Today marked the explosive commencement of the 2019 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) season, as riders and teams got down to business at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the Official ASBK Test. Temperatures in the mid 30’s meant that riders were treated to superb track conditions offering plenty of grip and the opportunity to stretch their legs after a long off-season.
Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, Suzuki GSX-R EL R),Tom Toparis (Landbridge Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R6) and Locky Taylor (YRD, Yamaha R3 321) closed off today with the fastest overall lap times for their respective classes. Maxwell put in a brave performance to take out fastest in the Kawasaki Superbike class, despite an operation on his collarbone only nine days ago.
The test also saw the first-ever appearance of the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup, a brand new Junior Road Race Academy featuring 25 of Australia’s brightest junior riders.
A Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit regular, Saturday treated Wayne Maxwell very well. Clocking in the fastest time for the Kawasaki Superbike class of 1:32.913, Maxwell was feeling right at home on the new Suzuki frame as he navigated ‘The Island’s’ undulating slopes and tight corners.
“I’m really happy to be back with Team Suzuki ECSTAR on the GSX-R. You have these doubts that creep in at the start because everything is so foreign but I came into today with a clear goal of not only winning but also making a contribution to build a strong team,” explained Maxwell.
“The bike’s getting better with every lap and with all things considered, I’m really happy. Tomorrow we’ll just work on longevity which is a little bit difficult at the moment with my collarbone injury.”
Coming in hot after Maxwell was Troy Bayliss (Ducati Panigale FE) with a 1:33.011, who finished twice at the top of the timesheets across Day One of the Official ASBK Test. Behind Bayliss by .170 was Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Bcperformance, Kawasaki ZX10RR) with the third fastest time for Day One of 1:33.181. Staring took his time throughout the course of the day to find his feet, but neither the first day nerves nor the Phillip Island circuit could dissuade Staring from finishing the day with the third fastest time overall. Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, Suzuki GSX-R EL R) finished Day One with a fastest time of 1:33:334. It took the 2017 ASBK Champion no time to ease on into the first day of the 2019 season, appearing toward the top of the timesheets throughout the day.
Rounding out the top five fastest lap times was Aiden Wagner (Yamaha YZF-R1), with a best time of 1:33:452. Wagner has rung out clear to the Kawasaki Superbike class that he means business in the 2019 season, featuring regularly throughout the day in the top five places.
Reigning ASBK Champion, Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing, Honda CBR RR SP) finished with the sixth fastest time of 1:33:500.
Day One Fastest Overall Top 10 Results:
1 Wayne MAXWELL (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, Suzuki GSX-R EL R) 1:32.913
2 Troy BAYLISS (Ducati Panigale FE) 1:33.011
3 Bryan STARING (Kawasaki Bcperformance, Kawasaki ZX10RR) 1:33.181
4 Josh WATERS (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, Suzuki GSX-R EL R) 1:33.334
5 Aiden WAGNER (Yamaha YZF-R1) 1:33.452
6 Troy HERFOSS (Penrite Honda Racing, Honda CBR RR SP) 1:33.500
7 Daniel FALZON (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1) 1:33.541
8 Cru HALLIDAY (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1) 1:33.565
9 Glenn ALLERTON (NextGen Motorsports, BMW S RR) 1:33.614
10 Mark CHIODO (Penrite Honda Racing, Honda CBR RR SP) 1:33.934
2019 ASBK Calendar
Official ASBK Test – Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC February 2 – 3
Round 1- WSBK – Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC February 21 – 24
Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway – Goulburn NSW March 22 – 24
Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park – Tailem Bend, SA April 26 – 28
Round 4- Morgan Park Raceway – Warwick, QLD July 5 – 7
Round 5- Winton Motor Raceway – Benalla, VIC September 6 – 8
Round 6- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 4 – 6
Round 7- Sydney Motorsport Park – Eastern Creek, NSW November 1 – 3