Queensland Raceway Race Report: 3rd-5th June 2011
Queensland Raceway delivered perfect conditions for Round 4 of the Australian Supersport Championship last weekend with blue skies, sunshine and an average of 25 degrees throughout the 3 days of action. Our team arrived in the sunshine state determined to move forward after Round 3 in Darwin and place the Kawasaki ZX6R amongst the front runners in the Supersport Championship. With our structure gaining momentum, Mark Wilkinson joined the team at QR enhancing the Kawasaki pit garage with his number 56 ZX6R Superstock machine.
Practice was limited to the official Friday schedule unlike the previous 2 Rounds where an extra 4 sessions were available on Thursday. The bumpy Queensland circuit proved challenging and after Friday’s FP1 and FP2 Glenn Scott and his crew opted for major internal changes to the front and rear suspension as they fought to close the gap on the Factory Yamaha of Kevin Curtain.
Saturday’s opening qualifying session was fast and furious with Glenn Scott moving forward although his session was interrupted by a small crash. Glenn fell whilst braking into the slowest corner on the circuit and was not injured. The number 68 machine was slightly damaged and returned to the pit garage for repairs. The team were quick to identify the cause of the crash and also quick to repair the damage. Glenn returned to the track for the final few minutes of the session matching his previous times. Glenn then went into the second qualifying session with revised settings and promptly improved his previous best lap time by 0.8 seconds.
The improvement was not enough to start from the second row which the team had hoped for and Glenn found himself alongside the factory Triumph of Christian Casella on the third row.
Sunday morning warm-up was another opportunity to test further settings before starting the two 17 lap races. Glenn finished 7th in the warm-up though still looking for more feel from his updated Ohlins suspension.
The early stages of Race 1 became a lonely journey for Glenn in 8th place as he lost ground in the first turn turmoil and very slowly dropped back from the pack of 5 bikes in front that included both Team Suzuki bikes. Championship contender Christian Casella was also having trouble in Queensland and joined Glenn for the final laps. Casella’s late braking heroics paid off relegating Glenn to 9th place as they passed the chequered flag.
Glenn’s typical fast starting habit returned in Race 2 and the Kawasaki rider joined the battle just behind the leaders. Holding on was a struggle though and with each lap Glenn’s bike set-up left him with no answer. At the chequered flag Glenn could only manage 8th place.
It was far from what the team had hoped for however the weekend was a success in many other ways. Glenn moved back into the top ten of the Championship, remembering this is only his 4th time at a race track with the Supersport bike and each of those 4 times have been race meetings. The bike will now remain in Sydney for the remainder of the season giving the team an opportunity to test and find the right settings for Glenn and the new suspension components.
The soul focus is to finish the Australian Supersport Championship on the podium at the final Round. This means relentless development of the Kawasaki ZX6R over the coming months.
Our testing will begin in just 2 days time at a venue north of Sydney and then next week at Winton Raceway in Victoria. The following week the team will test at Wakefield Park followed by our first venture into the Formula Xtreme Championship with both our ZX6R Superstock and Supersport machines.
WNR Kawasaki team manager Warwick Nowland will join Glenn in riding duties to speed up the development of both bikes.