Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell scored the overall round win with an empathic 2-1 result at the fourth round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Barbagallo Raceway on the first weekend of June.
The WA win now makes it two in a row for Maxwell as he also takes control of the points lead in the Superbike Championship.
Maxwell, 33, described the weekend as an up-and-down and challenging weekend because he struggled to find a setting for his Yamaha YZF-R1M machine.
“I couldn’t get a feel for the bike and couldn’t get a direction,” explained Maxwell at the conclusion of the round on Sunday.
“I was unable to give my mechanic Warren [Monson] a direction to work in and he couldn’t give me anything back. So it took a while to get that going. We just went back to basics and went up and down with the bike and in the end we made the right decision and it paid off.”
After starting from second place in the grid, Maxwell sat in second place for the first two laps in race one before making his way to the front of the field on lap three and held onto the lead until lap ten. The Victorian rider threw everything he had at race one winner Mike Jones, however when Maxwell had an opportunity to pass him into turn six Maxwell had to yield as there was a yellow flag out. In the end Maxwell finished second, just .307 second behind.
Race two saw Maxwell hitting the lead on lap five and managed to hold the lead all the way to the very end of the twenty lap journey.
On his way to victory, Maxwell posted the fastest lap of the race on lap four which was a 55.449, just .003 seconds off YRT’s supported rider Daniel Falzon’s lap record which he set in race one. Thanks to his win it has seen Maxwell take command of the championship fight, which now sees him leading by five points over Allerton.
“To come out in race two and get the win and secure the championship lead is a great feeling,” beamed Maxwell after race two. “When I went to the lead, I didn’t really want to lead that early on because I know how physical it is out there. When I got to the lead it kept saying plus zero ‘MJ’, then plus zero ‘GA’ and I thought to myself “would someone give me a break?”
“I kept the pressure on and lucky enough we came out on top. I have to say a massive thanks to my mechanic Warren and the entire Yamaha Racing Team for the effort they have done this weekend.”
Allerton, who started the weekend off strong admitted that it was a bitter pill to swallow to be third overall for the round as he started the weekend off very well. The Wilton based rider topped the time sheets in practice two and three on Friday and qualifying two on Saturday before qualifying in third place in superpole, .246 seconds off Maxwell’s 55.159 second lap time.
After a tough start in race one, Allerton managed to get himself back up to third place and described that race as being "difficult".
In race two, Allerton powered his way through the pack from fifth place before making his way up to fourth on lap three, then third on lap four. He would stay there until lap seventeen after he got by Jones into turn seven and held onto second place for the rest of the race. The finishing order between Allerton and Maxwell was .899 seconds.
“I showed that I had the speed to run at the front,” said Allerton after race two. “In the heat of the battle, Wayne did a great job and won race two. I threw everything I had at him, so you can’t take it away from him. I just have to keep working hard, as the harder you work the luckier you get, so that’s what I’m going to keep on doing and move onto Morgan Park and do the best I can to win there.”
Finishing in sixth place overall with a 7-6 result was the third of the Yamaha riders in Cru Halliday. Barbagallo Raceway was a new circuit for the Camden based rider and it took a while for Halliday to get his head around the 2.411km circuit.
At the beginning of the first practice session on Friday, Halliday’s lap time was a 56.466 second. By qualifying one the 28-year-old got into the 55’s by stopping the clock with a 55.863 second. His best lap time however came in superpole when he set a 55.649, which saw him qualify in sixth place.
Race one unfortunately wasn’t a good race for Halliday. He did manage to get a good start, however he made a pretty big mistake coming out of the first corner and lost a couple of positions. On top of that Halliday admitted that he made a setup which didn’t go his way.
For race two Halliday and the Yamaha Racing Team went back to the setup to what they had in qualifying on Saturday. After the change, Halliday was able to fight hard which was proven when he set a 55.671 second lap time on lap two, which was just .022sec off his superpole lap time.
“The Yamaha R1M was handling so well out there in race two,” said Halliday. “I did have a little bit of tyre wear mid-race, but it did come back towards the end of the race. I made a small mistake while fighting against Troy, but these things happen and its racing. I just have to take the good with the bad and head off to Morgan Park now and try and get a good result there.
The Australian Superbike Championship now heads to Morgan Park Raceway, which will take place on the first weekend of August.
Round four Results – Barbagallo Raceway
1st Wayne Maxwell (YRT) 45
2nd Mike Jones 44
3rd Glenn Allerton 38
4th Daniel Falzon (YRT supported) 33
5th Troy Herfoss 33
6th Cru Halliday (YRT) 29
Championship Standings after Round four
1st Wayne Maxwell (YRT) 176
2nd Glenn Allerton (YRT) 171
3rd Troy Herfoss 158
4th Mike Jones 137
5th Ben Burke 114
6th Cru Halliday (YRT) 106
7th Daniel Falzon (YRT supported) 103
8th Brayden Elliott 91
9th Jamie Stauffer 84
10th Matt Walters 73
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2014 Australasian Superbike Champion & AFX-Superbike Champion, 2013 Australian Superbike Champion