16-year-old Troy Guenther from Woodford in Queensland goes into this weekend’s fourth round of the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship (ASC) at Queensland Raceway as the highest placed Queenslander in the YRD Supersport Championship.
ASC caught up with Guenther to find out how he was feeling ahead of his home round which ignites into life in just four days’ time.
ASC: Troy thanks very much for your time. You are heading into your home round this weekend as the best placed Queenslander in the YRD Supersport Championship. Can you give us your thoughts what you are thinking ahead round four.
TG: I’m really looking forward to racing on my ‘home soil’ so to speak, in front of a home crowd. It should be quite nice as Sydney Motorsport Park and Mallala I have never raced at, before I went there. So to head into a round where I’m quite familiar with the circuit is quite exciting and I can’t wait to see what we can do.
ASC: The last round you managed to finish third outright by scoring a 4-3-2 result. So does that help you mentally and give you a confident boost heading into this weekend knowing that you have the pace to maybe take another top three at Queensland Raceway?
TG: Yeah the last round we were definitely building on that throughout the year. At the opening round we started quite well, and then at Mallala we had a lot of pace but unfortunately had a bit of bad luck. So yeah at the last round it was good to have everything come together and get some consistent podium finishes. For sure it’s a really good confident boost heading into this weekend. We have also had some good testing at Queensland Raceway which is a positive thing as well. The setup we have on the Fresh Chef/PI Technical/Wallace Kawasaki ZX6R will help big time that’s for sure.
ASC: For the last few years you have been racing in Japan in the Moto3 championship. 2015 is your first year aboard a Supersport machine, so how have you come on so strong within such a short space of time. What’s the secret?
TG: Racing in dirt track at such a young age has allowed me to adapt to a lot of different conditions and different bikes. You go into a dirt track race meeting racing three or four different bikes. You hop off one bike and onto another bike straight away. So I believe that has taught me to adapt really well. Then in regards to the Supersport bike itself, I find that the 600 definitely suits my riding style. I like the feel of what a production frame gives me. I like feeling what the tyres are doing which gives me the confidence to go fast. But what is helping me to get that feel is working with Chris [Jones] from XXX Rated Suspension which has been a big help for me. Chris has given me a setup that I feel very comfortable to push on and I know where the limit is. So to know where my limit is definitely helps me to push harder. We also have the support from Justin Woolich from Woolich Racing. Justin has given me some really good technical advice this year. I believe it is the combination of working with Chris and Justin who has helped me come on strong this year. I have also got really good support from my mother and father as well which helps me. On top of that, I’ve always felt that I
can adapt to new things well. So those four factors have helped me to come to grips with the Supersport bike so quickly.
ASC: What is it like to race in the YRD Supersport class? You are up against some of the best riders who take no prisoners such as Brayden Elliott, Michael Blair, Callum Spriggs, Jay Presepio. Just how hard is it compare to what you were doing in Japan in the Moto3?
TG: Racing in Japan was very hard scrapping. The biggest thing I have found is adapting that race craft from Japan onto a Supersport bike. It is quite different. Racing with riders such as Michael, Callum, Brayden and so on who are quite experienced riders is very good for me to learn. It has been great because I have picked up so much within just three rounds. It’s a real bonus for me having such high quality riders to race against as I learn so much.
ASC: A few weeks ago you took part in the second round of the Queensland Raceway Formula Xtreme Race Series. You and a handful of other riders used that race meeting like a test session. For you, just how important was it for you to take part in that?
TG: It was very important. As it’s my first year in the Supersport class its going to be important to get track time. I guess you could call that weekend ‘heat racing’. We were able to test a lot of things in a racing environment, which I could not do at an ASC round, as you would not take the risk. I got to ride in a few different types of conditions as well, as it was wet in the morning, then a drying race around mid-day, then dry. All in all I got to race in all types of conditions which will be vital heading into this weekend.
ASC: So this weekend, what can we expect from Troy Guenther?
TG: My goal is to try and win a Supersport race, and even a round win while I’m still sixteen as I turn seventeen in September. That’s my target! We have had good pace in testing at Queensland Raceway. So if we can show the pace we had in testing this weekend, I’m sure we can fight for a podium place.
ASC: What would it mean to you if you were to win this weekend on ‘home soil’?
TG: It would be amazing! The first podium this year at the opening round was a big break through for us in our rookie season to get it so early. I was very excited about that, so if I got a win it would definitely be the next level. A race and round win is our next target that we are aiming for. It would definitely be an unreal feeling to win so early in my Supersport career. And if I were to do it on my home circuit in front of a lot of people I know, it would make it even sweeter.
ASC: One final question. Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
TG: Racing can be so unpredictable, so you can’t really predict it. Where I would like to be is either in World Superbikes, World Supersport or Moto2. In five years’ time I’ll be 21-years-old, so I would hope to be in World Superbikes, MotoGP or Moto2.
YRD Supersport Championship:
Brayden Elliott 176
Troy Guenther 155
Callum Spriggs 153
Michael Blair 152
Jay Presepio 122
Paul Young 121
Mitch Levy 120.5
Rick Olson 104.5
Cambridge Olivier 96
Brad Swallow 93.5