Round Three – The Bend
Race Three Reports
ASBK Superbike Race Three Report
Bryan Staring and his Dunlop shod BCperformance Kawasaki ZX-10R had blitzed the field in both of the 10-lap Australian Superbike races held before the final encounter got underway at 1520 on Sunday afternoon. It seemed that due to the greater durability of his Dunlop rubber around The Bend, compared to the generally more fancied Pirelli runners, that this third race was also Staring’s to lose.
He had to come from behind then chase down his combatants in the opening bouts, the winning margin in race one on Saturday was just under five-seconds, on Sunday morning it was eight-seconds. The major battles it would seem would come in the important battles over second place.
Glenn Allerton had fell in the opening bout and was ruled out of the rest of the weekend while his young team-mate Ted Collins was also out of proceedings.
Wayne Maxwell had taken no points from race one after clashing with Daniel Falzon, but bounced back to the podium this morning.
Mike Jones had seemingly been the best tyre manager amongst the Pirelli runners, racing to a pair of hard fought second places in the opening two races.
Cru Halliday had again been keeping his nose clean and racking up the points, a third in race one and fourth in race two saw the YRT man still in the lead of the Australian Superbike Championship heading into Sunday’s final ten-lap bout.
Defending Champion Troy Herfoss suffered a clutch failure in the opening bout that left him to limp home for a couple of points and improved to sixth this morning. That is certainly way behind what Penrite Honda would have been aiming for this weekend and they would be hoping to get on the box in this final stanza to head into the mid-season break on a brighter note.
Daniel Falzon had looked very fast over the course of the whole race weekend but tyre degradation is something that they had yet to get on top of. He had fought hard to card fifth and sixth place finishes.
Josh Waters had not shown any glimpses of race winning speed but he had been keeping his head down and making sure he bagged good points from every appearance.
The wildcard in the pack was young Mark Chiodo who stunned us all here yesterday by leading the majority of the opening Superbike bout. He was eventually chased down by Staring, Jones and Halliday but still kept his cool as his grip disappeared and stayed on the bike to take a great fourth place finish.
Behind Staring and Dunlop’s success story thus far this weekend, I would gauge that Chiodo was the next best good news story to come from our trek to The Bend. Would the young Victorian be able to back it up in this final bout of the weekend?
Wayne Maxwell again got away well ahead of Mike Jones and Arthur Sissis. Two corners later though Falzon tried to put a move on Sissis and it was the YRT man that came off second best, his YZF-R1M tumbling through the sand on the outfield while Sissis rejoined in 22nd place.
Mike Jones was looking aggressive on the first lap and he put a move on Wayne Maxwell halfway through the first lap which sent Maxwell quite wide. The Suzuki man was able to gather it up as Alex Phillis and Mark Chiodo gave chase. Josh Waters was in fifth place head of championship leader Cru Halliday, race one and two victor Bryan Staring, and defending champion Troy Herfoss. Matt Walters was also still on the back of that group as they started lap three.
Mark Chiodo was again doing a great job early on in this race, in third place and keeping Josh Waters at bay while Alex Phillis somehow survived a massive moment but lost a number of positions while recovering.
Up front it was Jones from Maxwell but that order reversed as they started the following lap, a smooth move by Maxwell into turn one. Mark Chiodo was still in second place ahead of Waters and Halliday, while that man Bryan Staring was holding station in sixth place, biding his time…
With 6.5 laps to go Chiodo ramped it up even higher to close on Jones and Maxwell. Chiodo attempted a move on Jones but lost the rear on entry and had to stand it up, and somehow Mike Jones avoided the bucking Honda to survive. The DesmoSport Ducati man though had lost a little time from the incident and Josh Waters saw his gap and threaded his #21 Suzuki straight through it with apparent ease.
Those shenanigans had helped Wayne Maxwell, the Suzuki man had clear air while his pursuers battled amongst themselves, perhaps doing more comparative damage to their tyres in the process. Troy Herfoss was in sixth place and perhaps staying out of trouble and saving his best for last.
Half-race distance and we see Bryan Staring smooth his way past Cru Halliday. Next target Mike Jones… He did it easy…. Next target Josh Waters, again he could choose his occasion and then make a no-fuss pass. And then that green BCperformance Kawasaki machines was up to second place.
As soon as Staring clawed that 1.3-seconds back to Wayne Maxwell, he simply hooked up the rear Dunlop and blew the doors off the Suzuki, helped by Maxwell getting a little too sideways onto the main straight.
Staring started walking away to another relatively easy victory while Wayne Maxwell had to try and keep smooth and retain his one-second advantage over the hectic battle for third place. Those combatants Mike Jones, Cru Halliday, Josh Waters and Troy Herfoss.
With three laps to go Herfoss started his march forward. He picked off Josh Waters as he watched Halliday take third position from Mike Jones unfold in front of him. Herfoss then took fourth place from Jones with less than two laps to run. The Penrite Honda pulled away from the Ducati and set his sights on Cru Halliday, the YRT man looking around and seeing his foe behind him as they headed towards the last lap board.
Staring started that final lap with a six-second buffer over Maxwell, who in turn had a full-second over the battle for third place being waged by Halliday and Herfoss. Troy Herfoss though made a mistake in his desperation to get the better of Halliday, he somehow gathered it up and managed to stay ahead of Jones, but his podium challenge was done.
Staring completes The Bend trifecta!
Bryan Staring the victor by five-seconds despite slowing down to pull a mono down the main straight as he took the chequered flag.
Wayne Maxwell a well measured second place and similarly a great performance by Halliday to keep his nose relatively clean and take the podium after seeing off concerted charges from Josh Waters, Mike Jones and then Troy Herfoss on the final lap of the race.
Bryan Staring leaves South Australia with a swag of 75-points and with that result added to his points earned across the Phillip Island season opener and round two at Wakefield Park, it promotes the Western Australian into the lead of the 2019 Australian Superbike Championship by a single point over Cru Halliday.
Mike Jones would have hoped for more in that final bout but he still bagged enough points to maintain his third place in the championship standings.
Troy Herfoss never starred here at all this weekend but still managed to card good enough scores to stay firmly in the championship hunt. His tally 132-points, only 18-points adrift of championship leader Bryan Staring.
Josh Waters is steadily building his points and despite his start to the season seeming perhaps a little sullen, the Mildura star has still quietly amassed 126 championship points. That’s within a winning score of the series lead as we heading into the championship winter break.
Wayne Maxwell has two no-scores after impacts with other riders so far this season. The infamous clash with Wagner at the Phillip Island season opener, and yesterday with Daniel Falzon, but on 113-points still remains in the championship hunt.
Where to next…?
Morgan Park hosts round four in Queensland over the first weekend in July. We then head to Winton on the September 6-8 weekend before the penultimate round at Phillip Island, October 4-6. This year the championship finale will be staged at Sydney Motorsports Park over the first weekend in November.
ASBK Superbike Race Three Results
Bryan Staring – Kawasaki
Wayne Maxwell – Suzuki +4.559
Cru Halliday – Yamaha +5.903
Troy Herfoss – Honda +6.913
Mike Jones – Ducati +7.830
Josh Waters – Suzuki +8.456
Alex Phillis – Suzuki +18.926
Glenn Scott – Kawasaki +19.630
Mark Chiodo – Honda +20.351
Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki +20.384
Damon Rees – Honda +22.225
Matt Walters – Kawasaki +26.323
Arthur Sissis – Suzuki +30.553
Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki +41.765
David Barker – Kawasaki +55.673
Evan Byles – Kawasaki +55.889
Matthew Tooley – Yamaha +61.883
Adam Senior – Yamaha +64.168
Paul Van Der Heiden – BMW +83.771
Sash Savin – BMW +1 lap
ASBK Superbike Championship Standings
Bryan Staring 150
Cru Halliday 149
Mike Jones 140
Troy Herfoss 132
Josh Waters 126
Wayne Maxwell 113
Daniel Falzon 95
Glenn Scott 90
Matt Walters 87
Mark Chiodo 79
Aiden Wagner 71
Alex Phillis 68
Arthur Sissis 63
Damon Rees 59
Glenn Allerton 56
Australian Supersport Race Three
Tom Toparis had dominated the weekend thus far in the ranks of Australian Supersport despite the best efforts of Nic Liminton, the South Australian had not been able to sustain his pace to take the battle up to Toparis all the way to the flag. Reid Battye, Broc Pearson and Dallas Skeer had all ridden very hard too and Luke Mitchell seemed on the cusp of finding podium pace.
Reid Battye took the holeshot ahead of Nic Liminton, Broc Pearson and Oli Bayliss while the championship leader kept his nose clean in fifth place. Young Kiwi starlet was also hot to trot and was right behind that leading five as they completed the opening lap.
Battye led them onto the main straight with a sizable buffer over Nic Liminton, far enough for the South Australian to have no slipstream over the first half of the straight, but the power of the new YZF-R6 showed down the kilometre long straight as Liminton easily powered past Battye before turn one to take the race lead as they started lap two.
Next time around Battye was tucked right in the slipstream of Liminton all the way down the straight but did not have the speed to then pull out and attempt a move. Battye then made a small mistake early on that lap and lost positions to both Toparis and Pearson.
Avalon Biddle got the better of Oli Bayliss and pulled away from the 15-year-old Queenslander to join the leading group of five. Biddle immediately started to show a wheel to Pearson.
Up front Liminton and Toparis has started their march away from the rest of the field. Both young men running in the 1m56.9s, a pace their pursuers could not match.
Broc Pearson powered past Battye down the main straight as the race broached the halfway marker and adding further insult Biddle then pushed Battye back to fifth after the Bermagui youngster out-braked himself into turn one.
Tom Toparis had taken the lead just after the halfway mark but Liminton was determined to not let him get away this time around. The young South Australian riding so hard to stay with Toparis, setting a new fastest lap of the race, a 1m56.736, but would we have any tyre left for the final lap?
Battye had found his way back past Biddle and put in a determined effort to close right back on to the tail of Pearson as they started the final lap, the Suzuki man desperate to get on the podium.
Liminton was so close to putting a move on Toparis, pulling alongside through one of the faster curves but having to think better of it. Another lunge up the inside into turn 17, he kept it together, Toparis tried to switch back up the inside on exit but his rear tyre broke away violently which ruined all his drive, Toparis actually launched out of the seat and lucky to stay on the bike. Liminton the winner, and a brave and determined winner at that.
Reid Battye got the better of Pearson on that final lap to take a hard fought second podium of the weekend for Suzuki.
The YMI Supersport 300 category on Sunday morning had thrilled spectators with a fierce seven-lap race with a non-stop series of heart-stopping moments. The rivalry in the heat of battle was burning intensely with a thrilling battle to the wire that again saw South Australia’s Olly Simpson emerge victorious.
Senna Agius though has set fastest laps of the race and a new lap record while the likes of Seth Crump, Hunter Ford, Harry Khouri and Ben Baker had all shown they had race winning potential so it was far from a lay down misere for Simpson as the field had stepped up to meet him this morning.
The final fight got underway at 1437 on an overcast and cool Sunday afternoon at The Bend and it was Olly Simpson that got the best launch to lead the field down towards turn one. The field wound their way back and forward across the track as they headed to turn one and that was always going to end in tears. It did, a four-bike crash triggered by one rider going down and the others getting caught up in the melee.
Tayle Relph, Senna Agius, Locky Taylor and Keegan Pickering all going off the circuit. The worst outcome looked to have been for Locky Taylor as he got caught up in the machine of Agius, being dragged along with his leg caught between the shock and the rear tyre, with his hand also seeming to get caught up somewhere in the bowels of the Yamaha YZF-R3 also. A major blow to his championship chances.
There was a delay as officials cleared the carnage and announced that the race distance would be reduced by a lap, the race distance would now be six-laps.
At the re-start Olly Simpson blitzed them off the line but it was Seth Crump that was the last of the late brakers and had the inside line to sweep into turn one first but not for long as Simpson took the lead once again. A few corners later though Crump put a brave move in under brakes to take the lead once again from Simpson, the two traded positions again a couple of turns later and then Hunter Ford gazumped them both to take the race lead late on the opening lap.
Early on race two though Simpson showed his racecraft once again to thread the needle up to the lead. Crump though came back at him and Harry Khouri joined the party by showing both of them a wheel as they negotiated lap two. These tussles were preventing Simpson from being able to gap the field like he did in the opening bout, it was also helping Zac Levy, Brandon Demmery and Ben Baker to stay in their tow. How their parents watch this stuff I will never know!
Hunter Ford led most of lap three before being again being passed by Simpson but Ford got the lead back as they tipped into turn one to start lap four. That duo then started to break away a little from third placed Harry Khouri and his band of demonic followers, Crump, Levy and Lytras.
Ford and Simpson were going gangbusters together with Ford setting a new lap record on his way to that pair pulling away from their pursuers to the tune of almost two-seconds. The fire then went out in Simpson’s machine though, seemingly some sort of engine or electrical problem leaving a visibly distraught Simpson thumping the tank of his machine as the rolled to a stop.
That left Hunter Ford alone up front to continue unfettered to the chequered flag.
The last lap though witnessed a titanic battle for the remaining steps on the rostrum. Yanni Shaw, Harry Khouri, Seth Crump, and Brandon Demmery the chief protagonists. It was Demmery though that had the edge to take second place with a new lap record on the final lap.
Harry Khouri rounded out the podium and with that the 15-year-old also took the round win.
A strong ride for Yanni Shaw to take fourth place ahead of Seth Crump, Max Stauffer, John Lytras, Ben Baker and Zac Levy that rounded out that closely packed tribe of riders in ninth place.
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