Interviews 11 Mar 2014

Fast Thoughts: Wayne Maxwell

2013 ASBK champ on a return to Honda and the imminent ASC opener.

CycleOnline.com.au got in touch with the ‘Wayne Train’ for his thoughts on his racing activities for 2014 and the current state of road racing in Australia.

Image: Keith Muir.

Image: Keith Muir.

Signing with the Yamaha Austria Racing Team…

It’s an amazing opportunity. The World Endurance Championship is obviously very unique and a very tough championship to be successful in. There are a few rides around but not always with the top teams, so to secure this opportunity with the team is very valuable. Obviously it was tough to miss the first test due to my shoulder injury but that is just one of the aspects of motorsport we are all used to. I can’t wait to start working with the team.

The return to Honda…

Obviously they threw me a bit of a lifeline there for the ride. At the moment it is very difficult to get a good deal in Australia, so it’s a ride, which is good. I had my first hitout on the weekend, and I think it’s going to be a tough, competitive year under the regulations. I just don’t think the parity is there with some bikes so we’re just going to try to do our best, and see what the year brings. The SP is a little bit different, but not light years apart from what I rode. It’s more a matter of finding my feet riding that spec bike on the new tyre on those sorts of circuits. The circuits are a lot different to what I’ve been racing on.

Racing at Wakefield Park…

It’s definitely going to be challenging, that’s for sure. It’s super difficult to pass on, so it’s going to provide close racing. It’s the same for everyone though, and to have everyone there is good for racing in Australia. We’ll get out there, do our best and see what it brings.

The quality of the ASC field…

There’s only room in this country for one championship. ASBK and Motorcycling Australia have tried to get it right, but they’ve made it worse, not better. The only way is to leave them to do their thing. The ASC has proven that it follows through with what is promised, so hopefully this is a good year of racing and it gets all the riders there.

Image: Rusty Colvin.

Image: Rusty Colvin.

Not being able to defend ASBK number one plate…

I’m super disappointed to not be able to defend the number one. I really felt I earnt the best ride in Australia, and I should have had a number of choices being the winner of the championship in 2013. I pretty much won more races than anyone else, and leading from the front, especially after moving to a new team. It’s tough not to go out and try to do it back-to-back, but that’s racing in the current climate. I understand why the manufacturers don’t want to support ASBK, and I don’t think they should on the current package they’re delivering either.

2014 as a defining year for road racing…

I’d like to say it is going to be a defining year. But it’s hard to know. If everyone’s egos and personalities still keep continuing the way they are, with putting themselves first and not the sport, well they’re just going to sink it into the ground. Who knows what it will be beyond 2014.

My injury progress…

The injury is okay on the bike, but I really don’t want to test it out by hitting the ground. I’m taking things cautiously at the moment, and hopefully the next few days will allow it to get stronger. I’m feeling not too bad at the moment after racing at Wakefield, and once the races actually get underway I am sure I’ll forget about it.

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