Yamaha Motor Finance ASBK Championship 2016 – Round Five – Morgan Park
Superbike Race Two Report by Trevor Hedge
Troy Herfoss had taken pole position, and a dominant race one victory ahead of this afternoon’s final 19-lap bout at Morgan Park. Would the Crank Protein Honda man make it the perfect trifecta? Would the luckless Mike Jones and the DesmoSport Ducati manage to complete race distance?
The 19-lap answer to those questions got underway under cloudy skies at Morgan Park at 1541 this afternoon.
The first question was answered even before that race start, Mike Jones returning to pitlane on completion of the warm-up lap. Gutted.
Herfoss took off like a scalded cat, leading Maxwell by 1.8-seconds at the end of the opening lap, a 78.79 from a standing start for the Crankt Protein Honda man.
Cru Halliday was out to make amends for a shocker of a weekend and moved past Maxwell to take second place on lap two.
Jamie Stauffer had moved up to fourth, but by the next lap had been pushed back to fifth by Glenn Allerton. Brayden Elliott was in seventh position behind Daniel Falzon, but received notification of a jump-start penalty as he came across the stripe to commence lap four.
Glenn Allerton had some fire in the belly for this one, moving past Halliday to take third place. Up front Herfoss had already disappeared, the gap out to four-seconds after four laps. Clearly in a class of his own here today at Morgan Park.
Once Herfoss had built that four-second buffer, he seemed content to manage that gap, referencing from his pitboard, and slackened his pace to maintain that advantage.
With ten laps to go Glenn Allerton all of a sudden lost a few bike lengths to Maxwell, seemingly his chance to get one over his teammate began to evaporate.
By half race distance Herfoss had a five-second advantage that he was now maintaining over Maxwell. Allerton was now 2.3-seconds behind Maxwell, and having to fend off the advances of Halliday.
Cru took that position on the next lap and immediately started to eke out a small advantage over Allerton. If Halliday would maintain that position and hold off Allerton, it would mean that Allerton would slip to third place in the series standings.
With five laps to run Allerton was now starting to also come under threat from Daniel Falzon. The South Australian seemed to lose a lot of time in the second split on the next lap however, pointing to perhaps some sort of mistake in his eagerness to chase down Allerton, leaving him with a lot of work to do again if he was going to work his way up close enough to have another crack at stealing fourth place from Allerton.
By the penultimate lap Herfoss had 7-seconds on Maxwell, who in turn had 1.7-seconds on Halliday, who was coming under attack from a resurgent Allerton.
Herfoss backed right off on the final lap to take the victory by 3.2-seconds over Maxwell. Cru Halliday crossed the stripe in third place to take a podium and some satisfaction from an otherwise disappointing weekend.
With that perfect 51-point haul Herfoss has moved past Allerton to take second place in the race for the title. Herfoss now trails Maxwell by only seven-points. There will be a further 51-points up for grabs at the Winton finale.
Daniel Falzon was another big mover in the championship this weekend, catapulting from seventh all the way up to fourth, thanks to a handy 34-point haul, which had him finish on equal points for the round with Glenn Allerton. The factory YRT man getting the nod for the outright podium however, thanks to finishing higher than Falzon in the final stanza.
Mike Jones and the DesmoSport Ducati squad will be licking their wounds from a demoralising weekend. They seemed to have turned the corner after the disastrous Wakefield round to be on such a high at Wanneroo, but at Morgan Park I would say they came back to earth with a thud, but in reality they never really got off the ground. Jones would have been very strong here, and if not perhaps up to the pace of Herfoss, he would certainly have given Maxwell a fair shake for that second position.
Next stop on the ASBK calendar is the championship finale at Winton Raceway which will take place over the first weekend in October. In the rival Swann Australasian Superbike Championship last year, it was Maxwell that had the wood on Herfoss in every bout at the Victorian circuit, much to the clear frustration of Herfoss, who rode harder there than I have ever witnessed. But, Maxwell had the perfect set-up with the YRT machine there last year, when both riders were on the Dunlop control tyre enforced in that series. This year Herfoss is on Pirelli, and Maxwell on Dunlop. Which tyre brand will have the best rubber for the newly resurfaced 3km Winton circuit come October..? The answer to that question could well decide the outcome of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship.
2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Morgan Park Race Two Results
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