Phillip Island Race Report: 19th-20th November 2011
WNR Kawasaki win final Supersport race
Glenn Scott proved his dominance in Sydney just 2 weeks ago was not by chance taking on and beating Australia’s best in the final round of the 2011 Australian Supersport Championship at Phillip Island last weekend.
Scott finished 2nd to factory Suzuki rider Brodie Waters in Race 1 before returning the favour in Race 2 and winning the final Supersport race for 2011. It was a welcome return to the top step of the Supersport podium for Kawasaki with the last time being in 2007. It also signalled an end to the reign of Suzuki and Yamaha in the Supersport class.
Our 20 year old star began the weekend carefully managing the 8th quickest time in Friday’s free practice sessions before decimating the field to grab pole position in a wet opening qualifying session on Saturday morning. With changing weather conditions, Scott had to settle for the 6th fastest time during the afternoon’s dry second qualifying session placing the Kawasaki pilot on row 2 for both 12 lap races on Sunday.
WNR Kawasaki were at full strength for the final round with Gary Matthews (Kawasaki World Superbike Team) joining Sam Costanzo and Mark Maguire for what was a prelude to 2012. The team worked fluently throughout the weekend making progress in each session right through to Sunday morning Warm-Up where Glenn Scott set the 2nd fastest time just 0.1 seconds behind his rival for the day, Brodie Waters.
Phillip Island’s weather was at its best with little wind and beaming sunshine, though the grid was no picnic. An intense and heated atmosphere engulfed as riders vowed to impress and secure positions for next season. Additionally the Championship was still to be decided between Kevin Curtain and Brodie Waters. Glenn Scott was looking to move up the standings but was only focused on one thing, winning.
When the lights went out it was the number 68 Kawasaki grabbing the holeshot and leading the field for the opening laps. Phillip Island maestro Brodie Waters was in pursuit bringing Yamaha’s Rick Olson with him and Mitchell Carr aboard the Triumph. Yamaha’s 2011 Superstock Champion Mike Jones, graduating to Supersport, was also among the leaders but along with Mitchell Carr would incur a 10 second penalty for jumping the start. The leading trio of Scott, Waters and Olson began to pull away from the field setting impressive lap times. Soon Olson began to fade unable to maintain the pace of the Kawasaki and Suzuki riders. Waters needed to win and Curtain needed to be several places down, the plan for Suzuki was working except for the menacing Kawasaki of Glenn Scott. Curtain was struggling and dropped back to 9th position. The might of Team Suzuki prevailed in the final laps with Glenn Scott slightly fading with rear tyre problems. Brodie Waters went on to win by a mere 1.3 seconds from WNR Kawasaki’s Glenn Scott. Yamaha’s Rick Olson fought gallantly but finished a further 3 seconds behind.
It was a great result for Glenn Scott being only his 5th Supersport event.
The final race of the year could not have been scripted. The margin between Curtain and Waters had diminished to just 9 points. To add additional pressure, they had to deal with Glenn Scott. The start saw Brodie Waters grab the lead and leave Curtain, Scott, Olson, Carr, Jones and Gobert in pursuit. The race was not for those with nerves, Curtain pulled out all stops to get in front but Glenn Scott had other ideas as once more the leading trio made a break. The battle was explosive and entertaining but for those in pit lane, it was agonising. The 3 swapped places as they entered Honda Corner all trying to keep the rear wheel behind the front. The dirt track style of all riders was impressive and portrayed the talent of Australia’s best.
3 soon became 2 as the young guns of Australian Supersport left Curtain behind. Waters and Scott continued to swap positions with Scott demonstrating exceptional corner speed through Phillip Island’s ultra fast turn 3 and turn 12. With 3 laps remaining Scott stormed around the outside of the Suzuki rider in the final turn travelling at more than 200km/h using all of the track, ripple strip and whatever was left. The Kawasaki rider was determined. Waters made a last lap attack lining Scott up to slipstream him before the finish line but the Kawasaki’s superior corner speed through the final corner was unmatched and propelled the Ninja ZX6R to victory.
“Wow, we did it! It’s been a learning year and I’ve been a bit anxious but I think we have done a great job in just 10 months. I’ve never raced Supersport before this year so to beat all these guys is great. Brodie was really fast and I had a lot of fun. To be honest, we were out of control a bit, I almost high-sided a few times. My team are working well and I can’t wait for next year because we can still improve.”
“Glenn’s right, wow! We started less than 12 months ago and are now winning races at the highest level in Australia. I’m really proud of Glenn and now I want to win Championships together. I talk to him and have started to focus on what he needs more so now I have the other people in the team. I’m trying to build a happy environment and I think that helps you succeed. It was important to win here for Kawasaki. It’s good preparation for 2012.”
WNR Kawasaki are now preparing for their first shot at an Australian Championship in just under 2 weeks time. The Phillip Island 8 Hour Endurance race will be held from December 2nd – 4th. For more information go to:
The Sydney Motorcycle Show will be held this weekend at Darling Harbour and both our winning bikes will be on display. For more information go to: