Wayne Maxwell talks about the Yamaha switch and 2015 – with Trevor Hedge
You had an offer on the table for 2015 to stay with Honda Wayne, but you have switched camps to Yamaha for the upcoming season, why the move? Was it in some part due to the international commitments you had in 2014 that you would like to continue in 2015?
“There was a number of things, not one thing in particular, I still want to do some riding overseas, which does have a big influence on it, but I have no guarantees for any international events as yet so I guess I am just taking a bit of a risk on hoping those rides comes through.
“That’s what every young rider dreams of, racing in Europe, be a World Champion or get as far over there as you can, perhaps that is now getting a bit beyond me but I still feel like I have plenty to give and can help Yamaha develop the new YZF-R1.”
The new R1 looks to be a very exciting bike, when will you get to ride the new beast for the first time?
“Hopefully before Christmas, or even the old bike, I am not sure, just so I can go into Christmas at least having ridden the bike and have some peace of mind from that and know what we have ahead of us work wise in the new year. The bikes are in capable hands with Kev and the boys at YRT, I am sure the package will be good come first race in 2015.”
Are you still considering doing the ASBK in conjunction with the ASC FX series?
“I would like to do the ASBK also, and hopefully some things fall into place to make that happen, I am unsure as to where those plans are at the moment, but obviously my prime focus is with YRT, making the new R1 a success and defending my Australasian Superbike Championship. I also have some loyal personal sponsors from Western Australia that would love to see me race at Wanneroo.”
Exciting times ahead for Wayne Maxwell and Yamaha, but are you also sorry to be leaving Honda at the same time?
“Look, I have had a long relationship with Honda, I weighed up all the options, of where Honda is at, and amongst other things there is no guarantee of a new bike coming at Honda. It was great to win the championship with the guys at Team Honda Racing but now there is a new adventure ahead.
“Yamaha are in a really good place, they have some great models, their MT-09 and MT-07 range, then there is their off-road range doing great things, all their research and development seems to be really heading in the right direction and I want to be a part of that.”
And are there any international commitments on the near horizon also?
“I am unsure exactly at the moment but a big part of Endurance Racing is of course fuel economy testing under race conditions, so I think I will be involved in that in some part with the YART team but nothing has been signed off as yet with them for 2015, but I have spoken with them and put my hat in the ring and they are quite excited that of course in 2015 I will not be riding for two different manufacturers and will be instead a full-time part of the Yamaha family.”
Opportunities for World Superbike wildcard entry? Or will you just be focussing on the Phillip Island Championship run in conjunction with the ASBK round?
“It all depends on parts and preparation I guess, and pre-season testing, at this stage it is a bit of a long shot to go to World Superbike but at this stage it will only to be as part of the Phillip Island Championship and ASBK.”
What are the off-season plans for Wayne Maxwell?
“Going to take a couple of weeks off over Christmas, head up around Merimbula, relax with the wife. It has been a long year with all the travel, not only from the racing but all the ride days, so it will be good to wind down with two weeks of nothing before ramping back up for 2015.“