Maxwell forced to accept DNF in fierce race two encounter.
Aiden Wagner (Yamaha) and Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia) have weighed in on the controversial clash between them on the final turn of race two at Phillip Island’s Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) opener, the duo expectedly sharing mixed views on the incident.
Maxwell, who narrowly beat Wagner in the opening encounter, capitalised when negotiating lapped traffic to make a pass for the lead on the Yamaha privateer with just a number of corners remaining.
In a desperate attempt, Wagner endeavoured to regain P1 at the fast-paced final turn, however his efforts saw him collide with Maxwell’s front-end, ultimately resulting in a heavy fall for the factory Suzuki rider as the number 28 earned victory on return to the ASBK.
“That was one of the more crazy races I’ve been in,” Wagner explained. “There was a lot of bar-banging, rubbing, and whatever happened in turn 12 – Wayne left the door open and I took the opportunity.
“I didn’t mean to run into him or make contact, but you know, we were making contact the whole race – down the straights and in the corners – I think Cru ran over my arse at one point.
“That’s racing – I’ll buy him a beer afterwards for this. Wayne has always been good to me – I didn’t mean to take him out in any way, but I got the race win this afternoon on the privateer Yamaha.”
Former champion Maxwell, evidently frustrated with the events that unfolded while nursing his left hand, labelled the manoeuvre as unacceptable.
“Look, Aiden ran wide on turn five on the last lap and I made a nice clean pass,” Maxwell stated. “I went into the last corner and just came back into the apex then he just took my bar out and I went down.
“It was pretty forceful – contact in a fourth-gear turn probably isn’t acceptable. That’s racing, he got the win – congratulations to those guys. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s racing, and the rest of the year.”
The duo will face off again tomorrow morning for the final ASBK race of the weekend, while races two and three of the 2019 FIM Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) will also take place.