Yamaha Racing Team test at Winton
Yamaha Racing Team with Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance (YRT with YMI), along with seven YRD (Yamaha Racing Development) supported riders, completed a one day test this week at Winton Motor Raceway, in preparation for the next, and penultimate, round of the Australasian Superbike Championship which will take place at the Victorian circuit October 23-25, the week immediately following MotoGP at Phillip Island.
32-year-old Wayne Maxwell spent the day looking for front end feel, something that he has been missing, along with work on the power delivery of the YZF-R1M.
Maxwell, who was happy with his lap times, labelled it as a “positive day for himself and the team.”
“We were mainly working on the front end feel today,” said the reigning champion Australian FX-Superbike and Australasian Superbike Champion.
“We were working on getting bike to turn into the corner, then steer up on the exit to make the transition easier, which is hard to do here at Winton.”
Maxwell completed about ninety laps around the 3.0km circuit.
Glenn Allerton, who finished second last Sunday at Wakefield Park with a 2-1-4 result also walked away from the test very happy.
“It was good to get down here for the test and try some different settings,” said Allerton, who did 60-70 laps throughout the day.
“We tried so many different settings, so it was good to get comfortable with the Yamaha R1M. I feel that I have found a good setting with makes for a good lap and is comfortable. So I’m really happy where the bike is at the moment. I’m quite excited about heading to Phillip Island for the MotoGP support event and then coming back to Winton for the next round of the Australasian Superbike Championship.”
Allerton also explained that his lap times were not as good as Maxwell’s or Cru Halliday’s, as he was working on his bike to be good over a long distance stint.
27-year-old Cru Halliday had a good run of consistent lap times, which he said were pretty much on point all day.
After completing eighty laps, Halliday was more than happy that he found a really good race setup for the R1M machine.
“We have found a really good setup today, which is simply unreal,” said Halliday.
“I felt really good on the bike and that is thanks to the team who have worked hard all day today. It’s definitely going to be different come race time here in a few weeks. We had good conditions today, so we will see how conditions pan when we’re back here in a few weeks.”
Halliday also completed three fourteen-lap race stints, and while the two race stints in the morning were not ideal because he was using old Dunlop tyres and didn’t quite have the set-up he was after.
On his final race stint left Halliday really confident about heading into the second last round of the year, as he managed to set his second fastest lap of the day.
“My last lap was my second fastest lap of the day, which is a big confidence booster. It sure does help heading into the next round.”
In regards to YRD supported Supersport riders, Race Center’s Callum Alderson and Jay Presepio, JNL Racing’s Luke Mitchell and Justin Di Giandomenico put in a solid day’s worth of testing.
Presepio, who was the best placed YRD supported rider in last weekend’s Swann Superbike Series round, said; “It was a very productive day as tried a number of different small setup changes, such as rear spring changes.”
The South Australian rider and his Victorian based team mainly worked on the rear of the motorcycle to help improve his confidence around the track.
“Every change was a positive one, but we still have a bit of work to do. However I’m happy with the pace the moment.”
Presepio’s teammate, Alderson also made a lot of progress on his Yamaha YZF-R6 machine. In saying that he admitted that he still need to adapt his riding style to a more flowing approach through the corners.
“There is a lot to work on before we get back here at the end of the month,” said the 17-year-old. “We have three weeks before the round, so we will hit the drawing board and see what we can do until then.”
Luke Mitchell, who managed to lower his PB lap time worked on ground clearance, drive off the corners and mid-turn speed, as his entry speed is alright.
“We mainly focused on the things that were really bad,” said Mitchell. “There is a lot more room for improvement and of course we will still keep working with the bike. I also have to work on myself as well as towards the end of the day I was getting a bit fatigued and sore.”
Making his come back to riding since last year’s Swann Superbike Series round at Winton was 19-year-old Di Giandomenico.
Di Giandomenico will contest round six and the grand finale at Sydney Motorsport Park in December.
Kenny Redding, Brad Conder and Jake Drew were also taking part in the YRD test.
Redding, who came into the day with no real setup on the new Yamaha R1 said at the end of the day that he made some big progress and the bike was handling really well.
“I just need some more bike time now,” explained Redding. “I’m really looking forward to the race here at Winton a few weeks’ time. Today I managed to achieve my goals in regards to lap times, which was good.”
Jake Drew, a former motocross rider will make his debut in the Formula Xtreme C & D class at Winton.
“Today went really well,” said Drew. “It was my first test session as a YRD rider. I managed to knock a few seconds off my time towards the end of the day which always a good thing.”
Drew was mainly focusing on track time more than anything, as the last time he rode at Winton was in 2013 at the FX-Championship in the 450GP class, where he managed to snare pole position in the Sunday championship.
“This is the first season on the R1 and I haven’t done a lot of riding, just a few Hartwell club meetings and so on. I’m still getting used to the wheelies and sliding and all that sort of fun stuff.”
The penultimate round of the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship takes place on 23-25 October.