The QBE Australian Superbike Championship will welcome some new faces to the grid in 2013 with a host of successful young riders making the step up to Australia’s premier road racing category.
2012 Prostock Champion Linden Magee (pictured above) and runner-up Chas Hern will both move into the Superbike class while from the Supersport category, Josh Hook, Adam Senior and Glenn Scott will make the step-up.
The QBE Australian Superbike Championship, which has fostered young talent and created more world champions than any other series, will run its first point scoring round for the Superbike class alongside the V8 Supercars at Symmons Plains Raceway on April 5-7.
Maxwell won the Superbike Challenge races at the recent WSBK event at Phillip Island and said he was looking forward to tackling one of the most physically demanding tracks on the calendar.
“Changing teams after five years is a big challenge so it was great to be able to race at the recent WSBK round. It gave me a chance to learn the characteristics of the bike before this weekend’s first point scoring event,” Maxwell explained.
“We learnt a lot at Phillip Island and followed it up with a good test at Symmons Plains two weeks ago. We are still changing the bike quite a lot and I am still trying to find my feet but we are certainly heading in the right direction.
“Symmons Plains has been good to me over the years, the last time we raced there was in 2011 and I had two pole positions and a couple of podium finishes but I have never had a clean sweep,” he added.
“While I am with the same team I am still learning how to the get the best out of the BMW S 1000 RR ,” Magee said. “It has a lot more power and better electronics so that is taking a bit to get my head around.
“It was good to get out and race at the WSBK event especially as it wasn’t for points. We had a couple of issues during the races but my times were good. I was not even a tenth off Wayne (Maxwell) which is a great confidence booster ahead of Tassie.
After spending 2010 racing the European Superstock 1000 class followed by select events in 2011 and 2012, Beau Beaton returns for his first full season in the QBE Australian Superbike class with Racers Edge Performance.
“I am looking forward to a full season of Superbikes,” Beaton said. “I didn’t do as well as I would have like in Europe and then last year just did a few rounds so it is good to have a full calendar planned. I feel that we have prepared well for this weekend, while Symmons Plains is not my favourite track, we have worked hard and progressed well through our recent test there.
“My goal for 2013 is to finish the season as the top privateer,” Beaton concluded.
Team Honda’s Jamie Stauffer will be aiming to improve on his third place finish in last years championship while Robbie Bugden, brimming with confidence after retaining his New Zealand Superbike crown, will join Maxwell at Team Suzuki for 2013.
The QBE Australian Superbikes will take to Symmons Plains Raceway for practice at 8.20am (AEST) on Friday 5th April ahead of qualifying at 4.00pm.
Saturday’s on track action will see the top 13 riders from qualifying take part in a Superpole at 7.50am to determine the grid for Race 1 which will get underway at 12.30pm. A final 30-minute race will conclude the event for the ASBK at 3.20pm on Sunday 7th April.