Kawasaki Motors Australia press release:
Superbike veteran, Robbie Bugden held his ground and secured consistent results with the Kawasaki BCperformance Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R at round 4 of the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship while other Kawasaki supported riders resumed their outstanding efforts.
The Kawasaki BCperformance Racing Team entered Hidden Valley Raceway for the first time and rode away with mixed results after Robbie Bugden elevated his championship position to 2nd and teammate, Kyle Buckley retired from the round with an injured leg courtesy of an incident in the first race.
Crossing the line in 5th place for both of the Superbike races meant that Bugden settled in 5th place overall for the round. His championship point haul allowed him to walk away from the Northern Territory round in 2nd place on the championship leader board, only 13 points away from the series leader.
“This championship isn’t about winning every race and sometimes you need to do the best you can to be consistently gaining championship points,” Bugden said.
“My closest rivals had an average weekend which helped to push me up the championship leader board. Full credit to the Kawasaki BCperformance Racing Team as this weekend didn’t come easy at all. From the second we got here we knew we had a lot to do so we tried to push forward but we didn’t have the pace to win and that wasn’t from a lack of trying.”
“Maybe this wasn’t our weekend but we did the best we could. Championships are about consistency and that’s what we are doing so hopefully we can go to Morgan Park Raceway in QLD, which is my home round and I’ll be able to do a lot better,” commented Bugden modestly.
Ninja ZX-10R teammate and the fastest rookie in this year’s Superbike class, Kyle Buckley unfortunately crashed out at no fault of his own, seven laps into the first race. The incident resulted in in injured leg and Kyle is hopeful at the prospect of returning to race his Ninja ZX-10R at the next round.
“We were having a positive weekend up until the crash. We ended up finding a good rhythm for the race within the first seven laps and I was in P9 with an idea of catching another few riders in the race but that’s when it went wrong. Up until then we made some steps in the right direction and got the bike going well,” commented the 22 year old Queenslander.
“I’d like to think we would have been able to finish with the top guys for both races but hopefully we can pick up where we left off. I will be out of action but I will try to heal up and become fit again as quickly as I can.”
Kawasaki BCperformance Racing Team Manager, Kelvin Reilly adapted to overcome some challenges leading into the round saying, “We have never been to Hidden Valley Raceway as a team before and we had no baseline data to go off in terms of bike setup. Regardless we worked hard and found a good setting for both riders after practicing, so qualifying times were good, even though Robbie crashed (in qualifying).”
“Coming into the races, we knew the heat would have an impact on the tyres and we had to maintain a good race pace without wearing out the tyres so I am happy with Robbie and the team considering the tough conditions.”
“We have a test session coming up at Morgan Park so we will be rearing to go at the next meeting. We have 3 rounds left on the calendar, we are well in the fight for the championship and we know we can be there right until the end!” commented Kelvin.
Kawasaki supported Matt Walters bounced back from a trying round at Winton in Victoria and battled to place his Kawasaki Connection Ninja ZX-10R in 6th overall for the round.
“We turned up with a lot of testing under our belt after the Winton round. There was a little bit of uncertainty because we had a few new components that we hadn’t had a chance to dial in. We were able to get the Ninja ZX-10R into the best form that gelled with me for that weekend and it worked in my favour,” Matt commented.
“Qualifying wasn’t the best but my lap pace was positive and my overall race pace was looking good so we moved up toward the front of the field which was great. The outlook for Morgan Park is that it could be difficult because I haven’t been there before but we are on a confidence boost and I want to keep the ball rolling so I’m sure we can do well there,” Matt said.
Kawasaki and Mick Muldoon Motorcycles sponsored Ninja ZX-6R rider, Sam Muldoon started off in 12th position for race one and punch his way through the ranks to 4th in race two, giving him a top ten overall result for the round.
Tom Toparis continued his winning form in the Supersport class with the Cube Racing Ninja ZX-6R, winning the first race and coming second in race two for 2nd place overall. Tom sits in 2nd place on the series leader board after the round.
Kawasaki supported riders now shift their focus onto the 5th round of the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship, to be held at Morgan Park in QLD on 25th – 27th August.