Martin only has to look back at the sensational racing just gone, with fantastic battles at the front of the pack and can’t help but be excited for this weekend’s action at Wakefield Park Raceway. “It’s a tight race track with many overtaking opportunities. Over-takes are tight with little opportunity for slipstreaming. Every pass occurs in the corners or out of a corner, which makes for close racing.” Martin stated.
Wakefield Park Raceway is the complete opposite to Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, “it’s a tight stop-start track and although its average speed is lower than Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, you have to have a precise eye for the line and own your piece of the race track.” Martin explained.
In terms of riders that have stood out so far this year, Martin couldn’t look past Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance (YMI) Superbike championship leader Daniel Falzon (Caterpillar Racing, Yamaha YZF-R1) with an absolutely superb performance at Phillip Island. “It doesn’t get much better than that, especially riding a privateer machine.” Martin exclaimed
Despite being impressed by Falzon’s stirring performance, Martin finds it unlikely that Round Two will provide a similar outcome. “Troy Herfoss (Crankt Protein Honda Racing, CBR1000R) and Honda always go well around this track, with Herfoss having a home ground advantage. Yamaha Racing teammates Wayne Maxwell and Glenn Allerton (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1) on the YZF-R1’s were both looking the strong there last year, until they retired from the race.” Martin said. It could truly be anyone’s round to take out.
When asked who he thinks is best placed to have a crack at the YMI Superbike championship in 2017, Martin indicated that it's far too early in the season to start pointing fingers at who is favourite. “Herfoss has been pretty unassuming so far but he came out on top when it mattered last year. It could be a very topsy-turvy year. Herfoss is still the benchmark.” Martin was quick to point out.
Martin has been impressed with Yamaha’s start to the year; “Yamaha have come out strongly, both Allerton and Maxwell want to win the championship after coming second and third last year. They won’t settle for that this year.”
According to Martin. “Ducati have to get points on the board at some point with young Callum Springs (Desmosport Ducati, 1299 Panigale). Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecastar, GSX-R1000) could be a dark horse; he also has credibility to win the championship first time out. It’s really hard to know which direction it’s going to head in.” Martin explained.
Martin was very complementary of the efforts that have gone into making ASBK into a successful championship in recent years; “Its fantastic that Motorcycling Australia (MA) have put in as much effort as they have to make the series succeed, making it a gateway to get young riders overseas again, which it did last year. It gives the riders hope and it’s all down to the work of MA and the sponsors Yamaha Motor Finance, Motul and Pirelli.“ Martin said.
Can’t make it to the track this weekend? Then make sure to watch ASBK action on free-to-air television, channel SBS 2pm-4pm AEDT or Live Stream asbk.com.au, 10am-5pm AEDT this Sunday to join Steve Martin on commentary and special features.
2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship Presented by Motul Pirelli Calendar:
Round 2 Wakefield Park Raceway, NSW 17-19 March
Round 3 Winton Motor Raceway, VIC 28-30 April
Round 4 Hidden Valley Raceway, NT 7-9 July
Round 5 Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick, QLD 25-27 August
Round 6 SMP Eastern Creek, NSW 8-10 September
Round 7 Phillip Island Circuit, VIC 6-8 October
Stay up to date with all the latest news and updates from the ASBK by liking ASBK on Facebook, following the @asbk on Instagram and checking out the ASBK website here.
Photo Credit: Andrew Gosling, TPG Photography.
Pictured Steve Martin with his pillion ride, 2016.
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