Tyson Jones and Ryan Taylor clean up at Broadford 2015 Pirelli Road Race Series opener Words and Photos by Russell Colvin
The 2015 Pirelli Road Race Series (PRRS) swung into life for another four-round series in 2015 with the first bout taking place at Motorcycling Victoria’s Broadford complex.
Due to a crash that happened in race three in the 250/300 Production class, all races were cut back to two races only. Jack Gallagher ran on at turn one and was air-lifted to hospital where he is currently recovering. Some reports suggest Gallagher actually cleared the fence!
Taking the spoils in the Superbike class was last year’s Sprint series champion Tyson Jones (3J Racing), who took away a 100 per cent scorecard from the 2015 Pirelli Road Race Series (PRRS) series opener. Jones also had taken pole position with a time of 57.648, a full 1.656sec faster than Andrew Ord (Ords Motorcycles).
Jones started off the meeting on a second hand set of tyres, before using a fresh set of rear Pirelli SC0 boots for the second race that saw him beat Peter Berry by a 10.384sec margin.
“Race two was a bit tricky as I have not used a new tyre for a while,” explained Jones after race two. “It was a bit strange having grip to be honest.” As today races will be the longer format races, Jones expressed his feelings that he does prefer the longer races than the short ones. “Tomorrow I feel that we will be better again as the longer races do suit my style.”
Finishing ten points down on Jones was Berry who recorded two sets of second places and regarded the first round as “really good.” In race one Berry’s fastest lap time which was a 58.473, was his new personal best time around the 2.16KMS circuit. However Berry does believe that he can go a bit quicker tomorrow. “I would like to see a high or mid-57,” said Berry. “It might not be enough though to catch Tyson yet, but we are working on it.”
Something else which stands out for Berry so far this year, and was also noticeable a few weeks ago at Phillip Island at the opening round of the Phillip Island Championship/ASBK are his starts. In 2014, his starts were terrible but Berry has been working on this pitfall. “I’ve practicing race starts out the front of the house, which seems to be paying off,” explained Berry.
Completing the top three was Scott McGregor riding an ex-Troy Herfoss Honda CBR1000RR SP. McGregor finished with a 4-3 result to bag forty-five points for the round. “I’ll have to lift my game a bit if I want to try and run Tyson and Peter tomorrow,” said McGregor.
One point behind McGregor was Dean Archbold (Morwell Kawasaki) who didn’t do the practice session on Friday. “Seeing I missed out on Friday, I’m quite happy with a fourth place overall and to have the overall pace that I had today,” said Archbold. “We have some new tyres for tomorrow, so we will see what tomorrow brings us.”
David Barker was sixth, while the old boy of the paddock, Steve Tozer was in seventh position. 2015 sees Tozer back aboard a Honda CBR1000RR after spending a few years on a BMW S 1000RR and last year on a Yamaha R1 machine. The opening round of the PRRS was the first ride for ‘Toz’ on the Honda, so was he happy with his return to the big ‘H’? “No I’m not that happy with today, but we will keep plodding along.” Tozer put his bad day due to set-up problems but did say he will be able to work around the problems and push forward to the pointy end of the field in the coming rounds.
Three-times Victorian Supersport champion, Ryan Taylor continued his hot 600cc form by taking a solid round win with a 1-1 result. The RTR by Moto Obsession pilot also nailed pole position with a time of 57.961, just .291sec off his lap record which was set on the 25th August 2013.
Taylor was never really headed in the two races. The only semi attacks came on the opening lap, but when Taylor got his bike up to temperature, no one had an answer for the twenty-seven-year old. “It was pretty good for us today,” said Taylor. “The RTR by Moto Obsession Yamaha R6 was on song today. However in race two the conditions felt really slippery which resulted us not being to get the same lap time that I did in the first race. This could have maybe been because of the heat and bit of dust because on the circuit as there were a few crashes on the track today.” “We will hit the reset button tonight and go again tomorrow for the longer races tomorrow.”
Ben Gotch, one of five Honda riders in the sixteen packed field played the bridesmaid to Taylor all day and must be wondering what he can do to stop Taylor.
The opening round yesterday marked Tim Sandy’s first ever race meeting ever on a road racing bike and he scored a podium on debut. While Sandy has been doing a few ride days for the past few months, he said it was a huge learning curve racing with so many bikes and being so close to them as well at such a fast pace. At the PRRS rounds, there are no warm up sessions, you are just thrown into the deep end straight into qualifying, and this is something Sandy was a bit concerned about.
“I was a bit concerned about having no warm up,” explained Sandy. “I just didn’t think I was going to be on the pace, but I ended up doing a 1min01.908 which slotted me into seventh. I was quite happy with that as it’s not too far off my PB.”
In the final race, Sandy beat his personal best lap time by posting a 1min00.573 which he set on the sixth lap. Going into tomorrow’s two longer races, Sandy said the biggest thing he has learnt is to use “more throttle!” “I must say a big thanks to Darren Sciberras and the Race Center crew who sorted out my clutch at the last minute. If they didn’t do that, there is no way I would have been out there.”
Rounding out the top five was Brendan Wilson and Jack Kaiser.
In the 300 Production class, Luke Sells took the double ahead of his younger brother Drew with Mark Ferrari joining them on the podium. Andrew Hannan took the round win in the 250 Production class.
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