ASBK 2011 – Round Six – Queensland Raceway
— Stauffer the target as Superbikes return to Queensland Raceway
An extended break has QBE Australian Superbike Championship contenders hungrier than ever for race wins ahead of this weekend’s sixth round of the series at Queensland Raceway.
Contesting their second consecutive round at the technical Ipswich circuit, riders and teams are already dialed into its demands and are hoping to halt the dominance of Team Honda’s Jamie Stauffer who clean swept qualifying and racing here in June.
Stauffer’s return to the winner’s circle was an important confidence booster for the rider and his team, but he knows that his rivals will have been working hard to bridge the gap.
“If we can pick up where we left off last round then we’re looking good, but I know there are other guys out there that want to get a win in the books,” said Stauffer.
“I’m going there to win races and I need to be scoring as many points as I can each time out.
“You can never really predict the conditions and pace at Queensland Raceway until you’ve actually ridden it.
“The track can vary from morning to afternoon and the grip levels will almost certainly be different each time out given the amount of car racing across the weekend.”
The round 5 result elevated the New South Welshman to second in the points chase behind Procon Maxima BMW’s Glenn Allerton, who still has a tidy lead.
56 points separates Allerton from Stauffer, and although he will leave Queensland Raceway ahead regardless of results – there are a maximum of 51 points on offer – the BMW rider is reluctant to let down his guard.
A recent trip overseas saw Allerton chance a ride in the British Superbike Championship Evo class, an opportunity he feels has provided him with even more setup direction despite the technical differences between the domestic championships.
“It was great to be able to step in and ride in the Evo class at Brands Hatch, the BSB is very competitive and I feel like I learnt a lot from the experience,” said Allerton.
“A podium result was there but my bike ran out of fuel on the last lap which was disappointing, but I’ve taken lots of positives from it.
“We didn’t get to test at Queensland Raceway prior to this round but I know the team has been working extra hard in the break.
“We’ve found a bit more power and are ready to try a few knew settings knowing that we already have a great setup and we can really only improve.”
Consistent results have kept Aprilia rider Ben Attard and Suzuki rider Troy Herfoss locked together in third on the points ladder.
Attard and his i-Style The Natural Aprilia Racing team have been somewhat of a surprise package in 2011, and the Brisbane-based rider has shown he will be a factor right until the final race.
A recent operation to combat severe arm pump has the RSV-4 pilot positive about the upcoming weekend.
“I was able to get in an have an operation after the last round to try and reduce the arm pump I was suffering, my arms feel a lot stronger now and I’m confident I’ll be able to hang on to the bike for the full race distance,” said Attard.
“We’ve been working on a few new parts for the bike and the test showed they are taking us in the right direction.
“Jamie (Stauffer) is the target for the whole field at the moment. He’s got the bike dialled for this circuit and it’s up to us to work hard and close the gap.”
Wayne Maxwell is hopeful of notching up his first win of the season this weekend and knows he will need to improve on last round’s performance where he finished a point shy of the podium.
Challenging him will be the likes of World Superbike star and Suzuka 8 Hour runner-up Josh Waters and former ASBK champion Craig Coxhell, so it will be no easy ask.
The 2+4 events feature a combined grid of Superbike and Prostock racers, and the separate Prostock Challenge will continue to intensify.
Queenslander Linden Magee has an 8-point advantage over Ryan Yanko and John Phelan, though a strong challenge will likely come from previous round winner Brodie Waters and the standalone Prostock championship leader Cru Halliday.
Riders will have 20 minutes on Friday morning to find a suitable setup ahead of Friday afternoon’s Qualifying 1 and Saturday morning’s Qualifying 2.
The top 8 times in Qualifying will advance to QBE Superpole to determine the front row of the grid for Saturday and Sunday’s 20-minute races.
QBE Australian Superbike Championship Points
1. Glenn ALLERTON (NSW), 226
2. Jamie STAUFFER (NSW), 170
3. Ben ATTARD (QLD), 160
4. Troy HERFOSS (VIC), 160
5. Craig COXHELL (VIC), 151
6. Wayne MAXWELL (VIC), 136
7. Joshua WATERS (VIC), 124
8. Cole ODENDAAL (QLD), 123
9. Robert BUGDEN (QLD), 116
10. Ben HENRY (QLD), 98
Round 6 of 8, Queensland Raceway, QLD / August 19-21, 2011
Qualifying Format: Superbike/Prostock: 2 x 20 min qualifying, top 8 qualifiers to Superpole
Race Format: Superbike/Prostock: 2 x 20-minute races (points awarded to both classes)
Previous winners (round 5):
Superbike – Jamie Stauffer, Team Honda CBR1000RR
Prostock – Pat Medcalf, Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1
Superbike – Jamie Stauffer (1:09.125s)
Prostock – Craig Coxhell (1:11.225s)
Circuit length: 3.12km