Revisiting ASBK at The Bend
Full updated ASBK YMI Superbike Championship Points
The Bend certainly had its ups and downs for many of the ASBK regulars when the series visited the amazing new South Australian venue last weekend.
Troy Bayliss had a major down in the final race which saw that last of the three ten-lap legs declared early. The three-time World Superbike Champ had what he described himself as one of his biggest high-sides. Considering that, the recently turned 49-year-old was relatively fortunate to escape with only a broken rib and broken finger. It’s funny how us motorcyclists say ‘only’ when we are not the ones putting up with the pain and discomfort.
“I’m really disappointed, we had been going good all weekend,” Bayliss commented. “We’ve been struggling with the same thing all year – initial tyre grip – and we’ve tried so many things, but it’s such a fine window to try and get it right. In that last race through the fast rights, you can’t close the gas and you’ve got to hold the throttle. I went a tiny bit wide, shut off a little and the back just came around and threw me straight over the handlebars – it was a massive high-side. Overall, we were up there and showed a bit of speed. I want to win a couple of races and, more importantly to me, I probably should’ve eased up as I was riding over what the bike was doing this afternoon, but when you get a sniff at it, you want to have a bit of a dig.”
Around The Bend again…
There was then more than a little conjecture about the decision to not re-start the race. Then more conjecture when it was stated that full points would be awarded. A couple of days later M.A. amended that decision and put out a bulletin reflecting on that decision, amending the results to now award only half-points for the final race at The Bend.
I think it fair to say that a review of certain aspects of round three is being carried out at the highest levels within Motorcycling Australia. This will hopefully result in certain rules and regulations being clarified.
Another point to note from The Bend was that M.A. technical inspectors sealed dozens of engines across various classes present at the event. This allows them to then inspect any of those engines between now and when the series visits the Northern Territory for round four on the weekend of July 1.
A vexed weekend for Waters
The Bend was a frustrating weekend for Team Suzuki’s defending ASBK Champion Josh Waters through, seemingly, no fault of his own. The Mildura based 31-year-old went to The Bend second in the series, ten-points adrift of Herfoss. He left South Australia fourth in the championship, 12th for the round, and 43-points behind Herfoss.
“It was a tough weekend for us, that’s for sure.” Stated Waters. “The problems I had with the bike not only made it tough to ride in race one, but put a lot of extra pressure on the team to try to get things back on track for me, and so to back up a tough race with an unrelated DNF with the front brake locking on really hurt not just me, but everyone in the garage. All I can really do now is focus on Darwin and look to gather as many points as I can”.
A third place and two wins for Herfoss
Troy Herfoss and Honda did rue the loss of the full 25-points for their race three win but the Goulburn raised 31-year-old does still hold a stronger position in the championship than what he had before The Bend.
Herfoss arrived with a ten-point buffer over second placed Waters and now heads to Darwin with a 19.5-point buffer over Yamaha’s Wayne Maxwell. If not for a shocking start in the opening ten-lap bout Herfoss might have actually made a clean sweep of the South Australian event.
“We were really strong this weekend when people probably didn’t think we were going to be, so now we’re going to Darwin with a healthy lead and the bike is probably going to be better than what people think up there as well,” explained Herfoss, who claimed a new lap record of 1m52.939s in race two.
“We’re really happy, Shaun and the guys work really hard and it’s just exciting at the moment – the whole team is motivated and we’re getting the results – so we couldn’t be happier. I feel like we’re really getting some momentum going, race two especially I was completely in control – I could sit in the draft and pass. I didn’t have to make any impatient moves and I played the race how I wanted it to play out, so it was a really, really good weekend.”
Maxwell moves up to second
Wayne Maxwell took pole position at The Bend and converted that to a win in the opening stanza before finishing third in the final two races. That was enough to give Maxwell a strong second place for the round and move him up from third to second place in the championship chase, 19.5-points Behind Herfoss.
“Second place for the round is not such a bad results for myself and the team,’ Maxwell begins. “The first race went according to plan but I felt I left a couple of things on the track in races two and three. I was just being patient in race three and waiting for the right opportunity when the red flag came out but that was beyond my control. I lost a few points to Troy today but I have been consistent and competitive every race and I just have to keep applying the pressure. I am now second in the points and we have a small break before we head to Darwin which is a track I like and have done well at before. I feel like we are well placed and I’m determined to keep working hard and will chase this championship all the way until the end.”
Falzon scores first overall podium of the season
Home town favourite, Daniel Falzon, gave the South Australian fans something to cheer about as he piloted his Yamaha YZF- R1M to third place for the round and his first podium of the year on 4-5-2 results at The Bend.
That 43-point haul for the round has promoted Falzon from fifth place in the championship up to third, passing Bayliss and Waters. Falzon is now 17-points behind YRT team-mate Wayne Maxwell.
“It’s been overwhelming seeing everyone out here with the Daniel Falzon hats on. I’m really pumped to be third in the championship after a good weekend here and it’s been an amazing weekend to race an event like this in my home state. I can’t thank my team and sponsors enough and of course everyone who supports me. This third place is for everyone who is behind me and my team.”
Staring turns it around after race one DNF
Bryan Staring crashed out of Saturday’s opening ten-lap race at The Bend and the Dunlop runner did not look confident at the South Australian venue. The West Australian managed to turn that around on Sunday to challenge for victory before finishing second, and then ended The Bend weekend with a fourth place in the shortened final race.
That DNF on Saturday cost Staring dearly as it meant he only finished ninth for the round. On the upside, the BCperformance Kawasaki rider did manage to hold on to his sixth place in the championship standings.
“Overall, I am somewhat disappointed because we had so much potential,” said Staring. “We just didn’t get it quite right, so that was frustrating, as we showed in today’s races that we were capable of a much better result. Race two was definitely a good one for me, I left my run a bit late, and that was an enjoyable one!”
Glenn Allerton fourth for the round
After qualifying ninth and never really running with the leaders, Glenn Allerton did manage to bring home good points in each of the three races in South Australia.
The three-time ASBK Champion kept his nose clean and finished with a best of fourth and earned fourth place for the round. Thus without playing much of a starring role in the weekend proceedings Allerton was a quiet achiever, moving from tenth in the championship standings forward to seventh, one-point ahead of leading privateer Alex Phillis.
“It was a tough weekend with some challenges but we made some big steps throughout the races and were strong in the last two races. Unfortunately starting back in 9th hindered our results. I’m really keen to get out and do some testing to get our starts sorted out and roll onto Darwin.”
Alex Phillis continues to score respectable points hauls from each ASBK event and is the leading privateer in the ASBK Superbike Championship. Phillis was sixth for the round at The Bend and currently ranks eighth in the championship standings. He enjoys a 16-point buffer over ninth placed Matt Walters.
Despite not competing in the opening ASBK round at Phillip Island Jamie Stauffer has punted the Racer’s Edge backed and Craig McMartin prepared Ducati to good results at both Wakefield Park and The Bend. The veteran also seemed strong towards the end of the races which suggests that the ribbing the Kurri Kurri rider had been taking from some of his competitors over a lack of apparent fitness might now be somewhat undeserved.
Arthur Sissis displayed a master class of starting to the rest of the ASBK grid at The Bend. When I asked him about his scalded cat starts that saw him slingshot from 11th on the grid to be challenging for the lead at turn one he needed only a one word answer, ‘speedway’. Of course Sissis has only relatively recently left the world of sliders for the tarmac and after a stint in the BSB support acts, the young South Australian is this year aboard a privateer Suzuki in ASBK. A best of sixth at The Bend helped him to eighth place for the round. Check out the shot below, Sissis is #61 and has his nose in front at turn one after starting from the middle of the fourth row of the grid!
Round Three – The Bend – YMI Superbike Round Points
- Troy Herfoss – Honda – 55.5
- Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha – 53
- Daniel Falzon – Yamaha – 43
- Glenn Allerton – BMW – 38
- Troy Bayliss – Ducati – 35
- Alex Phillis – Suzuki – 34
- Jamie Stauffer – Ducati – 32
- Arthur Sissis – Suzuki – 30.5
- Bryan Staring – Kawasaki – 28.5
- Mark Chiodo – Suzuki – 25.5
- Mitch Rees – Honda – 25.5
- Josh Waters – Suzuki – 23.5
- Mason Coote – Kawasaki – 19
- Mitch Levy – Yamaha – 18
- Matt Walters – Kawasaki – 17
- Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki 14.5
- Aaiden Coote – Kawasaki 13
- Willy Strugnell – Kawasaki 10.5
- Ted Collins – BMW – 7
- Trent Gibson – Suzuki – 6
- Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki – 6
- Ben Stronach – Yamaha – 3.5
- Phil Czaj – Aprilia – 1.5
- Adam Christie – Suzuki – 1
YMI Superbike Championship Points Standings
- Troy Herfoss 160.5
- Wayne Maxwell 141
- Daniel Falzon 124
- Josh Waters 118.5
- Troy Bayliss 117
- Bryan Staring 104.5
- Glenn Allerton 91
- Alex Phillis 90
- Matt Walters 74
- Michael Blair 63
- Jamie Stauffer 60
- Arthur Sissis 55.5
- Mark Chiodo 49.5
- Kyle Buckley 45.5
- Mitch Rees 45.5
- Mitch Levy 40
- Aaron Morriss 37
- Ted Collins 35
- Corey Turner 34
- Aaiden Coote 30
- Mason Coote 26
- Willy Strugnell 18.5
- Callum Spriggs 13
- Brendan McIntyre 12
- Mike Jones 9
- Lucas Vitale 8
- Trent Gibson 6
- Brad Swallow 5
- Ben Stronach 3.5
- Phil Czaj 2.5
- Adam Senior 2
- Adam Christie 1
- Matt Harding 1
2018 ASBK Calendar
- Round 1- WSBK, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit VIC February 22 – 25
- Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
- Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
- Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
- Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
- Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
- Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14