It was a remarkable weekend for Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia’s Wayne Maxwell at Morgan Park’s fourth round of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), as he emerged victorious for the first time this season.
Congratulations on the win, you must be stoked to get the job done!
Absolutely! To get the first overall of the year for Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia, and I think their first since 2017, is pretty important. We’re in it for every race, not only for myself, but as a team – it’s exciting times ahead in the second half of the season.
You’ve been really competitive all season long, but you’ve been struck with a bit of bad luck. Are you relieved to get the victory and put a whole weekend together?
Yeah, absolutely. I was disappointed after the first race, I had a bad start and track position. I knew how strong Mike [Jones] was at the test and at the races, so when I had a good start in race two and he made a mistake, I knew it was time to capitalise. I followed through with our plan, which for Morgan Park – which is our worst track on the calendar for us – was to get out of there in no worse position than what we went into it.
That last race was pretty crazy, Troy was all over you. What was running through your mind in those final laps as he attempted some passes?
Normally when the race is like that and I’m in that position, I struggle to get over Troy because he’s cunning and so strong, and he’s physically really good on the bike at the end. So I was aware of that challenge, so I tried to go to another level and push in the last handful of laps – that was just enough to get me across the line.
Looking at the points, you’re not out of the title chase, especially with how tight and unpredictable the championship is. Are you still hopeful you can put yourself in a position to take out the crown?
I definitely think so – we’re getting better with each round with myself physically on the bike, and the bike itself. I’m pretty excited going into the next three tracks – they’re three very good tracks for me, and I can’t wait to get to Winton. It’s been unpredictable – this year there’s been a lot of things out of my control that have put me under the pressure of winning races. I’ve just got to focus on the races ahead.
What’s the approach from here on out?
I think anyone who wants to win this championship is going to have to win races – no one is going to do it by playing the safe option – we’re going to have to take some risks. The plan is going to be to go there, do the work and hopefully it’s enough to put ourselves in a position to win races.
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2014 Australasian Superbike Champion & AFX-Superbike Champion, 2013 Australian Superbike Champion