Demolition Plus GAS Honda rider Wayne Maxwell turned the tables on championship leader Bryan Staring at the fifth round of the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship at Phillip Island today, taking victory by 0.550 sec. in the second of the weekend's two 10-lap races to end Staring's run of five consecutive race wins.
Although the duo finished equal on points with a win and a second apiece across the two races, Maxwell claimed the overall round win courtesy of his higher placing in race two over Staring's Cougar Bourbon Honda.
"With three laps to go I thought I could win it, even though my rear tire had overheated and lost grip," said Maxwell. "It went off on lap five, but there was no way I was backing off - it was win or nothing."
Run in conjunction with the L&H 500 V8 Supercar event, this weekend's round of the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship marked a return to the successful ‘2 plus 4' concept which last ran in 1999.
"It's great to be racing with the V8 guys, and there were a few bets on about lap times this weekend," said Maxwell, who holds the Superbike lap record at 1:32.316 mins., 1.1229 sec. faster than the V8 Supercar lap record held by Craig Lowndes.
Twenty-three-year-old Staring was fortunate to salvage second place in race two, helped by a mistake by Team Motologic Ducati rider Jamie Stauffer on the last lap which saw the pole-sitter get flicked out of the saddle of his Ducati 1198R.
"It was my only chance to get by when Jamie got out of shape, so I took it," said Staring. "The race was difficult in the early laps as it was pretty hectic at the front - there were bikes everywhere."
Stauffer seemingly had the race two win within his grasp this afternoon, but couldn't match the pace of Maxwell on the final lap.
Stauffer, who had survived a scary 250 kmh ride across the wet grass after clipping Staring's Honda at Turn One on Saturday, had another scary moment today when he was nearly flung off his Ducati on the final lap.
"It was my fault today - I got on the throttle too hard as I was lining up Wayne for a pass on the last lap out of Turn Six, and the rear tire let go," said Stauffer, who regained his composure to finish just 0.066 sec. behind Staring in third.
Team Valvoline Honda rider Glenn Allerton, the 2008 Australian Superbike Champion, finished third overall for the round after carding third and sixth positions, and like Maxwell and Staring had to battle an overheating rear tire on one of the fastest circuits in world motorsport.
"My rear tyre went off on lap two, so from then on it was a matter of getting to the finish," said Allerton, who led the opening lap of today's race.
The 4.45km Victorian circuit is notoriously hard on tire due to its high average speed, with the Superbikes recording top speeds of over 300kmh (186 mph) today. The Team Suzuki GSX-R1000 of three-time Australian Superbike Champion topped the speed charts today at 307.6km/h, with the left side of Giles' rear tire reaching temperatures of over 180 C on the anti-clockwise circuit.
With one round remaining in the 2010 series, to be run alongside the V8 Supercar round at Tasmania's Symmons Plains circuit in November, Staring has 211pts to Maxwell's 192.5 and Allerton's 149, with privateer Suzuki rider Scott Charlton fourth on 143.
Missing from this weekend's Superbike races was reigning Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters, the 23-year-old still recovering from injuries received in a high-speed crash during a test session in the USA in July.
In the penultimate round of the Insure My Ride Australian Supersport Championship Team Suzuki rider Troy Herfoss extended his lead in the six-round series to 31pts over Triumph rider Christan Casella after securing pole position, a win and a second. Casella won the second of the weekend's races in a photo-finish over Herfoss by just 0.003sec. Race Two:
1. Wayne Maxwell (Honda)
2 Bryan Staring (Honda)
3 Jamie Stauffer (Ducati)
4 Scott Charlton (Suzuki)
5 Glenn Allerton (Honda)
6 Shannon Johnson (KTM)
7 Shawn Giles (Suzuki)
8 Robbie Bugden (Suzuki)
9 Craig McMartin (Ducati)
10 Craig Coxhell (BM