Troy Herfoss early pacesetter in the NT
Troy Herfoss topped the morning session at Hidden Valley despite putting in a race simulation to test tyre longevity. A 66.349 the initial benchmark for the day for the Penrite Honda man. He bettered that marker halfway through FP2 with a 66.03. In the final session the #17 Honda went down at turn five but was quickly up and back to the pits. Herfoss did not go out again though, his 66.033 from FP2 remained good enough to withstand the late onslaught of fast times from his competitors in the final session.
A few electronic gremlins struck Daniel Falzon’s YRT YZF-R1M this morning but last year’s pole sitter was up to speed this afternoon to go second quickest in FP2, the South Australian’s 66.365 just besting the 66.383 of Bayliss. Falzon then went marginally quicker again halfway through the final session, a 66.307.
Bayliss put in some fast laps in the final session, one of which looked as though it would have been good enough to put the Ducati on top before he pulled into pit-lane instead of completing that lap. Bayliss set a blistering first sector on many laps before then losing out a little in the latter two-thirds of the circuit. With less than two-minutes to go he strung one together though and dropped in a 66.198 to top the FP3 session, just as Falzon again lowered his own best to a 66.294 to go third quickest on combined times.
Troy Bayliss and the DesmoSport Ducati Team have an increased workload this weekend as lunchtime pillion rides have found their way on to the schedule for the first time this season. Hidden Valley is quite a physical track, I would also suggest that the torque monster that is his 1.3-litre Ducati is likely the most taxing of all the Superbikes to ride. Even the fittest young riders are visibly drained after cutting laps here in the heat, thus the 49-year-old will be put to the test this weekend.
Josh Waters scored a double victory here last year but the Ecstar Suzuki squad have had a busy program to work through here today as they tune a new ECU. They have been working through all the tuning parameters to achieve a baseline with the new electronics package before they get on to the fine tuning ahead of Sunday’s two 18-lap bouts. Waters ending Friday an uncharacteristic eighth fastest.
Dunlop has a slightly softer option rear tyre available for the first time this season and it will be interesting to see if that bears fruit for their riders this weekend. An interesting anecdote is that the Dunlop rear slicks are made in the USA while the fronts come from France.
Bryan Staring is the leading Dunlop runner and the Western Australian showed encouraging pace aboard the BCperformance Kawasaki in FP2 after putting in a 66.399 on the 17th of his 18 laps in that second session. He had some fast sector times in FP3 but failed to improve his overall lap time in the final session, ending the day fourth quickest.
Wayne Maxwell has been working with his crew on the balance of his YZF-R1M and improving the stopping and turning ability of the YRT machine. Maxwell finished day one fifth on combined times.
Glenn Allerton is showing some encouraging pace here this weekend on the NextGen BMW. The three-time ASBK Champion got marginally quicker throughout the day to end up sixth quickest.
Jamie Stauffer is in the mix also, a 66.541 on the Ducati good enough for seventh on combined times.
Glenn Scott is back from Europe, back from injury and back in the ASBK Superbike ranks this weekend. His GSR Kawasaki is beautifully presented and he is building speed, ending the day 12th quickest just behind Arthur Sissis, Mark Chiodo and Kyle Buckley.
Matt Walters has had a trying and expensive start to the weekend with two blown engines but eventually got some good laps in to finish up 13th ahead of Alex Phillis and Mitch Rees.
Cru Halliday topped all three Supersport sessions today but was run close for top spot by Tom Toparis. It is quite a thin Supersport class here this weekend with only 13 competitors.
Tom Bramich topped Supersport 300 for the day despite a tumble at turn seven in the dying stages of FP3. Olly Simpson was second quickest ahead of Oli Bayliss.
Superbike Friday Combined Practice Times
- Troy Herfoss – Honda 66.033
- Troy Bayliss – Ducati 66.198
- Daniel Falzon – Yamaha 66.294
- Bryan Staring – Kawasaki 66.401
- Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha 66.494
- Glenn Allerton – BMW 66.514
- Jamie Stauffer – Ducati 66.541
- Josh Waters – Suzuki 66.620
- Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki 67.050
- Mark Chiodo – Suzuki 67.069
- Arthur Sissis – Suzuki 67.221
- Glenn Scott – Kawasaki 67.335
- Matt Walters – Kawasaki 67.364
- Alex Phillis – Suzuki 67.668
- Mitch Rees – Honda 67.996
- Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki 68.083
- Mitch Levy – Yamaha 68.150
- Sloan Frost – Suzuki 68.500
- Ted Collins – BMW 68.598
- Ben Stronach – Yamaha 68.743
- Sam Lambert – Kawasaki 68.772
- Brad Swallow – Kawasaki 69.339
- Adam Senior – Yamaha 70.093
- Heath Griffin – Ducati 70.319
- Phil Czaj – Aprilia 70.757
- Evan Byles – Kawasaki 71.451
Supersport Friday Combined Practice Times
- Cru Halliday – Yamaha 1m08.430
- Tom Toparis – Kawasaki 1m08.547
- Max Croker – Suzuki 1m09.226
- Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki 1m09.361
- Giuseppe Scarcella – Kawasaki 1m09.958
- Zac Johnson – Yamaha 1m10.055
- Damon Rees – Honda 1m10.414
- Scott Nicholson – Suzuki 1m10.452
- Rhys Belling – Yamaha 1m10.756
- Mick Hefferan – Kawasaki 1m10.797
- Ty Lynch – Yamaha 1m10.884
- Dallas Skeer – Suzuki 1m11.422
- Graeme Smith – Kawasaki 1m13.901
Supersport 300 Friday Combined Practice Times
- Tom Bramich – Yamaha 68.443
- Olly Simpson – Yamaha 68.704
- Oli Bayliss – Kawsaki 68.888
- Seth Crump – KTM 69.133