MotoOnline.com.au speaks with Mallala Australian Superbike Championship round winner Wayne Maxwell just days after his dominant weekend.
The 2009 Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship has turned into a three-way fight for the title after Oleon Motologic Racing rider Wayne Maxwell took pole position and won both races at Mallala in South Australia last weekend.
Closing the gap on series leader Glenn Allerton from 30 points down to 19, Maxwell is now a legitimate chance for the championship with just two rounds left the run at Phillip Island.
MotoOnline.com.au spoke to Maxwell about his weekend and to get the lowdown on what his expectations are for the rest of this season.
Congratulations on the dominant weekend, did you expect to get the results that you achieved with pole and two wins at Mallala?
Going into the round, out of all the tracks that the series visits, I was a bit uncertain about how I’d go there because I haven’t been overly strong there in the past. I’ve always felt like it’s a track that suits my style, but I haven’t been that fast there. As the Thursday practice and Friday progressed I knew that I had good form and felt like I could win both, that’s for sure.
It wasn’t so easy in the races though, because you did have to fight through the field after bad starts. What made the difference to help you beat Glenn and Josh Waters at this round?
The bad starts didn’t help, they were a little bit average, but it’s only a short run there into the first corner so I was able to get up the front quite quickly and was able to work my way through. I knew that I was able to go fast on the tyre when it was new, and then once the tyre went away I felt like everybody was on a pretty even playing field.
Perhaps the Suzuki was a little bit stronger, but you know, I knew that I had a good front-end so I just kept pushing into the turns and holding our own on the way out. At the end I guess it just came down to who was smart and didn’t make any mistakes, so luckily it ended up going my way.
You’ve said all year that you’ve been working hard to improve and mature as a rider now that you’re back on the Superbike, but what exactly have you been focussing on?
Having Glenn as a teammate has been really good and his race craft is really strong. I’ve learnt quite a bit from him, especially at the beginning of the year at Phillip Island where I was a fair bit faster than everybody else but couldn’t get the results. I worked out then that it’s not only about speed; it’s about being consistent and fast at the right time in the race. I’ve worked on my fitness with a lot of cycling, swimming and running as well, so I guess it’s starting to pay off.
We have the Australian Superbike Open alongside the V8 Supercar round at the Island next month, which is a non-championship event, so is that event essentially a test for you guys?
I think it’s definitely a test for us and we won’t be doing any other testing down there apart from that event at this stage. I think all the other riders are the same, especially with the stretched budgets in this economic climate, so I think it will be a test for everybody and it will be great going into the MotoGP round for the next round of the championship when everybody’s on a level playing field testing-wise.
And then after that is when it’s game on for the title in the two championship rounds at Phillip Island. How confident are you that you can finish off this season with victories and potentially win the championship?
It’s not going to be easy because Glenn and Josh are two great riders, and both Shawn [Giles] and Robbie [Bugden] are both gaining momentum, too. Plus you can never count out Jamie or Dan Stauffer, who are both great riders along with many others in the field, but I’m confident heading into the rounds. I don’t think anybody is going to dominate – I think it will be a dogfight until the end of the race and hopefully I have what it takes when it comes down to that.
Glenn and Josh have largely been considered the favourites for the title while you’ve been flying under the radar in third, but did you know all along that you had what it took to beat those guys?
Well, you know, in the press it’s been a lot about Glenn and Josh and how the championship is coming down to those guys. But when people have asked me, I’ve made it quite clear that it’s definitely not down to two people.
I’ve been gaining momentum all along and at Eastern Creek I probably could have done what I did at Mallala if I had of gotten away at the start, so it’s been a long time coming. Same with Queensland, it was me who let everybody down there, so I think going into Phillip Island it will be the three of us.
I can’t wait for the final couple of rounds. The ASBK championship is coming along great and I’m happy to be a part of it.
Well good luck for the upcoming rounds and we look forward to watching this battle pan out!
No worries, thank you.