a springboard towards success in the races.
“Wakefield Park isn’t going to be easy as it’s a lot of my fellow competitor’s home round but I am confident that we as a team can run up the front with those guys and show them what we really can do. We have had some very good results throughout the season and as a result I’ve gained a lot of experience in different conditions against a variety of different riders so I feel we should be in a good position,” McHenry added.
After competing in the three rounds of the series since the opener at Wakefield Park and undertaking numerous test days, Josh admits he is feeling more confident that he will be able to deliver a string of consistent results that will give him a strong chance of being on top of the Ninja FX250 class podium on a more regular basis.
“I’m looking forward to improving on my times that I achieved at Wakefield Park last time out as I feel now with the knowledge that I have gained throughout the year I can improve further and match it with the other riders in my class on a more regular basis. It’s going to be a great weekend, I’m looking forward to the next round in Sydney too, it will be a great way to finish off what has been an exciting season of racing,” McHenry concluded.
Glenn Allerton Preview
NextGen Motorsports rider Glenn Allerton is looking to exploit his home-track advantage at round 5 of the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship this weekend.
As the series makes its way to Wakefield Park, Allerton believes he has the advantage of having learned to ride on the technical Wakefield circuit, and will be looking to exploit that experience when the action gets underway.
Speaking ahead of the round, Allerton said he is excited and is feeling great about what is to come this weekend.
“I feel like I am going to my home track, and with going back to your home track, I know every bump and I feel like I am at an advantage,” he said.
“I feel like I have got the best bike, and physically I am back to where I should be, so I am pretty excited.
“I have had a really good lead up and preparation coming into this event.
“My body is feeling really good after my recent knee surgery and we have actually come forward with the development of the motorbike, so I feel like we are going to have a really strong round and I can’t wait to get out there on the track on Friday.”
Allerton has had a tough time of things in 2014, struggling to deal with a knee injury. But he believes he is over that now, and is ready to show what a fully fit Glenn Allerton can produce.
“At the moment we have had a tough season in terms of setbacks, and with my knee being injured it really didn’t help.
“So for me I guess it is about going through the rest of the year just thinking about myself and not really thinking about the championship and just take it one race at a time.
“Try and do the best that I can with my team and my bike. I know when it’s our day and I am on, we will get the results that we want and win races.
“At this point the championship is so far away from me being 47 points behind, it really I’m not too worried about it and I’m just going to go out and do the best that I can.
Allerton ponted to his experience at Wakefield Park as being a huge advantage leading into the penultimate round of the championship.
“We’ve had some recent developments that have made the bike a lot stronger so I am really happy with how it’s come along, and I think when we go to Wakefield the bike is going to be a lot better.
“I am really happy, really confident and can’t wait to go around a track that is really tight, quirky, it takes a little bit of a different riding style that I think suits me.”
“It’s the way that I like to ride a bike because I learnt to ride a Superbike riding around at Wakefield so I can’t wait to get there.”
Glenn Scott Preview
Team InsureMyRide Racing’s Glenn Scott is preparing to re-join the hunt for podium positions at this weekend’s fifth round of the Australasian Superbike Championship at Wakefield Park Raceway, restoring his confidence from a major crash at the last round at Winton Motor Raceway which has included an extensive five week re-build of his race bike.
Following a heavy crash during Saturday’s races at the last round at Winton Motor Raceway, Glenn has spent an extended period across the five week break between rounds to prepare and rebuild his main race bike to a level that will assist in returning him to the outright Superbike podium and climb the order in the series standings with two rounds to remaining.
“It’s been an extremely busy five weeks rebuilding my race bike after the big crash at Winton on the Saturday. Thankfully we have a spare bike which got us through Sunday’s races at Winton to score some very valuable Championship points. Now that’s all behind me I am very excited both bikes 100 percent race ready for this weekend at Wakefield Park,” Scott said.
The first round of the 2014 Australasian Superbike Championship was held at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park Raceway, an event where Glenn took seven race wins from twelve contested, thus it is a track that has been fruitful for the Central Coast rider and he is hoping to return to this form immediately from opening practice on Friday morning.
“Wakefield Park is a strong circuit for me and after having a good start to my season there in round one, I’m excited to regain my confidence, have some fun and move back to the front of the field. The Superbike class has been incredibly competitive this year with so many factory riders and the times being so close, I’ll be looking to make the most of my experience at Wakefield Park to put the Team InsureMyRide Racing Superbike back on the podium this weekend,” Scott added.
Glenn highlights the comprehensive re-build of his main race bike has not been a single effort, with mechanic Vaughan Cumming working alongside Scott over countless hours to ensure he will be on top of his game in readiness for this weekend’s event. With a new slogan and determined attitude, Team InsureMyRide Racing are preparing to be back at the front of Superbike field from the first session this weekend.
“I have to thank everyone, especially Vaughan (Cumming) my mechanic who has helped me get my CBR1000RR back to winning form. It has been a massive task to rebuild the bike after my pulling it out from under a fence at Winton, but the help has been tremendous and we are ready to go again. We have a new slogan this weekend, ‘reload’ as we make our charge back towards the podium and race wins,” Scott concluded.
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