AFTER five rounds, with a total of 160-laps raced, which works out to be 498.45km in total, the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK) will be decided at the grand finale at Victoria’s Winton Motor Raceway, just outside of Benalla on the first weekend of October.
Three riders remain in the running for a crack at this year’s championship – Wayne Maxwell, Goulburn’s Troy Herfoss and Glenn Allerton. Heading into the title decider round, eleven points separate the trio, which is setting the round up to be nothing short of a bell ringer!
The Goulburn Post looks ahead and highlights some of the key factors of the three superstars who are gunning for the championship and asks five of the key people in the ASBK paddock for their predictions on who they think will claim the thirty-third Australian Superbike championship crown.
Wayne Maxwell - 216 points:
The Yamaha Racing pilot heads into this weekend with a seven-point advantage to his name. The 2013 ASBK champion and 2014 Australian FX and Australasian Superbike Champion will need to do everything in his power to stop Herfoss from marching on and doing what he did at Morgan Park in August.
Maxwell, who has two pole positions (Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park) and two rounds wins to his name this year was the man to catch at last year’s Australasian Superbike Championship round at Winton, after he romped to victory aboard the Yamaha R1M machine, taking three wins from three starts beating both Allerton and Herfoss. This is why on paper Maxwell looks like he is the title favourite as he heads to a track that he quite enjoys.
Troy Herfoss – 209 points:
“Now I’m going to Winton with a really good chance of winning,” said Herfoss, the Crankt Protein Team Honda Racing ace after race two at Morgan Park.
Herfoss was quite simply in a class of his own up north by snaring pole position, adding it to his pole position that he scored at Wakefield Park at the end of March and two dominating victories which handed him his second round win for the year. This saw Herfoss, who racked up his ninetieth race start with Team Honda Racing in race two at Morgan Park flipping his championship hopes around.
However, it’s fair to say Sydney Motorsport Park and Barbagallo Raceway we’re the two ‘bogey’ rounds for Herfoss who finished fifth overall, while Maxwell took the honours.
Something which could make a difference for Herfoss and his Victorian based team, that was a key factor for the 29-year-old at Morgan Park, is an all-new rear Homologation Pirelli tyre.
The SCX tyre was introduced to the World Superbike Championship in May this year at Donington Park in the UK.
As Herfoss explained the tyre has offered him more edge grip, which enables him faster corner speed, that obviously means more top-speed on the straights.
Could that new rear Pirelli tyre be the ‘secret ingredient’ for Herfoss to hopefully win another Superbike crown and add it to his other titles that he already has to his name?
Hypothetically speaking, if Herfoss was to win both races and Maxwell were to score two second places and one point for pole position, Herfoss would win the championship by two-points.
Glenn Allerton – 205 points:
The former three times Australian Superbike champion, who hails from Wilton, NSW got his championship campaign off to the perfect start after nailing three wins from three starts at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit at the end of February.
Apart from Wakefield Park ,where he finished in twelfth overall due to crashing out in race one, along with his teammate Maxwell, Allerton has scored a second place at Sydney Motorsport Park and finished third at the last two rounds.
Let’s say if Allerton were to win both of the races and claim superpole on the Saturday, which would hand him one championship point, it would see the 35-year-old scoring fifty-one points in total.
If Maxwell were to finish second behind his teammate in both races the pair would then tie on 256-points apiece. However, Allerton, who already has three race wins thus far this year would win on a count-back as it would give him a total of five race wins in the 2016 season to Maxwell’s four race wins.
So for Allerton, who is gunning for a record fourth ASBK title, which has never been done before, it’s clear as daylight, he simply has to go out and take the weekend by the scruff of its neck and score pole and two race wins.
Allerton regards Winton as not one of his favourite circuits on the ASBK tour, but is keen to see what the circuit is like with the new surface.
What the predictors think
1999 Australian Superbike Champion
2009 FIM World Endurance Champion
ASBK Series commentator
“I know I’m sitting on the fence, but I believe both Troy and Wayne will end up equal on points. The reason for that is simple. So many things can come into play at Winton. It could be weather affected.
“Both Troy and Wayne are so evenly matched, it’s really just is going to come down to what happens on the day.
“They are so close in the points, no one has an advantage. If Troy wins both races, he is going to take it out. I believe the Honda will work well at Winton and I know Wayne is a demon around Winton.
“So equalled first for those two. Glenn in third, I think he has left himself to much work to do this year.”
1995 two-plus-four Australian Superbike champion
2000-01-02 Australian Superbike Champion
Mentor/coach for ASBK racer Brayden Elliott
“It’s not an easy one because I believe the championship will go down to the wire. I also think being the last round at Winton it’s going to be who can get their bikes sorted to get around that twisty and windy circuit.
“I would say it’s going to be between Troy and Wayne.
“Troy is bloody determined and he wants to prove a point that he can still win on a slower bike with no flash electronics like the Yamaha.
“However I will never discount Wayne for having a go. He’s a hard person to fight against.
“I’m pretty sure the Honda will get around Winton well. It’s just going to be a matter of who wants it more on the day. If Troy rides the way he did at Morgan Park I’m sure he will be there for sure.”
2011 FIM European Superstock 600 Champion
Current Yamaha R3 Cup coordinator/coach
Possibly will be racing in next year’s ASBK series
“I reckon there is a good possibility Wayne will put the R1M on pole and if he wins the first race, he will win the championship.
“His confident will be so high, he will smoke them in the second race.
“Wayne's flowing style suits the flowing Winton track.
“If Troy wins the first race the decider could go anyway.
“If it comes down to the last lap between Troy and Wayne, there is a good possibility they take each out and Glenn will come through to win the championship through his amazing consistency.”
Editor of CycleOnline.com.au/MotoOnline.com.au
Former Australian Supersport & Superbike racer and former racer in the AMA Supersport Championship in America
“What I think will happen is Wayne and Troy will split a race win each, but the work that Wayne has already put in during the season to give him the small advantage he has will enable him go ahead and clinch the championship for this season.
“Troy has come on strong once again in the late stages, however it might just be a little bit too late. In terms of Glenn, since he is a little way out of the championship at the moment, what he’ll most be relying on is if something happens between Troy and Wayne at Winton, then it will be up to him to put himself in a position to pick up what he can and that could very well result in another title.
“Otherwise he has to win Superpole and both races, which will be a tough task.”
2004-06-09 FIM World Speedway Champion
ASBK Series commentator
“With the way the season has been, no one has really dominated the whole year yet.
“A few riders have dominated a couple of different rounds. For example, Glenn went to the first round at Phillip Island and simply wiped the floor with everybody. Since then he has been unable to back that sort of performance up all year.
“Troy had an exceptionally good round at Wakefield, obviously home track. What happened after race one at Wakefield, Wayne went on a bit of a winning spree. He won race two at Wakefield, then took the clean sweep at Sydney Motorsport Park, then took the win in race two at Barbagallo Raceway.
“Then the last round at Morgan Park, Troy dominated everything. So if you’re looking at it that way, Wayne has probably been the most consistent over different rounds.
“If you want to decide the winner in other way than to flip a coin, then good luck to you basically. And to do it you need a three sided coin, because there are three of them in there.
“You wouldn’t put money on Glenn going to Winton and not putting a clean sweep down. You wouldn’t put money on Wayne doing it and you wouldn’t put money on Troy doing it. Where do you stop?
“That is what has made the year so fascinating, is between those three really who is going to come out on top has been a little bit unpredictable.
“The form guide carried a little bit of weight with the way how Troy performed in the first race at Wakefield, but pretty much from then it has gone out the window.”