News 1 Feb 2018

Rookie standout Chiodo swiftly adapts to Superbike

Phillip Island test a positive one for Team Suzuki Ecstar newcomer.

Image: Russell Colvin.

The premier class career of Mark Chiodo got off to a promising start at Phillip Island’s official Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) test, posting the 11th fastest time on debut with Team Suzuki Ecstar.

Chiodo, 19, was one of the major signings of the silly season to join reigning Superbike champion Josh Waters aboard a factory-supported GSX-R1000R, swiftly adapting following two days on the bike this week as top of the rookies.

The end result was P11 on the time-sheets, setting a 1m34.018s in the final session on Wednesday – a lap that was just 1.290s from test pace-setter Glenn Allerton’s benchmark on the Next Gen Motorsports BMW. He steadily lowered his time across the eight sessions, eventually a full 3.5s quicker than he went in the first session to signify his early rapid progress. That had him within a tenth of triple world champion Troy Bayliss as he returns with DesmoSport Ducati.

“Tuesday was my first day on the Suzuki Ecstar GSX-R1000 and it’s a lot different to what I was riding, as before I was riding a standard bike,” Chiodo told “Straight-away I have found that the bike has a lot of power compared to the 600, but it’s really manageable with the team working on it. I have also noticed the bike steers really well, which makes it easier to ride.”

Chiodo will be paired with Phil Tainton Racing’s Warren Monson this season, who has moved to work with Team Suzuki Ecstar following five years with 2013 ASBK champion Wayne Maxwell. It’s the collective experience of Tainton and Monson that will help accelerate Chiodo’s learning curve throughout his rookie year.

“The first time I rode the bike it would wheel-stand a fair bit, but that was just because I was going a bit too slow for how the bike wanted to go,” added Chiodo. “At first I thought this might be harder than what I expected, but now it’s slowly coming to me and the power feels manageable. We have been getting a better set-up, which is also making the bike feel better in each session.

“While the times keep going down, I’m not too sure about how much we have changed the setting. The set-up stays pretty much the same until I get up to speed, but I’m sure it’s in the ballpark already from Josh’s riding. I believe we will just have to do a bit of fine-tuning once I get down to the proper times.”