Wayne will face an up-hill battle in the fight for the 2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) presented by Motul Pirelli title after crashing out of race two in Darwin.
The 2013 champion was well in the frame for victory after setting Friday’s pace and then qualifying third to complete the front row of the grid, however starts largely impacted his progress on Sunday.
Maxwell picked his way through the pack for third in the opening encounter – setting the fastest lap of part two following the red flag – but crashed while in fourth and chasing down Bryan Staring for position in the mid-stages of race two. Despite his DNF, Maxwell sits just 22 points outside of the series lead with three rounds to run, however he knows it will be a challenge to bridge the gap again from this point.
“We were trying to make ground after a bad start,” Maxwell told CycleOnline.com.au. “There’s nothing to blame, it’s just I made a mistake trying to push on a little bit too much, so the positive of it is that we had good pace, I could match the front guys, I just had bad track position. In hindsight I maybe should have just settled for fourth or backed it off and rode that pace out through to the end – see what we could do.
“Massive apologies to everyone at Yamaha Racing Team, it’s not how we wanted to finish the weekend and it’s really put a damper on our championship. It’s going to be really hard from here on in to close that gap up. We’ve already been 30-odd points behind once and closed it to nine, but now we’re back out to the same again.
“We’ll try to come back at Morgan Park, a track that’s hard for us to win, but we’re going to have to change the strategy in what we’ve been doing with the bike and make it so it’s easier to race when we’re in a pack. In clean air the bike’s good, but in a pack we’re struggling. We’ll revisit the drawing board and hopefully come out at Morgan Park with a better package.”
With new points leader Troy Herfoss dominating at Morgan Park last year and now armed with Honda’s revamped SP2, Maxwell said he will continue to refine his approach with the YZF-R1M in its third full season of development.
“We need to get to turn one with the front guys and we need to not give away free time in some sectors of the track,” he added. “We’re so much stronger than the other guys in some areas, but giving up a lot of that free time in other areas. We’ll revisit out strategy with the R1M as I said and come out at Morgan Park with the package to run at the front.”
Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell has thrust himself right back into championship contention after a weekend of domination at round three of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Victoria’s Winton Motor Raceway.
After enterprising day during the practice sessions, Maxwell felt in tune with his YZF- R1M and confident of a good showing in the qualifying sessions. True to his word, the 2013 Australian Superbike Champion stormed to a 1min20.290 in qualifying two on Saturday, which is the new best lap in the Superbike category around the Winton circuit and he lowered the bench mark time by .115 seconds. His next goal was to transfer his raw speed into into racing then next day.
Race one saw the 34-year-old sit in second position behind Troy Herfoss for the first eleven laps of the race before taking command of the race after he got by Herfoss at turn seven. From there Maxwell was never headed and took the race win by .550sec over Robbie Bugden, with YRT supported rider Cru Halliday finishing in third place.
"It was a strange race as Troy [Herfoss] and I were strong in the first sector of the race track, then in the second and third sector I was stronger, while Troy was strong in the final sector," explained Maxwell after race one.
"My only passing opportunity was in the second sector. Troy just kept fighting back and I couldn’t get clear air. However, with three laps to go I managed to get clear air and managed to win."
The second race saw Maxwell racing in third position for the opening six laps before making his way up to second place and then set about tracking down Herfoss once again. The race winning move came on lap twelve when Maxwell dived up the inside of Herfoss at turn four. The Yamaha rider romped to a 5.211 second victory and in the process posting the fastest lap of the race with a 1min20.688 on lap eleven.
“The Yamaha YZF-R1M was a great package here this weekend,” beamed Maxwell after race two. “To be able to do those lap times one after another is no mean feat. The guys at Yamaha Racing Team have given me a great bike to go racing on this weekend. The bike and the tyres were consistent. I just tried to hit a number and stuck to it.
“I’m so happy to come away with pole position yesterday and the double race win today as it’s a nice way to repay back the team for all of their hard work. The team and I are going to have to try and keep that momentum going into the next round and for the rest of the season.”
Team mate, Glenn Allerton, is still sidelined due to an injury at a previous round but his recovery is going well and the team expect him to be back on the bike in the near future.
The Australian Superbike Championship now heads to the top end to Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway, which Maxwell said that he is really looking forward to as the circuit has been good to him in the past.
“Last time I raced there the circuit was good to me and I managed to do the fastest ever lap around there before. We’ll go back there and try and take the challenge on in regards to the championship.”
It will be the first time that the Yamaha Racing Team will race at Hidden Valley in the Superbike category. Last time the team raced at the 2.87km circuit was in 2011 in the Supersport class.
Maxwell heads into the fourth round of the championship in second place with 130-points to his name, just nine points off the championship lead. Round four of the ASBK series will be held from 6-9 July.
Round three Results – Winton Motor Raceway, VIC
1st Wayne Maxwell – 51 (YRT)
2nd Troy Herfoss – 37
3rd Cru Halliday (YRT supported) – 36
4th Robbie Bugden – 36
5th Daniel Falzon (YRT supported) – 33
Championship Standings after Round three
1st Daniel Falzon – 139 (Yamaha – R1)
2nd Wayne Maxwell – 130 (Yamaha – R1)
3rd Troy Herfoss – 130
4th Robbie Bugden – 125
5th Bryan Staring – 96
Fox Sports will broadcast jam-packed highlights of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK), with gripping footage of Round One Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and Round Two Wakefield Park Raceway. The ASBK is pushing for a significant mainstream television presence and the relationship with Fox Sports is key to that vision.
With near capacity grids in all ASBK classes, multiple manufacturers from around the globe and riders duking it out for supremacy, the ASBK Championship is more dramatic and arresting than ever before! Now the fans have a range of ways to view the Championship and catch up on all the action; including on Fox Sports.
Fox Sports’ coverage of the ASBK will showcase breathtaking "all on the line" racing across multiple categories of the Championship. Featuring interviews with riders, insights from the teams and in depth commentary from Steve Martin, Phil Harlum and Emma Notarfrancesco. The Fox Sports package will bring all home viewers closer to the action than they ever thought possible.
Don't miss the action from Round One Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, replayed on March 23, 25 and 28.
Be sure to watch, Round Two Wakefield Park Raceway, replayed on April 5, 7 and 11.
The schedule for the Fox Sports airing times, are as follows.
Fox Sports Air Dates and Times.
Round Date Time Channel
Round 1 - 23/3: 1830: Fox Sports 505
Round 1 - 25/3: 0230: Fox Sports 505
Round 1 - 28/3: 1600: Fox Sports 503
Round 2 - 05/4: 2000: Fox Sports 506
Round 2 - 07/4: 0000: Fox Sports 506
Round 2 - 11/4: 1230: Fox Sports 506
2017 has already been a year to remember with two incredible rounds, that showcased riders from all categories going all out for the title of Champion. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to relive the action!
So be sure to tune in to Fox Sports to get your motorcycle racing fix!
2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship Presented by Motul Pirelli Calendar:
Round 3 Winton Motor Raceway, VIC 28-30 April
Round 4 Hidden Valley Raceway, NT 7-9 July
Round 5 Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick, QLD 25-27 August
Round 6 SMP Eastern Creek, NSW 8-10 September
Round 7 Phillip Island Circuit, VIC 6-8 October
Race 1 saw Wayne lead in the early part of race, but having wet tyres on a dry track meant that all he could manage was a creditable 8th position. In race 2 Wayne wins after a red flag ended proceedings, whilst Wayne was passed just prior to the red flag the race was taken back one lap. Wayne finished 2nd overall for the round and moved up to 4th in the Championship.
It was a weekend of triumph and tragedy for the Yamaha Racing Team as they contested round two of the Australian Superbike Championship at Goulburn’s Wakefield park, over the weekend.
The weekend started off on a sour note when Glenn Allerton crashed early on in practice leaving him with a broken arm. Allerton high sided at turn 10 and was then taken to Hospital where it was determined he had broken his arm in two places and required immediate surgery.
“I started to straighten the bike out then started to let go of the brakes to turn in,” explained Allerton. “I then put my balance and weight forward and the backend came right around and flicked me over the handlebars. I landed on my elbow pretty hard as I broke my humerus bone in two places really badly.”
Allerton’s doctors are predicting that he will be out of action from eight to ten weeks, which means he will miss the next round of the championship. However, if everything goes well the three times Australian Superbike champion should be back for round four, which will take place at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway, which will take place on the first weekend of July.
“I just don’t know where I really stand at the moment as the injuries are so fresh. I just have to give myself some time to heal and then see what is actually going on with my arm. If my arm is good and I feel strong on the bike when I do some practicing at Sydney Motorsport Park, then I’ll go to Darwin,” Allerton ends.
In contrast to Allerton’s weekend, Wayne Maxwell was able to keep his championship hopes alive after taking home second place for the round with 8-1 results.
With unpredictable weather all weekend as showers came and went throughout, riders and teams were taking educated guesses for the right tyre set up for race one. When Maxwell left pit exit for the sighting lap the track was partly wet, which saw the 2013 Australian Superbike champion leave on wet tyres. However once the red lights went out for the twenty lap race the track dried out completely.
Maxwell led for the opening two laps, but later slipped down the running order due to racing on wet tyres. Maxwell picked up a respectful eighth position, scoring 13 championship points.
“In race one you were in control of the Gods,” said a happy Maxwell said. “It could have rained and I could have been a hero, but it didn’t. Unfortunately, that’s the way it goes.
“I’m happy with the result. If I had gone out on slicks and it rained and I dropped another race in regards to a DNF, our championship would have been over. So, to take eighth and take the points is a positive thing.”
In race two, Maxwell again got a good start and managed to capitalize on it. He went about just settling into a rhythm and led the race but soon came under pressure from Cru Halliday. It then became a three rider battle when Troy Herfoss joined the lead group but just as things were reaching a climax, Halliday went down hard and the red flag was bought out.
With Maxwell leading the last completed lap before the red flag, he was awarded the race win and managed to claw his way to second place for the round and now sits fourth in the championship.
“The guys at Yamaha Racing Team gave me a fantastic Yamaha YZF-R1M this weekend, considering our lead up has been a bit hectic. But credit to everyone on the team who has worked so hard to get things back on track for us and hopefully this is the start of our championship climb.
“On top of that it was tough conditions this weekend with rain coming and going every five minutes just made it that much harder for everyone but we made it to the podium and it’s a nice little reward for the team.
“We are going to take the positives from this weekend and move onto Winton, Maxwell concluded.
Round three of the championship moves to Winton Raceway in Victoria, a track that Maxwell as done well at in the past. With Allerton on the sidelines, there is no official decision on if a guest ride will be on offer as the team will get a full assessment of Glenn’s injury before making any decisions.
Reflecting on the weekend, Team Manager John Redding said; “It has been an up and down weekend for the entire team. Glenn’s crash has certainly hit the team pretty hard, as we only had one rider in Wayne for the round.
“Then the tyre choice in race one didn’t do us any favours at all. Wayne certainly got off to a good start, but definitely wasn’t the conditions to be racing on wets out there. He fought valiantly and went above the call.”
Race two we got some luck due to the red flag and that’s the way racing works some times. We managed to tighten the points up a bit and we just have to keep chipping away at each round and make inroads into the deficit we found ourselves in after Phillip Island,” Redding ends.
Yamaha Racing Team will head to Winton Motor Raceway on the 11-12 April for an official ASBK test, before returning to the 3.0km circuit just outside of Benalla on the last weekend of April for round three of the championship.
Round two Results – Wakefield Park, NSW
1st Troy Herfoss – 46
2nd Wayne Maxwell (YRT) – 38
3rd Robbie Bugden – 35
4th Bryan Staring – 33
5th Daniel Falzon (YRT supported) – 30
Championship Standings after Round two
1st Daniel Falzon – 106
2nd Troy Herfoss – 93
3rd Robbie Bugden – 89
4th Wayne Maxwell – 79
5th Bryan Staring – 69
13. Glenn Allerton – 35
Official Wayne Maxwell Website Hosted & Managed by Steve Thibou | Copyright © Wayne Maxwell Racing 2018 All rights reserved.
2014 Australasian Superbike Champion & AFX-Superbike Champion, 2013 Australian Superbike Champion