SUZUKI ONE-TWO AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Team Suzuki raced to a one-two finish in the Phillip Island 8 Hour Australian Endurance Championship at Phillip Island in Victoria at the weekend.
Superbike team riders Josh Waters, Troy Herfoss and Robbie Bugden claimed the outright and class honours aboard the Phil Tainton Racing-prepared GSX-R1000 with a total of 279 laps and 1241 kilometres completed.
Coming in five laps behind them and second outright for the event was Suzuki's Supersport effort of Brodie Waters, Ben Attard and Mitchell Carr aboard the GSX-R600.
Team Suzuki's assault proved flawless across the weekend, with both teams taking out their respective category pole positions on Saturday in the Super Qualifying sessions.
Josh Waters was top Superbike and outright qualifier with a time of 1:33.164, while younger brother Brodie set the pace for the Supersport class on 1:36.285, which was good enough for fourth outright.
Team Suzuki dominated Sunday's endurance event from the outset, with Waters leading the field away in the 'Le Mans' style start. From there it was a team effort between Waters, Herfoss, Bugden and the pit crew to lead the race's entirety to the chequered flag.
Waters claimed the fastest lap of the race on lap 154, posting a 1:34.805-second time to confirm both the speed and the reliability of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 in competition trim.
"My team mates were fantastic and we worked really well together," Waters explained. "Everybody put in 100 percent and it was a great way to wrap up the 2011 season. It was good fun working with the other riders and I was lucky that I had team mates on my side who are fast and consistent.
"My experience in the Suzuka 8 Hours this year in Japan with Yoshimura Suzuki played a big part in my preparation for the race and I really enjoy endurance racing. It was definitely an advantage for me and I'm proud to win along with Team Suzuki."
Team Suzuki's Supersport class rider Brodie Waters added: "We had a great weekend and I felt comfortable working alongside both Mitch and Ben on the team. We pushed hard at the start and then settled into a rhythm, which is important in endurance racing. It is a great reward to win the Supersport class for Suzuki and go 1-2 outright."
Suzuki competitors filled the top four positions in the race, with the Cube Racing team of Bryan Staring, Ben Henry and Nicholas Waters completing the podium as Trent Gibson, Greg Epis and Jay Layman won the Superstock 1000 category aboard another GSX-R1000 in fourth overall.
Team Suzuki manager Phil Tainton said: "We had extra crew in the team over the weekend as well as some new riders, but everything gelled so well. We were really happy with the whole team, because in endurance racing it's more of a team sport than at the regular sprint races.
"Josh is certainly back to his best after his accident last year and was again exceptionally impressive, plus both Troy and Robbie were flawless all weekend as well. Brodie again was riding the best I've seen him ride and both Ben and Mitch worked well alongside him with limited time on our bike.
"It was a great finish to a great year, so we are thankful for the Dunlop Tyres and also Motul Oil for keeping the engine running, as well as of course the riders and crew for making it all happen. It was a great weekend for Team Suzuki."
The team will return to action early in 2012, when next year's Australian Superbike Championship commences at Phillip Island in Victoria alongside the World Superbikes on February 24-26th.
2011 Australian Endurance Championship Phillip Island 8 Hour:
1. Team Suzuki (Josh Waters/Troy Herfoss/Robbie Bugden), Suzuki GSX-R1000, 279 laps. 2. Team Suzuki (Brodie Waters/Mitchell Carr/Ben Attard), Suzuki GSX-R600, +5 laps. 3. Cube Racing (Ben Henry/ Bryan Staring/Nicholas Waters), Suzuki GSX-R1000, +9 laps. 4. Bridgestone Endurance (Trent Gibson/Greg Epis/Jay Layman), Suzuki GSX-R1000, +15 laps. 5. WNR Kawasaki (Glenn Scott/Jed Metcher/Alex Cudlin), +17 laps.