Locky Taylor impresses on world stage while Houghton secures Australian Moto 3 Round one honours
The Australian Moto3/125 GP category were the first bikes to hit the track at Phillip Island on Sunday, setting the scene for what would be a huge day of racing for Round 1 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli.
With the Moto3/125 GP field treating spectators to a head to head battle between Honda mounted Brian Houghton and Suus Customs rider Matt Barton, anticipation for the race commencement grew this morning.
So when bike engines roared and screamed off the grid, all eyes focussed on the front row, with Barton in pole position, and looking to finish off round one of the ASBK on the top step.
With one lap in the books it was Queenslander Locky Taylor who got to the early race lead, followed by Barton and Houghton who slotted in to second and third behind him.
It wasn’t long however before Barton got by Taylor and demanded control of the only Moto3/125 GP race of the day, leaving Taylor and Houghton to fight for second position behind him.
And fight they did, the pair battled hard enough to make their way back on to the tail of fastest qualifier Barton, and began to pressure the race leader for the top spot.
However, it was the youngster Taylor who carried his fighting momentum in to the race lead, with Houghton hot on his tail, also passing Barton to lock in second position.
It was no surprise however when Barton and Houghton began their fight for second position, switching positions twice in lap five, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats.
On lap six, Taylor was pipped by Barton for the top position once again, relegating Taylor all the way back to third, with Houghton slotting in to second. However, it wasn’t long before Tom Edwards joined the lead group, managing to get by Taylor at one point and move in to a third place podium position, but Taylor was just too quick, passing Edwards back after only a few turns.
By lap eight the lead group had hit a back marker, making the fight for the final Moto3/125 GP race win all the more challenging – so with experience on his side, Houghton took advantage and moved in to the race lead in the closing stages with Barton and Taylor following in second and third behind him.
However, Barton was determined for this race to go down to the wire, and after moving in to the race lead both Houghton and Barton crashed in the final lap, and although able to resume to the race the pair’s positions were effected.
With Barton unfortunately well and truly out of contention for the race win, and unable to finish the race, Houghton was able to recover from his earlier crash and eventually take the chequered flag in third position.
Taylor and Edwards were able to capitalise on Barton and Houghton’s misfortunes, 14-year-old super star Taylor taking the Moto3/125 GP race three win, ahead of Edwards who put in an outstanding effort to be rewarded with second.
Taylor was over the moon after his first race win, sharing that he wanted to show the field that despite his age, he’s here for business.
“I was just kind of lurking at the start to see what lines they were taking and how fast they were going and then I was trying my heart out to try and stick with them.
“It was a good race; I was trying my heart out. Tommy Edwards got on the inside of me and last corner, I just held it nailed and tried to slip stream it down the straight and luckily got him, real happy with the race.
“I’d like to thank mum and dad and my sponsors, Voit contracting and Tas earth moving. The other competitors are real strong on the breaks and I just through I’ve got to be aggressive and stick it up the inside so I know I can do this!”
When the points were tallied from the three Moto3/125 GP Races, it was Houghton who narrowly took the round win from Taylor by a single point.
“To be able to take the round win is excellent! The glass is definitely half full today.
“I am quiet happy with that last race, it was unfortunate that I dropped it, I would have like to have challenged Locky(Taylor) more, but he just shot off.
“The conditions were perfect actually the bike wasn’t sliding around, the only reason why I fell off is because I just went a bit hot into MG corner. Fortunately I managed to keep the bike running, just jumped back on motocross style and off we went.”
ASBK 2016 – Round One – Phillip Island – Moto3 / 125 Championship Points
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