Round Three – The Bend
Race One Reports
ASBK Superbike Race One
Mike Jones had shown incredible pace during qualifying to take pole position but it was another rider on the grid readying for the opening ASBK Superbike race perhaps even more full of confidence.
Bryan Staring had earlier captured victory in the Asia Superbike 1000 Championship race. The 31-year-old had been filling in for Kawasaki Thailand’s injured Thitipong Warokorn in the Asia Superbike category, and had to best the likes of Broc Parkes and Yuki Ito in order to claim that victory. The Asia Superbikes run on a control Dunlop tyre that is a different specification to the tyre that Staring has available to him in ASBK.
Staring had only qualified sixth in the ASBK ranks, and thus would start the 10-lap Australian Superbike race from the outside of the second row, but, as normal, he was the leading Dunlop rider. The Asia Superbike race had been 12-laps, and it was in the latter third of that race where Staring had managed to break away from Parkes.
While the more fancied Pirelli runners in ASBK always seem to have the one-lap and early race pace, generally Staring suffers less from tyre degradation on his Dunlops as the races wear on, would that make the difference today..? Who would be the ones to go hard from the start and who would be the ones to play themselves in a little slower to make sure they have tyres left at the end of the race…?
The lights went out at 1550 and it was ex-speedway star Arthur Sissis that pulled one of his familiar holeshots to lead the field through turn one as Falzon and Jones gave chase.
Alex Phillis and Glenn Allerton then went down together which brought the red flag out. Phillis looked to have had some small touch with another rider which then sent him off on a collision course with Allerton. ,Phillis had gone over to Allerton and saw that the three-time champ was in a lot of pain and looking to be suffering some sort of leg injury. Phillis then put his hand up to signal that Allerton was in need of some assistance, which saw officials then stop the race. Allerton was subsequently taken to hospital and diagnosed with a broken wrist.
While cruel to then talk tactics.. The minds of riders and teams immediately started pondering as to whether the re-start would be over the full ten-lap race distance, or whether it would be shortened a lap. With tyre wear critical that decision could play a big part in deciding the results…
Reigning Champion Troy Herfoss complained of a slipping clutch when he returned to the grid, but his Penrite Honda Team could only make some tweaks to the cable adjuster to try and delay the inevitable, and hope that it might last race distance.
Officials eventually announced that the re-start would be run under a reduced nine-lap distance, and that due to the lengthy delay riders would also run another warm-up lap.
We’re away again!
Daniel Falzon got the holeshot at the re-start and tipped into turn one ahead of Mike Jones.
Mark Chiodo had also made a blinder and actually moved through to the race lead a couple of turns into the race! He not only took the lead, he started to actually gap Jones and Falzon!
Bryan Staring was working his way forward and moved ahead of Wayne Maxwell and Cru Halliday halfway through lap one.
Mark Chiodo though still held the race lead as they started lap two and led by eight-tenths of a second! Mike Jones was in second place, Falzon third and Staring fourth. Troy Herfoss had got past Cru Halliday to move up to sixth place as they got stuck into lap two.
Falzon was tussling with Staring as Maxwell, Herfoss, Halliday and Waters, which was allowing Jones and Chiodo to break away. Maxwell though then came together at turn one with Falzon and went down. Falzon had pulled out of the slipstream to take the inside line and when Maxwell tipped in he found his flank full of a YRT machine wearing the #25, Maxwell was the one left sliding along the tarmac…
Mark Chiodo continued to lead but was steadily being reeled in by Mike Jones as the race wore on. It looked like a matter of time before Jones would pounce but Chiodo was not making it easy for him, doing an absolutely sensational job up front, continually lapping faster than everyone else on circuit, apart from Jones.
Chiodo and Jones were the only ones to have dipped into the 1m52s and by half-race distance they held a 2.3-second advantage over third placed Bryan Staring, but not for long… As the race wore on further Staring reeled the leading duo in. Chiodo looked to have burned his tyre up and was starting to slow up Jones.
Mike Jones took the lead with four laps to run but then ran wide, perhaps suffering some tyre woes of his own.. There to pounce now though was Bryan Staring, and it was the Western Australian who now moved up to second place and took station on the rear cowl of Chiodo’s Penrite Honda.
Staring then took the lead and immediately started to pull away. Jones relegated Chiodo to third place and the #30 Honda then started to fall into the clutches of championship leader Cru Halliday. With three laps to go Chiodo had five-seconds on his team-mate, defending ASBK Superbike Champion Troy Herfoss. Lapped traffic was now also starting to come into play.
Cru Halliday was looking stronger than second place Jones. The rear of the Ducati was really starting to move around, while Halliday was looking smooth in contrast.
That situation started to change somewhat though as Halliday pushed harder and harder in his quest to try and get past Jones, the rear of the YZF-R1 also started to get a serious case of the Mr Squiggles as soon as he tried to get the better of Jones…
Bryan Staring had gone though. As they started the last lap he had a five-second buffer over Jones and Halliday. That duo had now put plenty of distance between them and Chiodo, but in turn Chiodo’s fourth place looked safe.
Staring celebrated his victory with a fine stand-up wheelie across the finish line. Halliday hounded Jones through the final turns but did not have enough left to mount a real challenge thus Jones took second place, Halliday third.
Mark Chiodo an absolutely sensational fourth place. Such a shame that the young Victorian did not get on the podium to celebrate but wow, what a performance, and one that nobody expected.
Herfoss had been nursing a slipping clutch all race but it finally cried foul in the closing stages which saw him then easily passed by Daniel Falzon, Josh Waters, Glenn Scott, Matt Walters, Damon Rees, Lachlan Epis and Arthur Sissis, all on that final lap. The defending champion eventually crossed the line in 12th place, a disaster for the #1, but still better than a DNF…
Cru Halliday retains the championship lead while Mike Jones has trimmed that buffer slightly to ten-points. Bryan Staring moves to equal-third on points with Herfoss.
The man on cloud nine right now though I would suggest is Mark Chiodo, and rightly so. His peers recognised his stellar ride today by stopping on the cool-down lap to lean off their bikes and congratulate him. He was on the same SC0 rubber as the other Pirelli runners, and had burned them up perhaps more than others with his early pace, but he then also kept his cool to not throw it all away when under pressure from Jones late in the race, or when then passed by Staring and Halliday in the closing stages. A great mature performance, and one I hope to see more of. It is always a great pleasure to witness the youngsters start to nip at the heels of the established stars.
Wayne Maxwell will be out for revenge tomorrow and Troy Herfoss will figure much more highly when he doesn’t have a faulty clutch to contend with.
With all riders suffering seriously from tyre degradation issues, this round seems to be the one that could perhaps really give Bryan Staring’s title tilt a major shot in the arm. He is in form, getting plenty of track time thanks to his cross-entry in the Asia Superbike 1000 races, and it seems clear that the Dunlop rubber has enough of a late race advantage over his main championship rivals to give him the edge. He could be on course for a hat-trick here this weekend if he plays his cards right. Of course his competitors might have something to say about that….
ASBK Superbike Race One Results
- Bryan Staring – Kawasaki
- Mike Jones – Ducati +4.651
- Cru Halliday – Yamaha +4.845
- Mark Chiodo – Honda +8.322
- Daniel Falzon – Yamaha +15.203
- Josh Waters – Suzuki +15.319
- Glenn Scott – Kawsaki +17.965
- Matt Walters – Kawasaki +17.822
- Damon Rees – Honda +22.600
- Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki +22.977
- Arthur Sissis – Suzuki +23.432
- Troy Herfoss – Honda +28.753
- Ted Collins – BMW +29.536
- Sloan Frost – Suzuki +32.950
- Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki +36.011
- David Barker – Kawasaki +53.427
- Phil Czaj – Aprilia +57.622
- Evan Byles – Kawasaki +60.628
- Adam Senior – Yamaha +71.766
- Paul Van der Heiden – BMW +71.968
ASBK Superbike Championship Standings
- Cru Halliday 114
- Mike Jones 104
- Bryan Staring 100
- Troy Herfoss 100
- Josh Waters 95
- Daniel Falzon 81
- Wayne Maxwell 75
- Aiden Wagner 71
- Matt Walters 69
- Glenn Scott 65
- Mark Chiodo 57
- Glenn Allerton 56
- Ted Collins 49
- Alex Phillis 43
- Damon Rees 42
ASBK Supersport 600 competitors did not turn a wheel at all on Saturday until their Q2 session at 1435. Tom Toparis had been on provisional pole thanks to his stunning lap yesterday afternoon in QP1, a 1m55.964, almost a full-second quicker than second placed Broc Pearson.
The rider that really needed to have a problem free run in Q2 was Nic Liminton, the local lad was quickest during the Thursday practice session but some rim-tyre problems during the opening qualifying session prevented him from making a competitive time in Q1. Liminton though quickly made amends with a 1m57.030 early in Q2 saw him on the front of the grid but then went out again later in the session to drop in a 1m56.140 to go P2 on combined times.
In fact Liminton was actually more than two-tenths quicker than Toparis’ record lap at the second split but could not maintain that level of rage all the way to the flag.
Next time around though Liminton did go better again! Half-a-second quicker at the second and third splits… Could he keep it going all the way to the flag… No, he was baulked by a slower rider but he was on course for pole position, perhaps even a mid 1m55s, but we will never know…
Tom Toparis though had been putting in a string of fast laps as he worked on a set-up that would look after his tyres, and at the end of a reasonable length stint Toparis narrowly bettered his record lap from yesterday, down to 1m55.923, but then to underline his long-run pace he then bettered it again with a 1m55.798 as the session wound up. Despite the bursts of speed from Liminton it seemed clear that Toparis enjoys a clear edge over his competition here today.
ASBK SSP600 Qualifying Combined Times
- Tom Toparis – Yamaha 1m55.798 Q2
- Nic Liminton – Yamaha 1m56.140 Q2
- Broc Pearson – Yamaha 1m56.867
- Reid Battye – Suzuki 1m57.403 Q2
- Luke Mitchell – Yamaha 1m57.729 Q2
- Aidan Hayes – Yamaha 1m58.184
- Oli Bayliss – Yamaha 1m58.382 Q2
- Avalon Biddle – Yamaha 1m58.929 Q2
- Dallas Skeer – Suzuki 1m59.120 Q2
- Zac Johnson – Yamaha 1m59.335 Q2
- Chris Quinn – Yamaha 1m59.371 Q2
- Rhys Belling – Yamaha 1m59.376 Q2
- Timothy Donnon – Suzuki 2m00.243 Q2
- Andrew Edser – Kawasaki 2m01.482
- Ben Liebig – Triumph 2m01.566 Q2
- Jack Passfield – Yamaha 2m01.977 Q2
- John Quinn – Triumph 2m03.384
- Bronson Pickett – Yamaha 2m05.247 Q2
ASBK SSP600 Race One
Tom Toparis led the field away late on Saturday afternoon as Nic Liminton gave chase, that pair immediately started to pull away from their pursuers.
That chasing pack was being led by Luke Mitchell from Reid Battye and Broc Pearson. Oli Bayliss was there also early on but a couple of small mistakes on the opening lap saw him run off the circuit a few times which proved a costly mistake.
As the race wore on Reid Battye worked his way forward and tussled with Mitchell and Pearson over that third place but eventually Pearson showed that he had the speed to leave Battye and Mitchell in his wake.
Similarly Toparis had the pace over Liminton to pull out to a three-second lead that he then managed all the way to the chequered flag to take a dominant victory.
Dallas Skeer managed to overhaul Luke Mitchell to tke fifth place while Oli Bayliss regained his composure to hold off a charging Zac Johnson to take seventh place. Rhys Belling was also in that pack but fell at the final corner in a frustrating end to the race for the #61.
ASBK SSP600 Race One Results
- Tom Toparis – Yamaha
- Nic Liminton – Yamaha +5.390
- Broc Pearson – Yamaha +16.334
- Reid Battye – Suzuki +20.957
- Dallas Skeer – Suzuki +21.779
- Luke Mitchell – Yamaha +22.397
- Oli Bayliss – Yamaha +30.629
- Zac Johnson – Yamaha +30.680
- Avalon Biddle – Yamaha +30.893
- Aidan Hayes – Yamaha +32.781
- Andrew Edser – Kawasaki +37.942
- Chris Quinn – Yamaha +41.683
- Jack Passfield – Yamaha +42.405
- Timothy Donnon – Suzuki +43.813
- Ben Liebig – Triumph +53.030
ASBK SSP600 Championship Standings
- Tom Toparis 153
- Nic Liminton 112
- Broc Pearson 107
- Oli Bayliss 101
- Reid Battye 91
- Aidan Hayes 84
- Ty Lynch 58
- Dallas Skeer 57
- Rhys Belling 54
- Callum Spriggs 49
ASBK SSP600 Championship Standings
ASBK SSP300 Race One
Local favourite Olly Simpson started the seven-lap Supersport 300 race from pole and duly led the 35-rider field through turn one as Seth Crump, Hunter Ford and Brandon Demmery giving chase.
Hunter Ford though then came down while Seth Crump also ran momentarily off track. The pair had been tussing for position but taking slightly different lines and Hunter Ford collected the rear of Crump, pushing Crump sideways but while the son of three-time World Speedway Champion Jason managed to recover, there was no saving the front end for Hunter Ford.
These were the two riders that looked most likely to be able to take the battle up to Simpson but with Ford out, and Crump losing a dozen positions, the local lad now had it all to himself up front.
The battle for the final positions on the rostrum though was far from over as Zac Levy, Locky Taylor, Senna Agius and Harry Khouri brushed elbows and traded paint at almost every turn. As the race wore on that quartet turned into a nine-rider affair as Max Stauffer, Brandon Demmery, Ben Baker, Travis Hall and Kyle O’Connell joined the party as the race hit half-distance.
Early on the penultimate lap Max Stauffer pushed his way forward to second but ran wide into the dirt and lost a couple of those positions again. At the last lap board Simpson led by 10-seconds while Demmery was trying to hold on to second position from a charging horde.
Ben Baker led Khouri onto the main straight but a small loss of traction at lean cost him and that allowed Harry Khouri to get him on the run to the line and claim second.
Brandon Demmery took fourth ahead of Locky Taylor, Senna Agius, Zac Levy, Max Stauffer while Travis Hall rounded out that group in ninth.
ASBK SSP300 Race One Results
- Olly Simpson – Yamaha
- Harry Khouri – Yamaha +10.412
- Ben Baker – Yamaha +10.589
- Brandon Demmery – Yamaha +10.669
- Locky Taylor – Yamaha +10.942
- Senna Agius – Kawasaki +11.012
- Zac Levy – Yamaha +11.022
- Max Stauffer – Yamaha +11.043
- Travis Hall – Yamaha +11.241
- Yanni Shaw – Kawasaki +14.189
- John Lytras – Yamaha +15.816
- Seth Crump – KTM
ASBK SSP300 Championship Standings