Round One – Phillip Island
Supersport Race One
The opening Supersport race of ASBK 2019 got underway at 0900 this morning under clear skies at Phillip Island in front of a building crowd. Goulburn teenager Tom Toparis had looked the man to beat all weekend and the Yamaha rider got away to an early break while Oli Bayliss, Callum Spriggs and Nic Liminton gave chase.
Bayliss the new debutante in the class after moving up from Supersport 300 under the new rule that allows suitably proven 15-year-olds to now step up to the vastly different Supersport 600 Championship. Bayliss has Glen Richards in his corner for his first season in the category, the well-known South Australian back from crew chief duties in British Superbike and a lengthy career within the ranks of BSB in various roles. A busy testing schedule leading up to the season has seen young Oli well-prepared for his step up to the heavier and faster category of racing.
Out front Toparis was streeting the field though, pulling away by more than a second a lap and clearly in a race of his own.
Behind him Nic Liminton had eased his way past Bayliss but could not break away. The pair traded places over the opening few laps while Callum Spriggs and Ty Lynch kept in touch with them. A couple of second behind that quartet a battle for sixth place was unfolding between Broc Pearson, Jack Passfield and Aidan Hayes.
In the closing stages of the race Liminton finally managed to break clear of Bayliss, leaving his younger foe to fight for the final step on the rostrum with Callum Spriggs and at the flag it was the more experienced of the two that got that podium position by a nose, the difference only three-thousandth-of-a-second at the line.
Toparis had backed off in the closing laps but still took victory by more than five-seconds, his pace though was good enough for that to be ten-seconds should he wished to have pushed all the way to the chequered flag.
Nic Liminton second from Callum Spriggs with Oli Bayliss just missing out on a podium in his Supersport debut. Broc Pearson, Ty Lynch, Aidan Hayes and Jack Passfield rounded out an all Yamaha top eight ahead of Sam Lambert on an MV Agusta while Reid Battye rounded out the top ten on a Suzuki.
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