Round Four – Hidden Valley
Race One Reports
A warm and pleasant morning greeted ASBK competitors and fans this morning at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway.
ASBK Supersport Race One
First cab off the rank in the national competition categories was the Kawasaki sponsored Supersport 600 class.
Max Croker got a blinder of a start on the GSX-R600 to lead the field through turn one for the first time while pole-sitter Cru Halliday had to come from behind. But come from behind he did, scything his way back through riders left and centre to quickly take the lead before then immediately sprinting away from the field.
Toparis moved past Croker up in to second place but Halliday had pulled the pin while Toparis still had to contend with Croker and Lachlan Epis.
At the end of lap two though Epis went down at the final turn, losing the front end and sliding out of contention. Epis got back up and on the bike before eventually pulling into the pits, his disappointment clearly evident with his head on the tank in this shot snapped on the main straight.
Cru Halliday continued to rule as the race progressed, continuing to re-set the class lap record on the new YZF-R6.
The battle for second place though was far from over with Max Croker will challenging Tom Toparis at various points around the circuit. A few laps from the end though Toparis managed to break away from Croker, who could not maintain enough pace to continue challenging Toparis.
Halliday cruised to victory, despite backing off in the final laps his buffer over Toparis at the line was still over four-seconds. Max Croker took third place with a handy gap over fourth placed Damon Rees.
There were 13 entries for the Supersport class this weekend and only ten finished the race.
Cru Halliday extends his championship lead over Toparis to 18-points.
ASBK Supersport Race One Results
ASBK Supersport Points Standings
ASBK Superbike Race One
The battle of Troy! Would that be what today would turn out to be?
Troy Bayliss had smashed the lap record during qualifying and Troy Herfoss was the only othe rider to dip into the 1m05s bracket. TB’s pole time had been a 65.601s, the fastest ever motorcycle lap of Hidden Valley, while Herfoss had put in a 65.871s to go second quickest.
Bryan Staring and the BCperformance squad though were looking very strong and confident that their new softer option rear Dunlop would easily last the full 18 laps without dropping away in performance.
And it was Bryan Staring that got the best launch off the line but once they hit second gear the booming 1.3-litre Ducati passed the ZX-10R to lead the field around the back of the circuit for the first time. Troy Herfoss had a terrible start and was down in seventh place
Early on lap two things hotted up in the battle for second place. Josh Waters went up to second, then Wayne Maxwell up to second, it was on for young and old. And it was the older rider looked to be running away at the front of the field. Bayliss’ led by a full-second at the end of lap one, and stretched that to 1.5-seconds by lap two.
Jamie Stauffer had gone down, hard. The Kurri Kurri champion looked in some serious discomfort, thus officials brought the red flag out to put a halt to proceedings. Jamie was battered, bruised and sporting a massively swollen ankle but was able to be wheeled around later on to watch his son Max compete in the Supersport 300 race a little later on.
We’re away again
Some time later the lights went out again to signal the full re-start over a reduced 16-lap distance.
Again Bayliss led the field through turn one ahead of Staring and time around Herfoss got off the line well to be right on the tail of Staring in turn one, almost looking to get baulked by the Kawasaki man in the middle of the turn. Next best was Josh Waters and the fast starting as always Arthur Sissis. This time around it was Maxwell and Falzon that seemed to get poor starts.
On lap two Waters managed to pull away from Sissis and inch towards the leading trio. That trio had also started to close up and thanks to their better starts this time around looked in the hunt to take the battle up to TB.
Wayne Maxwell started his march forward on the next lap, passing Sissis for fifth place and Glenn Allerton following him through to move up to sixth place on the NextGen BMW. Maxwell then stole fourth place from Josh Waters at turn one as they started the next lap. The YRT man was demonstrating that he had the pace to join the leading trio.
Bayliss though ha dropped in two consecutive 66.2s, then a 66.3s to start his march away from the field.
Behind the Ducati it was Bryan Staring valiantly trying to stay in touch with Bayliss. The gap after six-laps though was out to nearly a full second. Staring had, however, pulled away from Herfoss. The Honda man was now being stalked by Wayne Maxwell, while Glenn Allerton was also looking to throw his hat in the ring for a podium challenge.
Bryan Staring then put in a new fastest lap of the race, a 66.154 on lap seven to reduce TB’s buffer back to half-a-second. The BCperformance Kawasaki man on Dunlops looking to spoil the DesmoSport Ducati Pirelli party here today…
In third place, Herfoss had settled and was strining together quick laps, quick enough to be stretching away again from Maxwell and Allerton.
Staring had a sniff now… Both him and TB throwing caution to the wind and putting it all on the line. The Ducati wriggling and writhing around and both men almost looking to run in too deep at turn one each time as they struggled to get their machines stopped and turned after that kilometre long main straight. Conversely, it was that turn one entry that seemed to be the main strength of Herfoss and the Penrite Honda. As the race progressed Herfoss also started to reel Staring in, little by little, and with five laps to go only a second now covered the leading trio.
Bayliss then ran wide at the hairpin and all of a sudden he had a Kawasaki and a Honda right on his tail, game on. Then they started to also having to contend with lapped traffic…
Troy Herfoss then got Staring into turn one, the Honda man’s turn one entry the class of the field and the Penrite Honda looking to be balanced nicely on the front end for corner entry.
Last lap and little separated Bayliss, Herfoss and Staring. Herfoss attempts a move on Bayliss at the hairpin, but he hodls on, Herfoss up the inside then on the change of direction but TB back at him and leads on to the main straight and from there nobody could argue with the power of that big Ducati.
An absolutely thrilling final lap but in the end TB held on to take his first win of the year in fine style after fending off the thrusting advances of Herfoss. Bryan Staring also a very strong third.
In the post race interviews Bayliss revealed he had to rip off a troublesome knee-slider on lap three which made things a little more difficult for him while Herfoss rued his opening lap race.
Staring was visibly frustrated, seemingly that while his ZX-10R was set-up for a fast lap time, it was not quite agile enough for him to slice and dice the way he wanted while in a close battle. Thus it seems as though the West Australian might make the Kawasaki a little quicker steering for the second bout later this afternoon.
Wayne Maxwell took fourth, six-seconds behind the leading trio but ahead of Glenn Allerton, Daniel Falzon and Josh Waters. Maxwell had looked dangerous halfway through the race but in the end could not quite match the pace of the leading trio.
Mark Chiodo took eighth ahead of Arthur Sissis while Glenn Scott rounded out the top ten.
That win promotes Bayliss from fifth in the championship all the way up to third, passing both Waters and Falzon. With second place though Herfoss pulls three more points away from second place Wayne Maxwell to now lead the series by 22.5-points.
ASBK Superbike Race One Results
ASBK Superbike Championship Points