Mar 6, 2011
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Josh Waters (21).
Team Suzuki rider Josh Waters made an emphatic return to Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship competition this afternoon, winning the opening 20-lap Symmons Plains race and breaking the lap record in the process.
The closing stages of the race saw an entertaining five-rider battle play out, with the positions changing lap after lap as riders dove deep under brakes from the 270km/h back straight.
Polesitter Team Honda's Wayne Maxwell and Procon Maxima BMW's Glenn Allerton both had turns in the lead, but the Suzuki of Waters soon came on strong and his pace proved tough to match.
Before his pass for the lead on lap 16, Waters set about re-writing the record books, lowering the best race lap mark to 53.475.
He resisted the final corner challenge of Maxwell to win by 0.048 seconds, scoring maximum points in his first race of the 2011 championship after missing round one with World Superbike duties.
"I couldn't have asked for a better result for my first race," said Waters. "I didn't get a great start but knew the bike would be strong so kept at the leaders.
"I was able to get by with a few laps to go and from then it was a matter of riding smart.
"It's a great feeling and a good result for us considering we had a slow start to the weekend I'm looking forward to another strong race this afternoon."
Allerton faded after leading for 5 laps early in the piece, but recovered to finish third.
Team Suzuki's Troy Herfoss and Team Honda Racing's Jamie Stauffer were both in the podium picture but were muscled back late in the race, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
The second 20-lap race will be held at 3.40pm this afternoon.
Supersport pole-sitter Christian Casella took victory in the category's opening 20-lap race, taking advantage of a first-lap stoush between brothers Brodie and Nick Waters.
Points leader Aaron Gobert was also involved, taking the pressure off the Triumph-mounted Casella who headed home Yamaha's Kevin Curtain. Race 2 will follow shortly.
Symmons Plains Superbike Race 1
1. Joshua WATERS, Suzuki GSX-R
2. Wayne MAXWELL, Honda CBR RR
3 .Glenn ALLERTON, BMW S 1000 RR
4. Troy HERFOSS, Suzuki GSX-R
5. Jamie STAUFFER, Honda CBR RR
6. Ben ATTARD, Aprilia RSV4
7. Robert BUGDEN, Suzuki GSX-R
8. Craig COXHELL, Honda CBR RR
9. Kris McLAREN, Honda CBR RR
10. Cole ODENDAAL, Honda CBR RR