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Aug 5, 2013

More From This Past Weekend's QBE Australian Superbike Races At Sydney Motorsport Park

QBE Australian Superbike Championship: Wayne Maxwell (47) and Robbie Bugden (6).

Team Suzuki's Wayne Maxwell is the new Australian Superbike Championship leader following Sydney Motorsport Park's fourth and fifth round of the 2013 season, where he claimed a superb clean-sweep of the event.

The 30-year-old won all four 12-lap premier class Superbike races in fine fashion and takes a 24-point lead in the championship following five of seven rounds. It was a convincing weekend for Maxwell and the GSX-R1000, working their way to the front of the field in each outing while Team Volvo Group Suzuki team-mate Robbie Bugden made it a special 1-2 result during both rounds for the team.

Said Maxwell: "What a weekend it was for Team Suzuki. The Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 worked awesome in all four races, so to come away with four-out-of-four shows how well the team and the bike are working.

"We came in 14 points behind and leave this weekend with a 24-point lead in the championship, so it really is a dream come true. Obviously there's a long way to go, so we'll keep working hard and see what we can do in Darwin. The Dunlop tyres worked great all weekend, so I can't thank everybody enough."

Bugden finished second in both races on Saturday after spending his fair share at the front of the field; round four's second race providing some of the weekend's best action as the Suzuki duo duelled in the final stages.

Sunday saw Bugden start from the Superpole position on the grid and he again led during both races. The five-time New Zealand champion was second in race one, before a hard-fought fifth in the second sealed him his second runner-up overall for the weekend. Bugden also claimed a new circuit record of 1m29.842s during Friday's Superpole session, joined in the 29s by Maxwell. Bugden also clinched a new race lap record of 1m30.445 in race one on Saturday afternoon.

"It was an absolute cracker weekend for Team Suzuki," Bugden said. "We finished 1-2 in both rounds, won every race, had pole position for round five, plus we got a new lap and circuit record. Weekends just don't get any better than that.

"As a team we worked really well, my GSX-R1000 was great and the Dunlop tyres were clearly performing. As for myself, obviously Wayne has a gap in the championship now, so we need to do something about that and do it quickly. We'll head to Darwin now, a really good track for me, so I'll be going there with the target of winning two races."

Team Suzuki manager Phil Tainton was proud of Maxwell and Bugden's efforts throughout the weekend, which was a pivotal performance in terms of the championship for the defending champion squad.

"It couldn't have been much better," Tainton said. "Wayne has been unbeatable; Robbie has been riding so well as well. We're now first and tied for second in the championship, so it was a really important weekend to be successful with the double-header format. It was just fantastic."

The Australian Superbike Championship will resume at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin on September 12-15th.

Round Four Overall Results:

1. Wayne MAXWELL (Team Suzuki) 50
2. Robert BUGDEN (Team Volvo Group Suzuki) 40
3. Jamie STAUFFER 35
4. Josh HOOK 32
5. Glenn SCOTT 32
6. Linden MAGEE 29
7. Chas HERN 27
8. Glenn ALLERTON 27
9. Beau BEATON 24
10. Sloan FROST 24

Round Five Overall Results:

1. Wayne MAXWELL (Team Suzuki) 50
2. Robert BUGDEN (Team Volvo Group Suzuki) 37
3. Glenn ALLERTON 35
4. Josh HOOK 34
5. Jamie STAUFFER 34
6. Glenn SCOTT 33
7. Linden MAGEE 28
8. Beau BEATON 26
9. Sloan FROST 24
10. Ben HENRY 21

Championship Standings (after five of seven rounds):

1. Wayne MAXWELL (Team Suzuki) 180
2. Glenn ALLERTON 156
3. Robert BUGDEN (Team Volvo Group Suzuki) 156
4. Jamie STAUFFER 135
5. Josh HOOK 133
6. Glenn SCOTT 119
7. Linden MAGEE 99
8. Beau BEATON 99
9. Phil LOVETT 79
10. Sloan FROST 71

More, from a press release issued by Team Honda Racing:

Team Honda Racing Round 5 Report
5th August 2013 – Team Honda Racing has come away with valuable points from the Round 4 and 5 double-header of the Australian Superbike Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park over the weekend.

Round 4 on Saturday did not yield the results the team was hoping for as they battled some set-up issues, however they did finish strongly with Jamie Stauffer coming 3rd overall for Round 4 and Josh Hook finishing 4th.

On Saturday night, between Rounds 4 and 5, Team Honda Racing made the decision to make some subtle changes to the Honda CBR1000RRs in an effort to solve grip problems that the bikes had.

Race 1 on Sunday for Round 5 saw a terrific improvement in the consistency of the lap times for both riders and it was clear the changes were successful. However, after getting a less than ideal start, both riders found themselves in a battle with the BMW of Allerton and although both CBR1000RRs did pass Allerton in the final few laps of the race, it left little time to bridge the gap to the race leaders. Stauffer finished Race 1 in 4th place with Hook finishing in 5th.

The final race of the weekend exemplified the Honda team’s tenacity as they fought a thrilling battle on track with Superbike rookie Hook recording the fastest lap of the race, a 1:30.787 sec. The 20 year old fought hard with the lead riders, eventually finishing in 3rd place with Stauffer in 4th.

Having arrived home only days before the ASBK event from Japan where Hook and Stauffer competed in the grueling Suzuka 8 Hour race, both riders put in 100% all weekend and their focus did not waiver. Their efforts definitely impressed the many team partners that attended the Team Honda Racing Hospitality Zone on Saturday and Sunday, including Honda MPE’s General Manager of Motorcycles, Peter Singleton, Tony Hinton and Marketing Manager of Motorcycles, Glyn Griffiths. Team Honda Racing would like to thank all their guests to the Hospitality Zone over the weekend; AWS Vantage, Directors and guests from Doric Products, Monza Imports, Power House Group, Out There Branding and all associated guests. The team even had guests in attendance from South Africa with Brad Anassis and his team from Portable Shade there for the event.

The team was also pleased to welcome the Steven Walter Foundation and guests to join them all weekend. Raising money for children’s cancer research, the Foundation had many volunteers in attendance over the weekend to continue their fantastic work. With a raffle prize of a Motologic custom built Honda CBR1000RR on display, to be finalized at the annual Snowy Ride (2nd November 2013), the Foundation was able not only to raise money, but also awareness of children’s cancer and the need for research.

#34 Josh Hook was pleased with his podium finish at Round 5, but it looking forward to starting fresh in Darwin.

Hook: “Race 2 was a good race for me for Round 5. The most important thing for me starting from P5 was to get off the line well and make sure we were in the top few bikes from the start and we did that. We were able to stay up the front of the field for the majority of the race. The BMW slowed the pace at the front which helped me a bit, but as soon as another rider passed Allerton and began pulling away it made it more difficult. I spent a fair bit of the race trying to get past Allerton, but he rode well and was very defensive in his lines so it wasn’t easy. Still, I did come away with a 3rd place and the also the fastest lap of Race 2. I want to thank the team for their hard work, they worked tirelessly to get the bike right for me at this circuit and it was just a shame we weren’t stronger earlier in the weekend. We did gain valuable points though and I’m looking forward to a rest before heading to Darwin to have another go!”

#27 Jamie Stauffer is also keen to move on to the next event after taking some time to recuperate.

Stauffer: “Round 5 wasn’t as strong for me after a podium on Saturday. I finished 4th in the first race for Round 5 as I struggled a bit with grip in the rear. We made a couple of changes between races and it did feel a lot better, but there was a tight group all battling together at the front which made it a difficult race. We did battle for 2nd at one point, but in the end we took 4th place. I finished 4th overall for Round 5 so not ideal, but now we have some time to work on the bike before Darwin and I also have some time to let my injuries heal. Having raced at the Suzuka 8 Hour and then straight after that to race here at a double-header was a bit difficult with pelvic injuries, but now I have some solid recovery time before Darwin so I’ll be looking forward to that event to get back on top of things.”

Team Principal, Paul Free will make good use of the coming weeks to formulate a plan for Round 6 to ensure his team returns to form.

Free: “Overall it was a difficult weekend for us. The team worked hard to try and get on top of issues raised by the riders but overall we fell slightly short. Jamie and Josh did an excellent job and pushed the motorcycle to the limit. Both riders did get on the podium over the weekend which was great to see and we have come away with solid points. We will have a debrief now to get a clear understanding of where we are and create a strong direction heading into Darwin for Round 6. It was fantastic to have so many of team partners and their guests at the Hospitality Zone and strong representation from Honda management at the event. It is terrific encouragement for the team to have that support. The riders can now have a well-earned rest and we look forward to seeing what transpires in Darwin.”

The next event for Team Honda Racing will be Round 6 at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin September 13th – 15th.