Maxwell on McMartin prepared Ducati for ASBK 2020
After Steve Martin left for Europe at the turn of the century Ducati’s presence in the ranks of Australian Superbike all but disappeared entirely.
Mike Jones put the Italian brand back on the box a few times in season 2016, before in 2018 Troy Bayliss then really pumped up the Ducati profile in the ranks of ASBK, coming out of retirement and lending his incredible personal brand strength to help boost the profile of the Australian Superbike Championship.
After the three-time World Superbike Champion was injured early in season 2019, DesmoSport Ducati, the Gold Coast based team formed by Bayliss and Western Australian Ben Henry, had Mike Jones perform a stand-in role from round two.
As Bayliss continued to struggle with damage to his fingers, Jones’ gig with the DesmoSport squad then turned in to a full-time role that saw the Queenslander take his second, and Ducati’s second, Australian Superbike Title. Jones won the 2019 ASBK title on the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition V-Twin, but will ride the Panigale V4 R in 2020.
The only previous #1 plate for Ducati had been won by Steve Martin back in 1999, on a 996 RS.
Season 2020 of ASBK will now see the strongest ever presence for the Ducati brand in Australian Superbike with not only Mike Jones set to defend his title with DesmoSport Ducati, but yet another Ducati team stepping up their game to contest the full ASBK Superbike season.
Long time Ducati aficionado and ex Ducati employee Craig McMartin, himself more than handy behind a set of handlebars, has joined forces with Wayne Maxwell to launch an assault on ASBK 2020 with the delectable Panigale V4 R.
Maxwell has won top level Superbike Championships in Australia riding both Suzuki and Honda machinery, and went oh so close with Yamaha, but season 2020 will see the 37-year-old make a tilt for the title on a $60,000 Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Maxwell is a fierce and wily competitor that is rarely off the podium. If he can get enough seat and set-up time under his belt before the start of season 2020, he is certain to be mixing it up at the front right from the Phillip Island season opener.
Maxwell threw a leg over the Ducati for the first time at Wakefield Park in November and recently rode the machine again at Phillip Island.
Craig McMartin Racing will run the single rider team and Wayne will have two bikes at his disposal. They plan to run on Pirelli with K-Tech suspension and are currently tying up their sponsorship deals for the season ahead.
|2020 ASBK Championship Calendar|
|Rnd 1||Feb 27 – March 1||Phillip Island, VIC|
|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|