2014 Swann Australasian Superbike Championship – Round Four – Winton
Wayne Maxwell proved that he is the man to beat in the Superbike class at the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship after a superb day out at Winton, but not before Troy Herfoss declared his Title challenge in the most stringent of terms with two hard fought wins against his fellow Team Honda rider.
Maxwell claimed a win and two seconds from his three races to take the round win, and increase his lead at the top of the overall championship standings.
After a disappointing opening race where he finished fifth, Josh Hook (Team Honda Racing) hit back with a second and third to claim second spot overall.
Fellow Honda rider Troy Herfoss claimed two race wins on the day, but a fall in the dying stages of race two meant he could only manage third outright.
There was an air of anticipation as the opening Superbike race got underway in perfect conditions at Winton.
Off the line it was Herfoss who took the lead from his teammate Maxwell, with Yamaha Racing Team pair Robbie Bugden and Cru Halliday easing into third and fourth.
Next Gen Motorsports rider Glenn Allerton did not get the start he would have liked drifting back to sixth, but a wonderful show of speed coming down the straight at the end of the opening lap moved him into third position.
Up front, Herfoss and Maxwell exchanged the lead several times over the first few laps – the latter taking the lead and holding it for a majority of the race.
It was tight racing – very tight, with less than a second between the pair at the end of each lap, while a fair way behind them Allerton had to work extremely hard to hold Halliday, Hook and Bugden at bay.
On the last lap Herfoss made his move – getting past Maxwell and holding onto it to take the race win – completing a perfectly calculated and executed display of riding.
Maxwell had to settle for second, while Allerton did extremely well to hold onto third spot ahead of Halliday and Hook.
In the second Superbike race it was again Herfoss who made the most of his pole position on the grid, claiming the early lead from Maxwell, Halliday, Hook and Bugden.
A poor start forced Allerton into eighth spot, while Jamie Stauffer (Team Honda Racing) settled into sixth.
Herfoss and Maxwell continued the incredible battle they were having all weekend, and on the third lap Herfross broke his own lap record with a 1:22.548 before Maxwell came through to post a 1.22.365.
Two laps later Maxwell then posted an even faster time clocking a 1:22.287 from second position before moving into the lead on lap six.
At that point in the race, Halliday, Hook and Bugden remained in third, fourth and fifth position while just behind them Stauffer was locked in a tight battle with Linden Magee (LMR).
Just as it looked as though Herfoss was going to record another top-two finish, disaster struck on the penultimate lap.
Heading into the left-hander at the end of the back straight, he lost his front end in the middle of the corner and came off, laying the bike down.
It took a while for Herfoss to get his bike back up and running, and when he finally did and re-entered the race he was back in 15th.
Maxwell comfortable rode on to take the chequered flag, and on the last lap Hook managed to pass Halliday to make it a Honda 1-2.
Halliday had to settle for third, Bugden finished in fourth, and Stauffer rounded out the top five.
Herfoss ended the race in 17th while Allerton finished in seventh.
As the lights turned green in the final race of the day, Bugden got a great start, however coming into the first turn he was passed by Herfoss.
Bugden’s stay in second position didn’t last very long and within a couple of laps he had been passed by Maxwell, Allerton and Hook.
Maxwell set about catching Herfoss and while the half a second lead seemed small, Maxwell posted the next five fastest laps of the race to chip the lead to .239 of a second.
Behind them, Hook passed Allerton on lap eight before Maxwell slid past Herfoss on his inside to take the lead just before the last lap.
While another Maxwell win seemed a formality, Herfoss pulled off an incredible pass on the last corner of the race to take the win ahead of Maxwell and Hook – making it a Honda 1-2-3.
Allerton finished the race in fourth, while Bugden capped off a consistent day in fifth.
In the overall championships standings, Maxwell holds a 14-point lead from Stauffer, with Herfoss a further 24 points behind in third and Allerton another nine points back in fourth.
Wayne Maxwell – Superbikes winner – “Really happy with the consistent day, the Motul Honda worked really awesome.
“We tried quite a few things during the day which we normally don’t do during a race meeting, but we did this weekend and we’re getting there slowly but surely.
“We can run at the front and we’ve been pretty consistent all year so we’ll just keepchipping away. We have a little bit of a points lead now, but there is still a long way to go.
“We are all riding injured I think, but that’s just the way it is. It’s a long season – especially when you are doing overseas duties and then coming back here.
“Everyone has their rounds and as I said there’s a long way to go, so we’ll keep trying to attack and win races and take it from there.
“All the red bikes are working pretty good so I am really happy with it, and it’s great to see Honda 1-2-3!”
Hard fought battle as Morris extends Supersport Championship lead
Maxima Yamaha rider Aaron Morris has claimed a wonderful fourth round win at the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship at Winton.
Morris recorded two race wins and a second placing as he managed to hold out Wagner Soil Testing rider Aiden Wagner.
Wagner finished the day with two, second place finishes as well as a race win to claim second spot ahead of Callum Spriggs (Allsite Concrete Cutting) in third.
The opening Supersport race of the day started with some drama, as Michael Blair (Campbell Home Hardware) was unfortunately taken out by YRD rider Jordan Carlsson at the first corner.
Despite the brief delay, a full restart ensued and Spriggs took off the line into a handy lead at the opening turn from Morris and Wagner.
It didn’t last too long however, and Morris soon made his move to finish the opening lap in first place, while Wagner moved into second shortly after and looked to challenge the leader.
As the pair continued a breathtaking battle throughout the race, the jostling for positions behind them was also tightly contested.
At the half way-point of the race Spriggs was a significant 10 seconds behind the top two, but he was closely followed by Justin Di Giandomenico (Indeco), Mason Coote (Dynoverks Racing) and Luke Mitchell (JNL Racing).
All eyes were on the leaders as Wagner tried on several occasions to find a way past Morris, and on the second last lap he finally managed to get through.
It didn’t last long though, as two turns later Morris reclaimed the lead, and the series leader went on to take the race win from Wagner, with Spriggs finishing in third, Di Giandomenico in fourth and Mitchell in fifth.
There was less drama at the start of the second race, with Morris taking the early lead from Wagner, Spriggs, Coote and Mitchell.
Usual suspects Morris and Wagner then set about putting a fair bit of space between themselves and the rest of the field, and by the halfway mark of the race they were more than six seconds ahead of Spriggs.
Spriggs was doing some great work of his own and at the same point he had moved more than seven seconds clear of Coote in fourth.
The battle between Coote, Blair, Di Giandomenico and Mitchell was close, and the intense racing reflected the importance that each Championship point holds.
Up front, Wagner made his move on lap six and impressively held his nerve in the lead. Morris threw everything he could at the Yamaha rider, but on the last lap backed off knowing he had been well beaten.
Spriggs comfortably held on to third place, while in the battle behind him it was Blair from Coote, Di Giandomenico and Mitchell.
In the final race of the day, Morris and Wagner were again battling each other, and at the end of the first lap both riders had posted an opening lap time of 1:31.903.
The pair put another big gap on the rest of the field, with Spriggs, Di Giandomenico, Blair and Coote all within a couple of seconds of each other
Morris held the lead moving through six laps of the race when a red flag was raised after Patrick Li (BC Performance A1 Kawasaki) ran off the track.
The call was made to turn the race into a two-part race, with positions determined by placings back to the end of the sixth lap and four laps remaining.
When the restart took place it was Spriggs who took a surprise lead into turn one before Morris cut through to take the race lead.
Wagner passed Spriggs moments later and set himself up to have a real crack at the overall round win, but Morris did enough – holding out to make it two wins on the day and take the round win.
Wagner finished the race in second which gave him second overall, while Spriggs did just enough to finish the race in third and take an overall podium place.
In the overall standings, Morris has moved 16 points clear of Wagner, with Spriggs a further 55 points behind.
Aaron Morris – Superport winner – “I’m stoked with the day really, and it doesn’t get better than that.
“Aiden (Wagner) beat me in the second race when he had newer tyres on, and I managed to get him in the last one when I had newer tyres on, so it shows that the pace is really tight, me and Aiden were really close, I am happy with how I raced and it was a great race.
“It could have gone either way really easily, so hats off to Aiden because he rode really well.
“Yesterday Aiden was making a couple of mistakes in the races and wasn’t really riding at his best, and it made it a lot easier for me yesterday.
“When you have got to fight for your wins, it’s definitely a bit more satisfying. The whole thing could have gone either way with Aiden right on my backside the whole time.
“I did my best and ended up getting two out of three wins, so it’s awesome.”
ROUND 4 RESULTS:
1) Aaron MORRIS (NSW) (25, 22, 25) 72
2) Aiden WAGNER (QLD) (22, 25, 22) 69
3) Callum SPRIGGS (QLD) (20, 20, 20) 60
4) Justin DI GIANDOMENICO (VIC) (18, 15, 18) 51
5) Luke MITCHELL (NSW) (16, 14, 14) 44
6) Jay PRESEPIO (SA) (14, 12, 15) 41
7) Brayden ELLIOTT (NSW) (12, 13, 13) 38
8) Aaiden COOTE (WA) (13, 11, 11) 35
9) Michael BLAIR (NSW) (0, 18, 16) 34
10) William DAVIDSON (NSW) (11, 10, 12) 33
OVERALL SUPERSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1) Aaron MORRIS (NSW) 245
2) Aiden WAGNER (QLD) 229
3) Callum SPRIGGS (QLD) 174
4) Daniel FALZON (SA) 165
5) Aaiden COOTE (WA) 131
6) Mason COOTE (WA) 123
7) Jay PRESEPIO (SA) 122
8) Justin DI GIANDOMENICO (VIC) 112
9) Luke MITCHELL (NSW) 105
10) William DAVIDSON (NSW) 96
Formula Oz – Paul Byrne in action – Image: Dues Media
In the opening race of the day, Chris Seaton (Aprilia Factory Time) took advantage of a great start and near perfect conditions by taking the race win from Brayden Carr.
Paul Byrne took his LTR Honda onto the podium in third spot, while Victorians Chris Trounson (Gas Honda Racing) and Ben Nicolson (Next Gen Motorsports) rounded out the top five.
In the second race it was again a perfect start from Seaton who pushed into the lead from Byrne and Trounson.
Unlike the opening race, his lead didn’t last too long as Byrne passed him with a great move on the second lap and began to pull away.
Seaton was clearly having some bike issues as he was soon passed by Trounson and Nicolson, and the Aprilia rider was forced to pit and register a DNF – later citing a gearbox problem.
In the end, it was Byrne who registered the win from Nicolson, and Trounson, with Brayden Carr (Fastway Couriers) and Mathew Harding (K&R Hydraulics) finishing in fourth and fifth.
In race three, series leader Trouson got the best start and took the lead from Byrne, Carr and Nicolson.
It didn’t last for long however as Byrne took the lead on the opening lap, while Seaton pushed up into fourth and soon after the Aprilia rider had pushed into third.
On the straight coming into the fifth lap, Carr shot through to take the lead – and from there he held it through to the finish.
Byrne finished the race in second place to hand the pluck Irishman the overall round win, with Carr finishing the day in second and Nicolson in third.
In the overall championship standings, Trounson holds a 32 point lead from Nicolson, with Carr a further two points behind in third.
Paul Byrne – Formula Oz winner – “Really happy with that result. At the begin of that race I was pretty confident that I could stay in front of Brayden (Carr) and then he got past me.
“Second was good enough to take the round win and I was really happy with that. I am really happy for the guys on the team as well because they have put in a 100% effort, and it’s the best way to repay them.
“We work hard to get the bikes the way I like them, and it pays off. Sometimes we don’t hit it and sometimes we do, but today we just seemed to be on the ball with the Formula Oz bike.
“I am looking forward to a break now. I will just train hard again and am on holidays the Monday after Wakefield and am heading off to Ireland for three weeks – I haven’t been home in five years so I am really looking forward to that as well.”
Kawasaki FX300 Ninja Cup
In one of the closest competed races of the day, the opening Kawasaki Insurances FX300 Ninja Cup race saw the race lead change dozens of times.
In the opening lap, there were as many as five different leaders throughout, with Brandon Demmery (Noise Guard Racing), Bailie Perriton, Paul Young (AMCN), Kyle Buckley (BC Performance A1 Kawasaki) and Samuel Davidson all taking a turn up the front.
The lead chopped and changed for the next few laps and while Davidson dropped off the pace, the top four were only separated by less than two seconds with two laps to go.
Having managed to lead for the second half of the race, Young held his nerve to take the race win ahead of a fast finishing Buckly, Perriton in third, and Demmery in fourth.
The second race of the day saw another tight affair, with the quartet of Young, Demmery, Buckly and Perriton within striking distance of each other over the first few laps.
It was Young who got the initial lead but he handed it over on lap three after Demmery worked his way into the front.
After Perriton went down at the right-hander at the end of the technical section on lap five it became a battle between three, as Demmery, Young and Buckley exchanged positions throughout the remainder of the race.
Young shot to the lead at the old turn one on the final lap of the race, and despite pressure from Buckley and Demmery he held on to make it two in a row with Buckley second and Demmery third.
Alexander Pickett (Kawasaki Motors Finance) and Sophie Lovett (Lovett’s Earthmoving) finished in fourth and fifth respectively.
In the final race, Buckley took the lead from Young and Demmery before Young moved into the lead.
The race was red flagged soon after when Perriton again came off his bike, causing a full race restart.
When the bikes got going again, the crowd witnessed a replay of the first start as Buckley took the lead from Young and Demmery.
Soon after Young made his way into a lead which he never surrendered – making it the perfect three wins from three races.
Demmery finished second for the race and ended the day in third overall, while a third placing in the final race for Buckley was enough to give him an overall second.
Paul Young – Kawasaki FX300 Ninja Cup winner – “Pole, three wins and no bruises or scratches so it was good.
“I have been having a ball. It is just so much fun challenging yourself, and sometimes challenging yourself can mean going down to something that you haven’t done in a long time rather than going up to the next biggest bike like a Superbike when you have not ridden one.
“It’s also taught me that it is also good fun going back down and revisiting your racing roots.
“There are some good little riders out there – they are young and have a good future in racing ahead of them if they go the right ways and do the right things.”
Kawasaki FX250 Ninja Cup
Two race wins and a third has helped Tricomms National rider Joshua McHenry close the gap in the overall standings of the Ninja FX 250 class.
McHenry has closed within seven points of series leader Grant Jordan (Jordan Brothers Racing) whose DNF in the final race of the day could be a telling factor when the series winds up in two rounds time.
WRP SAVA rider Craig White (second third and sixth) and Ben Green (fourth, fourth and third) finished the round in second and third respectively.
Nakedbikes / Pro Twins
KTM Racing’s Angus Reekie continued his run in 2014 that has seen him win every Nakedbike F1 race in the series.
Reekie took out all three races at Winton ahead of Queenslander Adrian Pierpoint, whose three, second-place finishes has him 62 points behind in the overall standings.
In the Pro-Twins F1 class, Simon Galloway (Cessnock Motorcycles) claimed the outright honours thanks to a win and two second place finishes from his three races.
James Arnold (Italian Motorcycles) finished in second overall (second, third and third from his three races) while Mario Gonzalez finished in third.
Galloway now holds a 12-point lead over Arnold in the overall standings.
With the second round of the 2014 eFXC at Winton, there were four registered starterss in the opening race.
Unfortunately for Daniel Ripperton (Ripperton Racing) and Jason Morris (Varley Electric Vehicles) they registered DNF’s in the opener.
But it was better news for series leader Danny Pottage (O’Hanlon Electric Motorsports) – the Western Australian taking the race win from Catavolt’s Alexander Pickett.
In the second race Pottage made it two on the trot to take the overall win and extend his lead on the series leaderboard.
Pickett claimed second in the race with Ripperton finishing in third.
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