Round Three – The Bend
Rain had fell in the early hours but despite a stiff breeze, the track seemed to be holding on to the water, and a dry line was stubbornly refusing to appear around the 18-turn, 4.945-kilometre ‘International Circuit’ layout.
Only four ASBK Superbike competitors braved the wet circuit in the FP2 session this morning which saw Lachlan Epis enjoy seeing his name at the top of an Australian Superbike time-sheet for the first time.
It was not until around 10am that things really started to improve but even an hour later, when the Asia Superbike 1000 Championship riders took to the track for their 40-minute FP3 session, conditions were still far from perfect.
The important session for ASBK Superbike competitors did not take place until after 1330 and by that time the track surface was in pretty good shape, but the wind was still causing riders plenty of problems.
Under a new qualifying format for ASBK this season the Friday afternoon session is dubbed ‘Timed Practice’, and it is the times from this session that decide the nine riders that automatically qualify for the Q2 session just before midday on Saturday. The riders from tenth back in the Timed Practice session fight it out in a Q1 session, with the top three then being promoted into Q2, making for a final 12-rider tussle over the first four rows of the grid.
The opening 10-lap ASBK Superbike race is then scheduled to take place at 1540 on Saturday afternoon, with the remaining two races in this triple-header round slated for 1020 and 1505 on Sunday.
Superbike competitors did get an hour long session late on Thursday afternoon (Link) that saw Josh Waters top proceedings ahead of Bryan Staring and Wayne Maxwell. To be honest, the Thursday session is probably a better gauge of potential performance come the races than today’s chrono, where riders did not want to put a single lap more than necessary on their tyres, instead saving them for tomorrow.
With Staring pulling double duty across both ASBK Superbike, and also a stand-in role for Team Kawasaki Thailand in the Asian Road Racing Championships Superbike class, the extra track time to work on tyre longevity will be invaluable for the Western Australian. Staring was second to Broc Parkes in the FP3 session for the ARRC Superbikes.
Local favourite and YRT Superbike rider Daniel Falzon was the early pace-setter when ASBK Superbike Timed Practice got underway at 1340 with the 25-year-old setting a 1m52.769 on his first flying lap before then returning to the pits, where he remained for the rest of the session.
The 30-minute session was approaching its halfway mark before Troy Herfoss, Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell bothered turning a wheel. They circulated slowly on their exit lap, looking for a good track position that would give them clear air for a time attack lap, that in-turn would secure them an automatic entry in to Saturday’s Q2 session.
Herfoss went fourth quickest on his second flying lap but was soon bettered by Wayne Maxwell who moved up to P3 with ten-minutes left in the session.
Mike Jones was in P2 after recording a 1m52.943 on his first flying lap early in the session. Similarly, Bryan Staring had put a quick one in early and was P3 before being relegated to P4 by Maxwell.
Josh Waters then pushed Herfoss back to P6 while championship leader Cru Halliday stood at P7 ahead of Mark Chiodo, while Glenn Allerton rounded out the top nine. With five-minutes remaining in the session that entire top ten was sat in pit-lane…
Cru Halliday, Mark Chiodo and Glenn Allerton did go out again to try and better their times but failed to make any progress, thus that is how it stands until qualifying gets underway tomorrow just before midday.
I have to say it was a far from scintillating day for the Aussie Superbike category today, but that should turn around come qualifying tomorrow, and when the action starts proper with the opening 10-lap bout at 1540 Saturday afternoon. After today’s dark, unpleasant and blustery conditions the forecast is also for better weather on Saturday and Sunday also.
Morning warm-up for the Superbikes is scheduled for 0810, however at that time of the morning nothing will be getting warmed up, as the overnight temperatures could dip as low as two-degrees celsius overnight ahead of an afternoon maximum of 19-degrees.
Nic Liminton had topped Australian Supersport in FP3 but the South Australian had tyre problems in qualifying that left him languishing at the rear of the 18-rider field, ten-seconds slower than he had gone in FP3.
Tom Toparis went under Cru Halliday’s Supersport lap record to take provisional pole with a 1m55.964, almost a full-second quicker than second placed Broc Pearson. That time quick enough to have placed him 13th in the Superbike field!
Olly Simpson topped the YMI Supersport 300 qualifying session on a 2m10.949 from Hunter Ford, Ben Baker and Zac Levy made it a Yamaha 1-2-3-4 at the top of the timesheets.
Broc Parkes topped the Asian Superbike practice session from Bryan Staring, and with a 1m52.581 was the fastest rider overall at The Bend today.
For reference, the race lap record set on a green track here last April was a 1m52.939 recorded by Herfoss, but the pole record and circuit best lap last year went to Wayne Maxwell with a 1m52.175.
ASBK Superbike Timed Practice
Top Nine go straight through to Q2
- Daniel Falzon – Yamaha 1m52.769
- Mike Jones – Ducati 1m52.943
- Wayne Maxwell – Suzuki 1m53.337
- Bryan Staring – Kawasaki 1m53.450
- Josh Waters – Suzuki 1m53.473
- Troy Herfoss – Honda 1m53.729
- Cru Halliday – Yamaha 1m53.869
- Mark Chiodo – Honda 1m54.004
- Glenn Allerton – BMW 1m54.655
- Alex Phillis – Suzuki 1m54.726
- Arthur Sissis – Suzuki 1m54.847
- Matt Walters – Kawasaki 1m55.001
- Damon Rees – Honda 1m56.280
- Glenn Scott – Kawasaki 1m56.653
- Ted Collins – BMW 1m57.215
- Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki 1m57.784
- Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki 1m57.788
- Sloan Frost – Suzuki 1m57.833
- Phil Czaj – Aprilia 1m58.536
- Evan Byles – Kawasaki 1m59.824
- Adam Senior – Yamaha 1m59.914
- Matthew Tooley – Yamaha 2m01.708
- David Barker – Kawasaki 2m02.111
- Paul Van der Heiden – BMW 2m04.646
- Sash Savin – BMW 2m07.572
Asia Superbike 1000 Qualifying
- Broc Parkes – Yamaha 1m52.581
- Bryan Staring – Kawasaki 1m53.223
- Apiwath Wongthananon – Yamaha 1m53.546
- Yuki Ito – Yamaha 1m53.910
- Md Zaqhwan Zaidi – Honda 1m54.340
- Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman – BMW 1m54.658
- Ahmad Yudhistira – Yamaha 1m55.041
- Ratthapong Wilairot – Yamaha 1m55.261
- Chaiwichit Nisakul – Kawasaki 1m55.523
- Timothy Alberto – Ducati 1m56.326
- Stephanie Redman – Yamaha 1m56.799
- Kazume Tsuda – Yamaha 1m56.949
- Yannis Shaw – Kawasaki 1m59.014
ASBK Supersport QP1
- Tom Toparis – Yamaha 1m55.964
- Broc Pearson – Yamaha 1m56.867
- Reid Battye – Suzuki 1m57.482
- Aidan Hayes – Yamaha 1m58.184
- Oli Bayliss – Yamaha 1m58.701
- Luke Mitchell – Yamaha 1m58.796
- Rhys Belling – Yamaha 1m59.874
- Avalon Biddle – Yamaha 2m00.026
- Dallas Skeer – Suzuki 2m00.029
- Zac Johnson – Yamaha 2m00.351
- Chris Quinn – Yamaha 2m00.477
- Andrew Edser – Kawasaki 2m01.482
- Timothy Donnon – Suzuki 2m01.603
- Ben Liebig – Triumph 2m01.679
- Jack Passfield – Yamaha 2m02.565
- John Quinn – Triumph 2m03.384
- Bronson Pickett – Yamaha 2m05.299
- Nic Liminton – Yamaha 2m06.918
ASBK Supersport 300 QP1
- Olly Simpson – Yamaha 2m10.949
- Hunter Ford – Yamaha 2m11.010
- Ben Baker – Yamaha 2m11.696
- Zac Levy – Yamaha 2m11.702
- Yanni Shaw – 400 Kawasaki 2m11.851
- Harry Khouri – Yamaha 2m11.989
- John Lytras – Yamaha 2m12.270
- Mitchell Simpson – Yamaha 2m12.455
- Locky Taylor – Yamaha 2m12.490
- Senna Agius – 400 Kawasaki 2m12.657
- Travis Hall – Yamaha 2m12.911
- Seth Crump – KTM 2m12.955
- Brandon Demmery – Yamaha 2m13.550
- Max Stauffer – Yamaha 2m13.631
- Callum O’Brien – 400 Kawasaki 2m14.781
- Kyle O’Connell – Yamaha 2m14.866
- Tayla Relph – 400 Kawasaki 2m15.114
- Zylas Bunting – Yamaha 2m15.153
- Mitch Kuhne – Yamaha 2m16.330
- Jordan Simpson – Yamaha 2m16.814
- Peter Nerlich – 300 Kawasaki 2m17.257
- Tristan Adamson – Yamaha 2m18.525
- Josh Hall – Yamaha 2m18.625
- Jacob Hatch – Yamaha 2m19.007
- Keegan Pickering – Yamaha 2m19.800
- Jacob Roulstone – Yamaha 2m20.405
- Connor Sanderson – 300 Kawasaki 2m21.192
- Bradley Trivett – 300 Kawasaki 2m22.125
- John Condon – 300 Kawasaki 2m22.740
- Ryan Moscardini – Yamaha 2m22.803
- Kristian Agostini – Yamaha 2m23.289
- Stephany Kapilawi-James – 400 Kawasaki 2m23.310
- Cameron Agostini – Yamaha 2m23.623
- Craig White – 400 Kawasaki 2m26.984
- Lachlan O’Brien – Yamaha 2m29.063
- Sarah Fairbrother – Yamaha 2m37.057
- Lindsay Russell – 400 Kawasaki 2m47.536
Asia Production 250 Championship Qualifying
- Andy Muhammad Fadly – Kawasaki 2m08.626
- Aiki Iyoshi – Kawasaki 2m08.929
- Muklada Sarapuech – Honda 2m09.238
- Awhin Sanjaya – Honda 2m09.725
- Reynaldo Ratukore – Yamaha 2m10.125
- Piyawat Patoomyos – Honda 2m10.378
- Tatchakorn Buasri – Honda 2m10.577
- Nazirul Izzat Md Bahuaddin – Yamaha 2m01.641
- Lucky Hendriansya – Honda 2m10.816
- Md Muzakkir Mohamed – Yamaha 2m10857
Asia Supersport 600 Championship Qualifying
- Md Ibrahim Md Norrodin – Yamaha 1m56.580
- Peerapong Boonlert – Yamaha 1m56.904
- Azroy Hakeem Anuar – Honda 1m57.391
- Rheza Danica Ahrens – Honda 1m58.213
- Md Helmi Azman – Honda 1m58.379
- Andi Farid Izdihar – Honda 1m58.905
- Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi – Honda 1m59.108
- Ahmad Afif Amran – Yamaha 1m59.440
- Passawit Thitivararak – Honda 1m59.449
- Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam – Yamaha 1m59.472