Troy Herfoss got the jump off the line to lead Jamie Stauffer through turn one as ASBK season 2015 got underway under perfect blue skies at Phillip Island this afternoon.
Hook ran a little wide which allowed Sean Condon to take advantage, Hook tried to come back at the Kawasaki pilot but Condon held on to the position until he was flipped out of the Kawasaki’s saddle at MG Hairpin, the Sydneysider coming down heavily and immediately favouring his wrist.
Jamie Stauffer clearly displayed his intentions throughout the back section of the circuit putting some confident movess on Herfoss but the Goulburn resident was having none of it. The two were holding nothing back through the Hayshed, Lukey Heights then through turn 11 and 12. Stauffer was in the lead down the main straight for the first time but when Herfoss pulled out of his slipstream he could not pull the Fireblade up in time and with Stauffer on his inside it was the Kurri Kurri rider that came off worse, having to take to the grass and rejoin the circuit way down in sixth place.
As the rest of the field negotiated Southern Loop there was a huge two-rider crash and with both motorcycles stranded in the middle of the track officials chose to bring out the red flag to put a temporary halt to the race. Paul Simonson the injured rider.
A full re-start over a reduced eight-lap distance on original grid positions required.
When the race got underway again it was Stauffer immediately streaking away to a lead over Herfoss and Hook. Superbike debutante Daniel Falzon started well in fourth but ran wide at Southern Loop and Linden Magee quickly swooped on that fourth place.
Jamie Stauffer was perhaps a little too eager over Lukey Heights and his Fireblade SP flipped him up and over the bars just as he seemingly picked up the throttle on entry to the tricky turn nine. Jamie got up quickly but looked to be hurt and clutched his back, with a possible back injury no risks were taken and officials chose to bring out the red flag once again to ensure all precautions could be taken. From the footage it appeared as though Jamie perhaps came down heavily on his tailbone and hip. Word on the ground is that Jamie Stauffer is being taken to hospital with a suspected broken hip.
Two red flags mean that the race is officially cancelled and with no laps completed no results are thus recorded. It was exciting while it lasted! Normally two red flags make a race null and void and are generally not rescheduled but we are hearing that this time around they are going to reschedule the race for 0820 Sunday morning. Apparently the steward can order a rescheduling if less than two laps are completed and we understand that is what has happened in this instance. However, official approval for the rescheduling is yet to be received from Dorna.
ASBK Race Two is scheduled for 1550 tomorrow afternoon and is listed as the final event on the World Superbike Sunday race schedule.
Michael Blair wins Australian Supersport opener
By Trevor Hedge
Michael Blair led the Australian Supersport field away in the first of their two 10-lap encounters of the weekend ahead of Callum Spriggs, Paul Young and Mitch Levy.
Young went under Spriggs for second place at turn one as they started lap two but Callum Spriggs was all over him for the next lap trying to find his way back through.
Spriggs managed to take second place back a lap later and closed down race leader Michael Blair.
Kane Burns had been running strongly in fifth but ran off the circuit a few laps into the race, likewise Brayden Elliott made a mistake with six laps to run. Burns was able to rejoin and eventually finish 12th but Elliott was a DNF.
Blair put in a 1m37.316 on lap five to eke out half-a-second over Spriggs, who likewise had half-a-second on Young as the race passed the halfway mark.
Spriggs continued to match Blair for pace as the race wore on but Young started to lose touch as the race wore on, with two laps to go the veteran Kawasaki rider was more than two-second behind the race leader but had a considerable 10-second gap over fourth placed Mitch Levy.
With two laps still to run the front runners were already encountering lapped traffic.
Michael Blair got the last lap board a full second ahead of Spriggs, who in turn now had 1.5-second on Young. The podium finishers the only riders to dip under the 1m38s barrier during the race.
Michael Blair taking the win by 1.15-seconds over Spriggs at the flag while Young lost a lot of time on the final lap to finish five-seconds down in third place. Mitch Levy got the better of Ryan Taylor for fourth place after the pair enjoyed a great battle for position over the final laps.
The second Australian Supersport race for the weekend is scheduled for 1015 Sunday morning.
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