News 9 Oct 2017

Phillip Island ASBK round winner Maxwell rues non-finishes

Overall victory not enough for former champion to reclaim crown.

Image: Keith Muir.

Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell managed to win the battle, but lost the war in Phillip Island’s final round of the 2017 YMF Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) on Sunday.

Maxwell, who won the ASBK series in 2013 with Suzuki and backed that success up with an Australasian crown at Honda during 2014, went 2-1 for victory yesterday afternoon, but fell short of the title by four points.

While Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Josh Waters celebrated a third-career title on the return to the series in 2017, series runner-up Maxwell was left reflecting on what could have been if it weren’t for a number of costly errors that denied him of points throughout the year. He confessed post-race it had been a challenging campaign from start to finish in what was one of the hardest-fought championships on record.

“It was definitely a bit too little, too late, but it just looks that way today in some ways,” Maxwell told “It really started at round one when we changed from Dunlop to Pirelli [afterwards]. I had a DNF in Darwin and then another one in Sydney, so it just looks like we came up short today, but the disappointment is from three bad-scoring results.

“The one thing I put it down to is just wanting to win so bad. I look back and think if I had of just taken a 10th-place or something on those days, I would’ve had the championship won, but it’s easy to have hindsight. I guess we’ve just got to learn from it and the biggest thing is, we started on the back-foot and never recovered – you’re always playing catch-up.”

While Maxwell boasts two title-winning seasons in his national career that spans over 15 years, he’s been unable to claim a championship since transferring to the YZF-R1M in 2015. This year he climbed from third to second in the final standings and has vowed to come back for another shot again in 2018.

“This year stands like so many that when you don’t win it’s so disappointing,” he added. “It’s not from the lack of effort, but sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. Unfortunately for me at Yamaha it hasn’t gone my was as yet, but it’s not because we don’t try or I don’t put in, it just hasn’t happened.

“I said it last year and I thought it might’ve changed, but we need to work a little bit smarter in the way we go about it. We made a small setting change in between races and that was about it, so it was good to win the race and overall, ending the year with that result anyway.”