The YRT pairing of Daniel Falzon and Cru Halliday topped FP1 at Wakefield Park in dry and warming conditions under a cloudy sky. A gnat’s whisker separated the pair at the top, a 58.075 to Falzon and 58.093 for Halliday. Next best in the opening session was Mike Jones on the DesmoSport Ducati, standing in for the injured Troy Bayliss. Maxwell and Herfoss were P4 and P5 respectively.
YRT had tested here privately in the lead up to this round, electing not to join the rest of the field during the official ASBK Test here earlier this month. At that test it was Wayne Maxwell atop the timesheets with a 57.659, heading Herfoss’ 57.728. But talk was that Mike Jones had actually gone a couple of tenths quicker again, but did not have a transponder fitted to net an official time.
Aiden Wagner suffered a hefty tumble in FP1 here this morning, knocking himself and his machine around quite heavily. Wagner was P6 in the opening session ahead of Bryan Staring, Glenn Allerton and Josh Waters while Matt Walters rounded out the FP1 Top Ten.
FP2 got underway at 1340 this afternoon and just as riders were really start to get down to business, a red flag put a temporary halt to proceedings. Sash Savin had gone down at turn two on his BMW and needed to be moved to safer ground.
Cru Halliday was the first rider to dip into the 57s when the action got underway again just before 1400. A 57.916 to Halliday, who this year makes his return to Superbike after dominating the 600 Supersport category last year for YRT. Shortly after his team-mate joined him in that bracket, a 57.919 to Falzon, making it a YRT 1-2 at the top with 14-minutes remaining in the 30-minute Superbike FP2 session.
Falzon then upped the game further, the young South Australian dropping in a 57.757 to top the charts.
Herfoss then put in a 57.846 to go P2, splitting the YRT men. A couple of minutes later Herfoss then shot to the top with a 57.455. Maxwell then went P2 with a 57.754, pushing the YRT duo back to P3 and P4.
A red flag then came out just as the session was coming to a close. Ted Collins crashed coming out of the last turn and pitched his BMW over the pit wall! The young Queenslander walked away fine, but it was one very spectacular and unprecedented accident…
Wayne Hepburn – NextGen BMW
“Ted was on a really good lap. We had our own sector splits, which he was about to drop a second and a half off his previous lap time. He simply asked too much of the bike on the exit of the last turn, which he admitted to. This resulted in Ted having a big highside. The Maxima BMW S 1000RR went over the fence, which was pretty spectacular. Thankfully, Ted was able to walk away from it uninjured which is the main thing. Unfortunately, this is motorcycle racing and these things happen. As I said, Ted is fine. The team has a bit of work to do to get him going again. I don’t believe we will get him going for the final session this afternoon, but we’ll have him right for tomorrow. Ted was doing everything which he was asked to do. However, he just got a little bit enthusiastic.”
The fastest recorded motorcycle lap time around Wakefield Park was a 57.182 set by Maxwell last year, will we see that beaten later this afternoon…? We thought that might be eclipsed later this afternoon in FP3 but then came the thunder and lightning! A massive downpour soaked the circuit shortly after 1500, and we would see no further quick times set today.
ASBK Superbike Friday Combined Times
Troy Herfoss – Honda 57.455
Wayne Maxwell – Suzuki 57.754
Daniel Falzon – Yamaha 57.757
Cru Halliday – Yamaha 57.916
Mike Jones – Ducati 58.116
Josh Waters – Suzuki 58.193
Alex Phillis – Suzuki 58.676
Aiden Wagner – Yamaha 58.677 (FP1)
Bryan Staring – Kawasaki 58.699
Damon Rees – Honda 58.760
Matt Walters – Kawasaki 58.839
Glenn Scott – Kawasaki 58.889
Glenn Allerton – BMW 58.916
Ted Collins – BMW 59.417
Sloan Frost – Suzuki 59.425
Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki 59.432
Mark Chiodo – Honda 59.435
Arthur Sissis – Suzuki 59.807
Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki 60.455
Phil Czaj – Aprilia 61.079
Will Davidson – Yamaha 61.509
Michael Edwards – Yamaha 61.734
Hamish McMurray – Kawasaki 62.640
Paul Van der Heiden – BMW 63.360
Sash Savin – BMW 63.752
Local Goulburn lad Tom Toparis dominated the season opener at Phillip Island, and was obviously be out to do the same this weekend in front of his home crowd.
There were a few young fellas out to try and stop that happening though. Oli Bayliss and Nic Liminton both on the early pace, a 61.238 to Toparis versus a 61.529 to Bayliss. Those times were expected to tumble in FP2 though, and that they did. Only a few minutes into FP2 though Nic Liminton stopped on track with a mechanical failure and the session was red flagged to check for any oil on the track. Oil was duly found and we had quite a delay while the track was cleaned. Liminton took no further part in FP2.
When action recommenced it was Oli Bayliss setting the pace. At 15-years-old, Oli is making fast progress and the team have been working very hard in the lead-up to this first year in Supersport to give him the opportunity to shine, and it is a chance he is grabbing with both hands. His level of commitment, as can be seen in this great shot by Rob Mott, can certainly never be questioned.
Times quickly started to drop further, Toparis the first man to dip under the magic minute mark, a 59.507 with ten minutes to go, a clear declaration of his intentions to dominate on home turf. And, it must be said, he does look in almost untouchable form. For the best of the rest to challenge him, they either need to make a significant step up, or Toparis needs to put a foot wrong.
The Supersport lap record was set here last year by Cru Halliday at 59.050s, will Toparis best it this weekend…?
Supersport 600 Friday Combined Times
Tom Toparis – Yamaha 59.507
Oli Bayliss – Yamaha 60.471
Broc Pearson – Yamaha 60.565
Reid Battye – Suzuyki 60.635
Ty Lynch – Yamaha 61.060
Nic Liminton – Yamaha 61.666 (FP1)
Aidan Hayes – Yamaha 61.675
Rhys Belling – Yamaha 61.736
Chris Quinn – Yamaha 62.039 (FP1)
Dallas Skeer – Suzuki 62.157
Sam Lambert – MV Agusta 62.184
Andrew Edser – Kawasaki 62.756
Jack Passfield – Yamaha 62.848
John Quinn – Triumph 64.501
In the Supersport 300 ranks it was Max Stauffer setting the pace from Harry Khouri, both riders under the existing lap record.
Brandon Demmery returns to racing this weekend after that horrifying crash in the MotoGP support events at Phillip Island in 2017. Those injuries included a double compound fracture of the Tibia and Fibia, a compound fracture of the Femur, numerous break in his Pelvis, a broken right wrist, a torn bladder and an incredible amount of bruising. He was ninth in FP2 this morning at Wakefield Park and ended the day 11th on combined times.
Supersport 300 – Friday Combined Times
Max Stauffer – Yamaha 66.306
Harry Khouri – Yamaha 66.478
Ben Baker – Yamaha 66.572
Zac Levy – Yamaha 66.677
Travis Hall – Yamaha 66.828
Hunter Ford – Yamaha 66.834
Locky Taylor – Yamaha 66.844
John Lytras – Yamaha 66.916
Laura Brown – Yamaha 67.021
Senna Agius – Kawasaki 400 67.110
Brandon Demmery – Yamaha 67.313
Yanni Shaw – Kawasaki 400 67.460
Seth Crump – KTM 67.602
Kyle O’Connell – Yamaha 67.626
Luke Johnston – Yamaha 67.684
Mitch Kuhne – Yamaha 67.746
Zylas Bunting – Yamaha 67.887
Tristan Adamson – Yamaha 68.090
Callum O’Brien – Kawasaki 68.345
Bronson Pickett – Yamaha 68.927
Three-wheelers join the ASBK action this weekend in Goulburn with the Horsell Consulting backed sidecar category making their first appearance for the year.
The LCR outfit of Steven Bayliss and Aaron Wilson were the pacesetters today with a 67.243. The lap record for the category here at Wakefield Park is 65.309, and is expected to fall this weekend.
Sidecar Friday Combined Times
YMF R3 Cup Friday Combined Practice Times
bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup
The 2019 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup roared into life for the first time ever at Wakefield Park today for the opening round of the new junior Road Race academy.
The bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup features a field of ambitious young riders looking to become the first to claim an Oceania Junior Cup round, and make an initial claim for one of the five positions in the 2019 Asia Talent Cup Selection Event, and a potential place in the 2019 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Selection Event.
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