Mason Coote talks his Round 1 Supersport victory
Nobody expected Mason Coote (Mason Coote Racing YZF-R6) to come into the Motul Australian Supersport Championship following more than a year on the sidelines and win.
But that’s exactly what he did at Phillip Island over the weekend in round one of the 2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK).
Motorcycling Australia caught up with Coote to find out how he’s feeling now, reflections on the weekend’s racing and his aims for the rest of the season.
MA: Opening round win and over a year out of the sport, so you must be really pleased to get this result and a bit surprised as well?
Coote: “Yeah, I can’t even explain how surprised I am to have 14-15 months out of the sport – it’s unreal. I did do a little bit of sneaky testing over the December month and we got to the ASBK test and we were pretty competitive there, but I didn’t think I’d have the race-pace to be mixing it at the front, take two wins and a second, and qualify second on the grid. To come out leading the points at the end of the weekend, it’s unreal. I’ve never been up here on the podium before, so I’ll savour the moment and hopefully we can get back up here shortly.”
MA: When you got into the front in the first race, it looked like you remained pretty composed, but you must have been nervous! You didn’t really show it.
Coote: “Well I hadn’t been in the situation before and I treated it a lot like a qualifying session, so it was a matter of keeping my head down and not losing concentration. I was having a bit of a look at the big-screen coming into turn 10, keeping track of the guys behind me and I thought they would be coming, but they just didn’t. Between the big-screen and the lap-board I was able to just keep edging away and I was able to come across the line, I think. 3.7 seconds in front of second place. It was unreal, the guys in the pits did an amazing job and again, I just can’t believe it. The battle with Mark in the third race for the win, we were both making plenty of mistakes, but who made the least mistakes came out on top and fortunately that was me.”
MA: He started out the round really fast and then he made that mistake in race one. At the same time you improved and he came back in pace a bit, but in that final one you ended up winning and it must have been really special in itself, to beat him straight up…
Coote: “The first race was sort of bitter-sweet. It’s always nice to get a win, but with Mark going down it took a little bit of the edge off. To fight tooth and nail to the final corner and come out on top in race three, it was unreal. I’m not sure how Mark was feeling after his little mistake in race one, he might have lost a little bit of confidence, but for me it put me on another level and I was able to keep pushing away at the front. To be fighting with someone like Mark around here, for me, it’s just unreal and I can’t believe it.”
MA: What’s your attack heading into the next rounds? It’s a seven-round series so there’s obviously a long way to go, but what’s the plan?
Coote “Coming into this round there was no plan to even go to round two! I didn’t even think I’d be in the points-hunt. Financially it’s impossible for me to do it by myself, I’ve got a good bunch of guys around me and I don’t expect them to, but I hope that they can help me make it to round two and that I can be right up front. But at this stage it was just going to be the local rounds in Victoria and maybe Sydney, but from here it’s probably a bit of pressure to make it to all of the rounds now and keep plugging away.”