Yamaha dominating ASBK opening qualifying at Wanneroo
After a lengthy delay just before lunchtime this morning at Wanneroo due to a con-rod exiting stage left out of one of the sidecars, the opening qualifying session for Superbike got underway at 1250 under cloudy skies.
Heavy overnight rain and cool surface temperatures had changed the grip characteristics of the track for riders today. The track was completely dry after cool sun and a decent whiff of wind served to prepare the surface ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session.
With 20-lap race distances tomorrow, today’s qualifying session are not only about grid position, but also gauging tyre degradation, which could be better, or perhaps even worse, in today’s cooler temperatures.
Some riders elected to get plenty of laps in across the 30-minute QP1 session. Mike Jones on the circuit most of the session, putting 20 laps beneath the Pirelli tyres on his Ducati.
Friday’s pacesetters, Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell, were content to put in only around half that amount of track time on their Dunlops. With a brace of championships between them and a lot of experience around Wanneroo’s 2.4km layout, they need less time to familiarise themselves than the rest of the field, and they know they have the one-lap pace to ensure they are on the front come QP2 and then Superpole later this afternoon.
Today’s conditions served to tighten the field even further though. The top six riders all in the 55s and covered by less than three-tenths of a second.
Maxwell quickest with a 55.709, set on lap four of his ten laps. Allerton was second quickest on 55.778 while Daniel Falzon bettered Cru Halliday to claim the third quickest time of this first qualifying session. A 55.784 right on the hammer of the two leading YRT riders and a nose ahead of Halliday, who improved markedly today.
Troy Herfoss recorded a 55.929 on the sixth of his 17 laps in that session.
Ben Burke would have been expecting more improvements today after doing very well yesterday, those improvements were not forthcoming however and he will be doing some head scratching ahead of QP2 to see where they can find some more time on the BC Performance / SA Motorcycles Kawasaki.
Matt Walters was next best on 56.472 ahead of Brayden Elliott while Jamie Stauffer rounded out the top ten with a 56.853, marginally improving on his frustrating times yesterday.
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