PODIUM RESULTS FOR TEAM YOSHIMURA SUZUKI
Team Yoshimura Suzuki riders Shawn Giles, Craig Coxhell and Josh Waters continued their impressive start to the 2007 Australian Superbike and Supersport Championships with podium results in both classes at Winton Raceway’s first double-header round on 22-25 March.
The double-header concept saw Round Two’s two 17-lap races for each class conducted on Saturday, with Round Three’s two races held on Sunday at the 3.0km Benalla (Victoria) circuit.
After qualifying on the Superbike front row, 36-year-old Giles was quick to show he has every intention of adding a fourth Australian Superbike title to his CV, leading the early laps in some of the toughest and most aggressive Superbike racing seen for many years.
Giles’ third in Saturday’s race one was backed up by sixth in race two for third overall for the round. Just 24 hours later fourth and third placings in Sunday’s two races gave Giles fourth overall for Round Three, with Giles’ combined points tally making him the third highest points-scorer for the weekend.
Team-mate Coxhell quickly adapted to the technically-challenging and physically-demanding circuit he last raced at in 2003, although 10th in Saturday’s first race after running off the track at high speed was not the start the 24-year-old was after. The 2003 Australian Superbike Champion bounced back in Saturday’s second race with third, which gave the Shepparton rider fourth overall for Round Two.
Coxhell went one better in Sunday’s Round Three with second in race two, just 1.005sec behind reigning champion Jamie Stauffer as he closed in on the current championship points leader over the final laps of the race. With third place in Sunday’s opening Superbike race, that gave Coxhell second overall for Round Three and moved him to fourth in the championship after three of eight rounds.
Twenty-year-old Joshua Waters continued his impressive results aboard the Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R600, with third-place finishes in two of the four weekend’s Supersport races to sit fourth overall in the Australian Supersport Championship after three rounds.
Robbie Bugden, third in the 2006 Australian Superbike Championship and the recently-crowned 2007 New Zealand Superbike Champion, had a frustrating meeting by his high standards on his satellite Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. The Queenslander’s best results came in Saturday’s two races with seventh in each, as testing and development time on his Australian bike has been hampered in recent months by his New Zealand commitments.
With Bugden’s New Zealand racing program for Suzuki now over, Team Yoshimura Suzuki manager Phil Tainton is confident an expanded local test program for the 26-year-old over coming weeks will solve the lack of pre-season set-up concerns.
Round Four of the Australian Superbike and Supersport Championship takes place at South Australia’s Mallala Motorsport Park on April 20-22.
PHIL TAINTON – TEAM MANAGER
"It’s been a good weekend for the Yoshimura Suzuki team, with Shawn and Craig scoring podium finishes in Superbike and Josh breaking up the blue team at the front of the Supersport field.
"I’m extremely happy with how the riders performed over the four days of the double-header event in conditions that were demanding on everyone. We had eight races to prepare for, and temperatures that reached 37 degrees with high humidity during qualifying.
"This year’s Superbike championship is shaping as the most competitive for many years, so it’s important we get our 2007 racebikes built and on track for Shawn and Craig for the next round. They are doing a great job on last year’s bikes, as their Round Two and Round Three results respectively show.
"Josh’s last race in Supersport was exceptional, and he showed he could run at lap record pace on a bike that is still in its early stages of development.
"Robbie had a frustrating meeting by his standards as he missed the recent test day at Winton in the lead up to this race weekend. We’ll be working closely with Robbie at Mallala to make up for the lost ground and help him get comfortable on the bike.
"Congratulations to Jamie Stauffer on his two overall round wins on the weekend."
"I should be reasonably happy with the weekend’s results of third overall in round two on Saturday and fourth overall on Sunday as it puts points on the board.
"The bike had good speed all weekend, and I can’t say enough about the team and the performance of the new Dunlop tyres.
"I led most of the races in the early laps, so I was a bit frustrated with myself for letting the other guys through which shuffled me back.
"The Winton layout doesn’t allow a lot of room for passing, so you have to block the holes when you’re in front, or be aggressive if you’re behind.
"The level of competition this season is as high as I can remember in the Australian Superbike Championship, so I’m looking forward to getting our 2007 racebikes and closing the points gap to Jamie over the upcoming five rounds."
"To finish the weekend second overall for Round Three and second in the final race was a great result for the team.
"I had a lot of family and friends at the track this weekend, and I really wanted to show them that I could still race a Superbike at the front of the pack.
"I wasn’t worried when I was down the timesheet during practice and early in qualifying as I was working on set-up and getting comfortable with the bike for the four races.
"The Australian championship is really competitive, and I knew it was going to be tough coming home after three seasons away, but the results are beginning to come now, and I’m happy with fourth in the championship after three rounds."
"I’m happy with fourth overall in each of the two rounds this weekend, as we’re still developing the Suzuki GSX-R600. It’s only our third race meeting on the bike.
"Finishing third in two of the four races shows we’re getting closer to taking that first win, and I was stoked with my lap time in the final race. I couldn’t believe it when I was told it was a 1:23.483.
"I was pretty mad when I got baulked by a lapped rider on the last lap when I was lining up a pass on Jeremy (Crowe) for second, but then I calmed down and realised that’s racing."
"It’s good to finish all four races and get some points on the board, but I’m disappointed with my results this weekend.
"I’ve done well at Winton the past two years, so to get two sevenths in Saturday’s races as my best results was lower than I’d expected.
"The racing is unbelievably close this year, and missing the recent Winton Superbike test day showed in my results.
"It’s so competitive out there it’s important to have the bike set-up spot-on, so I was playing catch-up for most of the meeting. With my New Zealand Superbike Championship commitments now over my full focus is on the next round at Mallala."
2007 AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
Superbike Overall Results – Round 2
1 Jamie Stauffer, 2 Daniel Stauffer, 3 Shawn Giles (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 4 Wayne Maxwell, 5 Craig Coxhell (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 6 Shannon Johnson, 7 Robbie Bugden (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 8 Scott Charlton, 9 Glenn Allerton, 10 Bryan Staring
Superbike Overall Results – Round 3
1 Jamie Stauffer, 2 Craig Coxhell (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 3 Daniel Stauffer, 4 Shawn Giles (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 5 Glenn Allerton, 6 Shannon Johnson, 7 Bryan Staring, 8 Wayne Maxwell, 9 Robbie Bugden (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 10 Russell Holland
Superbike Championship Points (after 3 of 8 rounds)
1 Jamie Stauffer 147, 2 Daniel Stauffer 122, 3 Glenn Allerton 93, 4 Craig Coxhell (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 91, 5 Shannon Johnson 87, 6 Shawn Giles (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 81, 7 Wayne Maxwell 79, 8 Bryan Staring 72, 9 Adam Fergusson 72, 10 Scott Charlton 69
Supersport Overall Results – Round 2
1 Jamie Stauffer, 2 Jason O’Halloran, 3 Jeremy Crowe, 4 Joshua Waters (Suzuki GSX-R600), 5 Bryan Staring, 6 Russell Holland, 7 Wayne Maxwell, 8 Judd Greedy, 9 Chris Seaton, 10 Gareth Jones
Supersport Overall Results – Round 3
1 Jason O’Halloran, 2 Jeremy Crowe, 3 Jamie Stauffer, 4 Joshua Waters (Suzuki GSX-R600), 5 Bryan Staring, 6 Russell Holland, 7 Chris Seaton, 8 Sam Smith, 9 Gareth Jones, 10 Mick Kelly
Supersport Championship Points (after 3 of 8 rounds)
1 Jason O’Halloran 140, 2 Jamie Stauffer 128, 3 Jeremy Crowe 108, 4 Joshua Waters (Suzuki GSX-R600) 101, 5 Bryan Staring 97, 6 Russell Holland 89, 7 Judd Greedy 74, 8 Gareth Jones 67, 9 Mick Kelly 63, 10 Wayne Maxwell 58