Troy Guenther claims Motul Supersport victory at Round 1 of ASBK
After the Superbikes had revved up the spectators for plenty of action on Sunday morning, the Motul Supersport category were the next bikes to hit the grid for their second and third races of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli.
With Graffiti Alley Racing’s Troy Guenther looking to remain undefeated at round one, and the likes of Repsol Triumph rider Mark Chiodo hoping to showcase just what he’s capable of, fans were in for a treat when racing got underway.
When the Motul Supersport bikes screamed off the grid for their first race of the day, it was Banhams WA Racing’s Sam Clarke who led the pack in to the first turn, with Yamaha mounted Guenther tucking in to second behind him.
After only two laps, the three Supersport machines of Clarke, Chiodo, and Ben Blyth (Yamaha) began to separate themselves from the group – Guenther a notable absentee from the front of the pack after being pushed down positions.
However, when rain began to fall on the Phillip Island circuit, and Chiodo had high sided, the Motul Superport race was red flagged due to the deteriorating weather conditions.
With tight time constraints at due to running as a support event alongside the World Superbikes, the first Supersport race was declared, with results confirmed at the end of lap two and 50 per cent points awarded, Clarke declared the winner the Supersport ahead of Chiodo and Blyth.
Yamaha mounted Troy Guenther moved in to the early race lead, however a hard charging Clarke was determined not to let him out of his sights, snatching the top spot shortly after lap one.
By the time the race reached lap two, Guenther had reclaimed the lead and began to move away from the rest of the field, leaving Kawasaki mounted Clarke and Cube Racing’s Callum Spriggs to fight for second position behind him. And fight they did, the pair going head to head before Spriggs moved comfortably in to second ahead of Clarke.
In a turn of events at the race half way mark, Clarke crashed in turn nine, allowing Spriggs to pick up the race lead from Guenther who had dropped back to second, while Chiodo found his way in to third.
It wasn’t long before Chiodo came under pressure from Yamaha’s Luke Mitchell, who moved in to third position behind Guenther, relegating Chiodo to fourth.
With only two laps remaining, Guenther dug deep, and within only moments, had gotten by Spriggs through turn one to reclaim the race lead. And when riders received the last lap board, only .126 of a second separated Guenther from Spriggs – the pair putting on one last performance before racing concluded for the day.
When the chequered flag flew, it was Graffiti Alley Racing’s Guenther who held on for the final race win, followed by Spriggs who finished second, while Chiodo managed to snatch away any chance of a podium position for Mitchell, when Chiodo charged down the straight to narrowly claim third.
“There was a lot of work put in by the Graffiti Alley Yamaha Team here. To come away with a round win is really great and I am feeling really happy about it.
“I really enjoyed that last race and the Pirelli tyres seemed to handle the conditions really well. My plans are to race the ASBK Championship this year, just really commit to that and see what we can do.
“I wasn’t 100 per cent sure what to expect for the opening round, I was quite confident coming in but my aim was to try and win a race, win the round, and that’s what we came away with so I am really happy for myself and the team.”
Troy Guenther takes a 15-point lead over Callum Spriggs to the second round of the Australian Supersport Championship at Wakefield Park.
ASBK 2016 – Round One – Phillip Island – Supersport Championship Points
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