Feb 22, 2013
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Wayne Maxwell (47).
Maxwell scores Superbike pole on debut with Suzuki
Star Suzuki signing Wayne Maxwell has wasted little time in getting up to speed on his new machine with a commanding display in qualifying and practice at Phillip Island today.
QBE Australian Superbike Championship classes were faced with a reduced track schedule after lengthy delays following multiple red flags in the World Supersport practice.
Maxwell was on maximum attack in his sole qualifying stint, despite the eventâ€™s non-championship status.
He knows he will be up against strong opposition when the QBE Australian Superbike Championshipsâ€™ official points chase begins, and is taking every opportunity to customise the factory GSX-R to his liking.
â€œItâ€™s my first official qualifying session on the bike and I couldnâ€™t ask for much more than to come away with P1 to start the year,â€ said Maxwell.
â€œIâ€™m treating this as a testing weekend and trying to get a good feel for the Suzuki and make any adjustments I need to at a track I am familiar with.
â€œThe Dunlop tyre is hanging in there over the duration and Iâ€™m doing a lot of my fast laps at the end of the sessions which is promising.
â€œThe next step is to find a bit more feeling in the bike and Iâ€™m hoping to have come on leaps and bounds by the end of the weekend.â€
Dynotech Maxima BMWâ€™s Linden Magee slotted his Superbike into second place with a strong showing in the 25-minute session.
He clocked his quickest time, just 0.071s off Maxwell, on the last of 11 laps, showing he will be a serious podium contender when racing gets underway.
Racerâ€™s Edge Suzuki pilot Beau Beaton was third-fastest for the day, his best effort coming mid-way through the session.
The Rover Coaches Kawasaki of Matt Walters was the standout Honda Australian Prostock Championship entry, finishing fifth on the overall timesheets after turning just 8 laps.
Waltersâ€™ lap was only 1.232s off the Superbike pole mark, an impressive effort for the ZX10R rider who becomes the new lap record holder for the class.
â€œThe conditions werenâ€™t ideal, it was pretty windy out there but we came in knowing we had the bike setup pretty well and this session verified that,â€ said Walters.
â€œEverything went to plan to day, hopefully I can stick with the leaders during the races and all my fitness work will pay off.â€
Ben Nicolson brought his BMW home second fastest, with Dustin Goldsmith making it two Kawasakiâ€™s in the Prostock top three.
In the Motul Supersport class it was Aaron Morris on the Maxima Yamaha R6 claiming pole position by a 0.286s margin over fellow R6 rider and 2012 Superstock Champion Daniel Falzon.
Morris topped the dayâ€™s earlier practice session and set a top two time yesterday showing his pace is no flash in the pan.
Falzon was â€˜ecstaticâ€™ with his second place and said the new track surface gave the rider a lot more confidence.
â€œWe started off the day struggling a bit and were down by around 0.7 of a second but put on a new set of tyres and went 1.5 seconds faster which I was ecstatic with,â€ said Falzon.
â€œThe new surface is super smooth and itâ€™s hard to get a lot of feeling in the front end, I think thatâ€™s why there were a few people crashing.
â€œThere is lots of grip though and it gives you a lot of confidence, especially with the run off areas at turn 1 and 4.â€
Ryan Taylor made it three Yamaha machines in the top three with a strong qualifying performance.
Taylor was left to rue lap traffic in his search of a higher grid placing but is confident in his chances over the 10-lap distance of tomorrowâ€™s opening race.
The Superbike/Prostock and Supersport classes will get a 5-minute warmup session each prior to their first races, 12 and 10 laps respectively.
AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE C'SHIP at Phillip Island. Rd 1: Qualifying:
Superbike/Prostock*: W Maxwell (Suzuki) 1m33.695s 1, L Magee (BMW) 1m33.766s 2, B Beaton (Suzuki) 1m34.046s 3, C Hern (Suzuki) 1m34.476s 4, M Walters (Kawasaki) 1m34.927s 5*, G Scott (Honda) 1m35.386s 6, B Nicolson (BMW) 1m35.555s 7*, B Henry (Suzuki) 1m35.704s 8, D Goldsmith (Kawasaki) 1m35.798s 9*, A Christie (BMW) 1m36.348s 10*.
Supersport: A Morris (Yamaha) 1m37.183s 1, D Falzon (Yamaha) 1m37.369s 2, R Taylor (Yamaha) 1m37.818s 3, M Lockhart (Kawasaki) 1m37.960s 4, C Spriggs (Yamaha) 1m38.055s 5, A Wagner (Yamaha) 1m38.133s 6, M Blair (Yamaha) 1m38.188s 7, C Quinn (Yamaha) 1m38.247s 8, A Gobert (Kawasaki) 1m38.404s 9, L Burgess (Kawasaki) 1m38.559s 10.