Features 17 Sep 2013

Race Recap: Jamie Stauffer

Team Honda Racing's Stauffer talks through a successful Top End trip and describes his first career win at Hidden Valley.

Team Honda Racing’s Jamie Stauffer broke through for a long-awaited and thoroughly-deserved race and round win on the weekend in Darwin after a season that has been largely affected by injury.

CycleOnline spoke to Jamie about his successful showing in the Top End, and his first career win at the Hidden Valley Circuit.

Darwin marked a breakthrough weekend for Jamie Stauffer who was able to deliver his first race win of the season. Image: Keith Muir.

Darwin marked a breakthrough weekend for Jamie Stauffer who was able to deliver his first race win of the season. Image: Keith Muir.

Jamie, we know your performance has been affected of late by the injuries you picked up in that testing crash prior to the Queensland Raceway round. Can you give us an update on your overall health heading into the Darwin weekend?

I’m feeling a little bit better. I’m definitely not 100 percent. I’m still struggling with my pelvis and getting proper movement. It still does give me a bit of grief over bumps, but it’s definitely on the mend, and it was a big improvement over Eastern Creek.

Between QLD and Eastern Creek we had a pretty busy time with Suzuka so that probably didn’t help the recovery a great deal. It’s nowhere near full fitness but a lot better than what it has been.

Since 2010 the ASBK has been heading up to Hidden Valley in April, and this is the first time you have raced here later in the year, in September. Could you notice a change in the conditions and how did this affect you?

It wasn’t as humid. I think it was a much better time, to be honest with you. There was no rain, and when we’re usually there in April there is rain, and the heat, and the humidity. And then you don’t know what to do tyre-wise. But I think it was a lot better at this time of the year, and it was hot, but it’s hot for everyone. I found it quite good really.

You put together two very solid races. Talk us through the opener and how it played out for you after leading in the early stages?

It wasn’t too bad. I got into the lead there for a bit in race one, and we were pushing as hard as we could. Wayne came past me, and he just had a couple of tenths on us there, one or two a lap, and pulled a bit of a gap. I was trying hard to keep with him but I just couldn’t quite do it and we ended up second there, but not too far behind.

Stauffer finds a novel way to keep cool in the sweltering conditions. Image: Keith Muir.

Stauffer finds a novel way to keep cool in the sweltering conditions. Image: Keith Muir.

Race two was a little bit different as you were racing both Wayne and your teammate Josh Hook who were trying to make up the time lost due to jump-start penalties. How soon did you realise that Wayne, in particular, was riding with a penalty and how did this affect your race?

I was getting it on my lap board, when Wayne was in front and I was third, that I was second, so I knew that he’d jumped the start. Early on in the race I was leading pretty well and then Robbie came past me, and Wayne, so I sort of sat back for a little bit and got back to second, and by the time I got back to second the pit board was saying I was P1, so I knew Wayne had the penalty.

But still I wanted to try and catch him, just to see where we were. I caught him a bit so we were a lot closer in that race than the first, and there was a definite improvement in the bike between races.

We were lucky in that we won that second race with Wayne’s penalty, which gave us the round win. It was a bit of luck but I’ll take that at the moment. I’ve never actually won at Darwin, and I think it’s one of the only tracks I haven’t won at, so it was quite good to get that win.

You also managed to break Josh Waters’ lap record there in the second race, and by a considerable amount, close to half a second. It must have been a good way to verify the pace and the progress the team had made over the weekend?

Yeah it was good to beat the lap record. We were all pushing super hard and it goes to show how well the Dunlop tyres are working. We’ve got the bike working well and we were where we needed to be in terms of pace by the end of the weekend.

Just one round left to run now – Phillip Island. What’s your primary objective heading there now that you’ve broken through and gotten your first win of the season?

The goal is just to try and win. We’ve had a pretty crappy year, and it hasn’t been ideal. We just want to finish as strong as we can – if we can go out and win, then that would be good.

Good luck for the next round, Jamie.