Team Suzuki's Josh Waters leads the way after the opening day of practice at Hidden Valley's second round of the 2010 Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship in Darwin. Waters lead the charge over current series leader Wayne Maxwell and the returning Robbie Budgen.
A late change to bike setup boosted Team Suzuki Racing’s Josh Waters into the 1:07s lap bracket as today’s practice session came to a close for the Superbike class at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway, host of round two of the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship.
The defending champ is eager to make amends after an uncharacteristic start to the year, currently placed eighth in the series standings.
Waters, who was consistently clocked at over 290km/h by the end of the 1.1km front straight, said momentum was the key this weekend after a solid pre-round test session.
“Today’s second practice was good, obviously a lot quicker than I had gone during the morning,” said Waters, who set a best lap of 1:07.72, close to a second quicker than his fastest time this morning.
“I surprised myself really, I knew there was more speed to find and I didn’t expect to be that fast. Getting clear track out there was tough. Once you got to the back half of the circuit it was easy to run into traffic and get slowed down.
“We’re learning more and more about the track each time we go out, making a few changes here and there as we go. Then again, so is everyone else. Wayne [Maxwell] is close behind and a real threat given his strong start.”
Waters is hopeful there is more speed to be found in his Suzuki Superbike given championship leader Maxwell rounded out the day a close second.
“We made some steps forward today, then again, so did Josh [Waters],” said Maxwell. “There’s good speed there and we’re just working on ways to find it, I’m confident that we’ll be right up there in qualifying.
“We want to come away from here with a big bag of points. The championship is still wide open at this stage and its important to get the results early on.”
Maxwell’s best effort around the 2.9km circuit was a 1:08.42 on lap 11.
Team Mack Truck Suzuki’s Robbie Bugden was third fastest in his debut for 2010, with a 1:08.995, followed by Bryan Staring of the Cougar Bourbon Honda Racing team and KTM Superbike Team rider Shannon Johnson.
Another Suzuki lead the charge in the Supersport ranks, with Troy Herfoss setting the quickest time in both sessions. Herfoss topped the charts ahead of fellow Suzuki rider Brodie Waters, while young C-grader Aaron Morris was third, Triumph’s Christan Casella fourth and an improved Aaron Gobert fifth during today’s opening practice sessions.
Saturday’s action commences at 9:00am, with Superstock 600 C&D the first bikes to set a qualifying lap in anger.
A 30-minute session will determine the top qualifiers in the Superbike class, with the top 10 to take part in the Superpole showdown to decide final grid placings.