Features 1 Mar 2011

Post Race with Glenn Allerton

MotoOnline.com.au gets the scoop on Phillip Island with Australian Superbike round winner Glenn Allerton.

If there’s one thing that 2008 Australian Superbike Champion Glenn Allerton has proven time and time again, it is that you can never rule him out of contention for race victories on any given race weekend.

At Phillip Island’s 2011 season opener, the recently turned 30-year-old wasn’t supposed to win. How could he? Given that he was on an all-new bike in BMW’s S 1000 RR with just minimal development time, it shouldn’t have possible for him to win on debut.

But he did – and that’s what makes Allerton one of the best in the sport when it comes to domestic road racing in Australia. It was a dream first outing for the German superbike in its ASBK debut with Allerton, a feat that will go down in the history books as one of the greatest on record.

MotoOnline.com.au called Allerton on Tuesday afternoon for this Post Race rundown to find out just how it all panned out for he and the Procon Maxima BMW team.

2008 ASBK title winner Glenn Allerton was a popular winner for BMW last weekend at Phillip Island.

2008 ASBK title winner Glenn Allerton was a popular winner for BMW last weekend at Phillip Island.

Two races, two wins for the BMW. You must be stoked with the result at the Island?

Yeah, it’s pretty exciting to have a fresh start on a new bike and to be so successful straight out of the box. You know, a lot of people would be surprised with how good we went and I like that.

In the first race we took a bit of a gamble to use slicks on a drying track, but it was a calculated gamble. I said to the boys when I pulled into the pits after the warm-up lap that the track would definitely be dry at the end of the race so we needed slicks.

I was actually surprised the other guys didn’t go with slicks, because in the end they pretty much handed the win to me.

I’m just really happy with how it went and doing the fastest lap in race two proves that we were there to win the race, wet or dry.

You won the final race of the season last year on the Honda in Tasmania, and I don’t think anybody ever doubted you as a rider, but the BMW was an unknown package in ASBK spec. Were you quietly confident the S 1000 RR was good enough to win on debut?

Absolutely, because we still had the bike won with in Tassie and we tested them back-to-back at Phillip Island. On a standard BMW with street fairings, stock suspension and slick tyres I was able to lap within 0.2sec of what I could do on the Honda that same day.

Once we decided to go with the BMW, the bike was just awesome and I was able to do mid-33s on it within eight laps. So that made me really confident in the bike and the team was able to give me the feeling that I look for in a motorbike.

Going into the first round I knew that I would be there.

One fast lap is hard to do at Phillip Island, but having a race package is what you really need there because it’s so hard on the rear tyres over the race distance.

I noticed the guys from BMW Motorrad Australia were on hand over the weekend and looked really proud with your success – especially in front of the World Superbike teams – so that must help you with getting support from BMW…

Winning the race on the weekend didn’t help the support, that’s for sure. The guys at BMW are really excited to go racing and Miles Davis [BMW Motorrad Australia and New Zealand marketing manager] used to be a racer himself in mountain biking and a bit of motocross – he has been really helpful.

So yeah, like I said, winning the race on Sunday didn’t hurt and they are really keen to help us try and win this championship this year.

Building the relationship with the company takes a bit of time and it is a different company that’s run in different ways to a Japanese company, so hopefully we can continue building the relationship as the year goes on.

The 30-year-old New South Welshman was stoked with his stunning win on Sunday afternoon.

The 30-year-old New South Welshman was stoked with his stunning win on Sunday afternoon.

You basically ran your program last year by yourself, but I don’t think people realise how much time and effort you had to put in to go racing in 2010. Is being back on a proper team for this year enabling you to focus solely on your riding again?

Yeah, last year was really tough and with the situation I was in, it took a lot of my own time to get things working at the track and with the testing – I was doing all the work myself.

That’s all well and good if you want to go and race for fun, but if you want to win the championship then you only have so much energy you can put into the program by yourself.

It’s a huge advantage to have a good team around you looking after everything. I just ride the bike, do my debrief and then let them work on things.

I’m just focusing on myself rather than trying to be an engine technician, a chassis technician, a suspension technician – whatever it may be. This year is much better than last year.

You won last year at Symmons Plains and it’s one of your favourite tracks, but in saying that it’s a far different track to Phillip Island. Will you and BMW be able to score repeat wins considering it’s a tighter track and whatnot?

For sure. I think that every time I get on the bike I learn a lot and we learnt a few things in the races on Sunday at Phillip Island. The boys have already been working on the bike back at the workshop and we’ve already fixed a few areas that we needed to address.

The bike seems to have responded because we’ve been tuning them on the dyno, so it should be an even better package when we get down to Tasmania and that’s always a good thing.

The feel of the bike isn’t that much different to what I had last year, so I think that it will be good straight away. My confidence is really high and I always seem to do really well there. Tasmania’s a track where you need a strong engine and we have that.

Okay well cool, congratulations and we look forward to seeing what you and the BMW can do this weekend!

No worries, thanks a lot and we’ll see you down there.