Brayden Elliott has finished his first season in the Australian Superbike Championship in fine style by securing a third place finish in the final race of the season at Winton Motor Raceway, with his points amassed from the season rising the Tumut rider to sixth overall for the series. The result caps off a successful debut season at the elite level for Elliott as he now embarks on the next stage in his two-wheeled career.
With wet weather blanketing the Winton circuit for much of Friday practice, Brayden opted to sit out of the first of three sessions before venturing out on the Knobby Underwear Suzuki GSX-R 1000 in practice two. Setting a 1:48.005 in that session, combined with extra track time in practice three, it allowed Elliott to make good progress with development ahead of Saturday qualifying.
The times would drop for qualifying day, setting a 1:35.297 in qualifying one, Brayden made the most of a dry track in qualifying two, securing a 1:22.558 on the final lap of the session, handing him eighth overall for the start of the weekend’s two races.
A further improvement in lap times as well as rising to as high as fifth in race one showed that Brayden had continued to make solid progress throughout the weekend, reflecting the development made from the outset in practice. Finishing the 17 lap race in sixth, it placed the Knobby Underwear Suzuki GSX-R 1000 pilot in a good position heading into the final race of the season.
Despite a mixed early period of race two, Brayden strove to end the year on a high and this was reflected by rising through the field during the mid-part of the race, along the way, securing his best lap time of the weekend with a 1:22.275. Elliott moved into fourth on lap 12 before rising even further to third on the penultimate lap of the race, managing to stay there through to the chequered flag, subsequently picking up his career best result on the Superbike.
The series presentation night also saw Brayden and his team receive the 2016 ASBK Best Presented Team Award, another positive reflection on the heavy commitment placed into every aspect of the racing season.
“What a way to finish off the 2016 Australian Superbike Championship with third place and my first ever Superbike podium. I managed to finish race one in sixth place with the magnificent third place result in race two, placing me sixth overall for my rookie season in the Australian Superbike Championship.”
“Crossing the line in third position after a hard fought race was an amazing feeling, battling it out and standing on the podium with riders I have looked up to growing up.”
“I have to extend a huge thank you to my family, Phil Tainton and Shawn Giles for their consistent hard work, effort and belief shown throughout the whole season, always giving me the best opportunity to succeed. Also a huge thank you to everyone that made the trip to be apart of the BELIEVE51 hospitality area, seeing you all on the hill cheering me on was extremely humbling and something I will remember for a very long time.”
Brayden’s 2017 racing plans will be formally announced in coming months.