Features 3 Mar 2020

Debrief: Wayne Maxwell

Phillip Island ASBK winner on his incredible victory in Victoria.

In Debrief, Boost Mobile Racing’s Wayne Maxwell reflects on his dominant victory at Phillip Island’s opening round of the 2020 Mi-Bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

Image: Russell Colvin.

A perfect weekend with pole position and three race wins – it’s 76 points, so it couldn’t have start any better…

Yeah, I’m absolutely stoked! It’s a massive reward for everyone here at Boost Mobile Racing K-Tech. It’s been a busy lead-up and difficult time since the news of Suzuki in November – it’s a great reward for our effort.

Coming into the season when you were putting the package together, obviously the experience of McMartin Racing, Craig and everybody there, when this opportunity came about, did you know what you were working with? Did you have the expectation that you could hit the ground running?

Obviously, when it comes to Ducati in Australia, there’s no better name than Craig McMartin – he knows the brand and always has done since I started racing – I’m sure he raced you on a Ducati. He knows the brand and saw how good Jamie [Stauffer] was going on it – it was really my option. It was funny, when I was on the market after the Suzuki news came out, not one team rung me – I knew some teams were committed, but there were some that weren’t. These guys wanted me here, and I wanted to be somewhere they wanted me. It’s a perfect fit.

We did the pre-season predictions, and you were an overwhelming favourite for the title. It seemed at that stage, there wasn’t much to base it from apart from being quick in testing, and we knew how comfortable you were with the V4. As far as round one goes, it looks like it has clicked as we expected it to…

It definitely has. Like I said, the bike is unbelievable – I gelled with it from the first time I rode with it at Wakefield Park in November – the bike was good and I just got better and better, and more and more in love with it.

Image: Russell Colvin.

In those races, you were leading from the front. Was it a matter of controlling the pace, or what was the strategy in those races?

I knew I could lead from the front and push the wind, and you can see in WorldSBK or any race around here, it’s easy to sit in the slipstream and follow. I just kept it on a limit, and could tell when I did lap-time that was two tenths faster than Cru [Halliday], he was on his absolute limit. I just tried hitting the number, and that’s what we came up with.

It’s obviously a pure-bred race bike the V4 R, are you confident it’s going to work amongst a variety of different circuits?

Yeah, I am confident. Obviously, at the moment we have full standard electronics – we got some stuff homologated by Motorcycling Australia and it was approved by a number of parties there, and then now after the test, it was revoked. I’m not sure what’s going on there – we’re waiting for some clarification on that. Whether it’s the system they approved and then revoked comes back, or whether it’s an updated middle of the road or something so we can have some adjustability on the bike.

So at the moment it’s a base standard ECU?

It’s a full standard ECU, and yeah, we can’t adjust anything apart from the numbers on the dash. Anything above number one, being a road bike and safety, it’s not working that well at the moment.

Just finally, you’ve been around for a long time now. There’s been a lot of different teams and structures, but how special would you rate this win in your career?

It’s very special because I’ve never had so much involvement in a team – I’ve been up late, making the shirts, making the pit walls and all that – in the last 12 months, I’ve noticed who my real friends are, and the help of them and everyone else around me, and my family, it’s pretty special because of that.