Let the FX Superbike Battle Begin
Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship riders talk with Russell Colvin ahead of SMP season opener
In the lead up to the 2015 Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship opener at Eastern Creek this weekend, Russell Colvin asked a few of the fastest men in the country what their prospects were.
Troy Herfoss: “It’s going to be an interesting series this year. Obviously Wayne [Maxwell] and Glenn [Allerton] have joined a new team together, which will be interesting in its self. Nothing really has changed for me. So I am going into round one fully prepared and ready to go, and I have done a lot of riding this year. I managed to get the win at the Phillip Island World Superbike support races a few weeks ago which was a good start. So we exactly know where we’re at. There are a few of the other guys who don’t know where they’re at, and we don’t know where they’re at in regards to their bikes. I think the main thing is I have got myself really well prepared for a really hard round one. Either way it’s going to be good. Hopefully were on the pace from the first session on Friday. If not I am 100 per cent fit, and the Team Honda Racing CBR1000RR SP is working really well, if not better than last year. So we will be competitive. You can sort of get caught up worrying about what everyone else has got. We are better worrying about what we do have than what we don’t have. We know we have a good bike and I am fit and ready to go!”
Linden Magee: “Round one will be my first race weekend on the Honda. The test at Wakefield Park a few weeks ago went really and I wasn’t that far off the pace. So I am going there with fairly high expectations. My goal for the weekend is to start the weekend in the top five, which I don’t think is out of reach. Then from there, it’s pretty much build from that for the remaining six rounds through the rest of the year.”
Matt Walters: “I believe for round one we can get a top three finish. It’s not out of the question, the Rover Coaches/Kawasaki Connection ZX-10R is good enough and I have been training pretty well. We have had some good results at Sydney Motorsport Park, bar last year. We’ve had a lot better preparation this year leading into round one. I’m hoping it will all come together and get a top three finish.”
Wayne Maxwell: “My thoughts going into round one are the same as every year. Of course you want to win, but you have to get everything right before you can win. You don’t just wake up and win, you have to dot the i’s and cross the t’s and we are still in that process, we’re still early on in the development at YRT. I just have to find my feet and remain patient and work away at it, park my ego to the side, and get as many points as I can. The race wins will come as we build with confidence.”
Cru Halliday: “Round one will show who has being doing what in the off-season. It will also show who is more mentally prepared going into a start of the series, but also round one can also give you the confidence to lead you into a championship. It can also put you in the wrong mindset if you have a bad round. There is a lot of hype building up for round one, and I normally thrive off a bit of pressure, but we will see what happens. I’m expecting to walk away with the round win, also with a few race wins. However a top three would be expected from the YRT team with the new Yamaha YZF-R1M.”
Mike Jones: “I think that Friday practice is going to be particularly important for me as I am coming back from a broken wrist sustained during testing at Phillip Island in early February. I still haven’t been back on the bike since competing at Phillip Island in the Phillip Island Championship. So that means I have not had any testing leading up to round one. Friday practice is going to be very crucial for me. I’m going to spend a lot of time working on bike setup, getting used to the new tyres and just get everything working on the Cube Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R. Early on in the weekend will be difficult, because of the lack of track time. However I think when the weekend progresses I will get stronger. I think once race time comes on Sunday we will be up the front and hopefully fighting for a race win or two. I would really like to finish all three races on the Sunday on the podium. However I would be happy with a top five, but a top three would be fantastic.”
And a last minute addition to the Superbike class on a Team Honda Fireblade is Aiden Wagner – “I will have to find my feet a little on the Superbike as I haven’t done much riding on a 1000cc bike to date, but I am totally up for the challenge and looking forward to the experience. Jamie is going to be there all weekend so I am sure he will be able to give me some tips and support me through the process.”
Paul Byrne: “I’m pretty excited about this year. We’ve only been out twice on the bike to blow the cobwebs out since last November, but we pretty much started back from where we left off. I’ve been training hard since January and I’m feeling fitter than this time last year so hopefully I can push hard all the way through the races. I’m confident I can win races in Formula Oz and be on the podium regularly this year. The summer break has been to long, I just want to get back racing now! Once again thanks to David Thomas and Peter ward for keeping me on the LTR Honda for another year.”
Brayden Elliott: “I’m really looking forward to the first round of the Australasian Suprsport Championship. I was learning and improving at each round last year and this has put me in a much better position leading into the 2015 season. I now know what to expect and have gained a lot of bike time during the off season which has helped my confidence and speed. All preparations have gone extremely well during testing and I feel as though I am physically more prepared and better than last season. I hope to put the Hankook Tyres Suzuki GSX-R 600 in the leading group and aim for a top three result. Thankfully I will be gaining the help of Shawn Giles once again and hope to show how much hard work has been put in during the off season. The highly competitive Supersport class will provide tough racing as always, although I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Callum Alderson: “After finishing the two-day test aboard the YZF-R6 with the Race Center team I am quietly confident that I can get to business quickly next weekend and secure some good points. I am a little nervous as it will be my second ride at the difficult SMSP circuit but it’s a challenge I’m ready for. My fitness is definitely not where I want it to be as I lost quite a lot of weight and muscle after glandular fever knocked me off my feet and put me in hospital early in the year. I’m still recovering but I’m definitely in the latter stages of the sickness. While recovering I also developed a throat infection making it hard to drink and swallow! Right now though I’m super stoked to be working with such a committed team and I’m sure we will make good progress over the weekend, with myself and the bike. I’m now back at the gym for the first time in a month as I was unable to complete physical activity until five days ag,o which just happened to be the day before the Race Center test at Sydney Motorsport Park. Getting the strength back will be hard but I’m up for the challenge and look forward to round one.”
Jordan Carlsson: “The Supersport class is once again to be closer than ever. There is plenty of talent and some new faces too. New tyres and slight bike changes makes it all a bit more interesting as well Personally I feel top fives are achievable for us, however it will be close throughout the field. Sydney Motorsport Park is good track to have the first round too.”
Michael Blair: “I’m feeling good coming off the Phillip Island results. I still have to keep an open mind and just come in to this round and give it my best shot. After the test with Yamaha I am feeling really confident with my Finson Motorsport team and set up. It’s all up to me on the day to push for wins and I feel we have the pace to do so.”
Brandon Demmery: “I plan on probably going into next weekend with a more of a ‘finish each race’ mentality than get good results. Of course I would be happy to get good results but I would be happier if I finished each race and got some good solid points for the first proper round in my first race on the 600. I don’t know what position to expect because I really don’t know what sort of pace everyone will be setting this year.”
Callum Spriggs: “I have done a few days testing at Sydney Motorsport Park and walked away feeling pretty confident that can I get on the top step. We have made some good setup changes, so it should put us in a good position. I’m looking forward to seeing what the weekend holds and seeing where everyone is at, as it looks like it could be another close championship. There seems to be a lot of younger fast riders in this year’s championship and that will make it pretty exciting.”
For a closer look at the Superbike category main contenders check out our Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship pre-season form guide.
After the Sydney Motorsports Park season opener at Sydney Motorsports Park in late March the FX Series then heads to South Australia’s Mallala Raceway on the weekend of May 15-17.
The third round of the series sees competitors return to Sydney Motorsports Park on the last weekend in June before heading to Queensland Raceway in mid-August for round four.
Wakefield Park is the venue for round five on the last weekend in September before the series heads further south to Winton on October 23-25, the weekend following the Australian MotoGP round at Phillip Island. Allowing those riders competing in the Phillip Island Championship as support categories to both the WSBK and MotoGP weekends to move immediately to Winton before the majority of those competitors have to wind their way back further north to home.
The 2015 series finale will be staged at Sydney Motorsports Park on the first weekend in December. And adding a further twist to the series finale is that racing will be conducted until 8pm on the Friday and Saturday evenings. The shape of the final round’s full schedule is still taking shape, but it is looking likely that the final will be a two-day event run as day-night meetings across the Friday and Saturday only. The finale will also witness three long races rather than two short races.
The 2015 series finale will be staged at Sydney Motorsports Park on the first weekend in December. Adding a further twist to the series finale is that racing will be conducted up until 8pm on the Friday and Saturday evenings. The shape of the final round’s full schedule is still taking shape, but it is looking likely that the final will be a two-day event run as day-night meetings across the Friday and Saturday only. The finale will also witness another first for the FX-ASC series that being three long races for the premier Superbike class rather than two long races that will happen at the other two SMP rounds.
It’s shaping up to be a long and exciting year of competition, round one can’t come soon enough!
Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship 2015 – Round One – Sydney Motorsports Park
- Adults Saturday or Sunday $30.00
- Kids under 16 accompanied by a paying adult FREE
- Two day adult pass (Saturday and Sunday) $40
The classes that race at the Swann Series both Saturday and Sunday are;
- Superbike A&B – Big Bore Bikes 1000cc
- Formula Xtreme C&D (Superbikes)- Big Bore Bikes 1000cc
- Supersport – 600cc bikes
- Formula Oz variety of bikes including modified Superbikes
- FX Pro-Twins & Nakedbike – Ducati’s; Aprilia’s; KTM V-twins
- FX300 Ninja Cup – Kawasaki 300 & Kawasaki 250 bikes
- Bikes on track from 9:00am
- Racing commences at 9:40am each day
- There are 17 Races both Saturday and Sunday.
- Call 02 48235711
2015 Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship Calendar
- Rnd 1. 27th – 29th March Sydney Motorsport Park …………………… NSW
- Rnd 2. 15th – 17th May Mallala International Raceway ……………… SA
- Rnd 3. 26th – 28th June Sydney Motorsport Park ……………………… NSW
- Rnd 4. 14th – 16th August Queensland Raceway ………………………. Qld
- Rnd 5. 25th – 27th September Wakefield Park Raceway ……………. NSW
- Rnd 6. 23rd – 25th October Winton International Raceway ……….. Vic
- Rnd 7. 4th – 6th December Sydney International Raceway ………… NSW (Series Finale)