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Jul 14, 2001

Baird Wins 2001 Australian Formula Xtreme Championship, Yamaha Takes Top Four Positions

By Steve Reeves<BR><BR>After what has been one of the most exciting race seasons in recent years, Radar's Team Yamaha rider Robbie Baird emerged from the fifth and final round of the 2001 Yamaha Xtreme Tri-State Series, held last weekend, as the new Formula Xtreme Champion.<BR><BR>Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway provided the venue for the final round, with exceptionally close racing in all classes, including the Yamaha Formula Xtreme.<BR><BR>Baird wrapped up the series after the third of four races, finishing with a total of 353 points. The Queenslander headed a trifecta for Radar's Team Yamaha as Jamie Stauffer finished second (322) and Craig Coxhell third with 309. Completing a great result for Yamaha was New Zealander Tony Rees, who brought his Bikebiz Yamaha YZF-R1 home in fourth place.<BR><BR>The Radar's Team Yamaha riders were in the thick of the action all weekend, with Baird controlling the series from the front.<BR><BR>All four 8-lap races were full of close racing and passes and produced a new Formula Xtreme lap record.<BR><BR>While Baird relished the moment of his first Australian title since winning the Australian 250cc Production Championship in 1993, Stauffer emerged as the overall winner on the day in a spirited attempt to overhaul his teammate.<BR><BR>Stauffer proved to be the most consistent finishing the four races with a 2-2-3-2 score card. Baird was second overall with a 5-1-4-1, first, followed by Coxhell's 3-3-1-4. The strength of the team riders was clearly evident.<BR><BR>The only other rider to interfere with the performance was Honda rider Josh Brookes, who picked up the win in the opening race.<BR><BR>For Baird, it was a lot of weight off his shoulders. "Excellent," said Baird after wrapping up the series in race three. "That's a lot of pressure off me now. I can relax and go harder in the final race. I have to thank Kev Marshall and all of the Radar's Team Yamaha crew for doing such an outstanding job this season. To get the win was great, but to get all three Yamahas into the top three is something special. Jamie and Craig had the pressure on me all series and it was great that we could finish like this."<BR><BR>"It would have been nice to have won the series, but winning overall on the day is also a very good result for the team," said Stauffer. "Robbie has been strong all year and deserved the win. Being my first year on the Yamaha YZF-R1, it has taken me a while to get used to the bike and to feel comfortable on it. It has been working a lot better recently, so I think we'll put that down to a very rapid learning curve for me this year. I'm very happy with the result and for the team".<BR><BR>As the youngest member of the team, 18-year-old Coxhell has been the most determined, which at times has been to his detriment during the series. "I was trying very hard in the early rounds and crashed too many times, that eventually cost me in the series standings," said Coxhell. "It took me a little while to get my head around it, but I think I have shown that I'm on top of things now. To go under the existing lap record was good for my confidence and I'm happy that I could do it. As for the day, it went well and it was good to get the race win in the third race."<BR><BR>Team Manager Dave `Radar' Cullen was more than satisfied with the efforts that his team has put into the series. "That was a fantastic team effort," said Cullen. "The boys battled it out on the track all series and provided the fans with some of the best racing we have seen. The series could have gone to any one of the three as they've each ridden well this year. It wasn't a whitewash as some may think, as Alex Gobert and Josh Brookes had their moments of glory this year. I think that Terry O'Neill should be congratulated for having a series that all of the manufacturers can have a chance of winning."<BR><BR>RESULTS:<BR>Yamaha Formula Xtreme Combined qualifying:<BR>1. Alex Gobert, Redwing Honda, 1:34.155 <BR>2. Robbie Baird, Radar's Team Yamaha, 1:34.197<BR>3. Tony Rees, Bikebiz Yamaha, 1:34.239<BR>4. Josh Brookes, Geoff's Auto Spares Honda, 1:34.273<BR>5. Luke Phillips, Optus World Honda, 1:34.687<BR>6. Craig Coxhell, Radar's Team Yamaha, 1:34.749<BR>7. Jamie Stauffer, Radar's Team Yamaha, 1:34.880<BR>8. Damien Cudlin, Bikebiz Yamaha, 1:34.884<BR>9. Steven Cutting, Bar Ristretto Suzuki, 1:35.496<BR>10. Jay Taylor, Taylor Racing Kawasaki, 1:35.820<BR><BR>Race 1 (8 laps), Race time /gap:<BR>1. Josh Brookes, Geoff's Auto Spares Honda CBR929RR, 12:42.919 <BR>2. Jamie Stauffer, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.076 <BR>3. Craig Coxhell, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.179<BR>4. Tony Rees, Bikebiz Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.693<BR>5. Robbie Baird, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +4.793<BR>6. Jay Taylor, Taylor Racing Kawasaki ZX-9R, +6.408<BR>7. Alex Gobert, Red Wing Honda CBR929RR, +10.948<BR>8. Steven Cutting, Bar Ristretto Suzuki GSX-R1000, +13.194<BR>9. Kurt Percy, Thomson Finance Yamaha YZF-R1, +15.896<BR>10. Stephen Tozer, Stafford M/C Yamaha YZF-R1, +22.661<BR>Fastest lap: Josh Brookes, Honda, 1:34.332, lap 6<BR><BR>Race 2 (8 laps) (Red flagged on lap 6) Race time /gap:<BR>1. Robbie Baird, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, 9:32.058 <BR>2. Jamie Stauffer, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.010<BR>3. Craig Coxhell, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.041<BR>4. Tony Rees, Bikebiz Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.513<BR>5. Josh Brookes, Geoff's Auto Spares Honda CBR929RR, +0.609<BR>6. Jay Taylor, Taylor Racing Kawasaki ZX-9R, +7.929<BR>7. Kurt Percy, Thomson Finance Yamaha YZF-R1, +8.802<BR>8. Roland Kruck, Doin Bikes Honda CBR929RR, +11.974<BR>9. Alex Gobert, Red Wing Honda CBR929RR, +13.089<BR>10. Rodney Davis, Wet 4U Racing Yamaha YZF-R1, +18.800<BR>Fastest lap: Jamie Stauffer, Yamaha,1:34.163, lap 2<BR><BR>Race 3 (8 laps) Race time /gap:<BR>1. Craig Coxhell, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, 12:36.902 <BR>2. Josh Brookes, Geoff's Auto Spares Honda CBR929RR, +0.016 <BR>3. Jamie Stauffer, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.476<BR>4. Robbie Baird, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +3.616<BR>5. Tony Rees, Bikebiz Yamaha YZF-R1, +4.125<BR>6. Alex Gobert, Red Wing Honda CBR929RR, +15.168<BR>7. Jay Taylor, Taylor Racing Kawasaki ZX-9R, +15.961<BR>8. Kurt Percy, Thomson Finance Yamaha YZF-R1, +16.034<BR>9. Stephen Tozer, Stafford M/C Yamaha YZF-R1, +20.799<BR>10. Roland Kruck, Doin Bikes Honda CBR929RR, +22.236<BR>Fastest lap: Josh Brookes, Honda, 1:33.365, lap 4 (New lap record)<BR><BR>Race 4 (8 laps) Race time /gap:<BR>1. Robbie Baird, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, 12:37.329 <BR>2. Jamie Stauffer, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.144 <BR>3. Tony Rees, Bikebiz Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.474<BR>4. Craig Coxhell, Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1, +0.498<BR>5. Jay Taylor, Taylor Racing Kawasaki ZX-9R, +15.594<BR>6. Kurt Percy, Thomson Finance Yamaha YZF-R1, +16.257<BR>7. Stephen Tozer, Stafford M/C Yamaha YZF-R1, +16.787<BR>8. Roland Kruck, Doin Bikes Honda CBR929RR, +17.784<BR>9. Rodney Davis, Yamaha YZF-R1, +22.428<BR>10. Alex Gobert, Red Wing Honda CBR929RR, +27.877<BR>Fastest lap: Craig Coxhell, Yamaha, 1:33.556, lap 6<BR><BR>2001 Yamaha Formula Xtreme Points (after 5 of 5 rounds):<BR><BR>1. Robbie Baird, 353 points<BR>2. Jamie Stauffer, 322 points<BR>3. Craig Coxhell, 309 points<BR>4. Tony Rees, 256 points<BR>5. Alex Gobert, 200 points<BR>6. Josh Brookes, 186 points<BR>7. Damien Cudlin, 178 points<BR>8. Luke Phillips, 116 points<BR>9. Kurt Percy, 115 points<BR>10. Stephen Tozer, 106 points<BR><BR>