Reviewing 10 seasons of domestic premier class title winners.
With the 2014 Australian Superbike Championship wrapping up last weekend at Phillip Island, CycleOnline.com.au presents a Rewind of the last 10 years of the sport and finds out how each champion was crowned.
2004 Adam Fergusson (8 race wins, 344.5 points):
Returning from an overseas stint and somewhat of an unknown quantity on home soil, Fergusson would dismiss any doubt by taking double duty in both the Supersport and Superbike classes and winning on both fronts. Piloting a Castrol Honda for Paul Free’s operation, Fergusson made 15 podium appearances from 20 starts and achieved eight individual race wins. There was conjecture over the title at the penultimate event, with ‘Krusty’ seemingly claiming an unassailable points advantage which would be later overturned in a countback. The title went to the wire at Phillip Island, with Fergusson claiming a win and a third place to cement his place in history as the first rider to do the ‘double’ – achieve both Superbike and Supersport titles in the same season. The result was also an important one for Honda, which took its first Superbike title in nine years following the late Kirk McCarthy’s win in 1995.
2005 Josh Brookes (4 race wins, 279 points):
2005 proved a defining year for the young Brookes who was on the road to recovery after a career-threatening injury in 2004. Brookes would win the Phillip Island opener, before heading to Eastern Creek to claim a clean sweep of both races ahead of the Stauffer brothers. He would maintain his lead after a bumpy round at Barbagallo, dominated this time by title rival Shawn Giles. Third and fourth place finishes at Winton steadied Brookes’ title trajectory, and two third places at Mallala allowed him to hold a minor edge as the series moved past its halfway point. Importantly he would finish ahead of Giles in both Winton races at the next outing, though the Suzuki rider would return fire at Queensland Raceway with a pair of second places while Brookes hustled for fifth and sixth. Phillip Island was again the site of the clincher, with Brookes making back the 10-point gap on Giles on the back of a win and a second place. The pair finished equal on points for the season, with Brookes getting the nod by virtue of his more recent higher result.
2006 Jamie Stauffer (9 race wins, 320 points):
After a third place finish in the 2005 series, Stauffer would swap factory seats from Kawasaki to Yamaha for 2006. The R1 blasted out of the blocks as one of the class’ most competitive machines and Stauffer’s early results and confidence reflected this. A pair of wins to kick off the season were followed by two more podiums and another win by round three. He was relegated to second in a pair of memorable races against Russell Holland at Queensland Raceway but would come home in the strongest way possible, winning the final six races to secure the title by a considerable margin. He never finished off the podium, and with his deal extending into the following year, there was plenty of pain yet to endure for Stauffer’s rivals.
2007 Jamie Stauffer (7 race wins, 325 points):
The number one plate holder heading into the season was hot favourite to defend his title. Stability within the Yamaha camp and a familiar, competitive package greeted Stauffer and he took full advantage. Taking three from four wins at the Winton double header, Stauffer was challenged by Craig Coxhell at Mallala for a win and a second, and faced what was his leanest round in terms of results with a first and a fourth the following round in Tasmania. Two wins and two seconds from the second double-header of the season at Queensland Raceway were enough to lock away the title and fortunately so – wet weather plagued the final round and Stauffer wouldn’t turn a wheel as he focused on his Supersport class commitments.
2008 Glenn Allerton (3 race wins, 268 points):
Consistency proved the hallmark of Glenn Allerton’s 2008 championship campaign. The Teknic Honda rider registered 7-6 results at the season opener before making a strong recovery to win both races at Mallala the following round on debut with the then-new 2008 CBR1000RR. 5-6 results at Winton followed before an important run of podium finishes – a win and three thirds – achieved at the Queensland double-header. Second and fourth place finishes at the penultimate event at Symmons Plains positioned Allerton well for the run home, and second and third place finishes at the Eastern Creek finale were enough to edge out trifecta hopeful Jamie Stauffer by just 10 points.
2009 Josh Waters (5 race wins, 301 points):
Team Joe Rocket Suzuki banked on a combination of experience and youth for the 2009 season and were rewarded in spades in slotting Josh Waters alongside multiple champion Giles. A renowned talent, many were eager to see how Waters would adapt to his rookie season on the Superbike. They didn’t have to wait long, with the Victorian winning on debut at the World Superbike opener and pairing that with a strong third place. Waters would claim four consecutive second-place finishes at the Queensland Raceway double header, followed by a win and a second at Eastern Creek. His podium form would continue at Mallala (3-3) and the MotoGP supports (2-1 and raced for points), with two sensational wins at the Island capping off an amazing year and sealing the title.
2010 Bryan Staring (5 race wins, 241 points):
Bryan Staring was nearly a non-starter in the 2010 series so it was a remarkable outcome that he should rise to take the title. With no ASBK seat originally secured, Staring was snapped up in an 11th hour operation as the sole rider for the Cougar Bourbon Honda team – owned by series promoter Yarrive Konsky. Podium results at the season opener were promising, and another solid showing at the second round in Darwin did his title hopes no harm. An incredible run of results would follow for the West Australian, registering five consecutive wins on the trot at Queensland Raceway and Phillip Island. This points haul had him as the frontrunner heading to the final event at Tasmania and he managed the challenge of a semi-wet race to register 4-8 finishes and keep his lead intact. The outcome not only saw him claim his maiden ASBK title, but also become the first to achieve the ‘triple crown’ – championship wins in the 125GP, Supersport and Superbike classes.
2011 Glenn Allerton (6 race wins, 293 points):
Like Staring the season prior, Allerton’s 2011 plans formed relatively late in the piece. The decision to debut the new BMW Superbike was met with much interest, and one that was validated instantly when the 2008 champ blew the field away in the first two races of the season at Phillip Island. He recovered from an early problem in the first race at Symmons Plains to take third, followed by another win. He won the second race at Hidden Valley before sweeping the V8 Supercars 2+4 round at Barbagallo in Perth in a commanding display. Third and second place finishes at Queensland Raceway were bolstered by a second and a fourth at the penultimate round at the same track, putting him in the box seat ahead of the Symmons Plains finale. A crash following a clash with Robbie Bugden in the first race left Allerton injured and he battled through the pain of a severely swollen arm to take the necessary points and seal the deal in the second.
2012 Josh Waters (4 race wins, 279.5pts):
2012 would prove to be a battle of factory heavyweights and good friends, with Josh Waters running up against Wayne Maxwell in a evenly-matched Suzuki versus Honda showdown. The pair shared wins at the season opener at Phillip Island, though there was no stopping Waters at Hidden Valley, the happy hunting ground producing a pair of impressive wins. Second and first places at Barbagallo followed, though Maxwell would get the better of the two in their battle at Phillip Island, taking two wins as Waters followed close in tow. He took a single podium at the first of two visits to Queensland Raceway, and finished runner-up to Maxwell in two more races at the Island. Queensland Raceway was the clincher for his second title, with modest 4-6 finishes bagging the points to confirm title number two.
2013 Wayne Maxwell (6 race wins, 268 points):
A relative veteran of the championship, few could disagree that the Victorian-based rider had been lumped with a load of bad luck in seasons past. Maxwell made the move to Team Suzuki for 2013, the year that he would finally break the hoodoo. Four consecutive second-place finishes to start the season were followed by an incredible purple patch of five straight wins (including four from four at Sydney Motorsport Park), setting up a relatively trouble-free run to the flag at the final.
2014 Glenn Allerton (2 race wins, 72 points):
Much has been made of the tumultuous turn of events that have defined the 2014 Australian Superbike Championship season, with prominent competitors exiting en masse to race in the rival Australasian Superbike Championship. Next Gen Motorsports, in its fourth season with BMW power piloted by Allerton, committed to the MA series and in the end it proved a masterstroke. Originally wound back to just three rounds, the series would be slashed to only two events, Queensland Raceway and Phillip Island. Allerton won the weather-affected opener and would ultimately triumph with a win and a second at Phillip Island. The achievement elevates Allerton to the same platform as Shawn Giles – three-time Australian Superbike Champion.