See how Australian Superbike Champion Bryan Staring is travelling in his debut European season.
Bryan Staring and Team Pedercini Kawasaki took a few knocks on the chin in the second quarter of the European FIM Superstock 1000 Cup Championship. With a summer break and a trip home freshening the reigning ASBK champion up, Staring is ready to get on that podium in 2011…
Bryan, tell us how your season went from top five positions, looking good for a podium or even win, to mid pack almost overnight?
It’s hard to pin point one specific reason as there really could be a number of reasons to our performance slump. Since our best result of fifth we have had lots of different problems. Engine failure and chatter have been our main problems and a few big crashes probably knocked my confidence a bit. But when the bike has had trouble I feel like I have done my best but sometimes when the bike has been good I’ve made a mistake in a race, qualifying lap or a crash in a session that has put me behind. There is a big difference between SST and SBK in the amount of track time available.
How has this affected your confidence as a rider?
We’ll no rider ever wants to say they’re unconfident but it has been the case for me in some situations. Confidence can be a funny thing. I always put my 100% in, but when you’re completely comfortable and confident you seem to make it happen and I just haven’t been making it happen like I have the last few years.
Have you settled in to European lifestyle yet?
I am really enjoying life in Europe or Italy, especially where I live. For me, the best part is the cycling. Cycling is more then just a tool for training. It’s my whole lifestyle. I live near Verona/Lake Garda and the cycling scene there is huge, with so much different landscape to ride it’s still new and exciting for me. And it’s been great to see the rest of the tourist things with my girlfriend Emma also. The other side of the world is an interesting place.
How do you rate the Euro riders in your class compared to say, ASBK Superbike or FX Superstock?
Right up there. The guys at the front of SST are pushing lap records at every circuit. Last year the SST class winner was Airton Badavini and he was completely dominant, he is doing great things in SBK. I think the SST class is very similar to the ASBK standard (even though my results don’t show it yet). And then I think the SBK riders are a step above that.
You had a mid season break and returned home to Australia. Did this give you time to reflect on your performance and re-evaluate the final rounds of 2011?
Yes it has, I really feel like I’ve had a good break. I just want to do an outstanding job with what I have, and forget the little problems and the reasons why it’s hard or not going well. Just concentrate on making it happen and move forward from Nurburgring, which was a less than ideal result in the end.
Your ideal time is often very good and at one round you were fastest rider in a sector. Have these glimpses of brilliance helped you to maintain your self belief that you are as quick as anyone out there? If not quicker?
I know what I am capable of on a motorbike when I get it right. I know I can run on lap record pace and I know I can make winning strategies while I’m racing. The places on the circuit I am comfortable with I can be right there on the time sheets. Although I really need to improve the places where I’m not.
Tell us about the bike and the tyres. What have you found challenging about the ZX-10R Ninja and the Pirelli control tyres?
The bike and tyre and everything was all really challenging to begin with. I was always chasing feeling. I wanted my bike to feel exactly like my ASBK championship winning bike from last year. Once I realized that feeling wasn’t going to come I have improved. The bike is great and getting the most from it and the control tyre is a completely different feeling to what I know from last year.
And your mechanics and team, do you have a good crew around you that you communicate well with? How do the Euro team members compare to Australians you have worked with?
It’s a completely different ball game in that regard. I have been blessed in Australia with not having a team mate. I have always had all the attention. This year things operate differently, our team has five riders with seven motorbikes in two classes and one suspension technician. So the team structure is very different. And although my team can speak good English there can still be confusion. But that’s part of learning the Euro way.
Bryan, you’ve been on a steep learning curve this year. You must be looking forward to 2012 being your second year on the Team Pedercini ZX-10R Ninja and having all of that experience up your sleeve?
For me it’s really comforting and satisfying to know I will be with the same crew, bike and class again next year. It’s exactly what I need to move forward. Stability. I hope we can get the results we deserve next year and fight for the championship. Time will tell.