I mentioned in my Race Two Report (Link), how the WorldSBK crowd is perhaps a little bit less of the Facebook selfie type of crowd that turn up for MotoGP. WorldSBK racegoers more likely to take pictures of the racers and their bikes, than themselves… And this afternoon proved it, as a reasonable percentage of them had stayed around to witness the last of the Australian Superbike action, which did not get underway until well after all the WorldSBK events (Link), had already wrapped up.
I spoke to Glenn Allerton after his brave ride to ninth place in Sunday’s opening bout(Link), and he is one very sore boy. He told me that he knew he would need to be engaged in a battle in order for his mind to be taken off the pain he was feeling through his hips, back and the serious discomfort through his ribs and shoulder blades.
Oli Bayliss had again set the standard for his dad to follow, the youngster taking victory in a nail-biting Supersport 300 race just before the big boys of Superbike hit the track. Oli had also taken victory on Saturday before turning to dad and saying ‘Now it is up to you old fella’. Check this yarn on that conversation from yesterday as it is sure to make you smile (Link).
Bryan Staring had been proving very competitive on the BCperformance ZX-10R and was the highest performing Dunlop runner on a grid where the majority of the pointy end of the field is supported by Pirelli.
Track conditions were perhaps the best of the weekend as the large field formed up on the grid but that troublesome wind was still gusting heavily across the circuit and ready to catch anybody out…
And we are away!
Josh Waters again led the field into turn one ahead of Daniel Falzon and Wayne Maxwell while Troy Bayliss chased them hard from fourth ahead of a fast starting Michael Blair and Bryan Staring while race one winner Troy Herfoss had a shocker of a start and was back in eighth just ahead of the injured Glenn Allerton and Superbike debutante Mark Chiodo.
Throughout the remainder of that opening lap and much of the second lap that leading quartet maintained their positions. Meanwhile Herfoss had battled his way forward past a few riders and was up to sixth place behind Bryan Staring. That top four though had already broken away and if Staring or Herfoss were going to challenge for a podium finish they had plenty of work to do.
Troy Bayliss was the fastest man on the first flying lap, a 1m33.138 to the DesmoSport Ducati. He remained in fourth throughout that lap but early on the next lap Bayliss squeezed past Falzon to take third place. At the front it was still Waters from Maxwell, and a second covered that top four.
Bryan Staring and Troy Herfoss were starting to close them down. Herfoss was all over Staring around the back of the circuit but even if he was right in the slipstream of the ZX-10R as they exited turn 12 he did not have enough mumbo to stay with Staring down the straight, the Kawasaki man pulling away with relative ease from Herfoss on the Fireblade.
Things tighten up at the front
As the race approached the halfway mark that top four had become a top six. Staring had got the better of Bayliss, and Herfoss was doing his best to push the Ducati further back to sixth.
Troy Herfoss looked to have been held up by Bayliss for a couple of laps before making his way past, that lack of horsepower from the Honda here not such a problem when it comes to setting a lap-time by himself, but making things hard for him to pass other riders.
Wayne Maxwell hit the lead with five laps to go, Bryan Staring then followed the Yamaha man through to push Waters back to third place. Falzon was still fourth and Herfoss fifth but Bayliss had now started to lose touch with that leading group…
Bryan Staring leads!
Bryan Staring then hit the lead! And then backmarkers started to become a factor, almost the entire top five having to go wide around the outside of a lapped rider at Southern Loop.
Three laps to run and it was Bryan Staring leading Josh Waters while Daniel Falzon had got the better of his team-mate to move up to third position.
Bryan Staring and Josh Waters side by side down the main straight, but even the PTR tuned Suzuki GSX-R1000R could not compete with the BCperformance Kawasaki horsepower down the end of the main straight and the #67 held sway at the front.
Troy Herfoss again very fast around the back of the circuit only to see the competition pull away from him again down the main straight.
Daniel Falzon squeezes past Josh Waters at Southern Loop to move up to second place, next target Bryan Staring…
Last Lap Board
Bryan Staring led the field into turn one for the final time and again the leading group was baulked by a lapped rider at Southern Loop. It worked to the advantage of Staring as he got the cleanest pass in on the lapper, but the others were back within striking distance by turn four.
Josh Waters up to second place past Falzon and immediately pulls away as the race win now looking to come down to a battle of two wills and bikes…
The run around the final turns and it was still Staring and nothing was going to be able to pass that powerful machine to the line.
Despite the best efforts of Waters, and a great run through turn 12 that helped him inch closer to Staring, it was still the Western Australian ahead at the line to make it three different winners from the three opening races of ASBK 2018.
With that win Bryan Staring also took the round win by a single point over Josh Waters and Troy Herfoss.
Troy Bayliss walks away from the ASBK season opener with a good haul of 51-points ahead of Daniel Falzon on 47 and Wayne Maxwell who recovered from his fail to score any points in the opening race to finish the round strongly with 43-points to be placed sixth in the championship points standings.
Michael Blair did not challenge that leading group much this weekend but he does not have much speed to find in order to become a podium challenger. His excellent consistency and strong brace of results this weekend sees the likeable NSW rider seventh in the championship with 41-points.
Matt Walters also had a great weekend with strong results across all three races earning the Cessnock Kawasaki man 37-points to tie for eighth place with Aaron Morris. The latter of which competing on a real shoestring aboard a hastily prepared at the last minute Maxima Yamaha.
Alex Phillis rounds out the championship top ten, a great start to the year for Phillis also, particularly in the opening two bouts.
Glenn Allerton salvaged 25-points from his weekend despite being black and blue after a massive fall in the opening race.
Mark Chiodo marked his ASBK Superbike debut with two strong finishes and a DNF which saw the young Victorian take away 21-points from the season opener.
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