2015 ASBK Supersport Champion and 2015 ASC Supersport runner-up Brayden Elliott had a baptism of fire in his first ASBK round of season 2016 as the young Tumut based rider made his first steps into the premier Superbike ranks. The Phillip Island season opener saw two crashes out of three races, hardly the most auspicious start to season 2016.
Thankfully things have been on the up from there and after a strong recent Round 5 at Morgan Park Raceway where the 21-year old finish sixth overall.
Elliot heads into this weekend’s final round at Winton in 7th place with 120 Championship points. An excellent weekend at Winton could see Elliott finish the season as high as fourth overall in the Championship standings.
Elliott also competed in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in the States, in rounds three, seven and eight with strong, consistent results.
Trev caught up with Brayden during the Winton ASBK Test last week.
Your first full year on a superbike Brayden, have you met your expectations do you think?
“At the start of the year I had different expectations from what I’ve got now. I think we had to re-evaluate after round one, when I started to hit the deck a few more times that I would have like to. So far we are just trying to focus on my riding and keep progressing and making improvements every time I get on the bike.
“We are definitely achieving what we set out to do. We came here to Winton and have made some improvements and that is exactly what we had aimed for. But at this stage we are very happy with how I’ve gone for my first year in the superbike class.
“The highlight of the season has to have been Wakefield Park, which wasn’t too bad. I had a home crowd there and a lot of people came and watched. I ended up fourth overall for the round, so that was a personal best for the year.
“The biggest disappointment though was probably Phillip Island. My first Superbike race with a bucket load of confidence after coming from the Supersport Championship, I crashed out from two of three races that weekend. So that was a disappointing way to get the year under way, but we have turned things around.”
Was America an enjoyable experience to expand your horizons?
“Racing in America was a huge experience, a real eye opener. I think it’s made me a better rider, just having to deal with things I haven’t had to deal with before. It was a great experience overall.”
Having two of the most experienced people in ASBK with Gilesy and Phil Tainton in your pit must be good, having that knowledge to fall back on?
“Yeah it’s been an unbelievable thing to have these guys with me. We work well with each other and I don’t think there could be two better people to offer feedback to improve the bike and me.”
Shawn had a pretty unique riding style, which is different to your riding style, so explain to us areas where his expansive knowledge and experience help you in regards to coaching and mentoring.
“Making the transition over to road racing there was a lot of stuff I had to learn, and still have to learn. But Gilesy helps me in heaps of areas, like today he was able to go around the track and watch me at different points on the track and compare my lines to the others. He offered advice on where he thinks I can improve and we really work well doing that, which helps me improve throughout the day.”
What are your expecations heading into the final round?
“For the final round I would like to finish this year on a good note. We’ve been progressing every round and getting closer to the top five in every race. So a top five would be great. The times really show it today that we’re getting closer to the factory guys, if I could finish off the year among them, battling hard and I think possibly a top five that would be great. I’d be pretty happy to finish the year on a high.”
You’re doing the MotoGP support races at Phillip Island as well?
“Yea, we were planning on doing that. I really enjoy Phillip Island and have never done a MotoGP support race, so I am really looking forward to it.”
Any plans for the 2017 season?
“At this stage not yet, but we are definitely working on that behind the scenes. Nothing comfirmed yet, but we are definitely working on a plan.”
ASBK Winton Superbike Test Results
Troy Herfoss – Honda – 1m20.405
Josh Waters – Yamaha – 1m21.437
Jamie Stauffer – Honda – 1m21.767
Mike Jones – Ducati – 1m21.973
Brayden Elliott – Suzuki – 1m22.500
Robbie Bugden – Kawasaki – 1m22.952
Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha – 1m24.051 (Don’t read anything in to Maxwell’s times, he was on his own with a 2014 YZF-R1 and just getting come laps. Yamaha Racing Team did their own Superbike Test the previous week).
Sloan Frost – Suzuki – 1m24.496
Ben Burke – Kawasaki – 1m24.996
Adam Senior – Yamaha – 1m25.343
Ryan Hampton – Suzuki – 1m25.423
Nathan Spiteri – Honda – 1m27.821
Brendan Schmidt – Kawasaki – 1m29.039
Peter Berry – Kawasaki – 1m29.648
2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship
ASBK Championship Standings after Round Five
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