Endurance

Team Suzuki powers to Phillip Island 8 Hour success

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The Team Suzuki trio of Josh Waters, Troy Herfoss and Robbie Bugden has produced an imperious display of calculated, front-running racing to easily claim the honours in the inaugural Phillip Island 8 Hour Australian Endurance Championship at the Victorian circuit on Sunday.

The factory-backed outfit didn't put a foot wrong all day, starting from pole position before seizing control from the outset ‰ÛÒ a Le Mans start -- thanks to the in-form Waters.

With impressive back-up service from Herfoss and Bugden, the trio already had a vice-like grip on the race by the halfway mark, and the final stanza was all about maintaining a consistent pace, staying clear of any potential trouble, and making sure their fuel and tyre management strategies were spot on.

And they made every post a winner, with the GSX-R1000 completing 279 laps ‰ÛÒ or 1241km ‰ÛÒ of the 4.448km circuit to finish five laps ahead of the GSX-R600 piloted by Brodie Waters, Ben Attard and Mitchell Carr ‰ÛÒ a quinella for Team Suzuki.

Josh Waters also set the fastest lap of the race (1:34.805) to make it a clean sweep of accolades for the winning machine.

"It was a pretty cool day, and the team didn't miss a beat all day," said Josh Waters. "It's also been great working with two great riders and it's a credit to Suzuki and our whole team for the way the bikes have been prepared.

"I'm also stoked that my brothers have joined me on the podium, and it will certainly make for a great photo."
Josh Waters takes the chequered flag
Waters was third in last year's Phillip Island 6 Hour alongside erstwhile Suzuki teammate Shawn Giles.

Meanwhile, the Cube Racing GSX-R1000 of Ben Henry, Bryan Staring and Nicholas Waters began the race in impressive fashion, swapping second position with Waters/Attard/Carr for a fair amount of time until it became firmly ensconced in third spot by the four-hour mark.

And that's where the triumvirate remained, with the three leading teams clearly setting a pace which was unmatched by the other 23 bikes in the race.

And the third place for Cube Racing also completed a golden day for the three Waters siblings from Mildura, who all made their way onto the dais.

Suzuki's domination of the top placings didn't end at the top three, with the Superstock 1000-spec, Bridgestone-backed GSX-R1000 of Trent Gibson, Greg Epis and Jay Layman finishing an excellent fourth, ahead of the WNR Kawasaki ZX-6R Supersport machine of Scott, Jed Metcher and Alex Cudlin.

WNR was expected to push Waters/Carr/Attard all the way in the Supersport class, but some early woes saw them drop well outside the top 10 ‰ÛÒ and with it any chance of a top three finish.
Brodie Waters helped team Suzuki 2 to second
Despite the early disappointment, WNR stuck to its guns and eventually picked its way back to fifth place, finishing 17 laps behind the winning team.

Other than a light sprinkle just after the start, the race was held in dry conditions, which probably helped to keep the attrition rate to a minimum.

Amazingly, 22 of the 25 teams completed the distance, although a few of them had to spend lengthy periods in the pits tending to crash repairs or mechanical gremlins.

Former AFL great Jason Akermanis' Honda-backed team was one of the 22 finishers, making good on his road racing debut to finish in 16th spot, and third in the Superstock 600 class, despite being troubled by a warped disc in the last 90 minutes.

The other class winners were WET4U Racing (Paul Grant-Mitchell/Colin Lewis/Murray Clark/Michael Thomas, ZX-6R) in Superstock 600 and Miltronics Corporation (Steve Cutting/Dean Holmes/Phillip Gray, Triumph Daytona 675) in Bears.
Bryan Staring helped Cube Racing to third.


Main Photo: Team Suzuki tops the podium.

TOP 10 RESULTS
1. Team Suzuki (Josh Waters/ Herfoss/Robbie Bugden), GSX-R1000, 279 laps
2. Team Suzuki (Brodie Waters/Mitchell Carr/Ben Attard), GSX-R600 +5 laps
3. Cube Racing (Ben Henry, Bryan Staring/Nicholas Waters), GSX-R1000, +9 laps
4. Bridgestone (Trent Gibson/Greg Epis/Jay Layman), GSX-R1000, +15 laps
5. WNR Kawasaki (Glenn Scott/Jed Metcher/Alex Cudlin), ZX-6R, +17 laps
6. Lovetts Earthmoving (Phil Lovett, Simon Galloway/Dustin Goldsmith, Kawasaki ZX-10R, +19 laps
7. WET4U Racing (Paul Grant-Mitchell/Colin Lewis/Murray Clark/Michael Thomas), ZX-6R, +24 laps
8. California Superbike School (Kris Parnell/Luke Martin/Josh Galster/Adam Raffe), GSX-R600, +25 laps
9. Mick Muldoon Kawasaki (Sam Muldoon/Steve Wood/Jim Burke), ZX-10R, +27 laps
10. Dirty Bits Racing (Rob Vikuckis/Jamie Videon/Brian Clow), ZX-6R, +27 laps


For full results: https://www.computime.com.au/meetings/2011/8HR/8HR_11_R13_RES.HTML

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