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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