MOUNTING a largely untried beast in the new Superbike class, Spring Terrace’s Ben Burke has impressed at the final round of the ASBK championship at the famed Phillip Island track.
Tackling the notoriously erratic weather patterns off the coast of Victoria, Burke’s BCperformance team’s new-look A1 Motorcycles entered into the Superbike category for the first time and shone after limited preparation.
Burke put in a sterling effort to post the 11th fastest time in qualifying and started Sunday’s race from the fourth row of the grid.
Burke took off in the first Superbike race, held in dry and blustery conditions, and raced to eighth place after the first lap.
Evasive action on lap two forced Burke off the circuit and, after some quick recovery racing, he regrouped to finish a creditable 10th and fifth privateer.
Forced to gamble on wet tyres after a 30-minute downpour leading into Sunday’s afternoon race, Burke again started well but, as the track dried up, those who used slick dry tyres made up considerable ground.
But Burke maintained the rage to finish in an outstanding seventh place and second privateer.
He was also the leading wet tyre-mounted rider.
Burke finished eighth overall for the round and third privateer during his first attempt in the Superbike class.
“I came into the round without any real expectations,” Burke said.
“Being my first time in the Superbike class, I just wanted to feel my way through.
“Although I did not expect a result, I was becoming a little frustrated during practice and qualifying as I knew I could go better.
“Unfortunately with no prior testing, the team and I were behind the eight ball. We made some more changes for race one but still struggled and was hoping another change for race two would be better and then the rain fell.”
Burke said he was much happier with his second race, blitzing the field early on wet tyres before holding strong late in the piece.
“I could run at the front when it was wet and was really pleased with the overall result.”