Wayne Maxwell has changed rides in the Australian Superbike for 2013 and finds himself on a Suzuki. He has experienced success with Honda in the past but as the ASBK and motorcycling in general finds itself in political turmoil at the moment, changes like this come about and Maxwell swapped his red leathers for blue.
The change though brought immediate success with the ASBK support races at the World SBK Championship at Phillip Island. Maxwell dominated both races, taking two wins from two starts for his new team – though disappointingly for him, they were non-Championship (a couple of frontrunners were wildcard riders in the world categories and couldn’t compete. Therefore it was only fair to have these races as non-point scoring.)
We caught up with him after the races.
Hi Wayne. A great effort at Phillip Island. It wasn’t a points race for the ASBK but you seemed to be on rails.
Yes – the Suzuki GSX-R was glued to the road on this very grippy new Phillip Island surface. The Boys gave me a great bike – I wouldn’t say it came easy over the weekend and we work hard as we normally do. Two wins are two wins.
This was non-points, did that take some of the pressure off particularly as you are with a new team, or would you prefer to go for points every round?
We need as much testing as we can get and this weekend was valuable for us. We changed the bike in every session – the practices, even from the warm up to the race. It took me a while to find my feet but we got great lap times and we can now move on.
You were with Honda in 2012, now with Suzuki, why did you join Suzuki?
It was very political. After being at another team for a long time, I was leaving them to join Suzuki – a lot of stuff changed but basically I wanted a fresh start. I have known Phil and Lynn for a very long time and that connection is starting to show already.
Moving into the season proper do you think Hook and Stauffer will give you a run given they weren’t competing here this weekend (as they were on WSBK/WSS duties)?
I think we will be contenders. My history also suggests that. Over the past five years I have been racing to win. I’ve raced the 600 and 1000cc and been competitive in both. I’d like to say I’m going to be there but you can never take anything for granted. We will keep working away and worry about our own thing. We will either be there or we won’t. I am fairly confident that Suzuki are doing everything they can. The Dunlop tyres are doing great and I think we will win our fair share of races in 2013.
Thanks and I look forward to talking with you again through the year.
Interview and pictures by Sam Tickell, February 2013
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