Features 9 Aug 2022

Debrief: 2022 ASBK Rd5 Morgan Park

Overall winners Maxwell and Lynch recall fifth round in Queensland.

Boost Mobile Racing with K-Tech Ducati’s Wayne Maxwell delivered a perfect weekend for round five of the 2022 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Morgan Park, capturing pole position and two race wins, as 727 Moto’s Ty Lynch capitalised in Supersport to take the overall victory and claw back vital points in the title race. CycleOnline caught up with both riders after the races for this Debrief feature.


Image: Foremost Media.

Congratulations on a perfect weekend, pole and two race wins. How important for you was it to rebound and have things pan out like that after Hidden Valley? 

It was obviously hugely important, I mean we sort of haven’t had the momentum that we have had in previous years so it’s been a real test not only for myself but the whole team to justify what was a couple of years of interruptions, and really show we are still the dominant team even though we are still one of the smallest teams. We’ve got a pretty good force to be reckoned with, and it’s a great reward for everyone’s effort as our backs were against the wall and to come out fighting as we did at one of our worst tracks on the calendar is pretty special.

With Morgan Park being arguably one of the most physical tracks on the calendar, what was the key for you to be able to be strong when it counted? 

I’ve got to play my role and be physically strong and efficient on the bike, and the guys… it’s about the feedback. We had some different settings that would produce the same lap times. We had an interesting stat really, between the testing we had at Morgan Park and the start of the first race, we had done 37 dry laps total. To be able to do 37 dry laps total, then come out and have a bike that was faster than any bike on the racetrack is a reward. We had a couple of different settings we tried through the practices, and they produced the same lap time, so we went with the ones that were physically easier to ride because we knew that it was going to be massively tough. I’m in a very lucky situation, if I’m not on the pace they never look at me, they always say what we need to do on the bike to make it better, so I’m lucky to be in that environment.

Looking at race two and that last lap pass into turn nine on Mike Jones, was that something you had in the back of your mind that you could pull off, or was that purely off impulse and instinct? 

Yeah, I knew I was fast there, but it’s a pretty difficult move to get done, even on a back marker there. I knew that Mike was strong into 10, so I was like I’ve sort of got to make it work there. The drive I got out of turn seven and down through eight, and I thought it’s now or never.  I got a really good drive and once I knew I had the road speed on him I went in there and blocked the line, and lucky that it was a clean enough pass and we got it done.

There’s a 29-point gap between you and Jones entering the final two rounds. You’re proven fast at Phillip Island and you had a really good round at The Bend last year. Is the approach for you to just go out and try to win the races, or is there anything tactical you might play if it comes down to it to try and shuffle Mike back to get the points that you need? 

No, not really. If we win the races, that’s all we can do. I’m not really into games and all of the rest of it. Mike has proven he is fast in all of the little tight tracks, where the Yamaha has good acceleration, so it’s going to be interesting how he can do on the full grand prix style tracks. I’m keen to see how it shapes up, we know that we are strong at those tracks and we can improve a little bit more and I need to improve my riding possibly a little bit more and some other stuff. I’ve been training, working super hard off the bike, training on the Ohvale and just working on technique and reviewing stuff. I’ve still got a bit to improve on there I feel, and if I can do that, then I really think we can take this title down to The Bend and see what we have got.


Image: Foremost Media.

Congratulations on getting the round win. Can you talk us through the feeling of securing a maiden round win in ASBK? 

It was really important to do, it has been a long time coming and we’ve had a lot of speed bumps on the way. It was a relief to finally get the job done, and it was… like the way I explained it to the team, as good as it was, it wasn’t the way I really wanted to win it, especially in that first race, it’s not the way you want to win. For me, I would much prefer to take the battle to [Johnny] Lytras and actually beat him fair and square rather than him having a bit of a mishap. So as good as it is, I’m not satisfied.

You’ve had quite an uplift in form throughout the last couple of rounds. Is there anything you can put that down to? 

It’s actually hard to put my finger on anything directly. I had quite a good pre-season at the start of the year, did a lot of riding and did a lot of coaching with the on-track rider coaching that Levi Day hosts. For me, bike time is the most important thing, but it’s more so I think we have had a different outlook on this year, we didn’t expect to be in the position that we are in now. This year was all about going to attack the season in a smart way, and just use this season to learn after last year with the huge injury that we had, the setbacks, I wasn’t really interested in coming back and fighting for a title, I just wanted to come back and make sure that I would still be able to compete inside the top five or six riders. We’ve just chipped away at it slowly, and just made the most of every situation and tried to finish every race. The team has been a massive factor in helping me extract time from each circuit in a smart and safe way, rather than heading out and attacking every corner as fast as we possibly can. They’ve given me the opportunity to learn from previous mistakes in past years and make mature decisions on the racetrack.

Out of the people that weren’t local at Morgan Park, you were the standout in Supersport. What was it about the circuit that allowed you to gel with it? 

The track and its characteristics are very similar to Mac Park, which is where I do the majority of my coaching and riding. To be completely honest, when we went into the weekend at Morgan Park I was sort of expecting to be around the top five, I wasn’t expecting to be up the front like I was. I’ve never liked the track, I’ve never gelled with it, and it’s never been a track that I’m super excited to go to, it’s the one track on the calendar each year I look at and sort of dread going. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure, we just went there with a positive outlook, and whatever happens, happens. The main aim was to finish both races and make sure we didn’t let Lytras get too much of a points lead. Unfortunately for him, he had that error and that mistake with the bike in race one, which allowed me to close the points gap right down. A lot of things have just gone our way this year, Morgan Park being one of those.

Touching on that points gap, it’s six points entering the final two rounds between Johnny and yourself. Phillip Island, then The Bend where you have had the chance to do a bit of testing. From the outside looking in it appears you are in a position of strength and confidence as the season approaches its end. 

Phillip Island at the start of the year was a bit of a wake-up call, that was my first competitive race back after being injured so I was a little bit up in the air trying to figure out how we were going to go. I think considering what had gone on, we performed okay and the things that I have learned throughout the year, I feel like going back to Phillip Island and going to The Bend we will be able to be extremely competitive. We are going to put our heads down, and like I said, take a positive outlook on it all and just try and figure out ways to be smart and safe on the circuit, and make sure we finish every race. If we have a little mishap in qualifying or free practice, that’s okay, the most important thing is to get both races finished each weekend.