Features 25 Jul 2017

Fast Thoughts: Robbie Bugden

Queenslander on returning to ASBK and his season so far.

After making the highly-anticipated switch from the Australasian Superbike Championship to the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) presented by Motul Pirelli for 2017, Robbie Bugden has proved to be a strong force in the competitive series. With two podiums to his name, Bugden trails series leader Troy Herfoss (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) by 13 points as three rounds remain. CycleOnline.com.au recently caught up with the Kawasaki BCperformance rider for this latest edition of Fast Thoughts.

Image: Keith Muir.

Returning to ASBK this year…

It’s been good, the series is really strong and the competition is really strong. I’ve got a really strong team behind me, and the first four rounds have been really good. Hopefully we can keep improving the bike and keep working well so we can finish the year strong.

Recording two podium finishes in the first four rounds…

We came into the season with a plan, we needed to keep finishing races and that’s what we’ve done. It’s no surprise to me that the two guys who have finished every race so far are one and two in the championship. We knew consistency was going to be really important, and we’ve done that in the first half of the year. It probably changes a little bit now as we’re heading into the second half, if we want to win this championship – which we do – we really need to start pushing for race wins. With three rounds to go, we need to kick it up notch, that’s for sure.

Breaking through for a season-first victory prior to the year’s end…

There’s a lot of things that need to happen, we’re obviously a team and we need everyone on their game. We’ve done a really good job so far, but we know it’s only going to get harder from here on in. We just always need to be on top of our game and everything needs to come together for us. I know the Kawasaki ZX-10R is a great motorcycle, so it’s not a problem there, and my BCperformance team is working super hard as well. Along with them and Dunlop, everyone’s working super hard, so we’ll be doing our absolute best. I’m sure our competition will be doing something similar, we just need to find an edge and be better.

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Sitting second in the championship standings…

Like I said, we had a plan and sat down at the start of the season. We’ve had to take our heads up when we weren’t quite fast enough, you know, when we had to pick up results like we did in Darwin. We probably weren’t as strong as what we thought we could’ve been, that’s the way it is and we came out of there with two good point scoring races. It’s good, it has been our plan for the first half of the season, but it all changes now for the run home.

The Kyle Buckley and Daniel Falzon Darwin saga…

It’s a tough one, I guess. It’s obviously not a good situation, because at the end of the day, there’s no real winners in it – and there’s probably never going to be. It’s a shame for Kyle, he’s a good, young kid who’s obviously a rookie, he has miles of talent and he’s really starting to show that. To get caught up in all of this, and not just a broken leg, everything else that has gone with it – it’s a bit of a shame. It’s been a little bit ugly, but for myself, one of the things that I hold in high regard is riding and treating everyone in the paddock with integrity, and I’m not sure that happened. It’s just a bit of a shame.