ASBK 2022 – Round Four
Hidden Valley – Superbike Race Two
With slightly cooler, but still very warm conditions at Hidden Valley this morning, teams and riders adversely affected by the heat in Saturday’s race will be hoping for a smoother trot in this second bout before it heats up again for the third and final encounter later this afternoon.
The Maxima Oils pairing of Glenn Allerton and Josh Waters both saw the ECU of their M 1000 R pull back their power during the race as the engine started to get too hot in the heat of battle. Josh Waters was hot to trot from the off and put in the fastest lap of the race on lap two and looked to have potentially race winnning speed after a great launch from fourth on the grid, but drifted back to eighth after the standard cooling system (no race kit radiators allowed in ASBK), on the M 1000 RR started to struggle. Allerton was also slowed by the bike temperature but not to the same extent that Waters had suffered, Glenn clinching fourth place.
Wayne Maxwell also had some sort of problems on Saturday holding him back but chose not to elaborate as to exactly what they were. He finished fourth after earlier lowering the outright Hidden Valley motorcycle benchmark in qualifying with the one and only 64-second lap ever seen at the Darwin circuit. We can expect more from Maxwell in this one…
There were no problems for championship leader Mike Jones though as he got to the front, pulled away, and then managed the gap in the race to take 25-points and extend his championship lead over Maxwell out to 30-points. Jones smooth as silk and absolutely peerless through the tight back sections of the circuit.
The big news story though was a fighting resurgence by Troy Herfoss. 12 months on since he sustained life changing injuries at this circuit he came from sixth on the grid and got faster as the race progressed, eventually pipping Bryan Staring for second after a heady battle with the DesmoSport Ducati rider over the final two laps.
Cru Halliday and Arthur Sissis had also displayed podium potential on Saturday on their way to sixth and seventh place finishes, but were only three-seconds from a podium after the 16 laps. Daniel Falzon and Lachlan Epis rounded out the top ten on Saturday but were almost a second a lap behind over race distance and will be searching for more race speed today.
Hidden Valley Race Two
The track temperature had just passed 40-degrees as the riders formed up on the grid with the ambient nudging towards 30-degrees.
Wayne Maxwell suffered terribly from the start and was shuffled all the way back to eighth after the clutch bit home hard sending the front wheel went skyward and forcing him to get out of the throttle. The Boost Mobile Ducati had some clutch problems earlier on in the weekend and they did not look cured.
Arthur Sissis scored the holeshot ahead of Mike Jones and they negotiated the opening turns in that order but Herfoss was showing his hunger by slotting under Mike Jones for second place on that opening lap. Bryan Staring joined that party late on the opening lap to get past Herfoss but it was still South Australian privateer Arthur Sissis still leading the field.
Maxwell was also suffering from a fuel breather hose that had come loose and was spraying him with fuel from time to time as he worked his way back up to sixth on lap two.
Lachlan Epis ran off the circuit after hitting a false neutral before rejoining to add further frustration to what had started out as a promising weekend for the BMW Alliance rider.
Bryan Staring then moved through to the race lead, passing Sissis early on lap five. Mike Jones third, Herfoss fourth and Maxwell now inching closer in fifth after being the fastest man on track during lap four.
Sissis got the the lead back briefly into turn one but ran wide enough to allow Staring to sweep back under him. Wayne Maxwell then picked off both Troy Herfoss and Mike Jones to move up to third place. A truly amazing recovery after an absolutely diabolical start and setting a new race lap record of 65.407 in the process.
At half-race distance Wayne Maxwell then relegated Sissis to third place and started to hound Bryan Staring. Cru Halliday actually the fastest man on that eighth lap though with a 65.772 down in eighth place. Maxwell was still looking down at his fuel tank and suffering from fuel getting sprayed on to him and burning his legs.
Bryan Staring and Maxwell brushed each other under brakes settling for turn one next time around, Staring took the advantage though to lead again as that pair started to break away from third placed Sissis, who now had Mike Jones and Troy Herfoss in close company. That pair then relegated Sissis to fifth place on the following lap. Herfoss then pushed Jones back to fourth and put his head down to try and close down Staring and Maxwell.
Wayne Maxwell got the better of Staring again on lap ten but nothing separated the Ducati duo who were now also starting to be caught by Herfoss and Jones. Staring strong under brakes again to take the race lead into turn one once again.
Cru Halliday had worked his way up to fifth place and was now 2.5-seconds away from the race leaders with four laps to run.
Jones slipped under Herfoss at turn one next time around but ran wide enough to allow Herfoss back through to that third place. That tussle though did allow the two Ducati man to get a little more breathing space. Herfoss got Jones again a couple of turns later, Jones then returned the favour… Nine-tenths covered the top four with three laps to go…
Maxwell back through to the lead but the leaders then encounted a group of backmarkers which Jones negotiated best to close right up onto the tail of second placed Staring. Maxwell led across the stripe by four-tenths with two laps to go, the biggest gap of the race… Staring second, Jones third, Herfoss fourth…
Wayne Maxwell now had some clear air and was making the best of it to inch away from his pursuers. His lead at the last lap board seven-tenths. Mike Jones slipped past Staring early in that final lap and immediately started closing on Maxwell. Jones reducing his buffer to quarter of a second through the back section but Maxwell hung on through the final complex to take an absolutely brilliant fight from behind win.
Jones putting in his fastest lap of the race on that final lap and if not for that last lap to and fro with Herfoss might have got Maxwell on that final lap…
Bryan Staring rounded out the podium to help keep his championship hopes alive but Herfoss faded a little to slip to fourth.
Halliday had podium pace at times but ultimatey crossed the line more than five-seconds behind the leaders in fifth place but with a few bike lengths over Josh Waters.
Early race leader Arthur Sissis slipped to a seventh place finish after runnning off at turn one, but still came home ahead of Daniel Falzon and Anthony West. Lachlan Epis rounded out the top ten more than 30-seconds behind the race winner.
Glenn Allerton had podium pace at times but ultimately slipped to 14th place after experiencing some bodywork issues where part of the seat unit collapsed on to the rear tyre. That is a hefty blow to Allerton’s championship chances.
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