Team Suzuki Press Office – August 14.

Suzuki’s Australian Superbike and Supersport Team Manager Phil Tainton talks about the season so far as the team heads to this weekend’s penultimate round at Phillip Island with Josh Waters holding a commanding lead on his GSX-R1000.

Well here we are mid-season and just about to end our two-month winter break with round six of the Australian Superbike Championship at Phillip Island this coming weekend.

In my last end-of-season blog, we were preparing for the Phillip Island 8 Hour Endurance event, which I am very pleased to report where Team Suzuki finished first and second overall, which was a fantastic effort by the whole team as well as a great testament to the enviable reliability of our GSX-Rs.

The 2012 season started off just as exciting as 2011 finished, with the arrival of our all new GSX-R1000L2 and a new Superbike rider in Ben Attard to replace Troy Herfoss, who is chasing his dreams in Germany for 2012.

The first round at the World Superbike event at Phillip Island was a great start to the year for us with Josh Waters winning the overall for the weekend on the new bike’s first outing and Ben Attard claiming his first podium with the Team on the new GSX-R1000L2 with a third place in race one, whilst Robbie Bugden put some valuable points in the bag as well. Brodie Waters had a bit of a slow start to the season but was soon able to change that around.

After the first round and a little bit of testing, our new model GSX-R1000 has proven to be a big asset to the Team’s Championship assault with just a few subtle changes by the engineers at Suzuki in engine power and handling to its predecessor, the new bike has just what it takes to win. Warren, Hayden and I went through and rebuilt all the bikes before heading off to Darwin for round two where Josh just dominated again in the premier class. We then headed down to Perth to Barbagallo Raceway for round three with the V8 Supercars and then across the Nullarbor dessert to the Phillip Island V8 Supercar round.

So you can see how busy the start of the year has been again, and with so many road kilometres to drive, I am very grateful we had our new Volvo Euro 5 Prime Mover to tow our Team trailer, the new Volvo is so quiet and smooth you really do think you are driving a car not a truck, and it was a bit of fun stopping along the way with all the V8 truck drivers.

Round five found us at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich, providing a change of pace for our young Supersport Rider Brodie Waters who has been riding a Superbike at the two V8 rounds now finding himself back on his GSX-R600 contesting the Australian Supersport Championship again. I must say riding the Superbike certainly helped Brodie with the GSX-R600, as he rode so well at Queensland Raceway in very difficult weather conditions. We ended up leaving Queensland with the overall win for Brodie and third in the Championship by 12.5 points, Robbie and Ben in fifth and sixth respectively in the Superbike Championship while Josh built on his lead in the Championship to 30.5 points ahead of Wayne Maxwell.

The next major event for Josh was the Suzuka 8-Hour where he rode exceptionally well and proved yet again how fast he is riding. Josh posted the fastest outright qualifying time and third fastest in Superpole, but unfortunately the Yoshimura Team experienced some unprecedented bad luck and couldn’t realise on their fast lap times.

I knew I had to get all the riders back on their bikes before our next round, especially Josh who has been doing so many laps around Suzuka on a World Superbike-spec GSX-R1000 lately, and as the weather has been so wet down south here, we decided to take them all to Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney NSW where we spent two very good test days on the new extended circuit and all four riders came away very happy with their bikes and the time on them.

So that’s all from me for now as we finish our preparation for round six of the Championship this coming weekend (August 18-19th) and I hope my next report is another favourable one for our Championship assault for both Superbike and Supersport.

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