Riders got out for their second session of the day this afternoon at Hidden Valley with a 30-minute FP2 session. The track temperature had passed 56-degrees, while ambient was a sticky 32-degrees.
That didn’t stop Wayne Maxwell from dropping in a 66 on his first flying lap then putting a 66.508 on his second and a 66.379 on his third to further underline his potential here this weekend. Some lapped traffic then slowed him back to a 67 before he then got straight back down to a 66.335s, which he then backed that up with a 66.177, undercutting his FP1 topping time from the morning.
Troy Herfoss had gone out at the beginning of the session and completed a lap but then returned to the pits, presumably with some sort of problem. The Penrite Honda man lost almost ten-minutes before getting back out on circuit.
Mike Jones went a tenth quicker than his FP1 time early in the session, a 66.5, which he then repeated again a few minutes later.
Glenn Allerton had turned his first laps on the new M 1000 RR late in FP1 and immediately dropped another three-tenths in FP2 with a couple of 66.7s in succession.
Oli Bayliss had demonstrated great speed in FP1 but was running somewhat under the radar in FP2, that was until the teenager got wound up with ten-minutes left in the session and went top! A 66.072 putting the youngster on top of the time-sheets. His DesmoSport Ducati team-mate Mike Jones also improved his standing to 66.306 at this juncture and it was a Ducati 1-2-3 atop the timing screens. Oli then put in a 66.153 to show that 66.072 hadn’t been a flash in the pan.
With six-minutes to run almost the entire Superbike field were on track. Maxwell was putting in more quick laps, a 66.213 not quite as good as his earlier 66.177, but again underlining how consistently he is able to turn in quick laps.
South Australian privateer Daniel Falzon dropped in a 66.520s to declare to the paddock that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with this weekend, despite a long time away from competition.
Herfoss didn’t really get down to business until the dying minutes, a 66.524 shaving a few thousandths off his FP1 time but only good enough for fifth. He improved further in the dying seconds to 66.381 to push Falzon back to fifth.
With two-minutes to run Maxwell put the Boost Mobile Ducati back on top with a 66.051. That time set amidst a run of low 66.1s. While other top runners had put in a fast lap here and there, Maxwell was just reeling lap after lap off around this pace every time he was on the circuit. So far, he is looking without a doubt the man to beat.
“We worked through our plan today, and it was satisfying to end the day on top, but it hasn’t been without its challenges,” Maxwell said. “Our head engineer, Adrian, is stuck in Melbourne at the moment, so he’s been working remotely. Without the personal interaction, it makes it harder, but a full credit to the Boost Mobile with K-Tech crew – they’re doing their best in difficult circumstances and as usual, they’ve given me a very good bike. I did my fastest time on a used tyre, so I’m confident heading into qualifying tomorrow.”
Hugely impressive for Oli Bayliss to run Wayne so close and take second overall for the day, three-tenths ahead of his vastly experienced team-mate Mike Jones who completed that Ducati 1-2-3 on Friday. Neither of them displayed the consistency at that pace demonstrated by Maxwell though.
“My only previous experience at Hidden Valley was on a Supersport 300 bike, so I knew I had to train as hard as I could to prepare for a weekend of Superbike racing in hot conditions,” Bayliss said. “We improved in both sessions today and I was really happy with my times before the clutch let go, so we’re in good shape for tomorrow.”
Herfoss fourth but I suspect it was not all plain sailing today at Penrite Honda and he is yet to really demonstrate his full potential. I think they will be stronger tomorrow.
Glenn Allerton and NextGen BMW will be absolutely pumped off the back of today’s first run on the new M 1000 RR. They are only scratching the surface of the set-up potential of the bike yet they were only half-a-second off P1 and well in the game.
Daniel Falzon sixth on the privateer JD Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 a huge boon for the family squad as they took the honour of being top Yamaha.
Bryan Staring got the BC Performance Kawasaki into the 66s, a 66.780 good enough for seventh quickest and giving the squad more encouragement after what has been a difficult start to season 2021 for the Sydney based outfit.
Cru Halliday was eighth quickest just ahead of Jed Metcher while Lachlan Epis rounded out the top ten ahead of Josh Waters, Arthur Sissis and Aiden Wagner.
The qualifying lap record at Hidden Valley was set by Troy Bayliss here a few years ago at 65.601s, and the race lap record set by Troy Herfoss the same year at 65.904s.
Qualifying gets underway tomorrow morning ahead of Race One on Saturday afternoon followed by two more races on Sunday.
Friday Combined Times
Honda CBR RR
BMW S RR
BMW S RR
BMW S RR
ASBK Hidden Valley Schedule
Friday, 18 June
10:25am – Practice 1 (40 min) FOX Sports
2:20pm – Practice 2 (30 min) FOX Sports
Saturday, 19 June
10:15am – Qualifying 1 (20 min) FOX Sports
10:40am – Qualifying 2 (15 min) FOX Sports
2:05pm – Race 1 (16 laps) FOX Sports/Channel 7
Sunday, 20 June
10:50am – Race 2 (16 laps) FOX Sports
2:05pm – Race 3 (16 laps) FOX Sports/Channel 7
2021 ASBK Championship Calendar (Updated)
Round 1 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC February 18-21 Cancelled
Round 2 Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC March 12-14
Round 3 Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn, NSW April 16-18
Round 4 Hidden Valley Raceway, NT – Supercars 2+4 (Superbikes only) June 18-20
Round 5 Morgan Park Raceway, QLD August 20-22
Round 6 The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA September 23-26
Round 7 Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn, NSW October 15 – 17 *
Round 8 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC November 5-7 *
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