Team Suzuki's Wayne Maxwell claimed debut victory aboard the GSX-R1000 at Phillip Island's 'WSBK Cup' in Victoria on 21-24 February, a non-championship event on the Australian Superbike Championship schedule in 2013.
Hosted alongside the opening round of the Superbike World Championship at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, it was the 30-year-old Cranbourne resident Maxwell who mastered the 4.445-kilometre circuit best in the national support category, in what was his maiden outing with Team Suzuki.
Maxwell commenced his Suzuki career on top during Thursday's opening practice session and continued that form into Friday by capturing the first pole position of the year in the single 30-minute qualifying session with a flying 1:33.695 lap time.
Saturday saw Maxwell dominate the opening 12-lap race of the weekend, leading from flag-to-flag with a comfortable 4.796-second victory. It was a confidence inspiring performance, setting the quickest lap of the race at 1:33.535.
"To start from pole position and win the opening race is an ideal situation for all of us at Team Suzuki and I'm really happy about that," Maxwell commented. "This weekend was great to collect valuable data and my first race on the bike was important for that, which set us up nicely for race two on Sunday
Maxwell again dominated Sunday's proceedings in the delayed second race, leading all 12 laps in superb fashion as he consistently lapped within the low 1:33 bracket. His best of the weekend came with a 1:33.073 on lap eight as he charged out front, eventually winning by 7.198 seconds.
"Working with Team Manager Phil [Tainton] has been exceptional since I joined Suzuki, he's great at making a connection with the riders, as is the whole team. It's been fantastic in that sense, I can tell him what I am feeling on the bike and he understands me clearly to help us make real progress in these early stages of the year.
"This weekend was a nice way to race the Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the first time without the pressure of championship points on the line, just starting off with another few days to get comfortable and work closely with the team in race conditions.
"We used two bikes in each practice session and two in the qualifying session, exploring the settings of the bike throughout. To reach the best setting in the final race just shows the strength of the Team Suzuki crew as we work together, plus Dunlop was able to supply great tyres for a consistent effort in both races. I really have to thank everybody involved in this result."
Team Suzuki Manager Phil Tainton was pleased with Maxwell's first official race aboard the GSX-R1000, using the weekend as a test bed as the team prepares to defend the national championship that they won with Josh Waters last year.
"It was a really good weekend for Wayne and the team," Tainton explained. "We're certainly working around set-up to get him comfortable on the GSX-R and also to adapt to the new track surface at Phillip Island. In the last race we made some more changes and Wayne said we're getting close to the money, so by the end of the weekend I believe we accomplished our goals.
"It has been great working with Wayne, he's quite strong-minded, knows what he wants and comes with a lot of experience. He's very decisive and positive with his feedback and what he wants out of the bike, which I'm really happy with because it makes us all dig that much deeper as well. We're all getting along extremely well and this result is a perfect beginning to 2013."
The Australian Superbike Championship will officially commence at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on 5-7 April.
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Suzuki Australia - Motorcycles
Ph: (03) 9931 5590
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Suzuki Australia - Motorcycles
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Email: lewis_croft @suzuki.com.au