Former champ Adam 'Krusty' Fergusson takes a look at the state of Aussie Superbike racing as we head for Tasmania's round two.
So the battle for the 2009 Australian Superbike Championship is about to kick into high gear this weekend at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.
The circuit is probably the best supported round of the year and the crowd really enjoy the show that all of the riders put on, which is why it is quite possibly the most memorable round for all of the riders.
Symmons is quite memorable for me as a matter of fact, but unfortunately for all of the wrong reasons. I have not started a race at Symmons in my entire professional career as it has been the scene of some horrific accidents for me over the last few years, especially the testing accident I had in 2007 which ultimately ended my career.
The circuit is very tight and twisty in a few places, and it does not really offer a lot of passing opportunities so obtaining a good qualifying position is crucial.
It is also quite important for the other teams to try to stop the Motologic Racing Honda team from building too much momentum, with defending champ Glenn Allerton and his new teammate Wayne Maxwell putting on a strong show at the opening round at Phillip Island.
The likely challenges are always expected from the Yamaha Racing Team of Jamie and Dan Stauffer, but they need to further develop the new YZF-R1 to expect to run with very fast and proven bikes like the Hondas and Suzukis.
For me the surprise from the first round is new Suzuki Superbike rider Josh Waters. He is the current points leader after round one through hard riding and consistency, and I expect him to run at the front all year along with his ever-strong teammate Shawn Giles.
This coming event will also tell quite a few stories as it will be the first standalone event held by the new promoters, IEG. And for anybody that has been keeping an eye on the progress, there are quite a few areas that have been promised but are yet to be delivered.
This is one part of an organisation that always makes people nervous, especially the companies that invest such a large amount of money into the sport.
As everybody knows, there is no racing without promoters, but the people that run the show need to understand that without the riders and teams, there is nothing to promote.
This is not supposed to be a waffle from an ex-racer by the way, just an opinion from somebody who has been around for quite a while to see how both sides work. It is in everybody’s best interests to make the series work for all parties concerned, and if it does not work out, then the ramifications can be disastrous.
When you really look at it, it costs in excess of one million dollars a year to fund and run a factory Superbike team with two riders, and the money does not mystically appear.
All team managers need to find willing parties to invest the money into the teams to help sell their products. And in these tough economic times, that is a hard task in itself.
So basically what I am trying to say is that everybody needs to work together to build an exciting sport that showcases some of the finest talent this country has to offer, otherwise it will all end up down the toilet. Who will win from that? Nobody.
Back on track though, let’s all hope that everything runs well and the riders can put on a great show for the most important people of all, the fans… because without them, what are we doing out there?
Ride smart and be safe.