After leaving Round 1 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK) with the YMI Superbike points lead, Bryan Staring will be trying to recapture that form at Hidden Valley Raceway this weekend. He will also be looking to bounce back after up and down rounds at Wakefield Park Raceway and The Bend Motorsport Park when ASBK heads to the ‘Top End’ for Round 4.
It’s been a year of inconsistency to this point, with Staring claiming one race win, two podium finishes and two DNF’s, but the Kawasaki BCPerformance rider remains confident that he can get the job done in the back half of the 2018 season.
Are you happy with your 2018 campaign thus far?
We have just been way too inconsistent so far this year. If we look past the races at qualifying in Round 1 we only managed 13th, but had the pace to win the race. To add to the inconsistency, we had a DNF and then we have been on the podium at The Bend, so its hard for us to say we are happy at this point, as we know we are capable of more. Moving into the back half of the season, we are confident we can improve our consistency, and this will be helped with a new soft tyre for the rest of the year. We have learnt a lot through the first half of the year and we will use this to fuel our improvement over the last four rounds. I feel we have every reason to be confident and I’m looking forward to the second half of the season.
Speaking of starting deep in the field, a highlight of your season so far has been your ability to move through the pack, is this an are you have improved in this year?
This has been one of the major positives to this point, we definitely have a good bike setting and our bike has great top end speed. The ability to make good passes hasn’t changed over the last 10 years, but you must have the machinery to get the job done. The way our products work has given us strong performances towards the end of each race and found we are chasing the field down. The potential is huge for us, but we just haven’t been able to execute as we would have liked to at this point.
The Championship points battle has gotten away from you a touch, do you still hold out hope you can reel the leaders in? or is it just a bit of a stretch at this stage?
I am completely optimistic, and I think we still have a chance. Troy (Herfoss) deserves the points gap he has at the moment, as he has been the picture of consistency. We all expected this from Troy and his team, but I really want to take it to him and be the guy who is contesting the championship with him at the pointy end of the season. You never know what can happen for the rest of the year, and I will be doing everything to make it go our way and give us the best chance of being in contention come Phillip Island.
Have you enjoyed the move to BCPerformance Kawasaki?
I certainly have to this point; the team has a really good vibe and its quite a relaxed atmosphere which took me some time to get used to. I feel like we are improving our relationship and cohesion all the time, and it gives me great confidence that the second half of the season will be better for us. The ZX-10R is a great motorbike and the team has been super behind me, giving me all the support. I need to finish the job.
Are you a fan of Hidden Valley Raceway?
I love the circuit, it’s the event of the season. The place is iconic and you feel like its almost like going racing on holiday. The weather adds another element up there as you put on the helmet and you feel like you sweat out 5 kilos worth of fluid, but I love it and for me it is the best event of the year.
You spent a year in MotoGP, what did you think of the experience?
I’m often asked this question and I often try to give a diplomatic answer, but for me it was a tough year and I didn’t have what I needed to be competitive. I know for a lot of riders, riding in MotoGP is the dream but for me it really wasn’t the time of my life that you would expect, and I found I wasn’t enjoying racing my motorbike. It taught me a lot about racing, riding the bike, being a professional athlete, working with the worlds best and most professional people but overall, I can’t say it was an enjoyable and fun season. The part I am the proudest of is that this all came off my own back, I negotiated my contracts, I funded myself to get over there and I can say that I accomplished racing in MotoGP.
Grab your tickets for Round 4 and if you can’t make it to Darwin, don’t forget you can catch all the action live on SBS, Fox Sports and via the ASBK livestream at asbk.com.au and on ASBK’s Facebook.
2018 ASBK Calendar
Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 29 – 1 July
Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14
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