Kawasaki Supported Rider - Matt Walters, experienced an inspiring round 2 of the 2019 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Wakefield Park in Goulburn, New South Wales, across 22-24 March.
It was a convincing effort from Cessnock-based contender Matt Walters, who was ranked as top of the independent teams overall last season. He qualified in eighth position over the weekend and then went 9-7 for eighth-place overall.
Walters transferred through Q1 in the new two-part Kawasaki Superbike qualifying format, topping that session and then lowering his personal best lap-time to 58.009s in Q2 - impressively climbing onto the third row of the grid in the process.
"It was a really promising weekend for us," Walters said. "We started off a little bit slowly, but we soon made some improvements to the bike heading into qualifying and got stronger from there. To qualify eighth and finish in that same position overall was a satisfying result.
"Qualifying was actually a lot of fun and I had a really good couple of sessions. Putting in a fast lap has been a weak point of mine, but this format was enjoyable and it was nice to get through Q1 even though I used another tyre when we didn't want to. We had to use it to get through, but the tyre still had some life in it for Q2 luckily."
Sunday's opening 20-lap affair was an educational one for Walters and his family-operated outfit, moving forward from 11th in the early stages to eighth before eventually settling into P9. The shortened second race was stopped after 13 laps when Walters was in seventh, following a particularly strong opening portion.
"We made some more changes to the chassis after qualifying to try and get some more grip out of the bike, but it deteriorated quite badly toward the end of race one and I lost a few positions. I made some places back up before the end though, which was good and I finished strongly.
"For race two we made further adjustments and I got a much better start, well-clear of the traffic and I hung onto the lead group for as long as I could. It was nice to be there and we definitely learned a lot about the new Ninja ZX-10RR, so we're pointed in the right direction as we head to The Bend."
The 2019 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) will now travel to The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia between 26-28 April. Like Matt Walters Racing on Facebook and visit www.asbk.com.au for further information on the series.