The opening bout of the triple-header ASBK Superbike weekend took place on Saturday afternoon and resulted in a come from behind win for BCperformance Kawasaki’s Bryan Staring. It also ended with a no-points score for Wayne Maxwell after a collision with Daniel Falzon.
Maxwell shrugged that disappointment off when the lights went out just after 1030 on Sunday morning for the second of three 10-lap ASBK Superbike races at The Bend this weekend.
The #47 Suzuki scored the holeshot ahead of championship leader Cru Halliday, that pair immediately started to gap the field over the course of the opening lap.
Saturday’s victor Bryan Staring threaded his way past Josh Waters, Daniel Falzon and Alex Phillis to move up to third position by the end of lap one. At the end of that opening lap Maxwell led Halliday by half-a-second, while Staring was a further 1.3-seconds behind in third place, and having to stave off the forward thrusts of Falzon.
Halliday then started to close on Maxwell and as they started lap three Staring lost position to Falzon after getting into turn one a little too hot, and sideways, in his quest to try and keep Falzon, Waters, Phillis, Herfoss and Mike Jones behind him. That was a six-strong freight train battling hard for track position.
Mark Chiodo put in a fantastic performance yesterday, leading much of the opening race before finishing fourth, the young Victorian was trying to stay in touch with that leading pack this morning, running in ninth position with seven laps to go.
Falzon put in a new fastest lap of the race to start reeling Halliday and Maxwell in, Staring was also coming along for the ride. The Dunlop runner knowing that he may have an edge for grip in the closing laps.
On the following lap Falzon must have made some small error as he lost a few bike lengths on Staring. The Kawasaki man then quickly pulled away and in no time was on the back of Halliday’s YZF-R1M. Cru must have sensed him there, looking around as they went down the main straight, only for Staring to pass him on the opposite side! A couple of corners later Staring put a great move on Maxwell to take the race lead, from there he immediately started to pull away, with apparent ease.
It then became a race for second place, and what a race it was becoming. Mike Jones had joined the party, passing Falzon and then Halliday to move up to third place. Jones’ next target was the #47 Suzuki of Wayne Maxwell. All riders were suffering from tyre wear issues now, some a little worse than others, but all those Pirelli runners were suffering to some degree.
Mike Jones looked to be suffering less than the others though as he slipped the DesmoSport Ducati past Wayne Maxwell for second place with four laps to run.
Bryan Staring was now more than three-seconds ahead, the Dunlop rider running a different race here today. At most tracks the Pirelli rubber used in ASBK has the edge, but here at The Bend it is clear that Dunlop has the advantage.
With three laps to run Lachlan Epis went down with Ted Collins. Glenn Allerton was already out of the running after breaking his wrist yesterday after a clash with Alex Phillis, not a great weekend for the NextGen BMW squad. Two wrecked bikes from two accidents, neither of which was really the fault of their riders. That made for two smacks to the head for Collins in the last month so he will not front the grid for race three.
At the last lap board Staring had a seven-second lead over Mike Jones, who in turn had just under half-a-second on Wayne Maxwell. That was where the action was on the final lap, Maxwell all over the back of Jones through the opening series of bends but the Queenslander responded, both riders having to stand the bikes up on the fat part of the tyre in their quest for drive but it was the Ducati man that managed his Pirelli best to take second place.
Staring though untouchable, winning the race by eight-seconds.
Championship leader Cru Halliday took fourth place ahead of Josh Waters.
Troy Herfoss got the better of Daniel Falzon on the final lap to take sixth place.
Arthur Sissis a highly creditable eighth place ahead of Glenn Scott while Alex Phillis managed to push Mark Chiodo outside the top ten on the final lap.
Cru Halliday retains the championship lead while Bryan Staring moves up to second place, six-points adrift of Halliday, and one-point ahead of Jones.
Defending champion Troy Herfoss took 15-points for that sixth place and sits in fourth place in the championship, 16-points behind series leader Halliday.
A tale of two tyres…
Staring’s rear Dunlop on left – Jones’ Pirelli on right
ASBK Superbike Race Two Results
Bryan Staring – Kawasaki
Mike Jones – Ducati +7.908
Wayne Maxwell – Suzuki +8.111
Cru Halliday – Yamaha +10.233
Josh Waters – Suzuki +11.527
Troy Herfoss – Honda +15.235
Daniel Falzon – Yamaha +15.569
Arthur Sissis – Suzuki +16.174
Glenn Scott – Kawasaki +23.097
Alex Phillis – Suzuki +25.014
Mark Chiodo – Honda +25.158
Matt Walters – Kawasaki +28.867
Sloan Frost – Suzuki +33.654
Damon Rees – Honda +38.055
Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki +46.625
Evan Byles – Kawasaki +58.122
David Barker – Kawasaki +62.002
Phil Czaj – Aprilia +64.672
Matthew Tooley – Yamaha +75.173
Paul Van der Heiden – BMW +78.186
ASBK Superbike Championship Standings
Cru Halliday 131
Bryan Staring 125
Mike Jones 124
Troy Herfoss 115
Josh Waters 111
Daniel Falzon 95
Wayne Maxwell 93
Matt Walters 78
Glenn Scott 77
Aiden Wagner 71
Mark Chiodo 67
Glenn Allerton 56
Arthur Sissis 55
Alex Phillis 54
Damon Rees 49
Australian Supersport Race Two
Reid Battye scored the holeshot but Nic Liminton squeezed past him a couple of turns into the eight-lap race. Toparis had not got a great start but steadily worked his way past Oli Bayliss and Aidan Hayes to move up to third place by halfway around the opening lap.
Oli Bayliss was looking much more composed this morning, with none of the mistakes he made early in the opening ASBK Supersport race on Saturday afternoon. He was engaged in a strong tussle over fourth place throughout the opening lap with Broc Pearson and Aidan Hayes.
Up front it was Nic Liminton being stalked by Tom Toparis, as Reid Battye struggled to keep that pair in sight. Pearson though put in a great second lap to break away from Bayliss and Hayes. Pearson then closed and passed Reid Battye, but Pearson then put together a poor lap that was a second slower than his previous, allowing the leading duo to really break away.
Aidan Hayes was tussling over fifth position with Oli Bayliss but Hayes went down with five laps to run. Bayliss had almost four-seconds on Luke Mitchell and was looking safe in that fifth place.
Nic Liminton went wide on the next lap and lost drive as his rear skidded across the dirt which allowed Tom Toparis to make an easy pass and quickly pull away from the young South Australian.
Pearson had caught and passed Battye quite easily early in the race, where he was lapping more than a second faster than the Suzuki man. Immediately around that stage of the race though Pearson’s rear tyre went off badly and Battye was able to sneak back past and pull away from Pearson in the later laps.
The battle for sixth place was being waged forcefully between Dallas Skeer, Luke Mitchell, Zac Johnson and young Kiwi starlet Avalon Biddle was now catching fifth placed Oli Bayliss as the race wore on. As they got the last lap board Dallas Skeer got the better of Bayliss to take that fifth position, Bayliss was then shuffled down to ninth place as the whole group gazumped him, presumably his tyres toasted.
Tom Toparis went on to win by over six-seconds. Liminton was on a softer rear tyre that had allowed him to be strong early on but he paid the price as the laps progressed.
Reid Battye worked hard for that third position while Broc Pearson came home in fourth place. Dallas Skeer made it two Suzuki GSX-R600s in what is an otherwise Yamaha dominated Australian Supersport Championship.
Tom Toparis leads the series by 46-points over Liminton with Pearson a further eight-points adrift in third.
Australian Supersport Race Two Results
Tom Toparis – Yamaha
Nic Liminton – Yamaha +6.144
Reid Battye – Suzuki +6.695
Broc Pearson – Yamaha +7.776
Dallas Skeer – Suzuki +15.150
Luke Mitchell – Yamaha +15.528
Avalon Biddle – Yamaha +15.703
Zac Johnson – Yamaha +16.761
Oli Bayliss – Yamaha +16.884
Andrew Edser – Kawasaki +23.856
Chris Quinn – Yamaha +24.341
Rhys Belling – Yamaha +26.111
Timothy Donnon – Suzuki +31.651
Jack Passfield – Yamaha +31.888
ASBK SSP600 Championship Standings
Tom Toparis 178
Nic Liminton 132
Broc Pearson 124
Oli Bayliss 113
Reid Battye 109
Aidan Hayes 90
Dallas Skeer 73
Rhys Belling 63
Ty Lynch 58
Jack Passfield 53
Luke Mitchell 52
John Quinn 50
Callum Spriggs 49
Chris Quinn 46
Andrew Edser 39
Australian Supersport 300 Race Two
Race one dominator Olly Simpson again got a fantastic start this morning as Senna Agius nipped at his hees along with Seth Crump.
Simpson then looked to perhaps miss a gear or suffer some sort of minor hiccup, Agius managing to squeeze his way through to the lead shortly thereafter.
Simpson got the lead back and Crump added further insult by demoting Agius to third, but still ahead of championship leader Max Stauffer.
Crump hit the front early on the second lap as Agius pushed Simpson back to third. The South Australian was blooded in the Red Bull Rookies a few years ago though and knows how to put the elbows out, he did exactly that as he pushed past Agius.
Seth Crump then came under attack next up as Simpson forced his way through to the lead.
The 300 Supersport regulars though came back at him just as hard, a group of eight riders giving no quarter.
With four laps to run it was Agius, Crump, Simpson, Baker, Khouri, Ford, Stauffer and Levy all running nose-to-tail or side-by-side, depending on where they were on the circuit.
On the next lap though the tussle between Simpson and Agius went next level. Simpson took the inside line into a curve and chose to give no room to his sparring partner, forcing him off on to the grass. Luckily that rider did manage to recover and rejoin the circuit without major incident.
Two laps to go and Hunter Ford had just set a new lap record, 2m10.034, to hit the front for the first time. A couple of corners later Crump, Khouri and Ford went three-wide into a closing radius left-hander and, somehow, all came out the other side.
At the last lap board it was Simpson and Ford side-by-side, smashing elbows at the stripe hard enough to make each others machine violently wriggle. It was Seth Crump though that took the early lead on that final lap, but he was then quickly shuffled by Agius and Simpson, as they swapped positions.
Simpson then went back in front and it was elbows out again as Agius tried to make a move. Hunter Ford then went up the inside of Agius a couple of corners before the end. Simpson was a little wide at the final turn which allowed Hunter Ford to almost get him on the line, but Simpson held on by nine-thousandths of a second. Ford second, Agius third.
Only a second covered the top-eight and rounding out that group was championship leader Max Stauffer.
I have to say that was a new level of aggression that we had not yet seen before in Australian 300 Supersport. It will be interesting to see if officials take any steps to try and rein them in, as it certainly doesn’t get more aggressive and ruthless than that without an invisible borderline being crossed. In my judgement, that line was not crossed today, but gee it did go oh so close…Crucially though, they were all left standing, somehow.
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