Kawasaki BCperformance and Staring still in ASBK title contention following Winton challenge
Kawasaki Motors Australia press release:
Kawasaki BCperformance’s Bryan Staring is still in the title fight after salvaging valuable points during round five of the 2019 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Winton in Victoria, while Kyle Buckley suffered a bittersweet return to racing with the squad.
After qualifying in P8, Staring anticipated the challenges he’d face in Sunday’s pair of races, managing to keep himself in the mix by scoring strong finishes across both outings. In race one, the former champion charged to P7, while a stoppage-filled race two saw him muster up a mighty P4 placing after the race was declared due to worsening weather conditions.
His combined 7-4 scorecard granted the Western Australian sixth overall, enabling him to hang onto third in the points rankings aboard the Ninja ZX-10RR.
“This weekend was definitely about damage limitation with two finishes today,” Staring commented. “The first one was seventh, which wasn’t too bad, and race two with fourth position, we couldn’t have hoped to finish that high based on how things were looking beforehand.
“I’m very happy with that and I’m happy to come out of Winton with points on the board and without losing too many points in the championship. I’m very happy to get to the final two circuits of the year, which I’m very much looking forward to.”
Queenslander Buckley returned to the fold for Winton’s fifth round, making his first Superbike race of the season. Qualifying in 13th, Buckley posted an impressive P12 finish upon return, however, his weekend was brought to a premature end just two corners into race two when a downed rider’s bike crossed into his path, causing him to crash heavily.
“The weekend was good until race two, I was making progress moving forward and I was happy with the first race,” said Buckley. “I got caught up in an incident in the second race on lap one and I think I’ve broken my collarbone and some injury to my shoulder as well.
“I’ll try get it sorted and be back for the next one at Phillip Island. I’m feeling good on the bike and I wasn’t struggling as much as I thought I would be, and I’m working well with the team. Hopefully we can be back up inside the top 10.”
Kawasaki BCperformance team owner Kelvin Reilly remains proud of the squad in very trying conditions and, with two likeable circuits left on the calendar, he’s optimistic of a strong finish to the 2019 campaign.
“Winton has probably always been one of our more difficult tracks, but we came out fairly unscathed with two decent results with Bryan,” Reilly explained. “He still holds third in the championship and we’re now heading into two circuits that we very much like, the bike very much likes, the tyre very much likes and Bryan very much likes.
“I’m hopeful for a good end to the year and we’re still in it – it’s pretty tight and this weekend has been hard for a lot people – the weather has been so unpredictable. Kyle showed his speed coming back straightaway – he was fast, consistent and giving us really good feedback.
“For someone who hasn’t ridden a bike for over a year, it was quite good to watch. Unfortunately, [Mark] Chiodo’s bike took him out in that second race after a fall and now he’s got a shoulder injury, but I’m hoping he’ll be fit for Phillip Island.”
Kawasaki-supported Superbike contender Matt Walters recorded 8-10 race results for eighth overall in Victoria, once again demonstrating his capabilities aboard his family-run Ninja ZX-10RR. Walters is currently ranked P7 in the premier class standings with two rounds remaining.
The Kawasaki BCpeformance Junior Team fielded Ben Burke over the weekend as he finished 13th overall in the Supersport 300 category with a 15-15-11 scorecard, while fellow Kawasaki Ninja 400 rider Yannis Shaw delivered the overall victory with two of the three race wins. Senna Agius, who is P2 in the series, finished eighth at Winton.
The Australian Superbike Championship now heads to the famed Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria between 4-6 October for the penultimate round of the series. Visit www.kawasaki.com.au for further information on Kawasaki Motors Australia.