It was a windy QP1 session held just before midday this morning at Morgan Park Raceway, a tricky and tortuous circuit situated 150km south-west of Brisbane. The ambient temperature however was a thoroughly pleasant 21-degrees, while the track temp’ registered 32-degrees.
This morning was again a battle between two Troys. But while Bayliss had topped Friday’s practice with a 1m12.923, it was Herfoss that stopped the clocks quickest this morning with a 1m12.651 on the fifth of the seven laps that the Penrite Honda covered around the 2.97km circuit in QP1.
Bayliss also improved his pace from yesterday to 1m12.784, thus there was very little between the two. Third this morning was Josh Waters ahead of Wayne Maxwell while Bryan Staring made it five different manufacturers in the top five.
The morning was not a good one for Yamaha Racing Team’s Daniel Falzon. The recently qualified paramedic looked like he might need some medical attention himself after a low-side at the final turn saw his YZF-R1M cartwheel itself into a cloud of dust. Thankfully though the damage was only to the machine, as Falzon amazingly just dusted himself off, got up and tried to move his machine further away from the track. Just after Falzon abandoned that effort and got out of danger, Alex Phillis went down at the same spot in another nebula of Morgan Park dust. Phillis was also uninjured.
The second and final 30-minute qualifying session got underway at 1510 this afternoon in similar weather conditions as they experienced in QP1. The track itself, however, offered up less grip in the afternoon and thus few riders actually improved on their morning marker in the second session.
Both Herfoss and Bayliss put in a handful of laps in QP2 but neither made a concerted attempt to improve on their times set this morning. Josh Waters also failed to improve but did set a number of fast laps in QP2 and remains on the front row
Wayne Maxwell improved his time in the QP2 session and did a number of fairly quick laps in that session but failed to dip into the 1m12s bracket reached by Herfoss and Bayliss during the morning session.
Bryan Staring and Daniel Falzon’s ranking on the grid was unchanged from QP1 but a huge improvement from Mark Chiodo saw the young Suzuki pilot move up the timesheets and head the third row ahead of Matt Walters and Kyle Buckley while Arthur Sissis rounded out the top ten.
Pole position for Herfoss extends his champioship lead over Maxwell to 30.5-points. He also added the new outright Morgan Park motorcycle lap record to his C.V. in the process.
YMI Superbike Race One is scheduled to get underway at 1130 on Sunday morning while the second and final of the 16-lap bouts is slated for 1345.
With five different manufacturers filling the top five positions on the grid it should make for an exciting fifth round of the Yamaha Motor Finance sponsored 2018 Australian Superbike Championship.
Who is your money on? Looking at today’s form I would suggest somebody named Troy might be doing the winning, as to which one, well that’s a much harder prediction…. Like always tyre life is also going to play a big part in that equation, it must be said that while nor Waters or Maxwell showed the outright one-lap pace of the Troy boys, that #1 and #47 pairing did put in plenty of laps at or around their fastest time, suggesting that over the 16-lap race distance they will be in the hunt.
The fifth bike on the grid is the Kawasaki of Bryan Staring, I would suggest the BCperformance boys need to find a little more speed overnight if the Western Australian is going to challenge that top four. It would be silly to discount Daniel Falzon here, but like Staring, he needs to find a little more speed ahead of tomorrow’s races if he is going to figure up the front.
Superbike Qualifying Results
Troy HERFOSS Honda CBR RR SP 1:12.651 (Q1)
Troy BAYLISS Ducati 1299 FE 1:12.784 (Q1)
Josh WATERS Suzuki GSX-RR 1:13.070 (Q1)
Wayne MAXWELL Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:13.127
Bryan STARING Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:13.682 (Q1)
Daniel FALZON Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:13.745 (Q1)
Mark CHIODO Suzuki GSX-RR 1:14.135
Matt WALTERS Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:14.223 (Q1)
Kyle BUCKLEY Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:14.469
Arthur SISSIS Honda CBR RR SP 1:14.530 (Q1)
Ted COLLINS BMW S RR 1:14.545 (Q1)
Alex PHILLIS Suzuki GSX-RR 1:14.847 (Q1)
Corey TURNER Honda CBR RR SP 1:14.877
Ryan YANKO Ducati Panigale 1:15.410
Glenn SCOTT Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:15.475
Mitch REES Honda CBR RR SP 1:15.853
Mitchell PAYNTER Suzuki GSX-RR 1:15.923 (Q1)
Sloan FROST Suzuki GSX-RR 1:16.058
Josh CAVENAGH Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:16.356
Mitch LEVY Yamaha YZF-R1 1:16.483
YMI Superbike Championship Points
Troy Herfoss – 206.5
Wayne Maxwell – 176
Troy Bayliss – 157
Daniel Falzon – 154
Josh Waters – 148.5
Bryan Staring – 142.5
Glenn Allerton – 124
Alex Phillis – 106
Matt Walters – 83
Arthur Sissis – 79.5
Mark Chiodo – 75.5
Kyle Buckley – 65.5
Michael Blair – 63
Jamie Stauffer – 60
Mitch Levy – 53
Both Cru Halliday and Tom Toparis were under the Supersport lap record yesterday and the pair were again setting a scintillating pace today.
1m14.609 for Halliday in QP1 was good enough to survive QP2 and cement pole for the YRT rider ahead of Cube Racing Kawasaki’s Tom Toparis whose best of the day was a 1m15.163,, also in QP1.
Damon Rees rounds out the front row ahead of the returning from temporary retirement Callum Spriggs, and the returning from injury Broc Pearson.
Mat Mladin Motorsports Suzuki rider Max Croked rounds out the second row ahead of Lachlan Epis amd Chris Quinn.
The first of two 14-lap Supersport contests will start at 1030 on Sunday morning with the second scheduled to get underway at 1310.
The point for pole position extends Halliday’s championship lead over Toparis out to 26-points.
The Supersport 300 final qualifying session was brought to an early close due to kangaroos around the back of the circuit.
Locky Taylor secured pole position with a 1m23.427 ahead of Oli Bayliss who set a 1m23.981 and Seth Crump made it a three different manufacturer on the front row affair with a 1m24.111 on his KTM.
Supersport 300 Qualifying Results
Locky TAYLOR Yamaha YZF-R3 1:23.427
Oli BAYLISS Kawasaki Ninja 1:23.981
Seth CRUMP KTM RC 1:24.111
Hunter FORD Yamaha YZF-R3 1:24.231
Zac LEVY Yamaha YZF-R3 1:24.267
Zane FORD Yamaha YZF-R3 1:24.327
Max STAUFFER Yamaha YZF-R3 1:24.378
Tom BRAMICH Yamaha YZF-R3 1:24.617
Tayla RELPH Yamaha YZF-R3 1:24.821
Harry KHOURI Yamaha YZF-R3 1:25.097
Travis HALL Yamaha YZF-R3 1:25.169
Callum OBRIEN Yamaha YZF-R3 1:25.305
Mitch KUHNE Yamaha YZF-R3 1:25.312
Simon DICKSON Yamaha YZF-R3 1:25.504
John LYTRAS Yamaha YZF-R3 1:25.511
Kyle O’CONNELL Yamaha YZF-R3 1:25.998
Dan THOMAS Yamaha YZF-R3 1:26.097
Bronson PICKETT Yamaha YZF-R3 1:26.159
Jarred BROOK KTM RC 1:26.317
Luke POWER Kawasaki Ninja 1:26.948
Supersport 300 Race One
It was a crazy race as we have come to expect from this exciting category of racing. Levy, Crump, Bramich and Bayliss all took their turns to run the battle up front but in the closing stages of the race it came down to a two-man fight and the protagonists were Hunter Ford and Locky Taylor. Ford shadowed Taylor for much of the final lap before pouncing at the final juncture to steal the race victory.
Hunter Ford then went to also win today’s YMF R3 Cup battle to make it two wins in a day.
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