Buckley out for race day as his ZX-10R becomes team's sole rain bike.
Kawasaki BCperformance has made the decision to effectively bench Kyle Buckley for Phillip Island’s YMF Australian Superbike finals in a bid to maximise Robbie Bugden’s chances of challenging for the 2017 title this afternoon.
Bugden is an outside chance of capturing the crown today, entering the round 25 points in arrears of current leader Troy Herfoss with two races still to run.
It’s the changeable weather conditions that have prompted the BCperformance team to nominate Buckley’s ZX-10R as Bugden’s ‘rain’ bike for this afternoon, since both riders heavily damaged their primary race bikes in Friday practice. The move will also enable Buckley – who is in favour of the decision – to begin healing from a dislocated shoulder sustained in the incident.
“I sat down with Kelvin [Reilly] this morning after the warm-up,” Buckley told CycleOnline.com.au. “Obviously I wrecked my main bike on Friday and started off on the back-foot Friday, so I wasn’t able to get the qualifying result that I wanted.
“Robbie’s going for the championship this weekend, so we decided it’s probably better that I sit out, let my shoulder heal that I dislocated on Friday and just focus on being strong for next year. All the best to Robbie and hopefully having the two bikes again is something he can use to bring home the championship.”
It won’t be an easy feat for Bugden however, qualifying 13th yesterday afternoon and also suffering from the effects of his high-side in turn one during practice. The mixed conditions will be instrumental if he’s going to factor in the title-chase when race one commences from 1:05pm local time.