Kawasaki BCperformance Racing Team's Bryan Staring ended the 2020 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) on a high by finishing on the podium in third overall at Wakefield Park's final round of the season on Sunday.
The Goulburn-based circuit hosted a double-header event to complete the delayed ASBK series, with round two on Saturday and round three on Sunday. The Kawasaki BCperformance line-up of Staring and teammate Glenn Scott entered the weekend eager to finish off strongly.
Staring qualified sixth with a lap-time of 57.913s for Saturday's Kawasaki Superbike races, going on to record 4-9 finishes for seventh overall, despite an unfortunate off-track excursion in race two during the closing laps while challenging for the top five.
Sunday provided another opportunity for Staring to turn his weekend around, which is precisely what he did in windy conditions. The Western Australian again qualified in sixth and scored P5 in race one, before charging to third position in race two. That secured him third overall and fourth in the final standings riding the Ninja ZX-10RR.
"It was a little bit of a roller-coaster, but essentially, we knew from Friday afternoon that we were going to be competitive," 33-year-old Staring reflected. "After the first race on Saturday, I thought that we could potentially crack the podium, but it's never smooth-sailing! Everyone's so strong and this circuit's so difficult to pass on that track position is critical.
"I had to really step out of my comfort zone in that second race on Sunday, which put us on the podium overall in the final round. A massive thank you to Dunlop for their enormous contribution to get us competitive, as well as Kawasaki BCperformance Racing Team for bringing it all together."
As for Scott, despite minimal seat time in recent years, he impressed by qualifying ninth on Saturday and then going 11-10 for 10th overall. The 29-year-old started from 12th on Sunday and delivered a 12-10 scorecard for P11 overall and in points.
"This was a pretty intense weekend after having so much time off the bike between rounds," said Scott. "For me, over the last couple of years there has been a lack of race weekends while I overcame some injuries, so I came here with an open mind, aimed to start fresh and that's what we did.
"There's no denying we were about a second or so off the pace, but we worked hard, made improvements and the Ninja ZX-10RR worked really well. It's just a case of needing more time to mesh together since this is only really my second outing with the team! Big thanks to BCperformance, Kawasaki and all of my supporters for making the weekend happen."
Kawasaki BCperformance Racing Team owner and manager Kelvin Reilly said it was a welcome return to competition for the team, proud of Staring's performance to stand on the podium and encouraged by the consistency of Scott throughout the weekend. Wakefield Park was also a fitting way to thank all of the team's partners for their ongoing support this year.
"That was a great way to finish the year," Reilly explained. "Wakefield has been a difficult circuit for us in the past, but we brought it all together this weekend and it worked. Bryan rode a tremendous race in that last one and all weekend, so to cap-off the season with a podium was a fitting end for all of the team's hard work.
"Glenn was consistent, chipped away at it and had to overcome a lack of riding, so it was good to see him keep it upright and bring it home with experience throughout all four races. It was just fantastic to be back at the races, thank you to Kawasaki Motors Australia for their support, of course Dunlop, LandscapeSupplies.com.au and everybody behind us in 2020."
The weekend also saw rising talent Harry Khouri clinch the 2020 Australian Supersport 300 Championship with a race to spare on Sunday afternoon riding his Kawasaki Ninja 400. The teenager had won all three races at Phillip Island's opening round and brought home the title following rounds two and three.
Khouri earned 2-1-5 results for second overall on Saturday, before fourth place in race one on Sunday was enough to seal the title in convincing fashion. He was again fourth in race two and P4 overall for the final round, celebrating a winning season and joined in the top five by fellow Ninja 400 rider Luke Power.
Photo Credit: Foremost Media