With stage three of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions being lifted in Victoria late last week, it meant some of the tracks were finally starting to open the gates again. It was time to kick start the engines and get the wheels rotating once more.
The Maxima BMW team were one of the first teams to hit the track yesterday (18th May), at the 3.0km Winton Motor Raceway on the outskirts of Benalla.
Yesterday marked 68-days since the Victorian based team were last out on track, which was at Wakefield Park in New South Wales on the second week of March before the dreaded Coronavirus put a stop to normal day life.
After a positive test at Wakefield Park in March, the Maxima BMW team and Glenn Allerton picked up from where they left off and once again continued to improve with both bike setup and overall lap times.
The Maxima BMW S 1000RR’s setup didn’t have to change a lot from Wakefield Park, which is confidence inspiring, as it means the German machine is in a virtuous window in terms of the bike setup.
“Today has been fantastic, to tell you the truth. We managed to work through some setup changes, which Shane [Kinderis] and I have been talking about with the electronics. We managed to find some really good settings throughout the 60 laps which made the bike feel extremely good,” explained Allerton.
Allerton expressed that the Maxima BMW S 1000RR worked very well on all the different types of tyres he tested throughout the day. Most importantly his speed was respectable on what was a very ‘green’ circuit with not a lot of grip on it due to not being used for several months because of the lockdown enforcements which have been in place.
“We now have more data and direction where we want to go in. We will keep working hard and hopefully get to more tracks now, seeing the restrictions are slowly being lifted around the country. The main thing is, at the moment, I feel very confident we can run towards the pointy end of the field in the Australian Superbike Championship on the package we have right now. I can only see us getting stronger from here, which is a credit to Shane and the rest of the Maxima BMW team,” added the three times Australian Superbike Champion.
“It’s just great to be back in this environment again, being around the bike and the team, it was a really positive day and yet again we are coming leaps and bounds in terms of the development of the 2020 Maxima BMW S 1000RR,” concluded Allerton.
Maxima BMW’s Team Manager, Wayne Hepburn, echoed Allerton’s words by describing it as a productive day on track.
“Overall, today has been terrific and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to reignite a return to the track than a day like today,” beamed Hepburn, who also managed to cut a few laps around the rural circuit on a 2018 S 1000RR during the day.
“We had the opportunity to test the anti-wheelie and traction control throughout the day, which Glenn actually likes. Today was the best time to test that side of things as in the heat of a race weekend, you don’t always have the time to test these types of things.” explained Hepburn.
“We just need some competition now to start driving Glenn forward. Overall, it’s great to see Glenn happy and confident. His whole-body language is good, and I believe he’s in a good mindset to fight hard for when we return to racing,” finished Hepburn.