-- FX 2013 - Round One - Sydney Motorsport Park
-- Rover Coaches/ Kawasaki Connection Report
-- Kawasaki’s Matt Walters Wins FX Superbike Opener
Rover Coaches/ Kawasaki Connection rider Matt Walters has won the opening round of the 2013 Australian FX Superbike Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.
Following on from his commanding performance at Phillip Island just over a week ago where he won both ASBK Pro Stock races to take round honours, Matt Walters has now won two of the three races at the AFX opener at Eastern Creek to take the overall victory and an early series lead.
The 2010 Australian 600 Superstock Champion now has a 3 point lead in the championship over defending champion Kevin Curtain. Walters was inside the top three in each racing taking 1-3-1 results for the overall victory. Matt Walters now leads both the ASBK & Australian FX Superbike Championships after one round of each.
Matt Walters is very happy satisfied with his start to the 2013 racing year, saying, “We’ve done everything right so far and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. The Ninja ZX-10R was fantastic and 100% perfect on the day. Dad and the team at Kawasaki Connection got the bike set up perfectly.”
“My off season training is paying off. If I can keep my fitness up the results will hopefully come a bit easier. I’ve got a month off now until the next round so I plan to spend a lot of time in the gym to make sure I give myself the best possible chance at Winton.”
Fellow Ninja ZX-10R rider Dustin Goldsmith finished in 5th place overall with top 5 finishes (5-4-4) in each race at Eastern Creek. Goldsmith and his Ninja ZX-10R also clocked the fastest lap time in the final race.
In Saturday’s non point scoring races, Glynn Thomas rode his Ninja ZX-10R to 2nd place with 5-5-1 results throughout the 3 races.
Matt Walters, Dustin Goldsmith and Glynn Thomas will hope to continue their good form at the second round of the AFX series at Winton Raceway, Victoria on 5-7 April.
-- Yamaha Report
Yamaha Racing with Ipone kicked off their 2013 campaign in solid fashion with team riders pulling down plenty of podium results as their racing season got underway over the weekend.
Under cloudy skies at Sydney’s Motorsport Park, a big turnout of riders rolled up for the opening round of the Australian FX Superbike Championship. YRT with Ipone pilots Kevin Curtain and Rick Olson are ideally placed after the first round across the three classes they competed in.
Ageless Kevin Curtain again proved the man to beat, taking a faultless three wins from three starts in the Formula OZ class on board his Yamaha R1. Curtain man-handled his R1 around the fast and flowing Eastern Creek circuit to take the perfect score from the opening round and enjoyed his time on the thundering Formula Oz machine.
He tried to replicate that performance in the FX Superbike class but came up just short taking second for the round on the back of his 2-1-3 race finishes. His haul of 67 points leaves him just three from round winner Matthew Walters and ideally placed as the championship moves onto round two.
“The aim of any opening round is to not do anything stupid and get yourself in contention for when things get serious. We were able to do that today and are well placed as we move forward. Everything went pretty smoothly today and it’s good to get the new season underway without too much drama,” Curtain explains.
Team-mate Rick Olson also enjoyed at solid day on the race track and is well placed despite a DNF in race two of the FX600cc class. Olson was able to control the damage with a second and a race win in the other two legs to snare fourth place for the round.
Like Curtain, Olson was also on double duties and he locked down third place in the FX Superbike category right behind Curtain. Olson took 3-2-6 place finishes in a consistent days racing and Olson is optimistic things can only improve at the coming rounds.
“Today wasn’t a bad start, apart from the DNF on the 600, it was a reasonable start to the year. I feel there is some room for improvement in my riding but its only round one and with a bit more bike time I should be right for the next round,” Olson ends.
Team manager John Redding was happy with the start of the season for his YRT with Ipone team.
“The weekend through up some challenging conditions with showers on and off during the weekend so it was really important for the riders to keep a calm head and not doing anything that could jeopardize their championship hopes. Everyone came through unscathed and with some good results so now we can move onto the next round with a good base to work from and keep improving.”
Australian FX Superbike Championship
Rd 1 – Sydney Motorsports Park
1st Kevin Curtain – 75 (YRT with Ipone)
2nd Broc Parkes – 62
3rd Glenn Scott – 53
1st Matthew Walters- 70
2nd Kevin Curtain – 67 (YRT with Ipone)
3rd Rick Olson – 57 (YRT with Ipone)
1st Cru Halliday – 72
2nd Callum Spriggs – 58
3rd Aiden Wagner – 56
4th Rick Olson – 47 (YRT with Ipone)
A change in bike capacity and racing class did nothing to stop Cru Halliday and his winning ways. Stepping down after several successful seasons on his Formula Oz Yamaha R1, Halliday moved to the Yamaha R6 and the FX600cc category, but his winning habit continued as he took the overall victory at the opening round of the 2013 Australian FX Superbike Championship at Sydney’s Eastern Creek.
Halliday won the opening two races and then raced a well-constructed third leg to finish second and take the round win on 72 points. It was just the start Halliday was looking for and signals his skill and ability on any machine.
“The change of class has been a good motivator for me,” Halliday explains. “The opportunity to ride a different bike in with a bunch of different riders was something that I needed and today was a great way to get the season under way.”
“The depth in the FX600cc class is good and there will be plenty of close races this year and I’m looking forward to some exciting battles this year,” Halliday ends.
The opening round was also the team debut for world experienced Broc Parkes. Parkes lined up in both the Formula Oz and FX Superbike classes and competed well all weekend despite limited time on the new bikes.
Parkes claimed second on the day in the Formula Oz Yamaha R1 behind stable mate Kevin Curtain. He took 2-2-4 race finishes in a workmanlike performance that sees him well placed as the championship moves on.
He also managed a hard fought fourth overall in the hotly contested FX Superbike Championship with more consistent results. His 4-5-2 finishes saw him get better as the day went on and just missed the podium by a single point.
“It was a tough weekend in a couple of ways,” Parkes offers. “Getting used to new bikes and conditions that changed by the race was hard, but I felt better as the weekend went on and it was good to finish the weekend on a strong note with a second in the final Superbike race and in a good battle with the top guys.”
“I hope to make similar gains at round two and keep building momentum as the championship continues.”
“Both riders overcame several changes in the lead up and during the weekend but showed their class by riding well and posting good results”, says team owner, John Redding. “Cru was impressive in his first major outing on the 600cc, while Broc will only get better with more time on the bikes."
-- KTM Report
Who rides 'up a class' and gives away 30 horsepower when they could stay where they are and maybe pocket another national title?
KTMRC8R Racing Team rider Angus Reekie does.
The David versus Goliath story of this year's Formula Xtreme series sees former FX Pro Thunder champion Angus Reekie step up to take on the four-cylinder superbikes on KTM's radical-looking 1190RC8R.
"I won the Pro Thunder series in 2011 and was in the box seat last year when I had a dirt bike accident and had to have my shoulder reconstructed," said Reekie, “and now it’s time for a new challenge.”
For 2013 Reekie has stepped up into the premier class of FX Superbike, where he knows he'll give away up to 30 horsepower and 15-20kph down the straight. But it's the experience he's chasing - not the outcome.
"I want to chase the best guys," said Reekie, and I'd prefer to get beat and learn something than ride around at the front of the pack at my own pace."
Reekie's thirst for challenge had its first test at the weekend's first round of the Formula Xtreme series at Eastern Creek raceway, where he battled to 12th place in each of the three legs despite struggling to find the setup to keep pace with the changing conditions. His consistency was rewarded with 11th overall.
“It was awesome fun,” enthused Reekie. “There are 20 guys all within 3 seconds of each other, and I give away a fair bit on the straights, but my bike is amazing under brakes and on the turn-in, so I made most of my passes on the way into Turn Two and Turn Nine.
The twins may struggle to compete at the end of the straight, but Reekie finds the KTM1190RC8R’s other virtues a source of constant enjoyment.
“Our bike is just so well balanced and the Brembo brakes are unbelievable, it’s really stable even if you get in hot and it just sticks really well. It’s a real racer’s bike that I reckon anyone could jump on and go fast and feel comfortable immediately.
“The feedback we’ve gotten with it has been all good and positive – it’s something unique to anything else in the paddock.
“We also got a lot left in both the bike and myself and I’m confident that we’ll crack the top ten throughout season.”
-- Bikesconnect Report - Highs and Lows for Snowsill and Hughes at SMP
In trying weather conditions, BC performance riders Corey Snowsill, Joel Hughes and new Pro-twins addition Grant Barratt-Thompson show true grit to gain experience with some excellent results.
Saturday’s menacing weather conditions caused havoc with riders and team personnel alike as Corey, Joel and Grant all had to contend with the mixed track conditions meaning tyre choice was paramount to a successful day. FX Superbike Qualifying was held on a soaking wet track with Kawasaki ZX10R mounted Corey and Joel maintaining a fast and smooth pace throughout to end the session in 10th and 7th respectively. Grant excelled in the conditions to put his Aprilia RSV4 on the front row in 4th place.
All 3 FX Superbike races were held in different conditions, challenging Corey and Joel each time they lined up on the grid. Corey showed great determination and skill to battle with riders more senior and experienced to claim a superb 3rd place in the first race to unfortunately follow it up with a DNF in the second due to a misted visor but excelled again in the final race to claim a hard fought 5th. Joel meanwhile was caught out with the tricky conditions as he pitted for a Slick rear in the drying conditions of race one to only return to a wet track and forced to retire, then in race two he slipped off on lap 5 whilst making progress through the field but remounted to finish 12th. The final race of the day Joel rode maturely to 12th again to make sure the bike was ok for the all important Sunday races.
With all the excitement in the FX Superbike races, Pro-Twins rider Grant got his head down to claim some credible results to finish 5th, 4th and 4th in the tricky conditions showing great rider control, especially great as he has only been competing for a year.
The all important FX Superbike Sunday races looked like to be held in similar conditions but with 30 minutes to go before qualifying got under way the sun came out and the tyre choices were decided within minutes of the session starting, Corey choose to start with wets to assess the circuit and pitted for slicks after 2 laps whereas Joel started with slicks and got his head down to put a time in early on. Corey again excelled in the drying conditions to place himself in 6th whilst Joel built speed to qualify in 9th. Pro-Twins rider Grant put in another sterling performance to place himself neatly in the middle of the second row in 6th place.
Sunday’s races were all held in dry conditions but there was always a threat of rain and we did get a few sprinkles throughput the day but luckily did not reap havoc with our races. With a distinct lack of dry track time over the weekend resulting in zero set up data it was always going to be difficult, but Corey rode with maturity to finish 10th and 11th in the first two races but bad luck hit again when a broken steering damper bracket put him out of the final race whilst battling for 9th place with 2 laps to go. Joel again disadvantaged with a lack of dry set up was robbed of a top 10 place finish when he was judged too of jumped the start in the first race. He fought back for an 11th in the second and then a poor gear change left him with a bad start in the final race as he regrouped to claim 13th at the line.
Grant again pushed himself and his bike to claim 5th and 6th for the first 2 races in class but was forced to retire in the final race with a mechanical problem. It has been a learning weekend for Grant but he comes away with more valuable experience in National motorcycle racing.
After what was an up and down weekend for the BC performance by Bikesconnect race team, Corey and Joel come away with points in the bag in 14th and 12th in the table respectively and valuable data the team can build on. Grant is improving all the time and sits 7th in the Pro-Twins table.
-- Sportsbike Ducationly Report
With the introduction of an exciting new Class for Twins Racing in Australia, Sportsbike Ducationly rider Peter Martin looked forward to contesting the Australian Thunderbike Cup. The new Class is part of the Australian Pro-Twins Championship Grid with the main difference being there is no Control Tyre so the make and compound of tyre is free and completely the rider's choice.
All did not go to plan though, while Martin completed two of the three races for second overall in Saturday's National Thunderbike Cup, a technical issue with the bike proved unable to be resolved with Martin contesting no races in Sunday's Australian Thunderbike Cup. Martin leaves Round One with no points scored.
RIDER COMMENTS: PETER MARTIN – Australian Thunderbike Cup #31
“I was really looking forward to racing in the new Twins Class. I feel I can be competitive being able to choose the Tyre Compound. Now also I have the opportunity to race on Bridgestone Tyres again, I welcome the return of Bridgestone and Whites Racing Products involvement and support.”
“It was a very difficult weekend with occasional showers forcing last minute tyre choices and a shower catching many in the field out just prior to Saturday's first race. With no time to change wheels, I sat that one out with the boys and then contested the remaining national races on Saturday on wets in damp and drying conditions for second overall and 44 points in the National Thunderbike Cup.”
“Sunday weather was more consistent and while I can now choose the tyre, what I could not do even with the great assistance of other competitors, was locate a technical problem with the bike. We did not have the diagnostic equipment available and I ran out of parts to change and check. I am sure it will prove to be a simple fix and right now I am struggling to find positives from the weekend. I can only look forward to testing to prove a solution and plan the next round.”
“My thanks to all the Officials, Scrutineers and Flaggies for their great support and a well run race meeting. Special thanks to the many fellow Competitors for their assistance with getting the bike to work.”
- FORMULA XTREME SUPERBIKE 2012 -
FX RND 1 SATURDAY WRAP
FX RND 1
FX RND 2 SATURDAY WRAP
FX RND 3 - YRT DOMINATE QLD
FX RND 4 - CURTAIN WINS WAKEFIELD
FX RND 5 - ALLERTON DOMINATES
FX FINALE - CURTAIN DOES IT
|- LATE BRAKING NEWS
- REVIEWS -