Wayne Maxwell has momentum behind him heading to P.I.

Momentum. It’s a powerful thing in motorsport, or any form of sport for that matter.

When a rider scores a couple of big results in succession, their confidence has a way of snowballing, in such a fashion it can make them unstoppable. And it’s this sort of momentum 2013 Australian Superbike Champion Wayne Maxwell is carrying into the last two rounds of season 2019.

Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 ASBK Superbike Championship when he rode for Suzuki.
Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 ASBK Superbike Championship with Suzuki.

Returning to Suzuki after several seasons at Yamaha, Maxwell’s campaign got off to the perfect start with a win in the opening round at Phillip Island.

ASBK Round TBG WSBKPI PI Wayne Maxwell TBG
Wayne Maxwell was clearly emotional after winning the opening race of ASBK season 2019 at Phillip Island, a win he had not expected as he was yet to feel as though the GSX-R was ‘his bike, and was not fully comfortable after a few years on Yamaha machinery – TBG Image

An unfortunate tangle with Aiden Wagner saw Maxwell chalking up an unfortunate DNF in Race 2, but he recovered to finish sixth in the third and final race of the weekend.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne Maxwell Crash
Aiden Wagner and Wayne Maxwell clashed at Phillip Island, and Wayne came off second best… – Image Rob Mott

A consistent run at Wakefield Park netted Maxwell third overall. A DNF in the opening race at The Bend after contact with Daniel Falzon was the last real blot on the scorecard for him so far this season. 

ASBK Rnd Wakefield Round Winners HALLIDAY Herfoss MAXWELL RM
Troy Herfoss topped the Superbike class for the Wakefield Park weekend from championship leader Cru Halliday, with Wayne Maxwell third overall – Image by Rob Mott

Since then though, Maxwell has not finished a race outside the top three, and after overall wins at Morgan Park and Winton, he is arguably the form rider heading into the all-important final two events.

ASBK TBG ASBK Round Wakefield Park Wayne Maxwell A
Wayne Maxwell and family at Wakefield Park

“It’s been fantastic being re-united with Suzuki,not just with some of the old guys from my last stint with the team, but I’ve also enjoyed working with some new faces like (team-owner) Dale Brede,” he said.

“The start of the season was a bit up-and-down. We obviously started well at Phillip Island, but the incident in Race 2 dented our momentum.

“At Wakefield Park, I struggled with a bit of fitness and at The Bend, it was very much a tyre war, but we ended the weekend as the top Pirelli runner.

“At Morgan Park, I was very pleasantly surprised – I felt it would be my weakest track, so to come away with the round win was fantastic, it certainly gave me a lot of confidence heading to Winton, where we were very fast also.”

ASBK TBG Round Morgan Park Wayne Maxwell TBG
Wayne Maxwell won the Morgan Park round – TBG Image

Maxwell said the Suzuki’s characteristics are well-suited to his riding style.

“Compared to the Yamaha, the Suzuki is a bit more stable, and I like the acceleration with the variable cam timing,” he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time with Yamaha and won lots of races, but by the end I felt like I had exhausted all the set-up adjustments. This year has been good to start fresh with a different bike, and to be able to try different set-ups.”

ASBK Rnd Winton RbMotoLens SBK MAXWELL LHS
Wayne Maxwell – Winton – Image by Rob Mott

This season, Maxwell has also been riding alongside a new team-mate, Josh Waters. He said the relationship has been trouble-free.

“Josh and I have been friends and rivals for a long time, and so far we’ve worked well together,” he said.

“We both like completely different set-ups, but our feedback on the bike and how it’s behaving has been similar.”

ASBK Rnd Winton Wayne Maxwell TBG
Wayne Maxwell on the grid at Winton – TBG Image

Maxwell and his Suzuki team now head to Phillip Island, a circuit where both rider and team have excellent form. But Maxwell is refusing to take anything for granted.

“We tested at the Island on Monday and the bike was very fast out of the box, so I’m feeling positive,” he said.

“But the series this year has been so competitive – it’s probably the deepest field since I started racing in ASBK. Some of the riders like Cru Halliday and Mike Jones have become a lot more consistent, and if all the front-runners fire on their day, it’s a very difficult challenge to win races. It’s great for the category and the fans.”

ASBK Rnd Winton Wayne Maxwell TBG
Wayne Maxwell leads Mike Jones at Winton – TBG Image

Head to ASBK.com.au for round information

ASBK PI
ASBK hits Phillip Island, October 4-6

Kawasaki Superbike Championship Points

Pos Name Total
1 Michael JONES 217.5
2 Cru HALLIDAY 206
3 Bryan STARING 198.5
4 Troy HERFOSS 196
5 Wayne MAXWELL 193
6 Josh WATERS 181
7 Matt WALTERS 130.5
8 Daniel FALZON 124
9 Alex PHILLIS 110
10 Arthur SISSIS 106.5
11 Mark CHIODO 93
12 Glenn SCOTT 90
13 Damon REES 84.5
14 Aiden WAGNER 71
15 Lachlan EPIS 64
16 Glenn ALLERTON 56
17 Ted COLLINS 49
18 Sloan FROST 42
19 Aaron MORRIS 30
20 Max CROKER 27

2019 Motul Pirelli ASBK Calendar

  • Rnd 6: Phillip Island GP Circuit, VIC – 4-6 October 2019
  • Rnd 7: Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW – 1-3 November 2019