Cru Halliday has looked virtually untouchable since ASBK Supersport 600 competitors turned their first laps of The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend.
Tom Toparis and Broc Pearson had to work very hard to narrow the Thursday gap from 2.4-seconds down to within a second by the end of qualifying. Still, it would be a brave man to bet against Halliday here today on the form he has shown all weekend.
The lights went out under a blistering sun at 1208 this afternoon and it was Max Croker that led the field into turn one for the first time before being eclipsed by Halliday at turn two. Toparis joined that party and squeezed past Croker to nip at the cowling of Halliday’s new YZF-R6. Broc Pearson then moved up to fourth place and started looking for a way past Croker.
Toparis got a brilliant run out of turn 18 that paid dividends all the way down the chute and allowed the Goulburn youngster to pass Halliday on the straight and take the lead before turn one.
Halliday quickly came back at him though to re-take the lead. A little behind that pair the Croker and Pearson battle had taken a new turn with Croker running in a little too deep early on lap two which cost him dearly. Not only Peason went through but also New Zealander Damon Rees.
At the front though it was a two-man show leaving the rest of them in the dust. Toparis was hanging on to Halliday and piling on the pressure to try and force the YRT man into a mistake. And just as I wrote that sentence Halliday got messy under brakes after missing a downshift heading towards a downhill turn. Halliday was forced to run wide and that error allowed Toparis through without challenge and the Kawasaki man retained that lead for the next couple of minutes before Halliday put a great move on Toparis through a fast bend around the back of the circuit.
Broc Pearson was now in a somewhat lonely third position, well behind the leading duo, but with a handy buffer over Max Croker and Damon Rees as they battled over fourth place.
At half-race distance Halliday really began to hit his stride, reeling off a succession of 1m57s to stretch away from Toparis.
The battle for fourth between Croker and Rees was still on in earnest until the Kiwi made a mistake under brakes on the final lap to allow Croker to pull away from him and secure that fourth position.
Broc Pearson continued to have a lonely race all the way to the flag for third but 10-seconds further up the track from him it was Cru Halliday taking victory by three-seconds over Tom Toparis.
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