News 20 Feb 2018

WorldSBK mileage beneficial for Maxwell in early stages

Double-duty should bode well for solid Phillip Island ASBK opener.

Image: Supplied.

Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell has conceded that he won’t be able to match the top Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) regulars on his domestic-spec YZF-R1M this weekend following two days of testing at Phillip Island.

However while the multiple national champion was relatively quick today in posting a 1m32.651s for 19th on combined times, his attention has vastly been focused upon a strong start to the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

Maxwell will be one of three riders – alongside teammate Daniel Falzon and Penrite Honda’s Troy Herfoss – to line up in both the WorldSBK and ASBK classes this weekend in Victoria, with Yamaha choosing to keep its entry in ASBK trim aside from an oversized fuel tank.

“For us it’s just testing for the ASBK and the WorldSBK races are not really a concern,” Maxwell told this afternoon. “We know we don’t have the package to be competitive, so it’s about getting the most out of the ASBK-spec bike and we managed to do that.

“I’ve done a personal best time on a race tyre, we’re still struggling a little bit for durability, but we just need to keep chipping away and keep working. I’ve definitely learnt a little bit and it will all add up – the lap-speed is there.

“We just need to improve the consistency and that will help us improve the position. The World Superbikes just accelerate so well and they’re obviously world-level riders as well, so it’s difficult to compare yourself to those guys. Hopefully we can put all that we’ve learned into place for this weekend.”

The weekend will be a massive one for the local wildcards on the WorldSBK grid, scheduled to compete in both 22-lap world championship races – one apiece on Saturday and Sunday – in addition to a trio of 12-lap ASBK races across the round.