Rain dampens proceedings on opening day of ASBK finale at Winton

Riders experienced mixed conditions at Winton Motor Raceway today as they readied for this weekend’s ASBK Grand Finale. Rain came and went, then came again, thus little can be deduced from today’s times.

No rider in contention for a championship this weekend was going to take any sort of risks on a constantly changing track. No championship could be won today, but one could certainly be lost through one single minor mistake resulting in a broken wrist. Something that could so easily happen from even the most minor of tumbles.

For what it’s worth, Troy Herfoss topped the first session with a 1m36.06 on the fourth of his four laps. Wayne Maxwell did not bother going out in the first session.

Jamie Stauffer topped FP2, a 1m33.679 more than ten seconds off a reasonable dry pace at this circuit, but good enough to best Allerton, Maxwell, Herfoss and Waters in the second practice session.

Jamie Stauffer - Image by Keith Muir
Jamie Stauffer – Image by Keith Muir

A heavy deluge then soaked the track completely ahead of the third and final Superbike practice session, which was delayed as circuit cars lapped the 3km circuit trying to help force some of the water from the track surface.

Only Nathan Spiteri and Peter Berry went out in the first ten minutes of the session. Brayden Elliott then hit the circuit with ten minutes remaining in the 25-minute session. A few minutes later Mike Jones and Jamie Stauffer also ventured out of pitlane. The five riders splashed their way around the circuit. Elliott’s team had changed the clutch plates between sessions while Mike Jones suffered some bike problems in FP2 and thus went out on ciruit to try and shake down any issues.

Jamie Stauffer thus was credited with the fastest time of the day from the 1m33.679 he put in during FP2. Herfoss was set to go up to two-seconds quicker on his final lap in FP2 before slipping off at the penultimate turn. But as mentioned earlier, little can be read into anything from today as conditions will be different tomorrow, and different again on Sunday.

There are forecasts of some showers, but early indications are that we might get lucky and things might stay mainly dry from here on in right through Sunday race day, as the next major front is not expected to drop any significant dumps until Sunday evening. But with this weeks treacherous weather conditons have proved that right now everyone can, perhaps, expect the unexpected..

Glenn Allerton - Image by Keith Muir
Glenn Allerton – Image by Keith Muir
Superbike Combined Friday Practice Times
  1. Jamie Stauffer 1m33.679
  2. Glenn Allerton 1m33.849
  3. Wayne Maxwell 1m34.251
  4. Troy Herfoss 1m34.678
  5. Josh Waters 1m36.269
  6. Daniel Falzon 1m36.788
  7. Cru Halliday 1m39.142
  8. Ryan Hampton 1m39.865
  9. Mike Jones 1m40.180
  10. Sloan Frost 1m40.559
  11. Adam Senior 1m40.676
  12. Nathan Spiteri 1m42.250
  13. Beau Beaton 1m44.468
  14. Brendan Schmidt 1m44.966
  15. Peter Berry 1m45.257
  16. Brayden Elliott 1m48.005
2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship
ASBK Championship Standings after Round Five
  1. Wayne Maxwell 216
  2. Troy Herfoss 209
  3. Glenn Allerton  205
  4. Daniel Falzon 137
  5. Mike Jones 137
  6. Cru Halliday 124
  7. Brayden Elliott 120
  8. Jamie Stauffer 115
  9. Ben Burke 114
  10. Sloan Frost 98

The Supersport category enjoyed a damp track for their final practice session today and it was Sam Clarke that proved head and shoulders above the competitiomn in the mixed conditions to top the leaderboard, more than two-seconds than Robbie Menzies. The Queenslander had topped the much wetter FP2 session but could not match Clarke once the track started to dry a little later this afternoon.

Mark Chiodo and his team packed up early to head back to Geoff Winzer’s Wangaratta workshop to do some work on the Triumph after they suffered a setback this morning. The team thought they may have expired an engine after it was left to rev on its side after a crash, as oil and smoke started pouring out of the machines exhaust. After getting it back to Winzer’s workshop for further investigation, Garry House removed the plugs and tried to turn the machine over, when he and the workshop got sprayed violenty with oil out of the plug holes, as the combustion chambers and inlet tracts had filled with oil when the machine was on its side. Luckily the oil had cooled down by the time they got back to the workshop! Apparently oil was everywhere, all over House and his face, and all over the workshop! The boys could have a laugh about it later but I don’t think they found it quite so funny at the time!

Sam Clarke - Image by Keith Muir
Sam Clarke – Image by Keith Muir
Supersport Combined Friday Practice Times
  1. Sam Clarke 1m34.895
  2. Robbie Menzies 1m36.988
  3. Luke Mitchell 1m37.342
  4. Callum Spriggs 1m39.388
  5. Nic Liminton 1m40.086
  6. Ted Collins 1m40.531
  7. Thomas Bryden 1m40.892
  8. Troy Guenther 1m43.481
  9. Brad Shaw 1m44.030
  10. Rhys Belling 1m46.662

The 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli, competitors will put it all on the line at Winton Motor Raceway this September 30 – October 2.

ASBK 2016 - Winton - Schedule
ASBK 2016 – Winton – Schedule