Grid Talk – Daniel Falzon | Columns | Gassit Garage
The ASBK young gun put forward his claim on the title with a Round 1 clean sweep
Now you’ve had time to process that epic round win, how does it feel?
Honestly, a couple of weeks isn’t enough for a clean sweep like that. I really wanted to bask in my glory for a little bit longer! Now we have to get back down to business this weekend. But it is really nice heading into Round 2 with a bit of a points buffer.
Race 3 at Phillip Island looked like it was the hardest by far, with the red flag and also you and Wayne Maxwell coming together at MG Corner.
Yes, definitely! Not many people knew this, but the red lights on the start line actually flickered. This caused some riders to almost jump and some to stop. As a result I entered Turn 1 in eighth position because I thought they would have red-flagged the race. But I made my way through the pack to eventually lead the race and also came together with Wayne at MG Corner. He ran a little bit wide and I thought he was giving up the position, but obviously he is a fighter and we both wanted first position at that part of the race. It was quite a big hit too! I lost a rear stand mount and he lost his front brake lever guard, but that’s racing (laughs).
You went into Race 3 knowing you had a good chance of taking out your first ever ASBK round win. How hard was it mentally to keep your composure?
Mentally, it was quite difficult. In saying that, once you’ve got the first race win, it seems to come a bit easier. I knew I was the fastest rider that weekend and we could consistently put out laps that other riders couldn’t maintain. My goal was to try and get out in front and do a ‘Lorenzo’ – set consistent fast lap times one after another and pull a gap on the rest of the field like we did in Race 2. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out the way we wanted in Race 3, but we still managed to get the race win and the overall round win, which is the main thing.
How does this round compare to your 2012 Australian Superstock 600 title and your 2013-14
Australian Supersport championships?
It’s completely different, but the amount of hype of that weekend at the Island clearly surpasses the Superstock and Supersport titles. In saying that, the Supersport titles were amazing, as it was a very hard year-long effort. But to win a Superbike round is a career-long effort. I’m so happy for everyone in our team and of course all our sponsors and supporters. It’s an amazing feeling and I’m glad I can experience it with our privateer team before moving on to bigger and better things.
So now that the monkey is off you’re back, can you carry that form throughout the season and possibly win more rounds?
Yeah, for sure, I don’t see why we can’t win more races, if not rounds. Wakefield Park is going to be our most difficult round. From the start of the season we always knew that was going to be the case. So this weekend coming will be all about getting as many points as we can. Just battling for podium places would be really nice. Tracks like Winton, Hidden Valley and Morgan Park we will be strong.
Only one day of testing at Wakefield Park was conducted for you and your team due to the weather. How did it go?
Not too bad. We did get a lot done on the Tuesday, so we’re very thankful that the weather held off. Our times were competitive and everyone was quite close, which is what the racing will be like this weekend. It’s going to be close and, as we saw last year, there will probably be a lot of falls. So it’s not all about the fast riders, it’s about the smartest and sometimes the luckiest.
Do you think you have a good race set-up?
Yeah, I believe our race set-up is quite good. I did a 13-lap stint, which is about 60-70 per cent of our race distance and I felt quite good. Our times were very consistent, which is the main thing as it takes a lot more than a fast lap time to
win a race.
Interview & Photos Russell Colvin