Troy, you jumped off the Kawasaki ZX-6 last year, and went straight onto the Yamaha R6 this year. You won the opening round of ASBK at Phillip Island in February. Were you expecting to hit the ground running like that?
Yamaha has proven to be a race winning package before, so I had no doubt that the bike was capable of winning, and I did believe in myself. I believe our results at Phillip Island were due to the hard work we put in during the off-season. Scott Hayes and Edge Performance did a lot of work behind the scenes before the first round, working with the 2D-data recording to get the bike up to speed. That certainly helped a lot. I wouldn’t say it was a surprise, however, it was a nice way to kickstart the season.
Why exactly did you jump off the Kawasaki and get onto the Yamaha?
Halfway through last year’s ASC series, maybe a little bit later, a long-term supporter of mine by the name of Dave Davies proposed to run a race team, which is known as Graffiti Alley Racing. With that race team, they we’re going to be running Yamaha R6 bikes. Knowing Dave and seeing the proposal which was made, it was a very appealing offer to us. On top of that, knowing Yamaha’s past performance in the supersport category it was really a no brainer to take up the offer.
Five rounds down in this year’s championship, one to go. Give us your report card on the year so far.
I was very happy with how the season started out for us at Phillip Island. To get wins there was a great way to get the ball rolling. To back it up with two third places at Wakefield Park was quite solid. Sydney Motorsport Park and Barbagallo Raceway weren’t quite the rounds we we’re hoping for. Sydney Motorsport Park, being one of my stronger tracks, it was a bit disappointing to get the result that we got there. Then at Barbagallo, finishing off the podium in Race 2 wasn’t ideal. However, to bounce back at our home round at Morgan Park and get the race win which has put us back in with a shot at this title I think is pretty good. Overall, I’m pretty happy. Obviously as a racer you want to be at the front of the championship.
I’m happy with how we have progressed with the Graffiti Alley Racing Yamaha R6 machine over the course of the year. We’ve been able to maintain a consistent fast pace at each track.
The last round is at Winton – do you like the circuit?
The first time I went to Winton was in 2010 on a Metrakit 70. I remember doing the first lap there and I absolutely loved the place. That has not changed. The track has some faster corners and it also has some tight corners as well, which I think will suit the characteristics of the Yamaha R6. From a personal point of view, the circuit is a very enjoyable track to ride. Winton has its own different kind of characteristics compared to other circuits. I have always enjoyed it.
I’m just excited about having the championship on the line heading to a track where I feel very comfortable.
You’re currently eight points off leader Sam Clarke. Can you win it?
I believe I can beat him. The simple answer is I have to beat Sam in both of the races. We have won races before, and I do enjoy racing at Winton. Having raced at Winton before and having the YRD test at Winton at the end of August before the round we are going to have every opportunity available to do so. I believe that myself and the Graffiti Alley Racing team can win the championship.
We are still in a very strong position. We have won races before this season, so I don’t see why we can’t win a couple more at Winton.
What do you have planned for next year?
Well to be honest, we haven’t finalised anything for 2017. Our focus right now is to try and win the championship. After Winton we’ll have a better idea on our direction. Right now we are 100 per cent focused on trying to do the best we can and finish the year off as strongly as we can to try and win the championship.
By Russell Colvin