Features 1 May 2014

Race Recap: Wayne Maxwell

Aussie champ reflects on a tough first showing at the Bol d'Or 24 Hour.

Wayne Maxwell’s first Endurance World Championship (EWC) hit-out with the Yamaha Austria Racing Team ended in tough circumstances at Magny-Cours last weekend, with the Aussie champ injured in a dramatic crash prior to one-third distance. CycleOnline.com.au caught up with Wayne to find out more about his race weekend and the early injury diagnosis.

Source: Yamaha Austria Racing Team.

Source: Yamaha Austria Racing Team.

Wayne, a good start to the race there for you but unfortunately things came undone with a fairly nasty crash. Can you fill us in on what happened, and any initial prognosis you’ve had since coming back home?

Basically it all started off very well for us in the race. We made a good start there and things were going okay. But then I hit a bit of water and had a fairly decent high-side, suffering lower leg injuries to my left leg, and injuries to my left wrist. I’ve been to the doctor today and am just waiting to see the specialist, but it looks like there’s only minor little fractures in my leg and in my heel. It will affect my training a bit but shouldn’t affect riding as such, too much.

We’ve seen a brief clip of the accident but it’s hard to put that few seconds into the greater perspective. What were the conditions like at the time and was there anything you felt contributed to it?

It wasn’t raining at the time. The track was getting drier and drier and I was just a little bit offline and just caught the edge of a wet patch. From there I was just a passenger. That’s how it goes. It’s a difficult race, with a lot of changing conditions, and it was just one of many crashes during the race.

What was it like going from your bike in Australia, essentially a production Honda CBR1000RR, to the full EWC-spec Yamaha R1 Superbike?

It definitely is something you have to get your head around quickly. I’ve been on the back foot pretty much all year with everything we’ve done, whether its been in Australia or in Europe because I’ve been injured. I didn’t get to go to the five-day test because I had that earlier injury. Full credit to the YART team, they did an awesome job and the bike was actually pretty good. To qualify where we did, on the race tyre, was an awesome job. It’s a tough race. Everyone who is a specialist in endurance understands it, and has had a race meeting where they’ve had the trouble we’ve had. It’s just a matter of gaining experience; I think we’ll be right for the next race.

Source: Yamaha Austria Racing Team.

Source: Yamaha Austria Racing Team.

Suzuka is next on the endurance calendar. Are you locked in for this one and will there be some more tests prior?

It appears we will be doing Suzuka. There’s a bit of stuff to work out with tyres and contracts and stuff, but we’ll hopefully know that in the next couple of weeks and be able to lock that one away. I’m looking forward to going to a track where I’ve been pretty successful before. They always have a few official tests leading up to the race, and I’m looking forward to that and the extra track time. Now that I know the motorbike a bit more it will only get better and better.

You mentioned you’re yet to see a specialist, but what are the plans in terms of preparing and rehabilitating these injuries ahead of the Mallala ASC round?

I’ll see the specialist tomorrow and see what they say. The injuries are nothing really major, so we’ll just chip away and go from there. I’m looking forward just to getting back on the bike here and kicking off where we left off at Wakefield Park.

With your earlier crash at Phillip Island and now this one, you must be hoping that’s your share of bad luck ticked off for a fair while?!

Yeah, I’ve had a pretty bad run lately but that’s just all part of the hazard. I’ve had a good run for so many years there and we just accept that things like this happen as part of the sport.

Thanks for the chat.

No problem, thanks for the call.