Bryan Staring will draw on all of his racing experience in order to defend an 18.5-point lead and claim a maiden premier class crown when the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship heads to Symmons Plains in Tasmania this Friday through Sunday.
Staring, 23, finds himself in a position similar to the one he faced in the closing stages of last season when he held off his fast-finishing teammate to claim overall honours in the Supersport class.
Graduating to a full-time Superbike ride, the Cougar Bourbon Honda Racing pilot has built his 2010 campaign on consistency, and lightning-quick race pace.
Of the 10 races contested he has won half, and finished outside the top three only once.
With significant championship gains and bragging rights still up for grabs at the final round, Staring is not expecting fellow competitors to allow him an easy run to the chequered flag.
“Tasmania will be a really big test. There’s a lot of guys out there who are looking to round out the year with a good result as they look towards 2011 so it will be every man for himself,” said Staring.
“I’ve found myself in a pretty similar position to where I was last year, having to defend, and I learnt a lot from that experience.”
Solid preparation for the round seven showdown has Staring quietly confident about his chances.
“I’ve been approaching the round as I have every other, I’m pretty set in my ways when it comes to training and getting ready for a race weekend so it wouldn’t make sense to start changing things now,” he said.
“The MotoGP supports at Phillip Island were a bit topsy turvy for us but we came away with a bit more knowledge about the bike which we are hopeful of drawing on next week.”
Demolition Plus GAS Honda’s Wayne Maxwell is now the only rider that can come between Staring and the title.
Maxwell, 28, is renowned for his Symmons Plains pace and has kept himself well in contention with a solid season to date.
The man putting the most pressure on Staring as he fought his way to last year’s Supersport title is also one of the form riders heading in to next weekend’s event.
Ducati Motologic Racing’s Jamie Stauffer shook a run of bad luck to claim the outfit’s first race win, albeit in non-championship mode, at Phillip Island last month.
Stauffer, a dual Superbike champion himself, has been fast all year and will no doubt be on the pace again at the 2.41km circuit just outside of Launceston.
Team Suzuki’s Josh Waters will be eager to continue his incredible charge aboard the factory GSX-R1000 machine.
Waters’ win at the Phillip Island MotoGP support round was a popular one. The 2009 ASBK champion from Mildura was sidelined mid-season after a testing crash in the United States, and despite a slower than expected recovery, has bounced back to his very best.
The Superbike and combined Superstock 1000 A and B classes will contest two 25-minute races across the course of next week’s event, again run in conjunction with the V8 Supercars.
Both Superbike races will be telecast on Channel 7. Race one will be shown from 2.00-2.30pm on Saturday, with race two following from 2.00-2.30pm on Sunday (check local guides for variations).
MotoOnline.com.au will be live at the circuit all weekend with updates as they happen.