Glenn Allerton, riding the Procon Maxima BMW S1000RR, has secured the 2011 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) with one round still to go. The 30-year-old grabbed the ASBK title in an incident-packed seventh round of the series at Symmons Plains in Tasmania. Glenn went to Symmons Plains circuit with a 67-point lead and the opportunity to put the championship beyond reach of his rivals. Despite the extra pressure, Allerton was in a confident frame of mind after a dominant season which saw him win six races including 11 consecutive podiums.
After a sluggish start to race one due to a minor clutch problem, Glenn found himself down the field and with serious work to do. The Symmons Plains circuit is a difficult track on which to make up places but Glenn set about the task. He moved consistently through the field and, helped by several competitors making mistakes, soon found himself leading the pack.
“I was riding the No 2 bike and was not used to the feel of the clutch,” said Glenn. “You cannot give away any ground in this tight level of racing but I was happy with my riding and when I hit the lead I knew I had the power to bring it home.”
But it was not to be. Soon afterwards, an incident on the very tight hairpin brought the possibility of a first ASBK crown for the RR crashing to the ground. A collision with another competitor saw Glenn thrown from his race bike and sliding into the air-fence. After a moment of thought, the tough Aussie remounted and re-joined the battle, eventually finishing in ninth place.
“I was not happy to say the least, but there was another race on Sunday so all was not lost. The crash left me with a huge bruise from my shoulder to elbow and the rest of me was pretty sore as well. It was going to be very uncomfortable to ride but there was a championship on the line,” said Glenn after race one.
In Sunday’s Superbike race, Glenn again had problems with the clutch and this time found himself down in sixth place. It was a difficult 16 laps for him to get through; he was not only sore but his arm also lacked power, making it difficult to get full braking pressure. However he rode through the pain, settled into a rhythm and battled hard to finish in fifth place, securing just enough points to give him an unassailable 52-point lead in the title race.
“I kept pushing and pushing but in the end held onto fifth. At the end of the race I honestly thought I was a point away from taking home the championship but my team informed me that I’d done enough, which was a great feeling,” said an exhausted Glenn after he returned triumphantly to his garage.
“So many people in the team have worked for this, I have to thank everyone at Procon Maxima BMW for their hard work – week in, week out – but also all of those people behind the scenes as well that have helped me make the most of this opportunity, including BMW Motorrad who have been so supportive,” said Glenn.
This was the first Australian Superbike Championship for the S1000RR and the General Manager of BMW Motorrad Australia and New Zealand, Tony Sesto, was trackside to witness the historic event.
“It was fantastic to be in Tasmania with Glenn and the team for this great championship win. It is the first Aussie title for the BMW S1000RR and I congratulate Glenn, Procon Maxima BMW Team Principal Wayne Hepburn and all the team on a magnificent season,” said Tony.
The final round of the ASBK is at Phillip Island on November 18-20 and Glenn is out to show what he can do at the iconic Victorian circuit.
“Next week there is no pressure and I will go out and have some fun and let the BMW RR rip,” said a tired, sore, but contented Glenn Allerton, the new 2011 ASBK Champion.