Queensland Australian Superbike Preview
The 2008 Queensland round of the Australian Superbike Championship previewed.
The weekend of July 10-13 sees the running of rounds 4 and 5 of the Australian Superbike Championship held at Queensland Raceway near Ipswich. Yamaha, Suzuki, and Honda have releases previewing the event.
This weekend’s dual-round Australian Superbike Championship event will play a pivotal role in the 2008 championship, and Yamaha Racing’s Superbike and Supersport pilots are confident of battling for points and podiums at Queensland Raceway. A technical circuit, the 3.12km layout is infamous for a series of bumps on the front straight, requiring an uncompromised approach from the rider and a solid setup. The team’s recent test saw them build on strong base settings from the previous season, with a good direction for qualifying and racing.
Yamaha Racing Team Superbike.
Yamaha Racing’s gun sibling teammates are aiming for another top finish at this weekend’s fourth and fifth rounds of the Australian Superbike Championship at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich. The factory R1 pilots have another win in their sights. Dan Stauffer took a hard-fought first place at Winton in round 3, and 12 months ago it was his brother Jamie who swept proceedings with a double round win at the notoriously technical and bumpy circuit. As at each round of the series, the team was in town early for a pre-event test to shake down the Superbikes and work on a base setup for the weekend. The dual-round format features just one chance to qualify, with grid positions carrying over from Saturday to Sunday. Dan said he was looking forward to getting stuck into a busy weekend at what is effectively the Gold Coaster’s home round. “We feel like we’re on a roll coming off the win at Winton, the team has been working really hard and the test showed that we’ve got a good handle on the bike,” said Stauffer. “We’ve been working on a setup that sees the tyre works well at the end of the race and we’re confident that the R1 race package is one of the best on track,” he said. “Even though it’s a double-header event we approach the weekend in the same way, its obviously important to secure a good grid spot on the Friday however.” “The track condition hasn’t changed too much from the last time we were here, obviously we’ve got a few bumpy sections coming out of turns 1 and 2 but everyone is racing on the same track so we’re all dealing with the same thing.” He is third in the points standings, just 13 points off the series lead. Jamie is looking to the reverse the results at the last round of the championship in Winton, where he scored no points in the second race after a massive crash. Over the break Stauffer’s shoulder injury has steadily improved, and it gave him few problems at the test day. “My shoulder is still a little sore but wasn’t too bad after our recent test at Queensland Raceway, however there’s a lot of racing in front of us on the weekend so I’ll have to see how it goes,” said Stauffer, who sits in fourth place in the class on 97 points. The lap record-holder at the 3.12km circuit will race with a new R1 Superbike this weekend, contesting four 16-lap races with 100 points (plus pole position bonuses) up for grabs. Stauffer will also grid up in the Supersport class, which he leads comfortably on the R6.
Australian Superbike Championship Standings (after round 3)
1. Glenn ALLERTON (NSW), 114
2. Shawn GILES (NSW), 111
3. Daniel STAUFFER (NSW), 101
4. Jamie STAUFFER (NSW), 97
5. Robert BUGDEN (QLD), 96
6. Craig COXHELL (VIC), 93
7. Jason O’HALLORAN (NSW), 89
8. Kevin CURTAIN (NSW), 54
9. Chris TROUNSON (VIC), 52
10. Zac DAVIES (NSW), 51
Yamaha Racing Team Supersport.
Yamaha Racing’s Jeremy Crowe will again fly solo this weekend, campaigning the team’s only entry at rounds 4 and 5 of the Australian Supersport Championship at Queensland Raceway. With Bryan Staring still recovering from an operation on his injured wrist, Crowe is determined to ensure a strong ‘blue’ presence at the front of the field. The New South Welshman recently had his first experience of racing abroad, campaigning an R6 for Team Yamaha Spain at the World Supersport Championship at the Nurburgring in Germany. Crowe crossed the line in a commendable 15th place, achieving his aim of finishing within the points.
This weekend he is out to revive his local Supersport championship hopes with a strong run of results at the Ipswich circuit after a nightmare zero-points round at Winton.
“This weekend is about making up points we lost at Winton and getting the championship back on the right track – I’m in fourth place, which isn’t too bad but can definitely be improved upon,” said Crowe. “The team knows what it takes to win here. Our test was really productive, there was only a few minor changes to the bike needed, the existing base setup we have for Queensland Raceway is really solid,” he said. “With double points on offer this is a crucial round, I can’t wait to get underway and fly the flag for the Yamaha Supersport team.
The Supersport class features four 16-lap races across the course of the weekend, with 100 points (plus pole position bonuses) up for grabs.
Australian Supersport Championship Standings (after round 3)
1. Jamie STAUFFER (NSW), 141
2. Joshua WATERS (VIC), 117
3. Wayne MAXWELL (VIC), 98
4. Jeremy CROWE (NSW), 83
5. Ben ATTARD (QLD), 80
6. Judd GREEDY (QLD), 77
7. Grant HAY (NSW), 72
8. Mitchell CARR (NSW), 65
9. Chris QUINN (NSW), 61
10. Ian ANDREWS (SA), 59
The heat is on for this weekend’s double header round four and five of the Australian Superbike Championships, with Teknic Honda rider Glenn Allerton aiming to increase his three point lead over Suzuki’s Shawn Giles. The team have spent the six week break honing the set up of their all-new CBR1000RR’s, and say the time spent on the track has been well worth it.
“We had a very successful test session with all of the Teknic Honda team riders at Queensland recently,” said Team Manager Paul Free. “We pinpointed our problem at Winton being corner exit speed. At the Queensland test we worked hard and significantly improved in this area. At each test and event we make positive progress with the bikes and it allows the team to aggressively move forward."
Allerton is also now very happy with his bike set up and says it’s getting better all the time. “We found a good shock setting by the end of the test session, and we’ve got our spare bikes up to scratch as well,” the 27 year old hopeful Champion said. “It’s going to be a long weekend but an important one for us so I want to do really well.”
Based on the recent sessions, both Allerton and his team mate, Jason O’Halloran, are expecting to better their Winton round three results. “The test went well at Queensland, and we worked hard to sort out some cornering issues,” said O’Halloran after clocking the second fastest times for the session. “I’m feeling confident that I will be able to challenge for the win in all races. I’m feeling fit and strong, and have been training really hard with my trainer Rob Battoccio.”
Honda Supersport rider Wayne Maxwell also continues to steadily improve on his CBR600RR and goes to Queensland in third position. “Wayne showed significant improvement at our last test session and the Pirelli Tyres are working very well,” Free said. “It should be a great weekend. We are expecting a big crowd of guests who are coming along specifically to show their support of the Honda team.
Joe Rocket Suzuki
Team Joe Rocket Suzuki will head into Round Four and Five of the Australian Superbike Championship at Queensland Raceway next weekend, 12-13 July, with form on their side, following an impressive test session. In an official two-day test at the Ipswich circuit earlier this week, Monday 30 June and Tuesday 1 July, Shawn Giles was the best of the Superbike competitors, while Josh Waters emerged on top of the Supersport timesheets.
Three-time Australian Champion, Giles currently sits second in the standings after three rounds, just three points behind Glenn Allerton. Signalling his intentions for next weekend’s crucial double-header, Giles rode his Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a fastest laptime of 1:09.15 around the 3.12km circuit. Just outside the Superbike lap record, it was good enough to put him two-tenths of a second clear at the end of the test.
"I’m pleased with how the test went, it was very productive and our performance was strong," Giles said. "Everything this year is going really well, the bike is awesome and we’ve been putting together good results at each round. Topping the times is a nice reward for the Team Joe Rocket Suzuki guys for all of their hard work. Ultimately, it won’t mean anything once the race meeting starts next weekend, but it gives us a good platform going into the event."
The test brought contrasting fortunes for Giles’ Superbike team-mates. Craig Coxhell was fourth-fastest as he looks to continue his climb up the order after a frustrating start to the season, while Robbie Bugden crashed heavily at Turn Five. Bugden was unhurt and, while badly damaged, his new GSX-R1000 will be back on track for his home round next weekend.
As development on the 2008 Suzuki GSX-R600 continues, Waters ended the test with the fastest Supersport laptime, a 1:11.70. Waters is currently second in the Supersport standings and heads to Queensland Raceway having scored a win and a second-place finish at Winton last month.
"The Suzuki GSX-R600 is going like a rocket at the moment; it’s a real credit to the team," Waters said. "Every time we’ve had it on track we’ve improved the bike and this test was no different. "I’m feeling really comfortable on it at the moment and I can’t wait to get out there next weekend."
Making it two Suzukis in the top four, privateer Judd Greedy was fourth fastest in his maiden run on a GSX-R600, as he switches to the bike for the remainder of the year. Despite limited preparation time before the test, Greedy was nearly a second faster than his previous best laptime at Queensland Raceway.