News 6 Sep 2011

Gobert reflects upon return to AMA Pro Superbike Championship

Aaron Gobert, pictured following his ASBK Supersport win at Phillip Island, made his return to AMA Superbikes last weekend.

Aaron Gobert, pictured following his ASBK Supersport win at Phillip Island, made his return to AMA Superbikes last weekend.

Former American national champion Aaron Gobert made a welcome return to the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Championship at New Jersey Motorsport Park’s season finale on 2-4 September.

Gobert received an 11th hour invite from the San Diego BMW Racing powered by Lee’s Cycles squad to contest the round, marking his first appearance in the U.S. since 2009.

Despite limited track time on the team’s privateer S 1000 RR during a track day in California ahead of the race weekend, Gobert made strong improvements throughout the race weekend at NJMP.

Gobert, who is currently in contention for the Australian Supersport Championship with one round remaining, qualified 15th with a 1:22.546, lapping less than a second per lap off a front row position in a talent-filled field.

“I’m thankful for the team to give me the opportunity to race this weekend and it’s a good feeling to be back in the AMA paddock after spending so many years here during my career,” 2004 AMA Superstock 1000 Champion and Daytona winner Gobert commented.

“We’ve steadily been making improvements all weekend with the bike’s settings and I’m feeling comfortable out there. Everything takes time to adjust to, but the progression has been pretty quick since I first rode with the team last week.”

Come Saturday’s opening 23-lap affair Gobert recovered from a slow start to work his way up to 12th with a personal best of 1:22.444, before ultimately settling for 13th after a near-crash and a lack of set-up time hampered his race pace during the final stages.

Gobert’s fastest lap under race conditions was just over half a second off those set by those in the top five in a credible performance by the Sydney-based Australian.

“It was a positive race for us and we learnt a lot about the bike,” he explained. “There’s a lot of promise in the package that we are racing with and it’s been nice to show good pace without much time on the BMW. We just need to improve over the race distance and a good result is definitely possible.”

Gobert made more progress in the morning warm-up before race two on Sunday, however a mechanical problem ruled him out of the second outing during the sighting lap – dashing his hopes of a top 10 result for the round.

“It was disappointing to finish the weekend like that, especially after we made a lot of improvements following race one, but hopefully I can come back to the U.S. full time in 2012 and put a full season together,” he added. “I just want to thank the San Diego BMW powered by Lee’s Cycle team, Locust, and all of my sponsors and supporters.”

Gobert will now return to Australia for the final round of the Australian Supersport Championship in November, maintaining a chance at the title following a victory in the opening round at Phillip Island earlier this year.