Round One – Phillip Island
Superbike Race Three
Aiden Wagner had certainly put a cat amongst the factory backed pigeons here at the ASBK 2019 season opener at Phillip Island. Pole position, second place in the opening 12-lap bout on Saturday morning (Race One Report Link), followed by a sensational last lap clash while battling Wayne Maxwell around turn 12 on the final lap of the second race (Race Two Report Link), meant the Queenslander clearly had a target on his back as the man to beat come Sunday morning’s third and final 12-lap Australian Superbike race for the weekend, all staged as a support act to the opening round of the World Superbike Championship.
Troy Bayliss out injured
Troy Bayliss had suffered injuries to fingers on both hands in two crashes over the course of the weekend and problems operating the brake lever had forced the three-time World Superbike Champion to sit out the last two races of the round.
Poor start for Wagner
A terrible start for Aiden Wagner saw the provisional championship leader swamped before turn one. Josh Waters had got a stellar launch to lead the field through Southern Loop for the first time ahead of Daniel Falzon. The YRT man had been getting great starts all weekend that had failed to be converted in to a great result, no doubt the South Australia was out to change that fortune in this final bout of the opening round.
Aiden Wagner recovered from that poor launch to work his way past Allerton, Jones and Halliday before then passing Daniel Falzon by Siberia, moving up to second place.
Wagner then chased down Waters in quick fashion and was soon all over the back of the #21 Suzuki. Falzon was coming with him though and both him and Wagner got the better of Josh Waters early on lap three.
A new lap record to Mike Jones
Mike Jones had pulled out an awesome second lap, a new lap record of 1m31.881s in fact, to start closing on the leading group.
Cru Halliday also had been quickening his pace and had managed to close on Waters and turn the leading group into a tightly packed band of four.
Then it was five!
Mike Jones joined the group with nine laps to run to make it a five-way affair up front. Leading that tussle was Wagner, from Waters, Falzon, Halliday and Jones. Less than half-a-second separated them.
More look to join the party!
Further back Wayne Maxwell and Troy Herfoss had started to edge towards the leading group and by half race distance Maxwell and Herfoss were on the back of Waters, making it now a seven-way affair up front.
Cru Halliday takes the lead
After leading for the majority of the race and holding off his pursuers, Wagner was finally gazumped by Halliday and Jones on the run to turn one with five laps remaining.
Wagner’s determination though was very real and it was only a matter of turns before he was again leading the pack. Next time on to the main straight it was still Wagner in the lead but again Mike Jones swept past him at turn one.
Mike Jones into the lead
Wagner got him back at Southern Loop, the two changed places again on the run out of there before Wagner took the lead again at turn three. Jones though got him at Hayshed and led around Lukey Heights and into MG Hairpin. Wagner was on his tail as they wound the bikes up through turns 11 and 12, Waters was in third, Halliday fourth.
Three laps to run and again Mike Jones gets Wagner at the end of the main straight. This time he holds on until turn four before Wagner again forces his way through, these two going at it hard, but another five riders were still right on their tail and ready to pounce should either make the slightest mistake.
Aiden Wagner makes a break
Aiden Wagner then got a great run around the back of the circuit to this time around sneak away a little from Jones, only a couple of bike lengths but enough to hold off the Kawasaki rider down the main straight and lead as they started the next lap. Jones though took the lead around the back of the circuit and led the pack down the main straight as they got the last lap board.
Aiden Wagner took the lead early on the last lap but was still closely followed by Jones, Halliday, Falzon and Waters. Wayne Maxwell and Troy Herfoss had now been dropped a little and looked out of the podium battle.
Wagner led around the back of the circuit and Jones ran in a little hot to MG in his quest to get the better of Wagner, that was enough to allow Wagner enough space to wind his privateer Yamaha up around turn 11 and 12 to take a brilliant and very hard fought win.
Aiden Wagner now leads the championship on 71-points as the series heads north in a few weeks time for round two at Wakefield Park.
Mike Jones took second place over Cru Halliday. The YRT man took second place for the round on 55-points ahead of Josh Waters, the Suzuki man earning 50-points and third place for the round.
Well that ASBK season opening round had it all and the spectacular action all played out in front of a very impressive WorldSBK crowd at Phillip Island. Somewhat surprisingly, the Australian round is actually one of the most well attended rounds of the entire World Superbike Championship, and this crowd were certainly wowed by the ASBK action this weekend and definitely got their money’s worth.
Wakefield Park might feel like a bit of a come down after the excitement and atmosphere of this event, but the on-track action will be just as epic when the second round plays out on the weekend of March 24 at the 2.2-kilometre circuit situated on the outskirts of Goulburn. See you there!
|ASBK Superbike Race Three Results|
- Aiden Wagner – Yamaha
- Mike Jones – Kawasaki +0.317
- Cru Halliday – Yamaha +0.398
- Daniel Falzon – Yamaha +0.825
- Josh Waters – Suzuki +0.848
- Wayne Maxwell – Suzuki +0.933
- Troy Herfoss – Honda +1.430
- Bryan Staring – Kawasaki +1.958
- Glenn Allerton – BMW +7.745
- Ted Collins – BMW +12.164
- Arthur Sissis – Suzuki +15.336
- Mark Chiodo – Honda +15.383
- Glenn Scott – Kawasaki +16.301
- Max Croker – Suzuki +16.547
- Matt Walters – Kawasaki +18.222
- Alex Phillis – Suzuki +30.884
- Sloan Frost – Suzuki +36.312
- Phil Czaj – Aprilia +43.996
- Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki +53.898
- Ryan Yanko – Ducati +53.946
- Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki +55.573
- David Barker – Kawasaki +57.618
- Matt Tooley – Yamaha +65.993
- Simon Barbacetto – Yamaha +66.966
- Evan Byles – Kawasaki +68.797
|ASBK Superbike Championship Points Standings|
- Aiden Wagner 71
- Cru Halliday 55
- Josh Waters 50
- Mike Jones 49
- Bryan Staring 48
- Troy Herfoss 41
- Wayne Maxwell 40
- Glenn Allerton 40
- Daniel Falzon 32
- Ted Collins 31
- Matt Walters 30
- Glenn Scott 28
- Max Croker 267
- Mark Chiodo 24
- Alex Phillis 19
- Arthur Sissis 18
- Sloan Frost 12
- Damon Rees 11
- Lachlan Epis 10
- Phil Czaj 8
Round 2 of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship heads to Wakefield Park in Goulburn (March 22-24).