— Australian Supersport Race Two Report
— By Trevor Hedge
A tight pack of Australian Supersport competitors threaded their way through turn one before entering Southern Loop three-abreast under perfect sunny skies at Phillip Island at 1015 Sunday morning. Coming out of Southern Loop with his nose in front was Ryan Taylor from Daniel Falzon, Michael Blair and Aaron Morris.
Morris moved past by Blair into the MG Hairpin to take third place for the run around turn 11 and 12 for the first time. Crossing the stripe Taylor had half-a-second on Falzon and Morris.
On the exit of Southern Loop for the second time around Morris lost the front and tumbled through the gravel trap, apparently out of the race but rider fine.
Falzon chased Taylor hard but the Victorian had much more speed than Falzon through turn one and earned a significant gap for his turn one bravery.
Next lap around Falzon was right in the slipstream of Taylor around turns 11 and 12 before slingshotting past his fellow YZF-R6 rider at the line and just sprinted away from him down to turn one, the advantage so large no amount of bravery from Taylor at turn one was going to make that ground back up.
Alex Phillis crashed out of the race with seven laps to go after a nudge from Kiwi Alistair Hoogenboezem, who will be firmly off the Phillis family Christmas card list thanks to that little altercation.
Up front Falzon had held his advantage and with five laps to run the South Australian enjoyed half-a-second his pursuers as they approached the stripe but again that gaggle closed in on Falzon markedly at turn one and by the time the leading group of five got to Siberia it was nose to tail – Falzon, Taylor, Spriggs, Wagner, Quinn and Blair not too much further behind in sixth place.
Taylor took the lead at the Hayshed but a yellow flag was in the vicinity and thus the pass was in a little doubt and subject to adjudication.
As the group arrived at turn one with four laps to run Spriggs shot to the lead but through Stoner Corner there was nothing separating the top five, when they weren’t side-by-side they were nose-to-tail. Quinn took the lead at MG Hairpin and led Taylor, and Wagner around turn 12, they were joined by Falzon and Quinn on the straight where Blair also enjoyed that leading group proper. Taylor’s machine seemed to suffer from a marked peed deficit down the straight compared to his combatants, despite all six Yamaha YZF-R6 mounted.
Aiden Wagner led the six Supersport psychos into turn one with two laps to go, clearly sheep stations on the line in this stanza!
Chris Quinn got his chance to lead the pack as they started the final lap. Quinn held on to a big slide on the change of direction after Siberia, only for the group to encounter a lapped rider between turn 11 and 12, he moved out of the way but still the riders had to adjust lines and be conscious of another rider that might spoilt their party.
At the line Falzon proved he either had the best judgment or luck to best Quinn by a nose on the line to take the win and with 43-points the event win and Australian Supersport Championship lead.
“I’m ecstatic with the race win, I really didn’t expect it as around lap 6 I was back and battling in 6th position,” said Falzon.
“To work my way through from fifth place to first on the last lap was unreal, I really have to thank the team and my supporters who have been behind me all the way in what has been a special weekend.
“We’ll keep testing and working on the bike ahead of the next round to try to make some more gains.”
Quinn’s second place lifted his tally to 40-points in the series. Aiden Wagner scored the final step on the race rostrum but fourth placed Ryan Taylor’s 34 points for the weekend lifted him to outright third, two-points clear of Wagner. Spriggs fifth in the race and with 29-points fifth in the series, a single point ahead of Aaron Gobert and Michael Lockart.
— Australian Supersport Race One
— By Trevor Hedge
The opening bout of the Australian Supersport Championship schedule at Phillip Island this weekend was played out under clear and sunny skies in front of the World Superbike Championship crowd.
Daniel Falzon blasted away from the start line to head the 34-strong field through the re-surfaced turn one before being pipped by Ryan Taylor through the ensuing turn, the Pirelli rider then put his head down and tried to make a break from the field.
By the end of lap one Taylor enjoyed a full-second lead over Falzon, who has his hands full fending off challenges from Aaron Morris. That pair continually traded paint during the latter part of the opening lap and throughout the entire second lap and reeled in Ryan Taylor, who had slipped from a clear lead back down to sixth place in the space of a lap. Michael Blair crashed out of fourth place with eight laps to run.
Falzon then made his break, stretching out a full second from his pursuers, before a major moment allows him to fall back into the clutches of Morris, and Ryan Taylor who had discovered his second wind to pitch his hat back in the game.
As the mid-point of the ten-lap race approached Falzon and Morris broke away from their pursuers and were looking to make it a two man race for the win while Ryan Taylor, Michael Lockart and Chris Quinn tussled hard over third place.
That second group of riders had other ideas however, and as the laps wore on closed the gap to that leading duo back down to nothing.
Morris appeared to perhaps have the measure of Falzon, as the South Australian’s YZF-R6 tying itself in knots as Falzon pushed the bike harder than it was prepared to take. A big front end lose at Lukey Heights, and some major wiggle action out of turn three some of the protests from his Yamaha.
Chris Quinn took advantage of Falzon’s loss of composure to challenge and then take second place with two laps to run.
The battle stepped up another notch on the final lap as Quinn made his move on Morris, who retaliated and the pair traded places for the lead. Out of Siberia it was Morris but Quinn stayed right on his tail through the Hayshed, over Lukey and through turns 10 and was in the slipstream through 11 and 12…. Side by side across the line, the timing team called it for Morris by 0.099 of a second over Quinn. Daniel Falzon managed to hold off a last-lap challenge from Ryan Taylor to claim the final step on the rostrum.
Aaron Morris celebrated his hard won victory with a stylish mono on the Maxima Yamaha YZF-R6 on the cool down lap.
“I didn’t get the greatest start and worked out quickly that the track temperature had gone up a lot from the warmup which I knew would make things difficult,” said Morris.
“I hit the front on lap 4 or 5 and was able to stay around there for most of the race, I didn’t know Quinny (Chris Quinn) was coming up on me and was pretty stoked to come away with the win.
“I’m a lot happier that tomorrow’s race will be earlier and hopefully the track temperature will be down a bit.”
After the race Daniel Falzon’s pit crew found that their tyre pressure gauge was faulty and he started the race with the completely wrong pressures, this was the contributor to his handling problems during the race.
arlier — Friday — Maxwell takes pole position at Phillip Island
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell stamped his authority in ASBK during qualifying for this weekend’s World Superbike Championship event at Phillip Island today with a 1m33.695.
“It’s my first official qualifying session on the bike and I couldn’t ask for much more than to come away with P1 to start the year,” said Maxwell.
“I’m treating this as a testing weekend and trying to get a good feel for the Suzuki and make any adjustments I need to at a track I am familiar with.
“The Dunlop tyre is hanging in there over the duration and I’m doing a lot of my fast laps at the end of the sessions which is promising.
“The next step is to find a bit more feeling in the bike and I’m hoping to have come on leaps and bounds by the end of the weekend.”
Last year’s ProStock Champion Linden Magee showed that he may be a force to be reckoned in the Superbike category this year with a 1m33.766. With Magee riding on Pirelli tyres and proving competitive it could also signal that Pirelli might be in a position this season to impinge on the Dunlop dominance of the ASBK ranks.
Beau Beaton (34.04) was next best on the Racers Edge Suzuki ahead of CM Racing’s Chas Hern (34.47).
With the Superbike category not running for championship points this weekend, and Team Honda incumbents Jamie Stauffer and Josh Hook missing from the ASBK events due to wildcard entries in the headline events, the focus is somewhat more directed at the well subscribed ProStock category.
Matt Walters set a new ProStock qualifying record of 1m34.927 on the Rover Coaches sponsored Kawasaki Connections ZX-10R. Four-tenths of a second ahead of Glenn Scott on the Insuremyride Fireblade, the ex-Supersport competitor using this non-points scoring round for the Superbike class to get his head around the full Superbike spec’ Fireblade.
“The conditions weren’t ideal, it was pretty windy out there but we came in knowing we had the bike setup pretty well and this session verified that,” said Walters.
“Everything went to plan to day, hopefully I can stick with the leaders during the races and all my fitness work will pay off.”
Ben Nicolson piloted his BMW S 1000 RR to the seventh overall fastest time – second best of the ProStock competitors.
Aaron Morris topped a Yamaha triumvirate of YZF-R6 Supersport machines. The Maxima Yamaha pilot’s 37.18 ahead of Daniel Falzon (37.36) and early pacesetter Ryan Taylor (37.81).
“We started off the day struggling a bit and were down by around 0.7 of a second but put on a new set of tyres and went 1.5 seconds faster which I was ecstatic with,” said Falzon.
“The new surface is super smooth and it’s hard to get a lot of feeling in the front end, I think that’s why there were a few people crashing.
“There is lots of grip though and it gives you a lot of confidence, especially with the run off areas at turn 1 and 4.”
Superbike/Prostock*: W Maxwell (Suzuki) 1m33.695s 1, L Magee (BMW) 1m33.766s 2, B Beaton (Suzuki) 1m34.046s 3, C Hern (Suzuki) 1m34.476s 4, M Walters (Kawasaki) 1m34.927s 5*, G Scott (Honda) 1m35.386s 6, B Nicolson (BMW) 1m35.555s 7*, B Henry (Suzuki) 1m35.704s 8, D Goldsmith (Kawasaki) 1m35.798s 9*, A Christie (BMW) 1m36.348s 10*.
Supersport: A Morris (Yamaha) 1m37.183s 1, D Falzon (Yamaha) 1m37.369s 2, R Taylor (Yamaha) 1m37.818s 3, M Lockhart (Kawasaki) 1m37.960s 4, C Spriggs (Yamaha) 1m38.055s 5, A Wagner (Yamaha) 1m38.133s 6, M Blair (Yamaha) 1m38.188s 7, C Quinn (Yamaha) 1m38.247s 8, A Gobert (Kawasaki) 1m38.404s 9, L Burgess (Kawasaki) 1m38.559s 10.
Shawn Giles got the better of Beau Beaton in the opening Historics race of the weekend with a 4.16 second win over the Irving Vincent rider. Robbie Phillis rounded out the podium a further 23-seconds down on the leading duo.
Beau Beaton was determined to give Shawn Giles a hurry up in the second Historics bout but the Irving Vincent called it a day with three laps to run, leaving Giles with a 16-second lead over Michael Dibb.
A lap later Dibb also suffered problems and pulled into the pits, promoting Scott Webster in to second place ahead of Robert Ruwoldt.
In the closing laps Stuart Loly got the better of Ruwoldt for the final step on the podium ahead of Robert Cole, Ruwoldt and Craig Ditchburn.