Team Joe Rocket Suzuki at Winton

Joe RocketCraig Coxhell will be out to get his 2008 Australian Superbike Championship title charge underway this weekend at Winton for Team Joe Rocket Suzuki

 Craig Coxhell

Team Joe Rocket Suzuki ace Craig Coxhell will be out to get his 2008 Australian Superbike Championship title charge underway this weekend, 31 May – 1 June, when the series visits his home circuit, Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria.

After finishing second in the 2007 title, the Shepparton speedster has had a quiet start to the 2008 season and sits seventh in the championship on his Joe Rocket Suzuki GSX-R1000. Coxhell, 25, has finished sixth in the opening two rounds at Eastern Creek and Mallala, battling a stomach bug at the South Australian circuit last month which left him physically drained. This weekend, Coxhell will be out to score a big haul of points in Round Three of the championship and move up the order.

"We haven’t had the worst start to the year, but it would’ve been good to have scored more points," Coxhell, 2003 series champion, said. "Our race finishes haven’t been spectacular, but we have kept picking up points which could come in handy later in the season. As my home round, I always look forward to racing at Winton. We had a really good test at the circuit a couple of weeks ago; hopefully we’ve got something to celebrate at the end of the weekend."

Coxhell’s team-mate and three-time Australian Superbike Champion Shawn Giles is also heading to Winton intent on moving up the order, albeit from second in the championship. Giles has finished second and third in the opening two rounds, to sit just four points shy of championship leader Glenn Allerton. In his 10th year with Suzuki, Giles is eyeing a record fourth Australian crown.

"Our form so far this year has been really promising," he said. "The 2008 GSX-R1000 is a great package, and to finish third at Mallala, where we’ve had a couple of tough runs in recent years demonstrates the progress the team has made. We’re only four points behind Glenn at the moment and all of that can turn around very quickly given how tight it is at the top of the order and the level of competition."

Fresh from finishing second at Mallala, New Zealand Superbike Champion Robbie Bugden also heads to Winton strongly positioned in the championship. Making it three Suzuki riders in the top seven, Bugden is fourth in the series standings.

Representing Team Joe Rocket Suzuki in the Australian Supersport Championship, Joshua Waters sits third in the series, riding the all-new 2008 GSX-R600. Just two race meetings old, significant progress with the new machine has been made, with Waters keen to build on his third place finish at Mallala this weekend.


Superbike Championship Points (after 2 of 7 rounds)

1 Glenn Allerton 80pts,
2 Shawn Giles (Joe Rocket Suzuki GSX-R1000) 76,
3 Jamie Stauffer 71,
4 Robert Bugden (Joe Rocket Suzuki GSX-R1100) 70,
5 Jason O’Halloran 69,
6 Daniel Stauffer 59,
7 Craig Coxhell (Joe Rocket Suzuki GSX-R1000) 58,
8 Kevin Curtain 54,
9 Shannon Johnson 51,
10 Scott Charlton 46.

Supersport Championship Points (after 2 of 7 rounds)
1 Jamie Stauffer 95pts,
2 Jeremy Crowe 83,
3 Joshua Waters (Joe Rocket Suzuki GSX-R600) 72,
4 Judd Greedy 64,
5 Wayne Maxwell 63,
6 Scott Charlton 54,
7 Ben Attard 45,
8 Grant Hay 45,
9 Chris Quinn 43,
10 Bryan Staring 38.

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