Refreshed factory-backed ASBK line-up officially announced.
Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) has signed current Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) number four Daniel Falzon to line up alongside Wayne Maxwell, completing the factory team roster for the 2018 season.
Falzon, 23, starred this season by sweeping Phillip Island’s opening round and led the championship through the opening three rounds. He has climbed the ladder with Yamaha during his career, winning double Supersport championships in that time.
“It is a huge honour to represent YRT and to get a ride on a major manufacturer-based team has long been a goal of mine since I started racing competitively,” Falzon said. “My family and I have made some huge sacrifices to get to this point, but I understand that now is when the hard work really begins and I’m excited for the coming year.
“One of the reasons I have been a loyal Yamaha rider is that I could see a pathway to this team and that loyalty has now been rewarded. The product is awesome, the Yamaha Racing Team have a great crew of people and now it’s my job to represent them as best I can on and off the track and it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”
Returning to YRT will be 2013 ASBK champion Maxwell, who finished runner-up in this year’s championship despite a number of mistakes that denied him a chance of claiming a second-career crown in the Motorcycling Australia (MA) series.
“At the end of the 2017, myself and the team had a pretty honest meeting about where things are and together we worked on a plan to make the changes required to improve,” stated Maxwell. “I think we all came away feeling positive about the new direction and also understand that if we keep doing the same thing, we will often get the same result.
“John [Redding], Kevin [Marshall] and the entire crew are desperate to win another ASBK championship and that’s the people I want to be around as we all have a common goal and will continue to go above and beyond to make it happen. I couldn’t be happier returning to YRT and believe the 2018 season will be my best yet.”
Longtime team owner Redding, who confirmed when contacted this afternoon that South Australian talent Falzon would be taking personal sponsorship to the official organisation, is confident the combination of Falzon and Maxwell would be a strong one in 2018.
“With Wayne, we know we have an experienced racer who gets the job done and will be there at the end right in the title hunt,” Redding explained. “Combine that with the raw speed and enthusiasm of Daniel, who at 23 years of age is entering his prime years of racing, and I think we are well-placed for a great season.
“Our development of the Yamaha R1 has been good and we have shown that we are on the pace at every circuit on the ASBK calendar. It’s a new season and we enter it with new motivation, a fresh attitude, but a steely determination to secure the championship for Yamaha.”
Falzon’s signing confirms the departure of triple ASBK champion Allerton following three years on the factory team and an injury-affected 2017 campaign that resulted in 11th overall. It’s understood he is still finalising his plans for the new year.