Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
In the end, just four points stood between Yamaha Racing’s Wayne Maxwell and the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship, after an eventful final round of racing of the series held at the iconic Phillip Island Circuit on the weekend.
Maxwell entered the final round in third place, 15 points behind championship leader, Troy Herfoss, and only nine behind the second placed Josh Waters and the scene was set for a barnstorming finish with all the combatants in with a legitimate shot of winning the premier division of Australian Road racing.
The equation for Maxwell was simple. Win everything. He needed to snare pole position and the two race wins and hope the results behind him fell his way and with a wet, windy surface anything was likely to happen.
Maxwell kicked off the weekend on the right foot taking the all important P1 in qualifying and with it the extra bonus point to add to the tension between the top three riders.
Race one blasted from the grid and Maxwell dropped a couple of positions to slot into third behind championship rivals Waters and Herfoss. During the race, Herfoss developed a bike issue and dropped through the field before pulling out so the championship was down to just two, Waters and Maxwell.
But Waters had build a nice gap over Maxwell and they crossed the finish line in that order, giving Waters the upper hand in the championship fight with just one race remaining. The points gained by Waters gave him some breathing room for the final race, which was now a must win for Maxwell.
The second race saw Maxwell charge his way from fifth to the lead and then go on to win the race. His 2-1 results were enough to win the round but ultimately, not enough to snare the championship as Waters did enough in the final race to secure the championship by four points over Maxwell.
“Our plan for the weekend as to throw everything at it, win everything we could and then see where the chips fall behind us. “By not winning the first race, it made things extremely difficult where we would be relying on a problem from Josh in race two but he was good enough to get it done, so congratulations to him and his team.”
“I’m hugely disappointed that we were unable to win the championship, but we have no one else to blame but ourselves. We are a team and we are all in this together, whether I make a mistake or the team do, were we all invested in it and tried to do our best.”
“I made three mistakes this year by having three DNF’s, which is not acceptable on my behalf. In saying that, it’s still difficult to swallow. We just need to keep working away with the bike and myself and see where we are next year.”
Maxwell also paid credit to the Yamaha Racing Team by saying; “A massive thanks must go to everyone in the team as everyone has worked super-hard this year. We tried to win the championship, but it just wasn’t to be,” concluded Maxwell.
Team mate Glenn Allerton finished the season with back to back podiums after taking third place at the final round at Phillip Island.
Allerton qualified in sixth place but charged through to 3-4 results in the races to finish the day in third and end an injury interrupted season on a positive note. Despite still not back to 100%, Allterton showed plenty of fight to move his way forward in both races on a drying, one lined track and came away happy with the podium result.
“I’m really happy about today and to round the year off with a podium finish. Ultimately, I wanted to win some races but that wasn’t to be.
“I still have the fire within me to win and I know I can do it. I came from a long way back in race two to challenge for the lead and while I didn’t get to lead the race, I was right there with the leading group. I’m still strong and able to fight for solid positions and I’m prepared to do what it takes to win another championship. That is my goal and I’m going to keep trying,”
Yamaha did claim the Manufacturers Cup in the Superbike division scoring 1367 points, more than double their nearest rival in second on 537 points.