Round Six – Phillip Island
Saturday Morning Sitrep
Another almost perfect morning greeted competitors at Phillip Island on Saturday morning.
Some streaky cloud about but overall a pleasant start to the day ahead of an expected top around 24-degrees. However, forecasts also suggests that late in the day we can perhaps expect some blustery winds to roll in.
When Superbike competitors exited pit-lane on schedule at 1020 the track temperature was around 20-degrees.
The wind had started to pick up and a tail-wind blowing down the main straight helped push the top speeds much higher than yesterday. Josh Waters clocking 315 km/h through the traps and Troy Herfoss only one-click slower.
Josh Waters started reeling off a run of 1m32s and was joined in that bracket was Mike Jones and Troy Herfoss. Waters completed four laps before returning to the pits, his best of 1m32.436s in that first short run three-tenths quicker than the rest. The McMartin Racing Ducati man exited the pits for his second run with 17-minutes left on the shot clock. Backing that 1m32.436 up with a 1m32.520.
Mike Jones and Bryan Staring were running together on track, the defending champ was well under Waters’ times through the first three splits, and Staring was staying right with him. Jones though lost time in the final sector after getting held up, crossing the stripe with a 1m32.658 while Staring bettered that with a 1m32.460. Next time around Jones pushed Staring back to third with a 1m32.441.
With seven-minutes remaining Waters, Jones and Staring were all in the 1m32.4s, two-hundredths of a second in it. At this juncture Waters was back in the pits but Jones was still circulating, and circulating quickly, a 1m32.772 on his 12th lap of the session, followed by a 1m32.624, then a 1m32.953.
Waters exited the pits with four-minutes remaining. By this stage Troy Herfoss had moved up to fourth, Max Stauffer fifth, Broc Pearson sixth, Cru Halliday seventh and the final man in the 1m32s.
Waters first flying lap on this final run a 1m32.600, followed by a 1m32.695 on his 14th and final lap of the session. Thus his early 1m32.436 stood the test of time ahead of Mike Jones and Bryan Staring, 25-thousandths of a second covering that trio.
While Waters and Jones had done many fast laps though, Staring recorded only done one, and that was when following Jones. The MotoGO rider’s next best lap was eight-tenths slower.
Mike Jones recorded more 32s than anyone in that session, eight of them in fact, including a run of five in succession. Waters dipped into the 32s six-times. Putting all of his four best sectors together in a single lap would have seen Jones top proceedings on a 1m32.146.
Troy Herfoss was next best, almost half-a-second slower, with Max Stauffer, Broc Pearson and Cru Halliday in close company. The Penrite Honda man had put in a few laps in the high 1m32s. Broc Pearson’s best came on his final lap which shows they are heading in the right direction.
Max Stauffer is particularly quick in the second and fourth sectors but loses time through the first and third sectors of the lap. If he can nail those down he will be quick enough to be in podium contention. He also lost a little time in that session due to a minor technical oversight.
Glenn Allerton eighth and Anthony West ninth. Allerton woud have expected to be more competitive here this weekend, it was not just one or two sectors where he was lacking pace, but across all four sectors. They have had a few technical gremlins to get on top of in order for Glenn and the BMW to show their true potential.
Tom Toparis was tenth quickest. Not bad going considering he threw a leg over the Stop N Seal Yamaha for the first time yesterday and only got a few laps in this morning. Despite that he was only 1.3-seconds off the morning P1 benchmark set by Waters.
Another rider coming back from BSB to throw a leg over a Superbike for the first time was young Jacob Hatch, he was 16th quickest this morning on the Addicted to Track Yamaha, four-seconds off P1 pace.
Mark Chiodo marked his return to ASBK with 11th place, his best of 1m34.071 coming on his 12th and final lap of the session.
Arthur Sissis had some problems with the Unitech Racing Yamaha on Friday and was still trying to find his potential, ending Timed Practice in 12th place just ahead of Ted Collins, Jed Metcher and Matt Walters.
Q1 is scheduled to get underway at 1440 this afternoon followed by Q2 at 1510. Sunday’s opening 12-lap contest is slated for 1130 with the second and final bout set to start at 1515.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.