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Nov 30, 2009

Waters Wins Australian Superbike Championship At Phillip Island

Josh Waters (21).
Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Josh Waters dominated both races at the final round of the 2009 Australian Superbike series at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday to claim the Championship in his rookie season - and the team's sixth national Superbike crown.

Waters (22) held off the challenges of championship rivals Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell to claim the number one plate in a thrilling winner-take-all finale to the seven-round series.

In a memorable day for the team, Waters' Team Joe Rocket Suzuki team mate Shawn Giles and Satellite rider Robbie Bugden shared in the celebrations with second and fourth respectively for the round, with Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Troy Herfoss claiming his first race victory on his Suzuki GSX-R600 in the Australian Supersport Championship.

Waters had entered the round two points adrift of defending champion Allerton and seven points clear of Maxwell, but withstood the pressure placed on him by his rivals to claim the title.

Waters took victory in the opening 10-lap race by 6.126sec over Allerton with Giles just 0.046sec adrift in third.

In the Championship-deciding final race, Waters again proved too strong, taking the win by 3.176sec from three-time Australian Superbike Champion Giles with Allerton third.

"I've never felt as nervous as I did today," said Waters. "The team has been fantastic and worked so hard to give me a bike that would do the job. I knew when I had my team mate sitting behind me as wingman in the last race that the title was mine."

After entering the round two points adrift of defending champion Allerton, Waters finished the 2009 season on 301 points, 10 clear of Allerton and 56 ahead of third-placed Maxwell.

"Congratulations to Josh - that was an awesome ride he put in today," said Allerton.

Title contender Maxwell saw his chances of the title disappear on the opening lap of race one when he crashed heavily after hitting a patch of water as he exited Turn 11.

Waters, Giles and three-time New Zealand Superbike Champion Bugden gave Suzuki three riders in the top five in the standings and underlined the performance of the Suzuki GSX-R1000K9 in its debut season and just its fifth race meeting.

In the Australian Supersport Championship, Herfoss, the 2008 US Supermoto Champion, claimed his first race win in his rookie road-racing season, taking a thrilling victory in the opening 12-lap race by 0.080sec over Bryan Staring.

A fourth in race two saw 22-year-old Herfoss tie on points with 2008 champion Jamie Stauffer on the day, the latter being awarded the overall win on count-back by race officials.

Staring finished third overall for the round to claim the 2009 Australian Supersport Championship with Herfoss an impressive fifth on the championship points table in his debut season.

Phil Tainton - Team Manager:

"It's been a great weekend for the team - I'm so proud of Josh and the whole squad. Josh thoroughly deserves his win as he's so dedicated - he's a typical dedicated Aussie racer.

"The whole team has worked so hard for this championship. It's been one of the most competitive seasons I can remember and to come down to the last race to decide the championship is a great way to finish.

"Shawn and Robbie should be proud of their results today and Troy taking his first race win in Supersport has made it a weekend to remember. I didn't think it would be this soon, but Troy is a very talented rider and it's a great result to be mixing it with those guys in his first season."

Joshua Waters:

"What can I say - the team has been fantastic and the bike was great all weekend. I can't thank the team enough. I honestly didn't expect I'd be in this position when I started the season on the Superbike.

"I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me and all those who have believed in me - and especially my Mum and Dad who have sacrificed so much so I could go racing. Phil and Lynne Tainton have taken me in as part of their family, my mechanic Hayden Joyce never stops working and Shawn is always there to help me and offer advice.

"I'd like to dedicate this win to two good mates of mine, who lost their lives doing what they love - Kirk McCarthy and Judd Greedy. This one is for you guys."

Shawn Giles:

"I'd like to congratulate Josh on the Championship - it just shows what a young guy can do. The team's championship success says a lot about how good the new GSX-R1000 is.

"The team has worked so hard this year and put in lots and lots of hours getting the bikes developed - it's a credit to everyone. To give the team a one-two in the final race is a great way to finish off the season."

Robbie Budgen:

"I really wanted to give the team a one-two-three in the final race but I began to lose grip at the rear and dropped off the pace a bit in the closing laps.

"Phillip Island is a track that places big demands on set-up as the corners are so fast. You need everything spot-on and that's a challenge when the weather conditions keep changing. I am really happy with the season and to have three GSX-R1000s in the top five shows the calibre of Suzuki's Superbike. Now it is time to go and defend the New Zealand Superbike Championship.

"I'd like to congratulate Josh on the Championship - awesome effort."

Troy Herfoss:

"To be honest, I was hoping for those wet conditions we had in race one and to get the win was great. I feel okay in dodgy conditions and feel I can race with those guys now. I'm still learning every time I go out. I'm still getting used to having to hang my body off the bike after years of Supermoto racing.

"Congratulations to Josh on his Championship. It's great to be part of Team Joe Rocket Suzuki."


Superbike Overall Results - Round 7: 1 Josh Waters (Suzuki GSX-R1000); 2 Shawn Giles (Suzuki GSX-R1000); 3 Glenn Allerton; 4 Robert Bugden (Suzuki GSX-R1000); 5 Grant Hay; 6 Trent Gibson (Suzuki GSX-R1000); 7 Craig Coxhell; 8 Kris McLaren; 9 Chris Trounson; 10 Jordan Burgess.

Final Superbike Championship Points (after 7 rounds): 1 Josh Waters (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 301pts; 2 Glenn Allerton 291; 3 Wayne Maxwell 245; 4 Shawn Giles (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 234; 5 Robert Bugden (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 218; 6 Craig Coxhell 190; 7 Jamie Stauffer 177; 8 Dan Stauffer 156; 9 Kevin Curtain 153; 10 Chris Trounson 126.

Supersport Overall Results - Round 7: 1 Jamie Stauffer; 2 Troy Herfoss (Suzuki GSX-R600); 3 Bryan Staring; 4 Shannon Johnson; 5 Chas Hern (Suzuki GSX-R600); 6 Christian Casella; 7 Jed Metcher; 8 Ben Attard; 9 Brodie Waters; 10 Dustin Goldsmith.

Final Supersport Championship Points (after 7 rounds): 1 Bryan Staring 313pts; 2 Jamie Stauffer 300; 3 Ben Attard 216; 4 Shannon Johnson 206; 5 Troy Herfoss (Suzuki GSX-R600) 197; 6 Scott Charlton 171; 7 Christian Casella 169; 8 Jed Metcher 142; 9 Chris Quinn 139; 10 Chas Hern (Suzuki GSX-R600) 133.

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

KRT's Ben Attard Finishes Australian Supersport Championship on Podium

Kawasaki Racing Team's Ben Attard has finished the 2009 Australian Supersport Championship on the podium taking 3rd place in the series on board the Ninja ZX-6R.

Ben Attard has been consistently strong throughout the entire 2009 series gaining Championship points at every round and the final round at Phillip Island, Vic on Nov 28-29 was no different. Ben carried a twelve point buffer with him to Phillip Island and posted top ten results in the two races (9-6) to take 3rd in the Championship.

Ben says, "It's a good result for me and Kawasaki to finish the series on the podium. The Ninja ZX-6R is a very quick bike out of the box and luckily we were able to secure top ten results at every round. We had a consistent year and it paid off. All the crew worked very hard and that helped get us to the podium."

Superbike rider Kevin Curtain got off to a good start at Phillip Island picking up 6th place in the first race on the Ninja ZX-10R. A DNF however in the second race prevented Kevin from improving on his overall series result. Kevin still fi nished inside the top ten in the class, taking 9th place in the Championship.

Kevin says, "The whole team put in 200% but unfortunately we were let down in the second race due to factors beyond our control. It was a shame because the ZX-10R was consistently on song all weekend and felt very good."

KRT Manager Dave Cullen says, "It's great to achieve 3rd in the Supersport class. We couldn't have done it without the support of our sponsors including Castrol, DID, NGK, and Kincrome and the hard work of the whole team. It's also a great result for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. It's a very quick bike with a lot of untapped potential."

"Kevin also did well to finish inside the top ten in the Superbike class. The result isn't indicative of Kevin's or the ZX-10R's true potential but things didn't go strictly to plan this series but as they say, "that's racing".

"I guess this is the end of an era with Kawasaki withdrawing after so many years but I'm sure we'll be
back bigger and better than ever before too long."

Kawasaki thanks Kevin Curtain, Ben Attard, Dave Cullen, Glen Willing and the entire KRT crew along with the many valuable sponsors for their support in 2009.

More, from a press release issued by TwoThree Public Relations:

Maxwell third in ASBK series after devastating Phillip Island race day

A huge highside crash from Oleon Motologic Racing's Wayne Maxwell put an end to his 2009 Australian Superbike Championship title hopes at Phillip Island today, forcing the 27-year-old to settle for third in the series after failing to score points in the season finale.

After qualifying fastest yesterday, Maxwell lead the field away in the opening 12-lap outing of Sunday's proceedings before crashing between turns 11 and 12 on the first lap. Morning rain had created a stream of water across the circuit in what were otherwise dry conditions, causing Maxwell to lose grip and be catapulted from his Honda CBR1000RR in what he described as the biggest accident of his career.

The incident, which was captured on film by the Network Ten cameras, ruled Maxwell out of the remainder of the event with a suspected fractured right foot and left leg from the high-speed impact, and further medical examinations next week will determine the extent of the injury.

Maxwell took to the grid after the sighting lap of race two in order to attempt to assist teammate Glenn Allerton in winning the title, but the pain was too severe and he returned into pit lane following the warm-up lap, rounding out his season with a top three result in the championship.

Suzuki's Josh Waters won the series after scoring a double-victory at the 4.445-kilometre circuit.

It's been a miraculous second half of the season for Maxwell, taking his first round victory at Mallala's fifth round in South Australia before going on to win the ASBK Open and penultimate ASBK round at Phillip Island to take thee wins in succession. That form closed the point gap from over 30 points down to eight heading into today's finale, marking a successful season overall in his return to the Superbike class after a season contesting Supersport in 2008.

Maxwell's future for the 2010 season is yet to be decided, currently in discussions with Motologic Racing as well as teams overseas.

Wayne Maxwell Superbike #47:

The dream definitely turned into a nightmare today. I knew that Josh and his team made massive improvements over the weekend and they also used a different tyre to what I had picked so that would have come down to it in the end too. But you know, it wasn't meant to be this year for me and we'll have to settle for third. It was a stupid mistake that caught me out, definitely the biggest crash of my life, but that's life and we'll regroup hopefully come back bigger and stronger next year. I tried to make the grid in the second race but it was difficult to change down gears and I could feel my leg clunking on each shift, but at the end of the day I didn't really need to go out because I had third secured in the championship. I've been talking to a few teams overseas and the poor result this weekend won't affect that, so we'll see what happens for 2010. I'd really like to thank all the guys who made the year what it was including Monza Imports with Alpinestars, AGV, Dunlop and GT Bicycles, plus all of my personal sponsors who have been unbelievable: Longlife Roofing Guttering, Mldenim, ASF Printing and G&B Paternoster Industrial Plumbing. Without those guys I probably wouldn't be where I am today. I also have to thank Paul Free and the team from Motologic, he gave me the chance to ride for him in 2007 and we've really grown together over that time.