News 24 Feb 2012

Australian Superbike Championship commences at the Island

The off-season moves have been made, the new model bikes unleashed, now it’s time for the racing to do the talking in the 2012 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) first round at Phillip Island.

Sporting one of the strongest rider line-ups in recent memory, the premier domestic road racing title promises to be a memorable one, with a host of stars out to catch reigning Champion Glenn Allerton.

The Procon Maxima BMW star was the standout star of the 2011 campaign, winning six of the first eight races to set up his title run.

While remaining one of the favourites for the 2012 crown, Allerton will face as stiff competition as we have seen in recent years, led by 2009 ASBK champ Josh Waters.

The Team Suzuki top man had an interrupted 2011 season, missing two rounds due to WSBK wildcard commitments, but returns to full domestic duties for the coming season with an eye on his second title.

Queenslander Ben Attard joins Waters as part of the factory-backed Suzuki outfit, eager to make the jump from top 10 regular to podium-finisher.

For Team Honda Racing there was plenty to like about the finish to last season for Jamie Stauffer, with the two-time ASBK Champ returning to the sort of form that made him one of the premier Road Racers in the country.

A second in the 2011 Championship could be the catapult to a third National Title and legend status for the New South Welshman.

Teammate Wayne Maxwell will be hoping 2012 is the year he will finally break through and claim the elusive ASBK crown.

Last year was frustrating for the Victorian, who despite four Pole Positions could only manage two race wins and was forced to settle for fourth in the overall standings.

Supporting the Australian Round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship, the ASBK opening round is sporting an international flavour with Aussies Chris Trounson and Beau Beaton hoping to upset the local apple cart.

Trounson sunk his teeth into the 2011 AMA Pro Superbike Championship, while Beau Beaton tried his luck in the FIM Superstock 100 Cup, both have ASBK experience and will be eager to take the points.

A full catalogue of support classes will be on show this weekend with the Australian Supersport, Superstock 600 and Prostock 1000 on track along with the re-emergence of Australian 250 Production Championship.

Once a production line of Aussie talent, sporting two-time WSBK World Champion Troy Corser as a former winner, the 250 Production class returns to the domestic scene at Phillip Island in what promises to be a brilliant series.