After months of hard work and a huge build-up, the Woodstock Bourbon 2009 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) finally got underway on the weekend at Phillip Island. Tight racing was the order of the weekend in all categories and...
After months of hard work and a huge build-up, the Woodstock Bourbon 2009 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) finally got underway on the weekend at Phillip Island.
Tight racing was the order of the weekend in all categories and classes, and the feeling amongst riders, officials and spectators was one of genuine excitement.
The opening round has truly set the scene for what will be one of the best Superbike Championships seen in years.
Mildura rider Josh Waters took the first round honours ahead of 2008 champion Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell, while Bryan Staring and Christopher Beck lead in the respective Supersport and Superstock classes.
"I'm really happy with the outcome of Round One," Event promoter Yarrive Konsky said.
"Managing the event this weekend has been reasonably easy, everyone has been really positive...I have to say a special thanks to Woodstock Bourbon and Motorcycling Australia... we've put this Championship together in the space of three months and what we see here is a credit to everyone involved.
"One thing we definitely want to do is [not only] improve the Championship, but also improve the Championship status in the eyes of Australians".
Konsky, who rode in the 2008 Championship, was greatly impressed with the quality of racing on offer in Round One.
"The race teams are so professional these days, they're definitely on par with anything else around the world...and as much as it hurt me to sit by the sidelines and watch this year, it's been some of the closest racing we've seen in a long time," Konsky continued.
The first round of the ASBK series took place in conjunction with the opening round of the World Superbike Championship, and Konsky is hopeful that the ASBK series can elevate itself to a point where Australian riders on the world stage will make a return.
"I'd love to see some of those guys come back and race in our Championship," Konsky explained.
"I think our level of racing is great, and our lap times proved it this weekend.
"One of our key objectives over the next 12 months is to ensure the calendars don't conflict, and hopefully we can get the likes of Troy Corser competing at an Australian Superbike -- no different to Chad Reed competing at an Australian Supercross."
Konsky was also delighted at the prospect of the new series appearing on television screens around Australia in the near future.
"We've done a great deal with Channel Ten -- we're going to be on their new 24-hour analogue sport channel as well as on regional TV via Southern Cross Ten -- so we're really happy with the exposure we're going to be able to provide Australian Superbike racing this year," Konsky said.
The second round of the Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championships will take place at Symmons Plains Raceway near Launceston, Tasmania, on 3-5 April.