Mike Jones clinches ASBK Race One at Wanneroo
Troy Herfoss nailed the start from the second row and led Wayne Maxwell throughout the opening lap as Mike Jones and Glenn Allerton started rubbing shoulders while fighting over third place. Matt Walters returned to pit-lane with clutch problems on the Kawasaki Connection ZX-10R.
Wayne Maxwell took the lead from Herfoss at turn seven on lap three, the fastest man on the circuit however was Daniel Falzon with a 55.567 on that third lap. That had allowed Falzon to break away from Ben Burke and he had some clear air in front of him to close on the leading quartet.
Herfoss was shuffled back to fourth place with 16 laps to run. Mike Jones set a new race lap record on lap four with a 55.515, to add to his 55.0 qualifying lap record yesterday.
With 14 laps to run Falzon got the better of Herfoss and was 1.8-seconds behind race leader Wayne Maxwell.
Daniel Falzon lowered the lap record further, a 55.446 to close up on Mike Jones, who responded by moving back past Glenn Allerton to take second place.
Mike Jones moved up the inside of Maxwell to take the race lead at half race distance as Daniel Falzon moved past Glenn Allerton to take third position. Troy Herfoss was now almost three-seconds behind the race leader, and a second behind third placed Glenn Allerton. Herfoss seemed to get somewhat of a second wind as the race moved into its second half and started to ever so slowly start to reel in fourth placed Allerton.
With seven laps to run Jones and Maxwell had managed to break away from their pursuers, setting up a two-way battle for the win. V-Twin versus four-cylinder, Italy versus Japan, QLD versus NSW, Pirelli v Dunlop…
With five laps to run Jones stretched a couple of bike lengths away from Maxwell. The battle for the final step on the rostrum also still very much to be played out as Falzon, Allerton and Herfoss were each separated by only a few bike lengths. Lapped traffic had also started to become a factor, as was tyre wear.
Falzon fell foul of lapped traffic which ruined his rhythm, allowing Allerton to take third place. On the next lap Herfoss also pounced on Falzon, the two rubbing fairings as the South Australian was surprised by the forward thrusting Fireblade SP.
Maxwell was still stalking Jones from behind, but Allerton had made the best of the lapped traffic to get a full-second buffer over the now fourth placed Troy Herfoss. A couple of laps from the end Maxwell pulled alongside Jones on entry to turn six, but had to pull out of the move due to yellow flags.
At the last lap board there was nothing between Jones and Maxwell, Allerton looked safe in third place but Herfoss had not given up the chase on a rostrum position.
Mike Jones took victory by a couple of bike lengths from Wayne Maxwell while Glenn Allerton rounded out the podium 5.8-seconds behind the race winner. Half-a-second further back was Herfoss while Falzon would be frustrated with that fifth place after looking so strong early on. Falzon set the fastest lap of the race with a new lap record. Lapped traffic costing the JD Racing rider his chance at a rostrum.
Ben Burke was the highest finishing Kawasaki in sixth place ahead of Cru Halliday, Brayden Elliott and Jamie Stauffer while local rider Ben Stronach rounded out the top ten. Halliday had struggled with brake problems throughout the race while Allerton also had his own brake problems at various stages of the race.
Mike Jones proved his racecraft has come of age here this morning, holding off Wayne Maxwell as he stalks only inches from your back wheel is no mean feat for any rider. That the comparatively much less experienced Jones withstood that pressure, and chose the right lines to hold Maxwell out, is testament to what is going on upstairs inside that LS2 helmet, and not just his ability to twist a throttle. He also showed there is plenty of fight in that wiry frame while rubbing shoulders with Allerton early in the race. After a disastrous round at Wakefield Park it seems that Mike Jones and DesmoSport Ducati have now really found their stride.
Riders will contest another 20-lap Superbike bout later this afternoon.