Team Honda Racing rider Josh Hook has had a great start to this weekend’s racing action by claiming the fastest time in Superbike qualifying at the fourth round of the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship.
Hook posted a his fastest lap time of 1:33.813 on his second last lap around the Winton circuit to finish less than a tenth of a second ahead of teammate Wayne Maxwell.
With conditions tough for all riders (the on-again off-again rain and wind did not help), the riders were careful in deciding how many laps to take to the circuit for.
Maxwell only completed five laps in the qualifying session, but did enough to claim the second fastast time, while Linden Magee took his LMR BMW into third overall on the qualifying standings.
Aprillia Factory Teams Chris Seaton and NextGen Motorsports’ Flenn Allerton posted the fourth and fifth fastest times respectively.
Chris Seaton fell on the entry to turn one in the qualifying session, as did a number of other riders.
Matt Walters crashed on the entry into the fast left-hand sweeper.
In Supersport qualifying, Dynovet Racing rider Mason Coote claimed the fastest qualifying lap posting a 1:35.644, with Queenslander Aiden Wagner (1:36.023) and News South Welshman William Davidson (1:36.282) clocking up the second and third fastest times respectively.
SUPERBIKE QUALIFYING RESULTS
1 Josh HOOK (NSW) 1:33.613
2 Wayne MAXWELL (VIC) 1:33.700
3 Linden MAGEE (QLD) 1:33.866
4 Chris SEATON (QLD) 1:34.203
5 Glenn ALLERTON (NSW) 1:34.429
6 Sean CONDON (NSW) 1:34.810
7 Chris TROUNSON (VIC) 1:34.930
8 Troy HERFOSS (NSW) 1:35.354
9 Robert BUGDEN (QLD) 1:35.405
10 Ben HENRY (QLD) 1:36.282
SUPERSPORT QUALIFYING RESULTS
1 Mason COOTE (WA) 1:35.644
2 Aiden WAGNER (QLD) 1:36.023
3 William DAVIDSON (NSW 1:36.282
4 Michael BLAIR (NSW) 1:38.443
5 Aaiden COOTE (WA) 1:38.751
6 Aaron MORRIS (NSW) 1:39.329
7 Luke MITCHELL (NSW) 1:40.024
8 Cambridge OLIVIER (ACT) 1:40.030
9 Justin DI GIANDOMENICO (VIC) 1:40.073
10 Callum SPRIGGS (QLD) 1:40.559
Olson looking to fight at the front
Yamaha Racing Team’s Rick Olson is looking forward to getting some of his old aggression back at the fourth round of the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Series this weekend.
“The first session felt pretty good and today has been a confidence booster heading into the weekend,” he said
“Hopefully I can get back to the pointy end like last year and try and get a good result, but overall I am feeling pretty good.
“As my teammates have proved from the previous rounds, we are capable of running at the front.
“Some tracks don’t favour us as much as others but for myself this year, I haven’t been aggressive enough and really get the aggression back and pump myself up to want to win, and I think if I can get that back I can run at the pointy end.”
Olson said that while he doesn’t enjoy riding in wet conditions, they seem to bring him good results.
“I definitely seem to go alright in the wet.
“I don’t like the wet – I don’t think anyone does but some are definitely better than others in the wet and I seem to like the wet.
“Having said that, I hope it’s a dry weekend!”
And Olson is hopeing he can channel his previous good form at the track and make this weekend one to remember for the right reasons.
“I seem to do well at Winton – I have done well here in previous years, so hopefully I can get it all together, try and get some of that aggression back and try to get up the front.”
Maxwell and Herfoss rate their Winton chances
Both riders took the time to pass thought on what lies ahead on a technical track at Winton, made even tougher by the unpredictable weather conditions.
Speaking ahead of qualifying on Friday, Maxwell said that the Victorian weather shouldn’t have an affect on how he plans to ride this weekend
“It’s a bit cold but it’s Victoria in winter! Winton is a technical track but it’s the same for everyone and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
“At the moment the weather is playing a little bit of havoc, but the forecast does look good and you can’t ask for to much more at this time of the year in Victoria.
“I’m fairly confident – we have a strong team with four strong riders and all of us are pushing each other along.
“If you’re having a bad day there are three other guys who are going to have a good day so there are no excuses.”
Herfoss is looking to capitilise on a good recent run of form, and said he will be hoping to do well despite being unfamiliar with the Winton circuit.
“It’s all a bit new to me here, but I’ve had a good run at Queensland and have gained more riding at Suzuka which was good, so I feel like we could be very competitive.
“The bike feels really good here and with the conditions being pretty sketchy, you need to just play it smart.
“For me I have only been here the one time at the start of 2009 so it’s pretty new for me and I haven’t ridden a Superbike here.
“It would be good to get some track time but for us it is just a matter of being patient, making the most of the track when the weather is dry, and making sure that come Sunday morning I am ready to race.”
Redding reckons anyone can win Winton
Yamaha Racing Team’s John Redding believes that the fourth round of the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Series at Winton this weekend is anyone’s for the taking.
As riders prepare to test themselves in the windy, wet and cold conditions at Winton, Redding has suggested that guessing the outcome of the weekend would be fraught with danger.
Speaking on Friday during practice and qualifying at the track, Redding said that the track, the weather and general conditions meant it would be a tricky weekend for all riders.
“The weather can make a big difference to the results here this weekend – it will be much more of a lottery than normal,” he said.
“I think what probably perturbs the riders the most is when conditions are interchangeable – if it’s locked in rain then they know what to expect, but when it’s rain then dry then rains again it is more of a lottery.
“When you have a wet bike and a dry bike and the conditions are half and half then you have to make a compromise and getting the timing right and selecting your tyres and setup right for the conditions is harder.”
Despite the uncertainty in the forecast, Redding remained confident that the bikes in blue could be on top of the podium throughout the weekend.
“The track here has a very interesting surface,” he said.
“We have always had good results at Winton in the past and it has always been a good track for us in the past, and really it is more of a riders track than a horsepower track which is more of a leveler, and these conditions are a leveler too.
“We always think positively and want to be at the front this weekend for sure.”