News 28 Feb 2023

Stauffer drawing positives from 'unlucky' ASBK opener

Front-running potential displayed despite misfortune at Phillip Island.

Image: Foremost Media.

GTR MotoStars Yamaha rider Max Stauffer is drawing positives from an ‘unlucky’ 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) opener at Phillip Island, carrying his strong pre-season improvements into qualifying and the opening part of race one before he was struck by misfortune.

Stauffer lined up an ASBK premier-class career best of sixth following a solid qualifying effort of 1m32.497s Saturday morning and was P5 in the first bout before the race was red-flagged due to rain.

Upon the restart, Stauffer fell at turn four which ultimately ruled him out of the race, with a racing incident again bringing him down at the same corner on the opening lap of race two. Battling a front brake issue, he concluded the weekend with 10th place in the third race.

“I’m still taking away the positives from the first race that I was in the hunt for fourth place and maybe even further up the grid,” Stauffer explained to CycleOnline. “I had good pace until the race was red-flagged, just got unlucky with a few collisions of races one and two, then a bike problem in race three hindered me a bit more. Very, very disappointed, but you’ve got to take away the positives that I do have the pace and I’ve just got to keep working at it.”

Cleary identified as a big improver throughout the off-season, Stauffer made solid progress through the St George Summer Night Series which was evident at the official ASBK pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park, and also during the opening round of the season at Phillip Island despite the misfortune.

“We made great steps forward at Sydney and then we sort of transitioned that into qualifying here and I was able to go quite well,” Stauffer added. “To qualify on the second row was quite good for me, and I was pretty stoked. I think we have just got to do a bit more learning of racing up the front, I’ve got to get my craft back up.

“I spent a whole year of not really racing at all, I was out the back doing my own thing so I’ve just got to get a good bit of craft back but I think it will all happen pretty naturally.