2014 Swan Australasian Superbike Championship – Round Two – Mallala – Team and Rider Reports
Team Honda Racing Report
Motul Honda rider, #47 Wayne Maxwell has returned from injury with a vengeance to win every Superbike race of the weekend at Mallala Motorsport Park for Round 2 of the Australasian Superbike Championship.
Maxwell’s dominance on the top step of the podium gives him the lead in the championship over team mate #27 Jamie Stauffer by 6 points. Sporting an injured knee and wrist, Maxwell entered Round 2 at Mallala with a cautious drive to win. “I am thrilled to take the championship lead and had a fantastic weekend on the Motul Honda. Team Honda Racing, and in particular my crew chief Warren has been just fantastic. The team worked really well together and it was great to get a Honda 1-2.”
Now 2nd in the Superbike Championship standings after Round 2, Stauffer is looking to Queensland Raceway to regain his winning edge. “Round 2 did not quite go to plan for me, but 2nd is still a strong position for now. I felt good on the CBR1000RR SP and raced consistently, but I had a couple of minor moments and Wayne was right there to take full advantage. Well done to Wayne on a great weekend he raced really well. It was really good to see Honda finish the event 1st and 2nd and I am looking forward to Queensland Raceway for Round 3.”
#16 Josh Hook made a ginger return to the team after missing Round 1 due to serious injury and admits he is not quite 100%. “It was a very hard weekend for me. My first event since surgery a couple of months ago and although I was able to maintain a certain level of fitness in the down time I really felt it this weekend. I feel the time off the bike and not having a lot of time on the new tyres put me behind the 8 ball a bit. I didn’t qualify well and it really hurt me for the races. Still, I took 38 points from the weekend and will now focus on Round 3 in Queensland.”
The newest recruit to Team Honda Racing, #17 Troy Herfoss raced very consistently all weekend to finish 5th overall for the event. Herfoss is now placed 4th in the championship standings. “It was a solid weekend of racing for me this weekend. I couldn’t seem to place higher than 5th for each race, but my lap times were quite strong and I think with a few changes to the bike before Queensland I will be racing at the front. I now sit 4th in championship points which means I am still well and truly in the mix.”
Team Principal Paul Free is pleased with his team and is already focused on a plan to continue Honda’s winning ways in Queensland next month. “Congratulations to Wayne for a fantastic event. He raced smart races and took advantage of every opportunity. Jamie was also very strong at this event, but a made a couple of mistakes which cost him dearly. Still, he only trails Wayne by 6 points and the next circuit is one of his best so it will be interesting to see what happens. Josh did struggle this weekend, but takes solid points away with him. We still have just over a month until Round 3 so I am sure he will come out focused and firing at that event. Troy had a strong event and his lap times were good. He is racing with the lead group and is very consistent on the bike. I am really looking forward to the next event to see what these four can do at Queensland Raceway.”
Yamaha Superbike Report
After a disappointing opening round, The Yamaha Racing Team with Yamaha Motor Insurance (YRT with YMI) rebounded strongly at round two of the Australian Superbike Championship at Mallala over the weekend with Robbie Bugden landing on the podium and all three riders featuring in the top 10.
It was an impressive return to form for the factory Yamaha team after struggling through the opening round last month. The hard work from both the riders and the crew between the rounds was evident the moment the riders hit the track and instantly the Yamaha R1 was on the pace and the team was confident of a good showing.
New recruit, Robbie Bugden, led the way finishing third for the round in a confidence boosting performance. It was his maiden podium appearance for the YRT with YMI team as he put together three quality rides to finish with 3-4-3 results to just edge out teammate Cru Halliday for third place.
The good points haul sees him jump to eighth in the championship.
Bugden has always performed well at the South Australian circuit but gives credit to his YRT crew for the podium result.
“We all worked hard between the rounds and the test session we did here proved invaluable. During the test we were able to get some good gains from the bike, get settled with the tyres and for myself to get more bike time on the R1.
“It’s nice to get a reward for the effort we put in between the rounds and now the challenge is to maintain this level at each and every event for the remainder of the championship,” he ends.
Cru Halliday impressed on his way to a career best finish in the ASC taking fourth place. Halliday and Bugden were locked together on 58 points at the end of the day but with Bugden taking the higher finish in the final leg, he claimed the final podium spot and left Halliday in fourth.
Still, it was a land mark round for Halliday who battled in the lead pack all weekend and his 4-2-4 results were a combination of speed and consistency. Cru holds down sixth place in the championship after two rounds.
“The weekend was far more positive for me and everyone on the team,” Halliday stated. “We were far more competitive right from the outset and it felt good to be back up the front and battling for race wins. The bike performed much better and we now have a solid base to work from for the rest of the year, so we hope to keep the momentum rolling at the upcoming rounds,” explains Halliday.
Despite having a rough day, Rick Olson still found himself in the top 10 at the completion of racing. Olson took 8-13-11 results in the three races to finish the day in ninth place, the same position he holds in the championship.
“The weekend was far better for us as a team,” states Team Manager, John Redding. “As the riders alluded to, the test day we had here few weeks ago was a positive one and we found some good gains. The fact that it showed up in racing was rewarding for everyone and we feel we have a competitive package to race for the rest of the championship.
“Robbie and Cru both raced extremely well and the lead four riders seemed to be a bit ahead of the rest of the pack. Rick didn’t have a great weekend but he is a talented racer and we are confident his best form isn’t too far away.”
Yamaha Supersport Report
Callum Spriggs (All Site Concreting Yamaha) has made it back to back victories after taking the win at round two of the Australian Superbike Championship in the 600cc Supersport class, at Mallala Raceway over the weekend.
Spriggs’ victory led a Yamaha mauling of the field with the all-conquering Yamaha R6 claiming nine out of the top 10 positions at the round, including a blue flush of the podium.
In a round that was contested over two races after the third leg was red flagged after several incidents, it was Spriggs who claimed the win on the back of his 1-2 results. Race one saw him fight off a spirited challenge from Aiden Wagner to take the win just .4 of a second ahead of Wagner, while a smart and well thought out race in the second leg saw him finish in second place and taking his second round victory in a row.
Spriggs sits atop of the 600cc Supersport championship chase with 114 points, seven clear of his nearest rival.
Aaron Morris (Maxima Yamaha) came through for second on the day after taking third in race one and an impressive victory in race two. Morris is also slotted in behind Spriggs in the championship chase on 107 points. Third on the day went to Aiden Wagner (Wagner Soil Testing Yamaha) with 2-4 finishes, while local boy Daniel Falzon (Caterpillar Yamaha) came home fourth and Pat Medcalf (Central Coast Performance Yamaha) in fifth.
“Yamaha has a stranglehold on the 600cc Supersport category and each of the riders are receiving significant support via Yamaha and our YRD program,” states YRD main man, John Redding. “The fact all these riders choose Yamaha shows how good the R6 is and they are so close provides great racing on the track with it really comes down to who is performing best on the day.
“Well done to Callum, Aaron and Aiden on a successful weekend and we will continue to watch these exciting young riders as the championship progresses,” Redding ends.
In the Saturday ran, Yamaha Motor Finance (YMF) 600cc Supersport event, it was Aaron Morris who took the win for the day with an impressive three wins from three starts to dominate proceedings. He was shadowed over the finish line in each race by Callum Spriggs while Aiden Wagner came home in third for the round.
The championship winner of the Saturday’s 600cc competition gets to take home a brand new Yamaha R1. Morris currently leads this series on 150 points, 24 points clear of Spriggs, who is just two clear of Wagner.
Yamaha Australia will hand out $60,000 in prizes for Saturday’s competition.
Team InsureMyRide Racing Report
Team InsureMyRide Racing’s Glenn Scott has come away from the second round of the 2014 Australasian Superbike Championship with a determined focus to return to the top in coming rounds, with the Central Coast rider’s weekend highlighted taking third outright in Saturday’s events and continually matching times with his factory backed opposition.
Backing up from what was learnt during pre-event testing, Glenn managed to qualify ninth with a 1:08.205, giving himself a strong chance from the third row. A positive morning warm-up session with some fast outright times progressed to an improvement in the first race which saw Glenn take fifth as he continued to find further consistency and setup improvements with two races to come.
The returning consistency for Glenn became further evident in race two as he improved further to secure fourth, subsequently setting himself up for a strong result for the opening day of racing overall. With continued fast lap times highlighting his race performances, Scott improved one step further in the final race where he claimed third outright which would help him progress to third overall for the day and collect his first piece of silverware for the weekend.
Under the fastest lap grid system, Glenn would start all three of Sunday’s races from the second row and his outright race pace from Saturday had him confident of another strong result in the day’s events. In addition to recording the fifth fastest time of the race, Glenn went on to finish seventh by the completion of the first of Sunday’s races giving him a healthy boost of points overall.
Starting race two full of confidence, Glenn matched his factory rivals lap by lap on overall speed and times, proving the capabilities of the Team InsureMyRide Racing Honda Superbike. A crash hampered Scott’s run in the event, though he knew himself that he was more than capable of returning in the final race to challenge the front running bikes. With Glenn engaging in an early three-way battle in the final race, it set the scene for what would be an intriguing ten lap journey for all involved. At the fall of the chequered flag, Glenn held on to take ninth which concluded a weekend of positive developments with the season approaching its halfway point.
Glenn Scott: “We really did experience the ups and downs of racing this weekend, to walk away from Saturday with a podium was great but of course the crash on Sunday really didn’t help our chances of backing up our result with some more silverware. I was disappointed to have not been able to compete in Formula Oz due to mechanical dramas with our bike but I am sure the amount we have learnt from this weekend will most certainly help us leading into Queensland Raceway and the remaining rounds.
“I can’t thank my team, sponsors and supporters enough for the weekend, it certainly wasn’t easy at times but we all worked together to make sure we could give it our best shot every time we hit the track. I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Dave Moore who allowed us to setup our bikes from his workshop.”
BCperformance A1 Kawasaki Ninja Report
Queensland youngster Kyle Buckley had a near perfect weekend by claiming a stunning pole position and then going on to win 5 out of 6 races to claim the overall championship lead as well as the lead in the under 21’s cup whilst BCperformance A1 Kawasaki new recruit, Di Jones, claimed 5th overall and 2nd in the ladies points tally and Phil Burke moved himself up to 7th in the championship overall over a hugely popular and sunny weekend’s racing with the crowds.
Saturdays YMF Loan Nationals saw Buckley start from pole with a comfortable margin of 0.7 of a second over his nearest rival. Race 1 of the AFX-Superbike series saw Buckley storm to the win and it was only the unfortunate timing of a slower rider that denied a win in the 2nd outing but the slightly tall teenager fought back for a win in the final outing of the day. The all important Sunday Swann Series turned out to be the where Buckley took the win in all three races and it was only the final race of the day where he had a fight on his hands but a mature race strategy kept his rival at bay and Buckley swept to his first clean sheet of the season and an overall win giving Buckley the championship lead.
A delighted Buckley tells explains “The weekend went almost perfectly, we managed to get the bike set up well from the start giving us a bit of an edge over the competition” Buckley goes on “Then from there things seemed to fall into place and I am stoked with my overall win, huge thanks must go to the BCperformance A1 Kawasaki team for giving me a bike that does everything I ask of it. I’m now super keen to get back to my home circuit at Queensland Raceway where we will be trying to replicate this”
Ladies championship contender, Di Jones claimed her best ever result and started the weekend on a good foot by putting her BCperformance A1 Kawasaki Ninja 300 into a second row grid position of 6th. Jones, from Adelaide, racing at her local circuit for the first time, rode outstandingly to claim a 11th place finish from a pit lane start in the first of Saturday’s races as a small technical issue forced her to enter the pits on the warm up lap. The second and third races went more smoothly and Jones claimed 8th and 6th respectively.
But it was Sunday’s races were she shone with consistent 6th place finishes overall in all three races claiming her first win in the second outing of the Ladies championship. This consistency gave Jones 5th place for the round and bumping her overall championship position up to 6th whilst consolidating her 2nd position in the ladies championship.
Jones, who competed in round 1 without a team, was equally pleased with her results “I now realise how much a team makes a difference to your riding, the support and experience is invaluable and I am looking forward to getting back onto the BCperformance A1 Kawasaki in Queensland. I must give special thanks to my personal sponsors SA Motorcycles and Held Australia”
The hugely experienced Phil Burke also had a successful weekend and put his BCperformance A1 Kawasaki into 5th place and a second row starting position after qualifying and kept the fast pace going for Saturdays AFX-Superbike series claiming a 6th and 9th in the first two races of the day, unfortunately a broken gear lever put him out of the final race of the day.
Sunday’s Swann series Ninja 300 races produced similar results with a 6th and 10th in the first and third outings but a small slip on the final lap whilst battling for 6th caused Burke to slide off but managed to remount to finish 24th and claim some valuable championship points. Burke consolidated his 7th place in the championship.
“I was fairly pleased with my riding and enjoyed another weekend in the BCperformance A1 Kawasaki team, on behalf of the team I would like to thank all the sponsors that help make this happen”
The BCperformance A1 Kawasaki Ninja 300 team now have a small break before moving onto the 3rd of the Australasian Superbike Championship at Queensland raceway over the weekend of 27th, 28th and 29th June.
Brayden Elliott Report
Tumut’s Brayden Elliott has again impressed in his first full season in the Australasian Supersport Championship by continually challenging the top ten throughout races and securing a close lead within the D Grade rankings in both the AFX and Swann Series Supersport Championships as the season’s half way point approaches.
Following continued advancements throughout Friday’s four practice sessions, Brayden was able to achieve 13th outright in qualifying and 2nd in D Grade with a 1:12.437 being less than 0.1 seconds behind the D Grade pole sitter, with Brayden also being the first non-Yamaha rider in the field. After progressing up to ninth during the first race, a mistake on lap four saw Elliott slip back to 17th before working back to 13th by race end.
Brayden engaged in yet another dice with numerous riders of whom are in higher grades throughout race two, battling to move further towards the top ten. After again finishing second in D Grade, Brayden came away with 11th outright with one race remaining in the day. In a mirror of his performance in the previous race, Brayden again secured 11th outright in race three whilst also taking it up some more fancied opposition throughout the ten lap event, filling him with confidence with another three races to run on Sunday.
Under the fastest lap grid position rule, Brayden started Sunday’s races from 15th and although he was slightly disappointed with his position, it provided another opportunity for him to build on his experience in racing amongst large and closely contested fields. A blistering start for Elliott in the first race saw him rise to challenge for a place inside the top ten early on in the ten lap event. By the completion of the race, an excited Elliott had secured eighth being his first ever top ten finish in Supersport, also recording first in D Grade.
Another strong start in race two for Brayden had him challenging around the top ten before settling for 11th at the conclusion of the race. The final race of the weekend was abandoned due to two red flags. Brayden currently sits equal first in D Grade and 12th overall in the AFX Supersport series standings and first in D Grade and tenth overall in the Swann Series following the Mallala event.
Brayden Elliott: “I feel we really stepped it up yet again on the weekend at Mallala, to achieve my first ever top ten result was amazing and has filled me with plenty of confidence. From this weekend it has proved we can take it up to riders with far more experience than myself and that will hold us in a good position in the remaining four rounds.”
“Mallala was certainly a challenging track but it taught me a lot about close racing, Queensland Raceway will be another challenge I’m sure but I’m looking forward to getting back on the Hankook Tyres Suzuki GSX-R and learning another new track.”
Mike Jones Crazy Dogs Kawasaki Report
Queensland’s Mike Jones has again stamped his authority on the Australasian Superbike Championship in his first season in the elite category by securing a string of top ten finishes amongst some of the country’s best riders, with Jones’ weekend being highlighted by a second place outright on Saturday afternoon.
Mike managed to secure seventh in qualifying on the back of developments made throughout the four practice sessions on Friday. Jones’ quickest time of a 1:07.815 was less than a second off that of the pole sitter and many factory riders, setting up his weekend with six races across the two days. With the key focus of gaining experience amongst the Superbike field, Mike held on to seventh in the opening race while managing to match lap times with that of the race leader’s right throughout the ten lap event.
A stunning start by Jones in race two helped him rise through to fourth following some strong overtaking manoeuvres while also capitalising on some mistakes of riders ahead of him he was able to move up into third before a late race pass handed him second and his first podium of the season. Starting from the front row in the last of Saturday’s races, Mike unfortunately slipped back to fifth before climbing up to fourth by the completion of the race, ending a successful day aboard the Crazy Dogs Kawasaki ZX10.
Starting from fifth for Sunday’s three races, the day began on a sour note with a DNF in race one of the Swann Series after an incident on lap one at turn seven. With no damage to his bike or himself, Mike turned his attention to race two where he would again start from fifth. On the back of his first race DNF, Jones took eighth in race two in an effort to re-build his confidence with one race remaining in the weekend.
With Mike again being part of the lead group in the Superbike field, the 20 year old managed to finish seventh in the final race, subsequently ending the Swann Series round in tenth, whilst also holding down 12th for the series.
In the AFX Championship, Mike finish the round in fourth and maintains fourth in the series.
Mike Jones: “It was certainly a ground breaking weekend for myself and the Crazy Dogs Kawasaki ZX10, we made a lot of developments based upon our experience in testing. To qualify inside the top ten and finish every race there was incredible and our second place was just amazing, I couldn’t take the smile off my face after that.
“I feel we are really developing well in the Superbike category and I hope to be able to secure more podium positions in the near future, especially at my home track at Queensland Raceway at the next round. I’ll be certain to be working hard on getting our setup right so we can take it up to the factory riders once again.”
Callum Spriggs Report
Caboolture’s Callum Spriggs has maintained his series lead in the Australasian Supersport Championship following a string of successful race results at the latest round at Mallala in South Australia, with the next round set for Callum’s home track at Queensland Raceway.
A close qualifying session on Friday afternoon saw Callum secure third with a quickest time of 1:09.233, just 0.1 seconds behind pole position, handing him a front row start for the first of three races on Saturday. Callum maintained his position within the top three for the entire ten lap race before making a challenge on the final lap which saw him move up to second with two corners to go which is where he would finish.
The pace of Spriggs returned in race two where he took an early lead, holding the position for much of the race and looking as though another podium would be acquired. A pass on Callum on the last lap would see him settle for second with one race remaining in the day. With the mild Mallala weather providing for perfect conditions for racing, Callum engaged in yet another battle for the race lead as he wrapped up with another second place, while claiming second for the day and holding that position in the series.
Spriggs would start from fourth for Sunday’s races for the Swann Series, of which Callum held the lead prior to the event. The Queenslander’s form from the first round at Wakefield Park and his outright pace from Saturday’s events saw him step up to take victory in the opening race of the day after grabbing the lead from the outset. Another strong jump away from the line for Callum in race two saw him challenging for the lead from the start, however he had to settle for second by the completion of the race with a personal best time being achieved during Sunday’s events of a 1:08.8.
The weekend’s final race was cancelled due to two red flags with it being declared a non-event. Callum’s Sunday results helped him to secure the round win and hold onto his series lead heading into Queensland.
Callum Spriggs: “I’m really happy with how I performed throughout the weekend, I’m especially excited to have held onto my lead in the Swann Series and it’s something I’ll be hoping to continue at Queensland Raceway. It was a great battle throughout the weekend with my main rivals and it certainly kept me busy every time we were on the track.”
“I feel we made some good advancements in setup and I think I have really improved my starts which is going to help me moving forward in the series. I have to send a special thanks to Tim from Just Conditioning for helping me with my own physical preparation, six races across two days can be very demanding. The next round will be a big one at my home track and it will be tough but I feel I am up to the challenge.”
Aiden Wagner Report
Aiden Wagner has secured third overall and retains his third place position in the series for the Australasian Supersport Championship after taking a string of top four finishes across the weekend, with Aiden’s confidence increasing ahead of round three at his home track at Queensland Raceway.
With very little separating the Supersport front runners, Aiden managed to qualify fourth with a time of 1:09.434 being just 0.3 seconds behind the pole position time and setting up his weekend with six races across the remaining two days. Starting race one from the front row of the grid, Aiden maintained his position throughout the entire race. With some close racing combined with hard fought manoeuvres, Aiden kept the pressure on the front three riders, despite some developing braking issues around the tight Mallala circuit with a late race move delivering Wagner third place.
Lingering brake issues from race one hampered Aiden’s run in the second event with the top four fight again highlighting the ten lap race. Despite moving up to third during the race, the mechanical dramas forced Wagner back to fourth with one race remaining in the day. Another strong start in the final race was interrupted by the return of brake dramas for the Queenslander, with another third place finish handing him third for the day and the ability to hold onto third for the Championship. Under the fastest lap grid system, Aiden would start Sunday’s races from third with setup changes planned to improve his standings for the remaining events.
A string of improvements made between the two days of racing had immediate effect with Aiden making an impressive showing in the first of three races on Sunday. In a mirror of Saturday’s events, Aiden was again a feature of the highly competitive top three. A late race pass on race one winner Aaron Morris handed Aiden second.
Another close battle amongst the top four took place in race two with Aiden well and truly dicing out to challenge for another podium position. With the lead pair eventually breaking away, Aiden had to settle for fourth for the race adding extra interest to both the round and series points.
The final race of the weekend was cancelled due to two red flags. This handed Aiden third for the day and the ability to maintain third for the Championship.
Aiden Wagner: “Our weekend didn’t go as well as we would have first liked at the start with our mechanical dilemmas but I am happy to know I am still continually matching it with the top four in every race. Our brake issue on Saturday was disappointing for myself but we rectified that for Sunday’s races and the results showed immediately.”
“The next round at Queensland Raceway will be a big one for me being my home track so I have to get to work on setups and some testing and hopefully I can step up to the top spot on the podium.”
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