Steve Martin on the ASBK at Wakefield Park
With Round 3 of the 2021 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Wakefield Park kicking off tomorrow, series commentator Steve Martin recounts what we learned from the season opener at Winton and provides his expert opinion on what can be expected this weekend.
ASBK – Why did lap records fall in so many categories at Winton?
Steve Martin – There were a couple of reasons. Firstly, the track was modified slightly, which gave the riders more confidence to use the kerbs. The other thing is that everyone has upped their game. We can see how competitive everything is becoming now by looking at the Asia Talent Cup round in Qatar, where three young Aussies Carter Thompson, Marianos Nikolis and Tom Drane were finishing in the top 10. That shows we’re producing world-class riders here in Australia.
ASBK – In the Superbikes, do you see the main protagonists Wayne Maxwell and Troy Herfoss continuing their form from Winton to Wakefield Park?
Steve Martin – Wayne and Troy are on another planet at the moment. I would love to see them competing in one-off events around the world to show how good they are. It’s up to the others to step up. They all have the ability to do it on their day, but Wayne and Troy can do it week-in, week-out.
ASBK – Who do you see as being the most likely opposition to Wayne and Troy?
Steve Martin – Mike Jones has probably been the closest so far. We also know the Dunlop tyres have won at Wakefield in the past, so hopefully the track will suit the Yamaha and Kawasaki teams. We want to see a battle among riders, teams and tyre manufacturers.
ASBK – One of the big recent news has been the return of Anthony West – your thoughts?
Steve Martin – You can never count him out; he’s a world-class rider and he’s won races at a world-class level. If it’s raining, I’ll be putting my money on Ant because he is an incredible wet weather rider. Even in the dry, if you remember a few years ago when he filled in for Jamie Stauffer, he was on the podium. Anthony always has something to prove and is never happy unless he’s winning, so it will just be another interesting ingredient to add to Wakefield Park.
ASBK – What’s the key to doing a fast lap around Wakefield Park?
Steve Martin – It’s a track where you have to be perfect. You have to know every bump, you have to have your body positioned right for every moment of every corner. Because it’s such a short track, the lap time difference between riders is very minimal. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the closest grids we have throughout the year. Pole position is super-important as is the race start. You have to have a compromised bike setup – the bike has to brake well, turn well and drive well, which is not something that is always easy to achieve.
If you can’t get trackside, don’t despair ASBK have you covered through their official TV partners SBS Australia, Fox Sports Australia, Fox Sports Asia and through ASBK TV Live Streaming.
Tickets are available through the ASBK wsbite. To keep up to date with the latest news on the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul, via their website and following ASBK on Facebook and Instagram.
Check out our Corner by Corner guide to Wakefield Park by Andrew Pitt here…