Opening round in the bag for Honda rider
18 March 2014: Melbourne, Australia
Team Honda Racing’s Jamie Stauffer topped of a wonderful weekend of action on Sunday by claiming first-round bragging rights at the opening round of the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship.
Stauffer was a model of consistency at Wakefield Park managing a third place, race win, and second place from his three races, to claim outright honours ahead of Glenn Allerton.
In what looks to be the most hotly contested road racing championship seen in Australia for years, Stauffer was critical of his performance believing he still has plenty left in the tank for the rest of the series.
“It’s really good even though it’s only the first round, obviously leading the championship,” he said.
“A couple of the races - especially the first race, I could have done better. I made a few bad choices there, and I didn’t get a real good result.
“But all-in-all the weekend went pretty well for me - we just have to push on now and try keep moving forward and look to the next round.”
Stauffer praised the support Team Honda Racing provides him, and acknowledged that the relationship he has formed with the team over the years has been important.
“The team support is always good. I’ve been with the team for quite a few years now, and we get along well together and work very hard.
“We didn’t have a lot of time on this bike or to spec a bike before the first round so we had a lot of work to do over the weekend to set the bike up, and it felt like we achieved a lot and now have a good bike to take racing.
“We have a long way to go in the championship yet, so we just need to keep our heads down and keep moving forward because everyone else is going to get better as well, so just need to do what we can to stay on top.”
Stauffer prefers to take a short-term approach to the championship, setting his goals to focus on what he can do at each individual round rather than the series as a whole.
“I think you’ve got to take it one round at a time. Your plan can change each round,” he said.
“At the end of the day, all I can do is go out and ride as hard as I can at each round and ride as if that weekend is a championship in itself and try and win every weekend.
“If I do that and everything goes to plan, then hopefully I should be winning the championship at the end of the year.
“I don’t think the season is too short but there aren’t enough rounds to just take it easy if things are not going right - you have to step up and make the most out of every race and that’s what I will be trying to do.”
The Kurri Kurri rider is planning to take it easy in the lead-up to the second round at Mallala Raceway in May, and says that his next 6-8 weeks won’t involve much riding.
“There won’t be a lot of riding to be honest - I work full time so the next month and a half will be a lot of work! Hopefully we can get out to the track at least once and have a test.
“There are a couple of little things I want to try after the weekend, which actually would have been good to try on the weekend but it was a bit risky trying them in the races themselves.
“So I can just hopefully get on the track for at least one day between now and the next round - I’ve been to Mallala plenty of times before, and had some great wins there and don’t mind the track, so hopefully we can get there and be on top straight off the bat, and move forward as the weekend goes along.”
With the best riders in the country taking part in the ASC, Stauffer believes that the 2014 Swann Series is the first step on the path to road racing greatness again in this country.
“Everyone is in this championship, it’s obviously a championship that is heading in the right direction and that everyone wants to be a part of at the moment,” he explained.
“I have always said everyone needs to ride together, there can really only be one championship, and at the end of the day as long as it is run properly and is there to help riders out and get the best racing possible, that’s what it’s all about.
“Now all the riders are together, and it can only be a good thing.”