Oleon Motologic Racing Honda rider Wayne Maxwell stormed to his second Superbike pole position of the season in the Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship when he judged wild weather conditions better than his opponents at South Australia’s Mallala Motorsport Park today.
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Oleon Oils Team Motologic Honda rider Wayne Maxwell stormed to his second Superbike pole position of the season in the Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship when he judged wild weather conditions better than his opponents at South Australia’s Mallala Motorsport Park this afternoon.
As strong winds and unpredictable rain squalls lashed the 2.6km circuit, Maxwell planned his run for pole to perfection to leapfrog his Honda teammate Glenn Allerton in the dying minutes of the opening qualifying session and grab the bonus championship point for pole position.
Maxwell’s time of 1:06.192 came on his very last lap of the opening 25-minute qualifying session and bettered Allerton’s time by just 0.065sec.
Allerton, the reigning champion and current points leader also set his fastest time on his last lap of the opening session, but had to settle for second on the grid when his teammate powered past the chequered flag a few seconds later.
With the second qualifying session later in the day held in more variable weather conditions that adversely affected lap times, and the Superpole Shootout between the top eight riders abandoned by race officials due to heavy rain, 27-year-old Maxwell secured pole and the coveted outside position on the front row.
“Hats off to the whole team for giving me a bike that could do the job,” said Maxwell. “I found it a bit tough at the last round at Eastern Creek as we’d had a long break between rounds, but more time on the bike and better race fitness has made a difference.”
Rounding out the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s two 20-lap races are Team Joe Rocket Suzuki teammates Robbie Bugden and Josh Waters, Bugden just 0.203sec off Allerton’s time and Waters a further 0.004sec adrift.
The third of the Team Joe Rocket Suzuki riders, and three-time Australian Superbike champion, Shawn Giles heads row two, with just 0.474sec separating the top five riders.
Yamaha Racing Team rider Jamie Stauffer, leading privateer Craig Coxhell (Bisley Workwear Honda CBR1000RR) and Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Curtain round out the top eight.
“I wasn’t that worried if Superpole ran or not,” said Waters, who qualified fastest at the previous round at Sydney’s Eastern Creek three weeks ago. “I had a front row start, and that’s important at this circuit as it’s only a short run to the first corner.”
When a violent squall lashed the circuit with 60km/h winds and torrential rain mid-afternoon race officials rescheduled the Superpole Shootout for the top eight qualifiers to later in the day, but with the track still wet one hour later and rain threatening again the Superpole session was abandoned.
Two Superbike riders fell victim to the treacherous conditions that plagued qualifying this afternoon, with two-time Australian champion Marty Craggill fortunate to walk away uninjured after crashing his Suzuki GSX-R1000 at high speed.
“It was so changeable today it was difficult to know what to do,” said two-time Australoian Superbike champion Jamie Stauffer, who qualified sixth fastest. “One minute I was fitting a tinted visor to my helmet, then I’d be swapping to a clear one as the dark clouds came across, then the sun would come out again.”
Maxwell’s bonus point for pole position today moved him to 148pts in the seven-round series, 29pts adrift of championship leader Allerton (177pts) with Waters second on 170pts.
In the Insure My Ride Australian Supersport Championship defending champion Jamie Stauffer topped the timesheet on his Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R6, his 1:10.534 edging out Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Troy Herfoss by 0.538sec. Honda privateer Shannon Johnson and championship leader Bryan Staring’s Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R6 complete the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s two 20-lap Supersport races.
AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP, ROUND FIVE, MALLALA MOTORSPORT PARK, ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SUNDAY, AUGUST 29, 2009
FINAL QUALIFYING TIMES
1 Wayne Maxwell (Vic), Honda 1:06.192
2 Glenn Allerton (NSW), Honda 1:06.257
3 Robert Bugden (Qld), Suzuki 1:06.379
4 Josh Waters (Vic), Suzuki 1:06.436
5 Shawn Giles (NSW), Suzuki 1:06.666
6 Jamie Stauffer (NSW), Yamaha 1:07.158
7 Craig Coxhell (Vic), Honda 1:07.218
8 Kevin Curtain (NSW), Kawasaki 1:07.327
9 Dan Stauffer (Qld), Yamaha 1:07.373
10 Zac Davies (NSW), Yamaha 1:07.833
1 Jamie Stauffer (NSW), Yamaha 1:10.534
2 Troy Herfoss (NSW), Suzuki 1:10.892
3 Shannon Johnson (Vic), Honda 1:10.937
4 Bryan Staring (WA), Yamaha 1:11.158
5 Scott Charlton (Vic), Yamaha 1:11.558
6 Jed Metcher (Vic), Yamaha 1:11.708
7 Ben Attard (Qld), Kawasaki 1:12.018
8 Chas Hern (Vic), Suzuki 1:12.802
9 Brodie Waters (Vic), Honda 1:12.107
10 Christian Casella (Vic), Yamaha 1:12.477