Bikes: Waters races to Supersport 2nd

Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Joshua Waters finished a close second in the final race of the 2008 Australian Supersport Championship at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway on Sunday and finished seven-round championship in second place just eight points adrift of Jamie Stauffer.

In trying conditions that saw temperatures rise to the mid-30s and the track surface lose grip as a result, Waters' challenge for the win in the opening 13-lap race was thwarted by the hot track surface and he faded to an uncharacteristic seventh.

With set-up changes to his Team Joe Rocket Suzuki GSX-R600 after the opening race, the 21-year-old bounced back in race two to fight for the race lead finishing a close second just 1.70sec behind race winner Ben Attard.

Twenty-one-year-old Waters' result capped a strong debut season for the 2008 Suzuki GSX-R600, with Queenslander Judd Greedy claiming overall victory in the Supersport Privateer Cup on his Sunstate Racing Suzuki GSX-R600.

Greedy led race two for a number of laps as he fought closely with Waters and Attard, finishing an eventual third to give the 2008 GSX-R600 two podium finishes in the final race of the seven-round 2008 Australian Supersport Championship.

In the final round of the Australian Superbike Championship, Team Joe Rocket Suzuki riders Robbie Bugden and Craig Coxhell finished fourth and sixth respectively on a track surface that provided plenty of challenges for the duo as they tried to harness the potential of their 200-plus horsepower Suzuki GSX-R1000s.

Bugden had been fastest through the speed trap at 284km/h on Saturday, but with the hotter track conditions experienced on Sunday both Bugden and Coxhell struggled to find a set-up that provided the traction required.

Adding drama to the equation was a late shower which dampened some parts of the 3.93km Sydney circuit for the closing two laps of Sunday's final race, leaving both Bugden - the reigning New Zealand Superbike Champion - and Coxhell with traction challenges of a different kind.

Bugden's two fourth placings assured him of fourth overall for the round; with 2003 Australian Superbike Champion Coxhell's seventh and fifth in Sunday's two races bringing him fifth in the championship to add to his runner-up trophy from 2007.

Phil Tainton - Team Manager:

"It's been a challenging weekend for us with the hot temperatures and changing track conditions. The team worked tirelessly changing suspension settings to suit the varying conditions, and their efforts were rewarded with Josh, Craig and Robbie getting their best results in their final races of the weekend.

"Josh's second place overall in the Supersport championship was a great result for our first season with the new Suzuki GSX-R600. And with Judd tying up the win in the Supersport Privateer Cup, it's capped a great year for the new bike.

"Craig and Robbie got stronger with each outing across the weekend. Robbie's fourth overall for the round was a great result after bouncing back from bad luck at Winton and Queensland Raceway with two big crashes, and then a bout of flu in Tasmania.

"I'd like to congratulate Glenn and Jamie on their Superbike and Supersport championships. It's been a tough and competitive season.

"I'd also like to congratulate Brayden Carr and Chas Hern for finishing 1-2 in the Formula Xtreme Cup, a result that underlines the strength of the Suzuki GSX-R1000."

Joshua Waters:

"It would have been good to have finished off 2008 with a win, but I'm happy to have tied up second in the championship and to have got on the podium in the last race for the season.

"The track conditions this weekend were some of the most challenging I've encountered, as the amount of grip changed as the temperature changed.

"I lacked confidence in the first race and wasn't feeling comfortable pushing the front-end, but the team made some set-up changes between races and that allowed me to push for the race win. It's been a top season."

Craig Coxhell:

"My team worked really hard between races one and two to change the set-up of the bike and I knew as soon as I went out on the sighting lap that the changes had worked. I thought I'd be able to run with the leaders, but I got a bad start and had to play catch-up.

"I have to take the blame for not getting the bike dialled in quick enough across the weekend. The track conditions varied quite a bit and I wasn't decisive enough on giving the guys the right feedback. Once I did, then all the pieces fell into place.

"The last race showed we'd got things working really well. I had a few big moments in the wet, but I was pretty keen to make up for my bad start."

Robbie Budgen:

"I'm pretty happy with fourth overall for the round - just one point off the podium. The bike was great, although it was a struggle getting it - and me - to work as well as I wanted in the hot temperatures. It was pretty challenging out there.

"I had good speed in the first race, but ran out of tyres towards the end - I must have burned them up a bit quickly. My bike was equal fastest through the speed trap at 284km/h so I've no complaints about horsepower.

"When the rain came in the last couple of laps of race two, I backed off. The track was slippery over the back part and I didn't want to end up in the gravel trap. It's been a tough and competitive year, so to finish fourth overall at the final round is good result."

Superbike Overall Results: 1 Jason O'Halloran, 2 Glenn Allerton, 3 Kevin Curtain, 4 Robert Bugden (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 5 Jamie Stauffer, 6 Craig Coxhell (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 7 Daniel Stauffer, 8 Chris Trounson, 9 Shannon Johnson, 10 Scott Charlton.

Superbike Championship Points (after 7 of 7 rounds): 1 Glenn Allerton 268pts, 2 Jamie Stauffer 258, 3 Daniel Stauffer 245, 4 Jason O'Halloran 239, 5 Craig Coxhell (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 190, 6 Robert Bugden (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 172, 7 Kevin Curtain 168, 8 Chris Trounson 157, 9 Zac Davies 130, 10 Jon Cartwright 124.

Supersport Overall Results: 1 Ben Attard, 2 Wayne Maxwell, 3 Judd Greedy (Suzuki GSX-R600), 4 Joshua Waters (Suzuki GSX-R600), 5 Scott Charlton, 6 Bryan Staring, 7 Christian Cassella, 8 Jeremy Crowe, 9 Dustin Goldsmith, 10 Chris Quinn.

Supersport Championship Points (after 7 of 7 rounds): 1 Jamie Stauffer 279pts, 2 Joshua Waters (Suzuki GSX-R600) 271, 3 Wayne Maxwell 237, 4 Ben Attard 235, 5 Judd Greedy (Suzuki GSX-R600) 214, 6 Jeremy Crowe 191, 7 Grant Hay 164, 8 Chris Cassella 144, 9 Chris Quinn 134, 10 Mitchell Carr (Suzuki GSX-R600) 119.

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