A race win the highlight after crashing out of opening encounter.
Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell managed to salvage sixth overall at Phillip Island’s opening round of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), despite crashing out of race one in mixed conditions.
For the second time in two years Maxwell went down in the first race of the season on Saturday, but bounced back to win the second 12-lap encounter and rounded out the opener with third in race three.
Those results placed Maxwell in P6 for the weekend, trailing round winner Bryan Staring (Kawasaki BCperformance) by 17 points with six rounds remaining. Also entering World Superbike across the weekend, albeit crashing out of contention in race one, the 2013 champion was content to move away from Phillip Island in the position he’s in.
“When you look at if I had of just finished fifth or something in the first race, I would’ve been equal in the championship lead,” Maxwell reflected. “Overall points are good and we got out of jail there a little bit. We were under so much pressure this weekend, so many distractions trying to do two categories, and when you start falling off and wrecking stuff it doesn’t make things easy.
“The team came through though, so massive thanks to them and we can move onto Wakefield Park. We all know how good Troy [Herfoss] is there and we’ve had some ding-dong battles over the years, so hopefully I can come out and put together some good races. Last year it was our first race following the tyre change [from Dunlop to Pirelli], so this year we’ll be more prepared.”
Although his ASBK-specification YZF-R1M was no match for the WorldSBK front-runners, Maxwell said it was a worthy excursion to enter the world championship races and met at least one of his targets during race week. The task could assist him in elevating his form for the coming events.
“We came in the achieve some goals, did a personal best lap-time with the equipment that we have and although we didn’t finish the races – my crash in race one at Luke Heights did too much damage to the bike – I feel like I’m riding good and we just have to keep that rolling,” he concluded.