News 6 Oct 2016

Maxwell looks to the future after falling short of ASBK title

Yamaha Racing Team rider has 'unfinished business' aboard R1M.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell has declared he has ‘unfinished business’ with the factory squad after losing out on the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) presented by Motul Pirelli.

Maxwell led the ASBK into last weekend’s Winton finals, however a lack of form across the weekend saw him ultimately crash out of race two and out of the championship hunt as a result. It’s the second year in a row he’s been pipped by Honda’s Troy Herfoss for a title.

After missing Superpole and qualifying a lowly ninth, Maxwell was able to move forward for fourth in the opening encounter to hold onto the points lead – assisted by teammate Cru Halliday beating Herfoss to the win – however he crashed out of fourth in race two as Herfoss charged to victory and the championship. The crash saw Maxwell drop to third in the final standings.

But 33-year-old Maxwell is yet to secure a contract extension with Yamaha for the 2017 season, nor have teammates Glenn Allerton and Halliday. He’s indicated he would like to return for a third term in a bid to capture the crown next year.

“I had a run of no crashes for so long and finished every race, so to have two crashes this year and lose the championship by 22 points, we have to try and take the positives on that,” 2013 ASBK and 2014 Australasian champion Maxwell told post-race.

“We have to work out why the crashes have happened because they’re very uncharacteristic and then try to move forward towards next year. I’m unsure exactly what I’m doing next year, I think I’ve got some unfinished business here at Yamaha that I want to continue.”

With rain affecting the opening stages of the weekend, the first dry running was in qualifying two, resulting in Maxwell finishing down the order and outside of Superpole, albeit just 0.901s from the provisional pole time. That made for a difficult pair of races on Sunday from row three.

“It was very frustrating, disappointing, having finished every race on the podium up until this weekend and won more races than anyone else,” he added. “I guess it’s frustrating to know that you can win and go through that. We just had to deal with it, I kept calm and we worked through it.

“The result in the first race was really strong from the track position I had, so we’ll just assess what we can. 2016’s done now and that’s twice we’ve been so close, but it feels like we’ve been so far away. It’s just frustrating because this is a track where we probably really shouldn’t have struggled and we did.

“We were just that couple of tenths away all weekend and it never really happened for us. As I said, I like the bike, I like the team, we just need… when it’s a couple of tenths it doesn’t take much. It’s not that we need to work any harder, I just feel that we need to work a little bit smarter.”