NZ Superbike Champion Robbie Budgen talks about his season so far

recovery from injury; and hopes of a top-three placing in the Australian Superbike series.

We've just come off the fifth round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Queensland Raceway last weekend, which was my home round of the series for 2012. With just two rounds left now we'll keep out heads down, but it's been a positive season to date and the most recent round was much the same.

To get my first ever pole position on Saturday was good and I was pretty stoked with that. In the first race clearly a lot of us made the wrong choice of tyre and it just seemed like one bad situation after another. I was having a horrible race on wets on a drying track, then a guy crashed right in front of me and I had to run off the track to avoid him. With so much rain over the weekend the outfield was just horrible, so I went down a lap and ended up eighth.

In race two we showed we had good speed in the dry with third, which was a nice way to finish because it's been an up and down weekend. We probably had a little bit more, but I got caught up with Glenn Allerton and that let Jamie Stauffer get away. It was a good battle though and all in all I was really happy with Team Volvo Group Suzuki.

We took delivery of the 2012 GSX-R1000 ahead of the Darwin round and that's been a huge confidence boost for me. My form's improved, but it's been a variety of things including being 100 per cent fit now after I broke my leg at the start of last year. That took a lot to get over and took a lot longer than I thought it would.

I'm enjoying my training, enjoying my time at the track and also my time away from it. These are all the little things that you need in place to feel like you can run at the front. I'm feeling good, feeling confident; after all I am coming fifth in the Championship, hopefully with a good chance of ending the season in the Top three.

To win the New Zealand Superbike Championship this year was good because I missed out on winning it the past two years, which a lot of that was down to injury. We were trying to set the bike up for me to get comfortable while injured, which is near impossible. This year I was fully fit, had a great bike in the Suzuki GSX-R1000, a great team and set three out of five lap records.

To carry that form over here in Australia onto much different tracks means a lot and the team structure that we've got here is the same as what we have in NZ. It's a pretty seamless jump across, which is great for me and we're getting better and better every year. With podiums at both Darwin and Phillip Island so far, it's definitely been a highlight season.

At the end of this year it also looks like Team Suzuki will be defending the Australian Endurance Championship that we picked up in 2011. That was a great feather in the cap because to race around Phillip Island for eight hours is a tough event, so if we have another crack at it then I'm stoked. It's been a very strong year so far and I look forward to carrying this momentum on.

Related Motorsport Articles

84,731 articles