Tag Archives: Josh Waters

Josh Waters on ASBK Rnd1 and the season ahead | Interview

2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship
Round One – Phillip Island
Josh Waters

Privateer Josh Waters had his work cut out for him heading into 2020, forming his own team following Suzuki’s surprise decision to withdraw from supporting a factory team in 2020.

WSBK Rnd Phillip Island RbMotoLens ASBK Race Grid Josh Waters

WSBK Rnd Phillip Island RbMotoLens ASBK Race Grid Josh Waters

Josh Waters on the grid at Phillip Island – Image by Rob Mott

The weekend at Phillip Island though worked out even better than Waters could have hoped. Two very strong third places and third overall for the round earning him 51 championship points, a great reward for his new privateer based team.

MCNews.com.au caught up with Josh Waters immediately after race three at Phillip Island on the weekend.

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island TBG

Superbike Race Three Results
Halliday +0.752
Waters +3.923

Josh Waters interview

Trevor Hedge: We’re just here with Josh Waters after the opening round of the ASBK. Josh the pressure has been on in the off-season, you’ve had to put your own team together, a new privateer outfit after Suzuki pulled out towards the end of last year. I think you felt like you’d been left a bit high and dry there perhaps, so it was all hands on deck to get you back on track. Its been quite a mission to pull all this together, you must be very, very – very – happy how this has come together. You haven’t quite challenged for the win, but not far off…

Josh Waters: “Yeah I’m wrapped, like you said, to put together a squad that you can do the whole year with, isn’t as easy as I maybe thought at the start. So I’ve had some great people around me, and they’ve been able to get me some good backing, and we’re still a very small team. I haven’t ridden as much as I would have liked to, we did the test, I was quite a ways off. So coming into the event, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to fight to be P3 for the majority of the weekend. I wasn’t in Race 2, where I got sixth, but I was still fighting for third. I was a little ways off but that pace was soooo fast, I’m really happy.”

WSBK Rnd Phillip Island RbMotoLens ASBK R Start Wayne Maxwell Leads from Josh Waters

WSBK Rnd Phillip Island RbMotoLens ASBK R Start Wayne Maxwell Leads from Josh Waters

Waters chases Maxwell with the ASBK Superbike pack hot on his heels – Image by Rob Mott

Trev: Are you going to get any time to test at Wakefield Park?

Waters: “I hope to do the test that everyone else is doing.”

WSBK Rnd Phillip Island RbMotoLens ASBK Race Wayne Maxwell leads Cru Halliday Josh Waters

WSBK Rnd Phillip Island RbMotoLens ASBK Race Wayne Maxwell leads Cru Halliday Josh Waters

Maxwell leads Halliday and Waters – Image by Rob Mott

Trev: You’re transitioning back to Dunlop this year as well, hows that?

Waters: “It has changed how I ride the bike a bit, one guy was just saying to me, ‘jeez it looks like you’re building confidence every time I watch you ride.’ I needed to try and change something, because I was maybe a little bit the same all the time. I didn’t have a wonderful year last year, but I still came to the final round and could have had a chance to win the championship, with the perfect weekend and someone else having some bad luck. Dunlop have been great to me, have got behind me and I’m really appreciative of that.”

ASBK JanTest PI TH Dunlop

ASBK JanTest PI TH Dunlop

Josh Waters is back with Dunlop this season

Trev: As you bought up confidence, rightly or wrongly, I always thought that effects you a lot as a rider more than most. I can see the level of confidence or how happy you are from your face, I can read you from a mile away… You’ve been smiles all weekend and it’s great to see.

Waters: “I read that last night [on MCNews.com.au], what you’d wrote about the races yesterday, ‘Whenever Josh is happy he seems to go alright’, I’ve known you a long time and maybe the old Josh is back. I’m obviously riding a lot better, and happy with the feeling of what I’ve got underneath me.”

Trev: It must be good for your backers, hopefully they’ll get behind you even more and propel things forward, and of course this fills you with some more confidence. Like I said its great to see you smiling, a smiling Josh Waters is a dangerous Josh Waters.

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island R Maxwell Halliday Waters TBG

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island R Maxwell Halliday Waters TBG

Josh Waters and Cru Halliday chasing Wayne Maxwell – TBG Image

ASBK next heads to Wakefield Park later this month, the Goulburn circuit plays host to Round Two of the series over the March 27-29 weekend.

2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship Points

Pos Name Machine Pole R1 R2 R3 Total
1 Wayne MAXWELL Ducati V4R 1 25 25 25 76
2 Cru HALLIDAY Yamaha 20 20 20 60
3 Josh WATERS Suzuki 18 15 18 51
4 Bryan STARING Kawasaki 17 17 15 49
5 Troy HERFOSS Honda 16 16 16 48
6 Daniel FALZON Yamaha 14 14 13 41
7 Arthur SISSIS Suzuki 15 10 12 37
8 Mike JONES Ducati 18 17 35
9 Jed METCHER Suzuki 12 11 10 33
10 Glenn ALLERTON BMW 5 12 14 31
11 Linden MAGEE BMW 10 6 9 25
12 Matt WALTERS Kawasaki 13 11 24
13 Max CROKER Suzuki 9 7 7 23
14 Aiden WAGNER Yamaha 13 9 22
15 Sloan FROST Suzuki 8 5 8 21
16 Beau BEATON Ducati 7 4 6 17
17 Glenn SCOTT Kawasaki 4 8 4 16
18 Brendan McINTYRE Suzuki 6 3 5 14
19 Josh HAYES Yamaha 11 11
20 Matthew TOOLEY Yamaha 1 1 3 5
21 Giuseppe SCARCELLA Ducati 3 2 5
22 Dean HASLER BMW 2 2 4
23 Nathan SPITERI Suzuki 1 1

2020 ASBK Calendar

Mi Bike ASBK Motul logo Menu@x

Rnd Date Track
Rnd 2  27-29 March Wakefield Park, NSW
Rnd 3 7-10 May The Bend, SA
Rnd 4 15-17 May Barbagallo, WA (SBK only)
Rnd 5 7-9 August Morgan Park, QLD
Rnd 6 11-13 September Winton, VIC
Rnd 7 2-4 October Phillip Island, VIC

Source: MCNews.com.au

Strong Aussie line-up for 2019 Suzuka 8 Hours

2019 FIM Endurance World Championship

Aussies all set for Suzuka 8 Hours

This weekend will see the Suzuka 8 Hours take place in Japan as the 2019 FIM Endurance World Championship grand finale, with seven Australians taking part between the 8 Hours and 4 Hours events.

Suzuka Hour QP Haslam
2018 Suzuka 8 Hour

The Suzuka 8 Hours has run since 1978, with many Aussie racers making their mark over the years, including Tony Hatton, Michael Cole, Kevin Magee, Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner and Daryl Beattie.

The three time Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters lines up with the MotoMap S.W.A.T team again for the fourth year in a row, with 2019 marking Waters’ ninth year racing at the Suzuka 8 Hours event.

Suzuka Hour Preview
Josh Hook – F.C.C. TSR Honda – Image by PSP/Mateus Mjagielski

The Mildura based rider will team up with former World 250cc/500cc/MotoGP racer, Nobuatsu Aoki for the sixth time, as well as former BSB rider Dan Linfoot, former. For 2019, Waters, Aoki and Linfoot are competing in the Superstock class.

Former World Supersport and Superbike racer Mark Aitchison takes to the grid with the Will-Raise RS-Itoh Kawasaki Racing Team, with the 35-year-old having been competing in the MFJ Superbike All Japan Road Race Championship for the satellite Kawasaki squad.

Suzuka Hour Preview
Mark Aitchison and the Will-Raise RS-Itoh Kawasaki Racing Team

Aitchison tested with the Kawasaki team for the 8 Hours Suzuka Program and his lap times were good enough to get the nod for a start this weekend. Aitchison, who hails from the Gold Coast, and his team have had two tests at Suzuka, which saw most of the European and Japanese teams present, as well as one private test.

Aitchison’s teammates for the Suzuka 8 Hours will be Akira Yanagawa, and Ryosuke Iwato, who currently rides for Kawasaki Japan as part of their factory effort.

Mark Aitchison

“The last official test was a great experience, as basically the whole EWC championship was on hand to the 8 Hours race weekend. Testing went well enough to this point, though in Japan the weather conditions are always challenging. So, it’s a matter of compromise between you and your teammates on setup. It’s Ryosuke first year as factory rider and I understand why they gave him the opportunity. He’s an extremely talented rider and his lap times at the recent test turned some heads from the top Kawasaki bosses. I think he’s got a great future ahead of him. I really love the fans energy and enthusiasm that they bring. On top of that, the event itself brings its own unique platform, which combined with spectator involvement provides such an exciting and enjoyable weekend.”

27-year-old Aaron Morris reunites with the Paris based R2CL team, in what was a last-minute call up by the team on Saturday. Morris, who is competing in the Australian Superbike Championship with the Maxima BMW team, competed with the R2CL outfit throughout the 2016 EWC championship. 2016 saw Morris and his team finishing fourth at their Le Mans debut, twelfth at Suzuka and ninth in the teams FIM EWC Championship standing.

ASBK TBG Round Morgan Park Morris Hepburn TBG
Aaron Morris – Image by TBG

Morris will certainly be up against it this weekend, with no testing and riding for the first time with his teammates, Yoshihiro Konno and Josh Elliott, while coming to terms with the Suzuki GSX-R1000R on a track which he’s admitted to be his favourite.

Aaron Morris

“I’d love to improve on my best placed finish of twelfth we scored in 2016. We didn’t have a base set up, so we starting again and with three riders it’s hard to have a direction which everyone is happy with.”

2019 marks the first time in Paul Byrne’s career that he will race at Suzuka, joining TEAM SUGAI Racing Japan for the 4 Hours event. Kazu Kuroda from K1 Racing contacted the Irishman and now Australian citizen, a few weeks ago to see if he interested in racing on the team’s Honda CBR600RR. Byrne, 34, previously worked with Kuroda back in 2016, when he was his mechanic racing the International Island Classic and the International Festival of Speed on the DMR Harris XR69.

Suzuka Hour Preview
Paul Byrne joins TEAM SUGAI Racing Japan

Byrne has had to learn the 18-corner circuit, as well as get his head around riding the Aprilia RSV4 machine, a bike he hadn’t ridden before, taking part in the official three-day test.

Paul Byrne

“I mentioned to Kazu that I had an interest in doing some endurance racing in Japan and finally its all come together for the first time, which I’m really grateful for. The first day was about just learning and trying to get as many laps done as possible plus. I really enjoyed the challenge. The second day I was a lot more relaxed and I started to push a bit harder and my lap times came down. But the main objective of the test was for me to help my teammate, Sugai Yoshiyuki with feedback. On top of that I just wanted to get some laps on track to learn it ahead of this weekend.”

Other Aussies to keep an eye out for over the weekend are full-season FIM Endurance World Championship competitors Broc Parkes (YART – Yamaha) and reigning Champ, Josh Hook (F.C.C. TSR Honda France). Also contesting is current Australian Superbike Champion Troy Herfoss (KYB Moriwaki Racing Team).

Suzuka Hour Preview
Broc Parkes (YART – Yamaha) – Image by PSP/Mateus Mjagielski

Hook and the F.C.C. TSR Honda France team are currently sitting third in the Championship; with a strong fourth-fastest finish at the Official Test and topping the times at yesterday’s practice as the quickest of the full-season FIM EWC Team.

YART’s lucky number seems to be five. Currently sitting fifth in the standings and posting the fifth-fastest time at yesterday’s practice, Parkes and his teammates all were quick and consistent.

2019 Endurance World Championship Standings

Pos Team / Equipe Total
1 Team Src Kawasaki France 132
2 Suzuki Endurance Racing Team 127
3 F.C.C. Tsr Honda France 109
4 Wepol Racing 101
5 Yart – Yamaha 88
6 Honda Endurance Racing 79
7 Bolliger Team Switzerland 73
8 Vrd Igol Pierret Experiences 53
9 Moto Ain 45
10 Gert56 By Gs Yuasa 45
11 Bmrt 3d Maccio Racing 39
12 Fany Gastro Bmw Motorrad- By Mercury Racing 38
13 Webike Tati Team Trickstar 36
14 Team 33 Coyote  Louit Moto 32
15 Junior Team Lms Suzuki 30
16 Wójcik Racing Team 2 28
17 No Limits Motor Team 28
18 3art- Moto Team 95 27
19 National Motos 25
20 Motors Events 24
21 Motobox Kremer Racing #65 24
22 Wójcik Racing Team 23
23 Team Erc-Bmw Motorrad Endurance 14
24 Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers 12
25 Team Lrp Poland 12
26 Maco Racing Team 12
27 Jma Motos Action Bike 8
28 Og Motorsport By Sarazin 7
29 Zuff Racing Team 6
30 Am Moto Racing Competition 5
31 Mototech Ewc Team 4
32 Pitlane Endurance 3
33 Gsm Racing 2
34 Slider Endurance 1
35 Falcon Racing Rennes Motos 1
36 Set Racing 1

Source: MCNews.com.au

ASBK heads to Wakefield Park for Round Two | Form Guide

2019 ASBK Round Two Preview

With Mark Bracks

The first enthralling round of the 2019 Australian Superbike Championship is but a memory – a vivid one at that – and now the second round at Wakefield Park is nigh. Bracksy looks back and peers into the future of what is shaping up as a momentous weekend at the Wakefield Park circuit near Goulburn in NSW, March 22-24.

If Alvaro Bautista was akin to a cyclone engulfing the WSBK paddock at the opening round of that Championship, in the ASBK class, Aiden Wagner was an air-to-ground, below radar low level attack dropping a couple of 500lb HE incendiaries on the ASBK field at Phillip Island.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne Maxwell Crash
Aiden Wagner – Maxwell tumbles – Image Rob Mott

A few weeks previously, the 25-year-old Queenslander, on his privateer Landsbridge Transport Yamaha R1 used the official ASBK test to strafe the field with armour piercing shells to let everyone know, he is back, fully fit, ravenous for success, and he doesn’t give a rat’s arse about reputations.

He certainly ruffled a few feathers at the test. By the end of race two of the ASBK Superbike season on Saturday Feb 23 they were singed beyond recognition with his scorched earth, take no prisoners policy.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne Maxwell Crash
Aiden Wagner – Maxwell tumbles – Image Rob Mott

With his round one victory with Pole, two wins and a second, the snatching strap of tension has been ratcheted up a notch. Or, five.

The quality and intensity of the on-track competition easily eclipsed the demonstration put on by the lads of the World Superbike field and showed the parity between the different motorcycles in our domestic championship is very even.

The ASBK season was shaping up as a landmark year, even before Wagner bounced back in the paddock. Now he is here, look out. The anticipation going into round two is even more palpable than the season opener.

Mike Jones will stand in for Troy Bayliss at Wakefield Park – TBG Image

2019 is shaping up as the most competitive in many a year, as each season seems to increase in intensity and level of competition.

Round 1 Recap

So let’s have a recap of the opening round then a peer into the looking glass to see what this weekend has in store.

There was plenty of anticipation as the meeting got under way and Bayliss led the first session to continue his testing form, but his weekend was to soon unravel. In the afternoon qualifying session he had a monumental get off heading into turn four when he was distracted by a rider stricken on the edge of the track. The bike was basically obliterated in the cartwheeling that was reminiscent of his crash on a Ducati during the Australian Grand Prix of 2003.

Thankfully, this time he walked away to be able to relate soon after that he had cracked a finger on his left hand and the bike “was sent to heaven”.

In qualifying the prodigal son, Wagner grabbed the number one slot, one-thousandth of a second under Bayliss’s lap record, set at the final round last year. More importantly, he scored an extra championship point that goes with it to lead a Yamaha block out of the front row.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Aiden WAGNER start
Aiden Wagner – Image Rob Mott

This year the extra championship point for Pole Position at each round could be more critical than ever in deciding the champion. Remember when since Shawn Giles was pipped in a countback with Josh Brookes in 2005…

The privateer gave a bloody nose to the Yamaha Racing Team duo of Superbike returnee, Cru Halliday, and his team mate in the official Yamaha team Daniel Falzon who made up the front row.

Wagner has some very astute people in his corner with Sam Costanzo, the principal of Landbrige Transport and Landbridge Racing. Sam has a fine reputation for preparing race machines while Adrian Monti is a very astute and analytical operator who knows how to set up a race bike, and probably more importantly, the understanding to translate what a rider is talking about to bike set-up.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Aiden WAGNER grid
Aiden Wagner – Image Rob Mott

Before the opening race of the year, many people were asking the annual question of how far into the opening race we’d get before some carnage would erupt. In the past couple of years the season has only reached Turn Four on the opening lap before the cauldron has boiled over. Last year it was Glenn Allerton who hightailed it out of the race as he launched himself high over the bars, nearly bringing rain and almost dragging Wayne Maxwell off his bike as he flew past him.

It is understandable as it’s over four months since the last race of 2018 and we all know the eagerness riders display and the red mist visor is also a deeper tinge than normal for the opening laps of the year. In recent years there has been a bit of drama at Turn Four.

Race 1 – Phillip Island

This year we had to wait a few laps for the first real jaw dropping moment but the opening laps of race one were absolutely manic. What we had been anticipating had been confirmed. This year will be a seven-round, street brawl.

Falzon jumped to the front off the line to lead for the opening corners but Bayliss took over heading into turn 10 and led the frantic first lap across the line from Maxwell and Falzon. After a very mediocre start, Wagner was back in seventh, just shading Waters, the octuplet separated by less than a second. It was on as they all spread across the track careering to the apex on their 200+hp machines like the charge of the Light Horse, fighting for track position.

Wagner was excellent in testing. Now we were witnessing what he could do in a race mixed up with the pack of gangsters in front of him as Wagner commenced his carving exhibition. He showed from the outset that he is not here for a free lunch and it wasn’t even lunchtime Sunday!

Wayne Maxwell leads Aiden Wagner – TBG Image

He was up to second by the end of the third lap managing to pop out in front while everyone else was having a dip at the passing game, particularly Bryan Staring on the Kawasaki BC Performance ZX-10RR as he scythed his way through on the Dunlop shod machine to be among the leading pack climbing from 10th on the grid.

Wagner took the lead on the fourth lap and held it until the final few corners as he and Bayliss, Maxwell, Halliday, Waters, and Staring keeping well in touch

The first jaw dropping moment of the year came at the start of the sixth lap. Wagner led the charge from Maxwell and Bayliss, the others not far adrift as they tipped into Doohan Corner at a head shaking, meteoric rate. Wagner had a couple of bike lengths over Maxwell with Bayliss taking a deeper, more outer line into turn one but his entry speed was a little quicker, or maybe Maxwell slowed a tad but it was j-u-s-t enough for the brake lever of TB#32 machine to touch the rear of Maxwell’s machine.

The front wheel locked, a puff of blue smoke and in a nano second, Bayliss was sliding on his arse at over 200 kays and another steed of the Desmo Sport Ducati stable went looking for directions to the Pearly Gates to join its sibling.

The crash looked innocuous enough considering the speed of his trajectory into the kitty litter. Coming to a tumbling halt after a less than elegant face plant, he sat there, legs spread and punched the ground in exasperation, jumped to his feet and wandered back to the pits.

Bayliss may have exited stage left but that didn’t halt the swashbuckling as Staring joined the fray in fifth behind Wagner, Maxwell, Halliday and Waters. Half race distance and it was on.

The sword clashing continued at every corner and while Wagner led across the line there was plenty of pushing and shoving scything, slicing and magnificent dicing many times a lap.

Less than a second separated the quintet as they commenced the final lap but back markers were looming. The snarling pack negotiated the first couple ok but Wagner was baulked by one over Lukey Heights into T10. Maxwell was his typical blue heeler self as he nipped the heels of the Queenslander.

Out of T11 Wagner jumped on the gas, the pack broke away slightly losing drive which allowed Maxwell the opportunity to storm past into the lead and take the win from Wagner, with Staring filling the last step on the podium after another determined ride from the 2010 ASBK champion to prove that he will be in the mix all year.

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

Wagner demonstrated in the opening stanza he has the goods to push for not only the privateer championship but the outright. He also has his own definitive style in riding a 1000cc machine at Phillip Island, riding more Supersport lines to carry corner speed. This was most evident at Turn 4 as he hung out very wide and swept across the track for a very late apex.

High corner approach had the others seemingly second guessing as if they tried to take an inside line there was a good chance that a collision may occur. In fact, it did happen with Halliday and Wagner touching with feet off the pegs, both lucky to stay aboard such was the hit.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Sunday Rob Mott Aiden WAGNER Cru Halliday
Wagner and Halliday tussle – Rob Mott Image

His antics reminded us in the commentary booth of a philosophy of racing that 2002 Australian Supersport Champion, Shannon Johnson, uttered to explain some of his determined moves, “A front wheel has a three-and-a-half inch rim. If there is three and a half inches of track then there is enough room for me.”

What a scene setter for the year. The first World Superbike race soon after the opening leg was somewhat of an anti-climax compared to the cut and thrust of ASBK.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne MAXWELL Places Parc
ASBK Superbike Race One Results
Wayne Maxwell – Suzuki
Aiden Wagner – Yamaha +0.147
Bryan Staring – Kawasaki +0.320

Maxwell had taken first blood, and was somewhat emotional in parc ferme as the 36-year-old had not expected to take the win. After recent years on Yamaha machinery, he was still not feeling fully comfortable on the GSX-R, saying the bike did not yet feel like his. Be interesting to see just how fast he goes when he does get back to that stage with familiarity on the Suzuki!

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne MAXWELL Parc
Wayne Maxwell celebrates victory – Image Rob Mott

Bayliss injuries surface

We didn’t have to wait long for part two later the same afternoon. If the opening race was a scene setter, race two will be in the background for the rest of the season as well. The action was a carbon copy of the opening leg with a few more exclamation marks for good measure – albeit with one disappointing turn of events.

After his whoopsie of the first race Bayliss seemed fine and in his usual laconic way was circumspect with the turn of events of his two massive crashes in less than 24 hours, but ready to come out swinging.

Bayliss headed out on a hastily prepared machine, but on the sighting lap as he applied the front brake for the first time he realised that he could close the ring finger of his right hand, but couldn’t extend it. A torn tendon forced his exit from the rest of proceedings and the loss of plenty of potential points.

Race 2 – Phillip Island

Race two soon turned into a Maxwell vs Wagner vs Waters vs Halliday vs Falzon affair, with the others not far off. Falzon crashed at turn 10 losing the front which baulked those following, allowing the top four a gap over the likes of Staring, Mike Jones (K&R Hydraulics ZX-10R) and Troy Herfoss on the Penrite Honda who was struggling to stay in touch.

Daniel Falzon slides out of contention – TBG Image

Wagner had complete faith in his front end in his desire to poke a wheel up the inside of the opposition and managed to hold his line. After a few laps the rear was starting to walk on him but he didn’t give a toss about what the rear was doing. He was right in the mix.

It all came down to the final lap dogfight. Again.

Hundredths of a second covered the top four and so typical of Phillip Island it all came down to the final four corners: setting up over Lukey Heights, a possible dive up the inside into MG Corner, then the drag through 11 and 12 to the line.

The last five hundred metres of the second Superbike race is now etched in history, but its repercussions may reverberate throughout the year. Maxwell had managed to get in front in the final set of corners and led Wagner, Waters and Halliday as they tipped into Turn 12.

Maxwell hung it up a little higher than usual leaving a bit of vacant bitumen. Wagner saw that lonely bit of bitumen as an invitation and reacted accordingly driving through – hugging the ripple strip, with Halliday and Waters line astern.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne Maxwell Crash
Aiden Wagner – Maxwell tumbles – Image Rob Mott

Kaa-boom! A clash as Wagner and Maxwell collided in the rush with Maxwell falling off the inside of the bike, cartwheeling into the track-side beach, spraying the gravel high.

Wagner kept it pinned as the carnage unfolded to take the flag from Halliday second and Waters third and a crater of destruction and controversy hot on their heels. Thankfully, Maxwell was soon on his feet and taking the long walk back to the pits from the outside of the track. Fuming.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne after crash holding hand
Wayne Maxwell dusts himself off… – Image Rob Mott


At race’s end, I descended down the stairs from the three-storey eyrie that is the commentary box in the control tower to head to park ferme to conduct the usual post race interviews. I had just emerged from the tower to pass a rapidly advancing and extremely arced-up, Phil Tainton from Team Ecstar Suzuki, who was charging up to race control to explain his point of view.

I hadn’t seen Phil like that in a long time. Hoo-ee, this has just taken the championship to another level.

There were plenty of words said from both sides and also the view of onlookers. Wagner claimed there was a gap. Maxwell claimed there wasn’t any room. Wagner was contrite and apologised to Maxwell for the incident but at the time it fell on deaf ears. Everyone else had their own opinion. Was there a gap or not?

Officials deemed it as a racing incident and no action was taken, much to the chagrin of some. Riders had different opinions with one telling me, “Tell them to stop sooking. It’s a racing incident. I’d rather be fighting for the lead and crashing than being back here where we are.”  Touche!

Personally, I think it is fantastic for the intrigue and interest. It brought more international attention to the ASBK and many in the WSBK paddock were talking about it, including Jamie Whitham who thought it was fantastic. It made the opening WSBK race seem like a procession!

Whoever was right, or wrong, it brought back a statement that the great Ayton Senna said at the 1990 Australian F1 Grand Prix, “By being a racing driver you are under risk all the time. By being a racing driver means you are racing with other people. And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win. And the main motivation to all of us is to compete for victory, it’s not to come 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th. I race to win as long as I feel it’s possible. Sometimes you get it wrong. Sure, it’s impossible to get it right all the time. But I race designed to win, as long as I feel I’m doing it right.”

But that philosophy didn’t work out all that well for the Brazilian legend in the end did it…

Race 3 – Phillip Island

With the third and final race of the opening round held on Sunday morning, at least we could get our collective breath back over night. Lucky because race three left us all breathless. It was the race of the weekend.

Maxwell was battered and bruised after his 200 km/h+ get off the day before but his determination wasn’t lessened by any stretch. The anticipation was palpable.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Grid Wayne MAXWELL
Wayne Maxwell kits up – Image Rob Mott

Arthur Sissis stormed from 15th on the grid to grab the holeshot but was soon swamped as Waters led the first lap from Wagner and Falzon – the trio covered by 0.624 sec. Jones joined the fray on the next lap and created history by not only breaking the lap record but being the first rider to dip into a sub 1:32 with a corker of a lap to record 1:31.881!

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Sunday Rob Mott Start
ASBK Superbike 2019 – Race Three Start – Rob Mott Image

The leading freight train was adding extra carriages as the laps went by. It became a quintet the next lap when Haliday chimed in, 0.753 sec adrift.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Sunday Rob Mott Start Waters Leading
Josh Waters leads into turn one – Rob Mott Image

The passing moves had been stepped up especially at the frighteningly fast Hayshed where Jones was making it his corner, just like Jamie Stauffer did in the past, to dive up the inside accelerating through the apex.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Sunday Rob Mott Michael Jones Cru Halliday
Mike Jones leads Cru Halliday – Rob Mott Image

Another couple of laps and there were seven carriages but none of them remained in the same place. It was mental the amount of positional changes and at two thirds race distance, seven bikes were covered by less than a second with Wagner and Jones taking turns to lead the end of consecutive laps.

Wagner made it two victories after getting the best of Jones by 0.317 sec (the largest gap over the three races), with Halliday in third, the trio separated by just 0.394 sec. A blink of the eye behind was Falzon, Waters and a very gallant Maxwell 0.933 away in sixth.

Over the three races you wouldn’t see as much carving in a dozen pubs for a Sunday roast! Enthralling. The total winning margin for the three races was an astronomical: 0.765!

ASBK TBG Rnd Podium Wagner Halliday Waters TBG
ASBK Superbike Championship Points Standings
Aiden Wagner 71
Cru Halliday 55
Josh Waters 50

Round 2 – Wakefield Park

What lies ahead this weekend? There are no similarities between Phillip Island and this weekend’s round at the tight twisty bumpy and extremely demanding Wakefield Park, except they are racetracks.

This weekend extreme tension is a given. How far before the tension is too much and something snaps is anyone’s guess but I reckon something will happen in qualifying in the fist fight for the extra championship point.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimagesDay Troy Herfoss
Troy Herfoss testing at Wakefield Park – TDJ Image

Herfoss will no doubt start as a favourite such is his affinity with the track and he will have an added incentive of making up for what was, in his and the team’s eyes, an extremely disappointing weekend at Phillip Island – a place that has never been too kind to him.

Maxwell has done well at the the track in recent years and the pair have split wins pretty evenly. Then there is Cru Halliday. He has had some memorable moments at the track and now he is back on a Superbike after his domination of last year’s Supersport title.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimagesDay Wayne Maxwell
Wayne Maxwell testing at Wakefield Park – TDJ Image

Don’t be surprised if he takes a victory as he is a true dark horse for this year’s title, as is his team mate, Falzon. The South Australian, who now works as a fully qualified paramedic, has a hunger for race wins and he may well bring a take-no-prisoners approach into the meeting as well

Unfortunately, Bayliss will be a non starter but that allows Mike Jones to be reunited with the Desmo Sport Ducati team as he has been drafted in to fly the flag in the absence of Troy.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimagesDay Mike Jones
Mike Jones testing at Wakefield Park – TDJ Image

Staring showed that he and the Kawasaki BC Perfomance ZX10 is not too far off the pace. The big question mark for him is whether the Dunlop tyres are up to the rigours of the 2.2km track? Could they even have a weather dependent advantage this weekend..? Saturday and Sunday are looking warm.

Bryan Staring – TBG Image

Then there are the riders with three Australian Superbike Championships in Glenn Allerton and Josh Waters. Allerton and the Next Gen Motosrports BMW team have had a challenging start to the year. Still awaiting delivery of the new HP4, they had a setback with going to Dunlops then returning to Pirelli. At the Island they were well off the mark but anyone who discounts Allerton does so at their peril.

ASBK Round TBG WSBKPI PI Glenn Allerton TBG
Glenn Allerton – TBG Image

The same must be said for Waters. After the disappointment of last year, the Gixxer and Waters look to be back to their rampaging best. Plus he now has a team mate that is out to claim another title, and we all know what they say about team mates.

ASBK Test Wakefield TDJimagesDay Josh Waters
Josh Waters testing at Wakefield Park – TDJ Image

Then there is Wagner. What he brings to the table has given the championship that bit of extra mongrel and disregard for reputations that the series has been aching for.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Sunday Rob Mott Michael Jones Aiden WagnerParc
Mike Jones and Aiden Wagner – These two will figure hghly this weekend – Rob Mott Image

After his first round blitzkrieg the opposition will be more prepared to deal with what ever firepower Wagner throws their way. The arsenal of the opposition will be well stocked to defend the attacks.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Aiden Wagner
Aiden Wagner – Image Rob Mott

Wakefield history

An interesting bit of trivia. In the past three years good mates, Maxwell and Herfoss have been the best performers at Wakefield, sharing the wins at three apiece. Herfoss has two second places to Maxwell’s one, with Herfoss’ worst result a fourth, while Maxwell has not fared quite as well overall, with an eighth and a DNF. Herfoss has also taken the last three pole positions. Herfoss’ points haul is 135 points compared to Maxwell on 108.

Are you ready for this?

ASBK Superbike Championship Points Standings
  1. Aiden Wagner 71
  2. Cru Halliday 55
  3. Josh Waters 50
  4. Mike Jones 49
  5. Bryan Staring 48
  6. Troy Herfoss 41
  7. Wayne Maxwell 40
  8. Glenn Allerton 40
  9. Daniel Falzon 32
  10. Ted Collins 31
  11. Matt Walters 30
  12. Glenn Scott 28
  13. Max Croker 267
  14. Mark Chiodo 24
  15. Alex Phillis 19
  16. Arthur Sissis 18
  17. Sloan Frost 12
  18. Damon Rees 11
  19. Lachlan Epis 10
  20. Phil Czaj 8

Source: MCNews.com.au

Wagner and Maxwell clash in ASBK Superbike Race Two

2019 ASBK
Round One – Phillip Island
Superbike Race Two

Wayne Maxwell narrowly got the better of Aiden Wagner at the final juncture of race one after the privateer had virtually led from start to finish. Troy Bayliss had been in that mix before tipping off at turn one, while Bryan Staring had got the better of Falzon, Halliday and Waters to claim the final step on the rostrum.

The riders and the teams would have all learned some lessons in that opening 12-lap bout, and then set about applying some tweaks to their machines. While the riders tweaked their own brain spaces ahead of the second of three 12-lap races that make up the opening round of ASBK 2019.

On the warm-up lap Troy Bayliss felt that the discomfort in his hand was going to make racing this bout dangerous for himself and the other riders, so he elected to park the DesmoSport Ducati for this one and watch from the sidelines. He broke a finger on his left hand on Friday, and suffered injuries to the middle finger on his right during this morning’s crash. He is booked in for surgery on Tuesday. TB and DesmoSport Ducati have put so much work in during the pre-season and will be gutted to walk away from here with no points.

Daniel Falzon again got a great launch off the line but it was Josh Waters that led the field through turn one from Troy Herfoss as they negotiated Southern Loop for the first time. At turn four Herfoss got in a little deep and lost a number of positions as Aiden Wagner moved up to second place behind Waters. Through turn 12 for the first time it was Waters, Wagner, Falzon, Maxwell, Herfoss, Jones and Halliday.

Aiden Wagner moved past Waters to take the lead as they entered turn two early on the second lap and immediately put the hammer down to try and get away from the pursuing pack. A big moment coming on to the main straight next time around though allowed Wayne Maxwell and Josh Waters to slip past Wagner and make it a Suzuki 1-2 up front. Daniel Falzon was right on the tail of that trio as Cru Halliday also then joined the party to make that top five fight a very close affair.

Wagner was back in the lead on the next lap but then got in way too hot at turn four, the two Suzuki riders somewhat baulked each other mid-turn also which robbed them of their chance to take advantage of Wagner’s mistake.

Wagner made almost exactly the same mistake on the next lap, and actually came together with Cru Halliday and nearly fell off his machine, but somehow gripped it haed enough to recover. Halliday had fared worse in the clash, losing a couple of positions and valuable track position.

Daniel Falzon had been in the hunt but fell unhurt at turn ten at half race distance. At the halfway mark of the race it was Maxwell from Wagner and Waters, that trio in close company, while Halliday tried to regain the ground he lost in that brush with Wagner. Halliday had actually set the fastest lap of the race in that first half, a 1m32.669, and had been the only man to dip into the 32s, but he had work to do in order to get back in touch with the leading trio in the closing laps.

Halliday did that work though and with 2.5 laps to go got the better of Waters on the run through MG Hairpin to move up to third place and maintained that position through 11 and 12 and right through to turn one to start the penultimate lap. Nothing separated the top four, they were all in with a chance of stealing victory. Lapped traffic though, and a lot of it, baulked them late on that lap, they negotiated it safely to start the final lap with Wagner leading from Maxwell, Halliday and Waters.

Wagner had the rear of his privateer Yamaha break away though which allowed Maxwell through as they negotiated the back of the circuit.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne Maxwell Crash
Aiden Wagner – Maxwell tumbles – Image Rob Mott

Wagner then went up the inside of Maxwell as they neogotiated turn 12, the pair touched, sending Maxwell tumbling through the kitty litter, and was then seen tearing off his glove and looking at his hand as he ran to the pit wall and to safety.

ASBK Round Phillip Island SBK Saturday Rob Mott Wayne Maxwell Crash
Aiden Wagner – Maxwell tumbles – Image Rob Mott

Thus a somewhat controversial win and early championship lead goes to Aiden Wagner from Cru Halliday and Josh Waters.

ASBK Superbike Race Two Results

  1. Aiden Wagner – Yamaha
  2. Cru Halliday – Yamaha +0.261
  3. Josh Waters – Suzuki +0.331
  4. Bryan Staring – Kawasaki +1.594
  5. Mike Jones – Kawasaki +1.670
  6. Troy Herfoss – Honda +11.259
  7. Glenn Allerton – BMW +11.263
  8. Matt Walters – Kawasaki +12.107
  9. Glenn Scott – Kawasaki +17.725
  10. Max Croker – Suzuki +18.304
  11. Ted Collins – BMW +18.416
  12. Mark Chiodo – Honda +18.515
  13. Arthur Sissis – Suzuki +18.886
  14. Alex Phillis – Suzuki +20.623
  15. Damon Rees – Honda +28.567
  16. Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki +34.756
  17. Sloan Frost – Suzuki +36.171
  18. Phil Czaj – Aprilia +41.641
  19. Ryan Yanko – Ducati +54.771
  20. David Barker – Kawasaki +55.182
  21. Matt Tooley – Yamaha +56.922
  22. Simon Barbacetto – Yamaha +61.757
  23. Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki +64.515
  24. Heath Griffin – Suzuki +80.768
  25. Brian Houghton – Honda +85.207

ASBK Superbike Championship Points Standings

  1. Aiden Wagner 46
  2. Cru Halliday 37
  3. Bryan Staring 35
  4. Josh Waters 34
  5. Mike Jones 29
  6. Glenn Allerton 28
  7. Troy Herfoss 27
  8. Wayne Maxwell 25
  9. Matt Walters 24
  10. Glenn Scott 20
  11. Max Croker 20
  12. Ted Collins 20
  13. Mark Chiodo 15
  14. Daniel Falzon 15
  15. Alex Phillis 14
  16. Damon Rees 11
  17. Arthur Sissis 8
  18. Lachlan Epis 8
  19. Sloan Frost 8
  20. Phil Czaj 5

Source: MCNews.com.au

Ride Phillip Island with Suzuki | February 1, 2019

ASBK Champions join Phillip Island Suzuki Track Day

Take your riding to the next level with the Suzuki Sports Bike Track Day at Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit on February 1, 2019, where Suzuki champions Shawn Giles, Josh Waters and Wayne Maxwell will be in attendance to offer expert tuition to riders taking part in a special training course as part of their ride day.

Suzuki Sports Bike Track Day Phillip Island Feb AH

Available for an additional $150, participants will receive track insight, secrets and riding tips gained in over 40 years of premier class racing. A circuit debrief will take place in a classroom style format then the champions will suit up and head on track and demonstrate proper line selection, body position and offer feedback and tips to help participates shave their lap times.

Suzuki Sports Bike Track Day Phillip Island Feb AH
Suzuki Sports Bike Track Days welcome ASBK Champs

Limited spots are available and advanced bookings is required, as spots will not be available on the day. Riders must be registered for the track day in order to participate.

Visit the Suzuki Motorcycles Australia website at the following link to register your interest: https://suzukiaustraliamerchandise.com/collections/events

Suzuki Sports Bike Track Days

Welcome to all Suzuki sports bike owners, from first timers to track day regulars the Suzuki Track Day will provide an adrenaline pumping experience with added exclusives not available at regular events. Spots are available from $200 and participants will be grouped according to experience and receive six 20 minute sessions.

Suzuki Sports Bike Track Day Phillip Island Feb
Suzuki Sports Bike Track Day

For an additional $50 riders can book a 20 minute test ride session aboard the latest generation Suzuki GSX-R1000 and experience the hardest-accelerating, sharpest handling, most technically advanced GSX-R ever. Garage Hire is also available for $25 per rider.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Wayne Maxwell back in Suzuki colours for ASBK 2019

Wayne Maxwell Team Suzuki Ecstar
Wayne Maxwell joins Team Suzuki Ecstar for 2019

GSX-R mounted riders have won almost half the Australian Superbike Championships contested this century, and in 2019 Suzuki are determined to add to that tally by fielding one of the strongest two-rider outfits ever to line up for an Australian Superbike Team.

Wayne Maxwell Team Suzuki Ecstar
Wayne Maxwell

Current rider Josh Waters has three ASBK Superbike Championships to his name (2009-2012-2017), and joining him in the Team Suzuki Ecstar squad for 2019 is long-time rival, and 2013 Australian Superbike, Champion Wayne Maxwell.

Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 Australian Superbike Championship on a GSX-R1000 Suzuki
Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 Australian Superbike Championship on a GSX-R1000 Suzuki

That 2013 Superbike Championship for Maxwell was won on a Suzuki GSX-R1000, and he is aiming to repeat that feat in season 2019.

Wayne Maxwell Team Suzuki Ecstar

Wayne Maxwell

“I’m very excited to be joining Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia for the next two years. Last time Suzuki and I were paired together proved to be very successful, winning my first Australian Superbike championship. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the GSX-R1000, I know how fast and competitive the GSX-R is having raced against it the last few years, I’m super excited to get to work with Phil, Warren and the rest of the team on repeating our 2013 success.”

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

The 36-year-old only this year broke his own ASBK Superbike outright pole lap record at Phillip Island that had stood since 2013, when that same weekend then 30-year-old took the Superbike Title for Suzuki by 34-points over Glenn Allerton.

Wayne Maxwell celebrates taking Superpole on the GSX-R1000 at Phillip Island in 2013

Suzuki are also working on a third, semi-satellite rider, for ASBK 2019 and soon hope to announce that signing too. Our tip for the gig is Alex Phillis.

Wayne Maxwell Team Suzuki Ecstar

Mat Mladin is taking young Max Croker up to the Superbike ranks in 2019 for his maiden season with the big boys.

Honda recently announced that Mark Chiodo would join 2018 ASBK Superbike Champion Troy Herfoss at Penrite Honda.

In 2019 Cru Halliday will step back up from Supersport to a Superbike ride at YRT alongside Daniel Falzon.

Glenn Allerton will line up again for NextGen BMW on an all-new S 1000 RR. Ted Collins may also have a seat on the BMW again next season.

Kawasaki look to have young Lachlan Epis joining Bryan Staring in the BCperformance squad.

And then of course there is that fella who will be turning up again on a red bike, three-time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss…

MotoGP ASBK CRw Bayliss Herfoss Allerton
Troy Bayliss – Image Colin Rosewarne

An ASBK pre-season test will be held at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on February 2-3.

2019 ASBK Calendar

  • ASBK Test – Phillip Island, VIC February 2 – 3
  • Round 1 – WSBK – Phillip Island, VIC February 21 – 24
  • Round 2 – Wakefield Park, Goulburn NSW March 22 – 24
  • Round 3 – The Bend, Tailem Bend, SA April 26 – 28
  • Round 4 – Morgan Park, Warwick, QLD July 5 – 7
  • Round 5 – Winton, Benalla, VIC September 6 – 8
  • Round 6 – Phillip Island, VIC October 4 – 6
  • Round 7 – SMP, Eastern Creek, NSW November 1 – 3

Source: MCNews.com.au

Waters signs multi-year agreement with Team Ecstar Suzuki

Waters signs multi-year agreement with Team Ecstar Suzuki

Three-time Superbike to remain aboard Suzuki machinery through 2020 season.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Victorian Josh Waters will remain with Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia for the next two years after signing a multi-year agreement to contest the 2019 and 2020 seasons of the YMF Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

Waters joined the squad for its inaugural season in 2017, which ultimately saw him seal his third Australian superbike title. Following a tough title defence this year, the number 21 wound up fourth in the championship standings.

“I’m excited to continue this partnership,” said Waters. “I have raced for Suzuki for over 10 years both here and overseas, I have a great team around me, we put in a lot of work this year and ended the season with some strong finishes and a race win, which was great. The goal is pretty simple next year, I want to win the title back”

The first official outing for the squad in 2019 will be the ASBK opener at Phillip Island, which will run alongside the WorldSBK on 22-24 February.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au