Halliday takes Morgan Park ASBK pole but tyre management going to be critical in tomorrow’s two 16-lap races

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Kangaroo scare sees Staring get revved up to improve his pace!
2017 ASBK content brought to you by Dunlop Motorcycle Tyres
Yamaha Motor Finance ASBK 2017 – Round Five – Morgan Park

After a very brisk sub-zero start to the day, conditions were bright and sunny by the time action got underway for round five of the Yamaha Motor Finance sponsored Australian Superbike Championship.

Troy Herfoss’ 1m12.943 from Friday afternoon was still the fastest time of the weekend at Morgan Park as final qualifying kicked off on Saturday afternoon at Morgan Park. But that record time had been clocked during free practice, which means nothing today. Topping the opening qualifying session just before midday had been Cru Halliday, and thus the Yamaha rider was on provisional pole with a 1m13.235 when final qualifying started at 1530.

Daniel Falzon missed the final qualifying session as he copped a significant blow to the head in Q1 and could not obtain medical clearance before Q2. He will start from sixth on the grid - Image by Half Light
Daniel Falzon missed the final qualifying session as he copped a significant blow to the head in Q1 and could not obtain medical clearance before Q2. He will start from sixth on the grid – Image by Half Light

Daniel Falzon had taken a hefty knock after crashing at turn ten in QP1. The young South Australian initially did not know where we was when he came to, leaving medical staff no choice but to rule him out of this afternoon’s final 30-minute qualifier. 

Bryan Staring and Wayne Maxwell - Image by Half Light
Bryan Staring and Wayne Maxwell – Image by Half Light

The focus for many riders in this final session was to gauge tyre wear. Many riders rode on the hard option rubber in the opening session while this afternoon would test the softer choice. Tyre wear is proving quite an issue here this weekend, at both ends of the bike, thus while obviously putting a hot time to secure a front row grid position is certainly high on the list of priorities, there was a lot more going on this session than going all out for a one lap wonder.

The two races tomorrow are over 16 laps, and the new surface is proving quite abrasive. 

Wayne Maxwell was the first of the front runners to improve on his morning time. A 1m13.521 on his first flying lap before returning to the pits for some more tweaks to the YRT Yamaha YZF-R1. 

Wayne Maxwell - Image by Half Light
Wayne Maxwell – Image by Half Light

Likewise Josh Waters was quick to improve this afternoon, and the Suzuki man needed to. Q1 had seen him a full-second off his Friday pace as they chased grip issues on the GSX-R1000. 

Josh Waters
Josh Waters – Image by Half Light

Corey Turner took his time taking to the track. The DesmoSport Ducati debutante not turning a wheel until halfway through the session. Turner eventually finished the session fifth quickest.

Corey Turner

“My best qualifying this year has been around 10th in Darwin, so it’s a positive step forward for me and hopefully I can get a good start tomorrow. From the test we were already feeling pretty good, so there hasn’t been too many major changes this weekend and we should be good to go in the races. My quickest time came on the race tyre and we’re consistent, so that should play a big part in the race tomorrow and we’re looking forward to it.”

Corey Turner
Corey Turner – Image by Half Light

After clipping a kangaroo…. Bryan Staring returned to the pits to check over the bike before rejoining the track and then dropping the hammer and blasted out a 1m13.170, by far his fastest time of the weekend before his teammate then eclipsed him with a 1m12.906, a new fastest ever lap around the 2.97km Morgan Park circuit.

Bryan Staring clipped a kangaroo this afternoon during final qualifying for ASBK Round five at Morgan Park - Image by TBG
Bryan Staring clipped a kangaroo this afternoon during final qualifying for ASBK Round five at Morgan Park – Image by TBG
Bryan Staring clipped a kangaroo this afternoon during final qualifying for ASBK Round five at Morgan Park - Image by TBG
Bryan Staring clipped a kangaroo this afternoon during final qualifying for ASBK Round five at Morgan Park – Image by TBG
Organisers knew kangaroos could cause problems this weekend and thus a new 'Roo Flag' was unveiled to competitors at the rider's briefing - Image by Half Light
Organisers knew kangaroos could cause problems this weekend and thus a new ‘Roo Flag’ was unveiled to competitors at the rider’s briefing – Image by Half Light

The kangaroo was penalised for not carrying a transponder, his tyres not being marked properly and not wearing the correct safety gear. He was last seen protesting his removal from the results with the Clerk of Course and I believe he is considering lodging an appeal. The kangaroo was last seen leaving the circuit in disgust, suggesting that his Kangaroo leather suit was the best of any rider present at the circuit today. 

The kangaroo was last seen leaving the circuit in disgust - Image by TBG
The kangaroo was last seen leaving the circuit in disgust – Image by TBG

With ten minutes remaining in the session it was a Honda 1-2 at the top of the timesheets. 

Cru Halliday then dropped in a 1m12.808 to put a Yamaha back on top. Herfoss responded with a 1m12.861 but that was still not enough to best Halliday.  Both men then returned to the pits.

Cru Halliday - Image by Half Light
Cru Halliday – Image by Half Light

Herfoss exited pitlane again with five-minutes left on the Computime clocks.  He wanted that championship point for pole position….

Josh Waters lowered his market to 1m13.115 in the dying minutes of the session. Almost exactly the same as his Friday time but a vast improvement on his morning’s efforts. 

Josh Waters

“It’s great to be on the front row and to have improved our pace since the first session. I was really happy with the time I was able to do on used Pirelli tyres from this morning’s session. We had a crash in the first qualifying from pushing to the limit but I’m confident for tomorrow. Hopefully I wake up feeling better, as I’ve got a cold at the moment!”

Josh Waters - Image by Half Light
Josh Waters – Image by Half Light

Herfoss had been circulating trying to find some clear track and then dropped the hammer on the final lap of the session. He was under Halliday’s time at the first split but could not maintain it from there. Thus Cru Halliday will start from pole position tomorrow for Yamaha, and for Dunlop.

Cru Halliday

“I’m ecstatic to be on Pole after a less than stellar performance at the last round at Darwin. We managed to improve the suspension and I think that’s gone a long way to improving the package. I’m really happy with how the YZF-R1 is performing at the moment. It’s going to be a different ball game tomorrow with 16 laps, so fitness will be key.”

Cru Halliday - Image by Half Light
Cru Halliday – Image by Half Light

Troy Herfoss

“It was a frustrating day for me for a few reasons. In the early stages of qualifying I just didn’t time my laps right and I was a little infuriated. Late in qualifying, I thought I had a clear track and I ended up catching slower riders on the racing line. I was up on my previous best in the first sector but I wasn’t able to maintain the speed throughout the lap but I’m happy for the Team, as we’re second and fourth on the grid. Cru (Halliday) was well deserving of the pole and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I tried to give him a scare at the end but we couldn’t quite pull it off!”

Troy Herfoss - Image by Half Light
Troy Herfoss – Image by Half Light

Tomorrow will see the Superbike class contest two 16-lap races, the first scheduled for 1130 and the second for 1350.

Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike – Final Qualifying (Combined)
  1. Cru Halliday – Yamaha 1m12.808
  2. Troy Herfoss – Honda 1m12.861
  3. Josh Waters – Suzuki 1m13.115
  4. Bryan Staring – Honda 1m13.170
  5. Corey Turner – Ducati 1m13.299
  6. Daniel Falzon – Yamaha 1m13.324 (Qp1)
  7. Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha 1m13.363
  8. Robbie Bugden – Kawasaki 1m13.537
  9. Matt Walters – Kawasaki 1m14.108
  10. Beau Beaton – Ducati 1m14.219
Yamaha Motor Insurance Australian Superbike Championship Points Standings
  1. Troy Herfoss 170
  2. Robbie Bugden 157
  3. Daniel Falzon 155
  4. Wayne Maxwell 148
  5. Josh Waters 135
  6. Bryan Staring 131
  7. Cru Halliday 111
  8. Corey Turner 81
  9. Beau Beaton 79
  10. Mitch Levy 78
  11. Matt Walters 75
  12. Troy Guenther 74
  13. Kyle Buckley 68
  14. Michael Blair 65
  15. Josh Hook 58
  16. Callum Spriggs 39
  17. Glenn Allerton 35
  18. Adam Senior 33
  19. Aaiden Coote 33
  20. Alex Phillis 32

Motul Supersport – Final Qualifying

QP1 pacesetter Mark Chiodo quickly improved on his 1m16.062 morning marker with a 1m15.749 on his first flying lap.  His even younger sparring partner, Tom Toparis, also quickly improved on his morning pace as he continued to adapt to his new machine. A 1m16.016 for the Goulburn teenager was his best by the halfway point of the session, at which time both those two front runners were back in the pits. 

Mark Chiodo - Image by TBG
Mark Chiodo – Image by TBG

With five minutes left in the session though both the top men were on track and Mark Chiodo had stepped up another gear on the Triumph, a 1m15.560 lowering the benchmark further. Chiodo stayed out circulating while Toparis headed back to pitlane for some more tweaks before rejoining the circuit with a couple of minutes remaining in the 30-minute final qualifying session.

Ted Collins - Image by TBG
Ted Collins – Image by TBG

Ted Collins then threw his hat in the ring with a 1m15.713 to push Toparis back to third. Collins then put in another very quick lap, a little off Chiodo’s benchmark through the first sector but almost lineball through the second before crossing the stripe at the chequered flag only one-thousandth-of-a-second behind Chiodo!  1m15.560 plays 1m15.561!

Chris Quinn - Image by TBG
Chris Quinn – Image by TBG

In those dying seconds of the session Chris Quinn also upped his pace to dip into the 1m15s also, a 1m15.944 pushing Toparis back to the second row.  

Tom Toparis - Image by TBG
Tom Toparis – Image by TBG

Things are looking very close in Supersport this weekend amongst the front runners! And four different manufacturers fill the top four places on the grid.

Mark Chiodo – P1

“The qualifying sessions went extremely well. From qualifying one I knew we still had plenty of pace left in reserve and I ended up shaving another half a second off my fastest time. It’s great to head into tomorrow’s race from a position of strength and secure another pole position.”

Ted Collins – P2

“That session went really well for us. We put in a banker lap at the start of the session and with about four minutes to go we rolled out of pit lane and ended up being only a thousandth of a second off pole! I’m a little disappointed that I just missed out, but we have great race pace so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Chris Quinn – P3

“Happy to get P3 on the grid, we chipped away and improved our speed. We have been troubled with suspension issues so far but we managed to overcome them. Our race pace is very consistent in the low 16’s all the time, so I’m confident for tomorrow.”

Motul Supersport – Final Qualifying Results
  1. Mark Chiodo – Triumph 1m15.560
  2. Ted Collins – Suzuki 1m15.561
  3. Chris Quinn – Yamaha 1m15.944
  4. Tom Toparis – Kawasaki 1m16.016
  5. Nic Liminton – Yamaha 1m16.206
  6. Sam Muldoon – Kawasaki 1m16.462
  7. Sam Condon – Yamaha 1m16.726
  8. Mason Coote – Yamaha 1m16.746
  9. Cambridge Olivier – Yamaha 1m17.526
  10. Jordan Carlsson – Yamaha 1m17.621
  11. Rhys Belling – Yamaha 1m17.668
  12. Aidan Hayes – Kawasaki 1m18.267
  13. Lincoln Gilding – Yamaha 1m18.323
  14. Brian Houghton – Honda 1m18.531
  15. Mick Hefferan – Kawasaki 1m18.615
  16. Stephanie Redman – Yamaha 1m18.787
  17. Ryan Sellen – Kawasaki 1m19.946
  18. Patrick Li – Kawasaki – 1m20.605
Mark Chiodo - Image by TBG
Mark Chiodo – Image by TBG

Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 – Final Qualifying

Oli Bayliss and Reid Battye were the only 300 Supersport competitors to sneak under the 1m25s barrier today at Morgan Park. Atop the charts it was young Bayliss by a single hundredth-of-a-second over his fellow Kawasaki combatant while Billy Van Eerde rounded out the front row on his KTM RC390. 

Heading the second row, and leading Yamaha rider, is Locky Taylor ahead of Jack Mahaffy and Lachlan Epis. 

Broc Pearson’s returning from injury continues to go well and the lanky youngster heads row three alongside Zac Levy and Tom Bramich.

Oli Bayliss - Image by TBG
Oli Bayliss – Image by TBG
Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 – Final Qualifying Results
  1. Oli Bayliss – Kawasaki 1m23.940
  2. Reid Battye – Kawasaki 1m23.950
  3. Billy Van Eerde – KTM 1m24.134 (Over 300)
  4. Locky Taylor – Yamaha 1m24.217 (Over 300)
  5. Jack Mahaffy – Yamaha 1m24.328 (Over 300)
  6. Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki 1m24.685 
  7. Broc Pearson – Yamaha 1m24.896 (Over 300)
  8. Zac Levy – Yamaha 1m25.032 (Over 300)
  9. Tom Bramich – Yamaha 1m25.188 (Over 300)
  10. Yanni Shaw – Kawasaki 1m25.300
  11. Max Croker- KTM 1m25.370 (Over 300)
  12. Seth Crump – KTM 1m25.466 (Over 300)
  13. Corey Briffa – Yamaha 1m25.708 (Over 300)
  14. Joel Kelso – Yamaha 1m25.893 (Over 300)
  15. Tommy Edwards – Yamaha 1m25.894 (Over 300)
  16. Brandon Demmery – Yamaha 1m26.014 (Over 300)
  17. Jarred Brook – KTM 1m26.024 (Over 300)
  18. Hunter Ford – Yamaha 1m26.329 (Over 300)
  19. Rogan Chandler – Yamaha 1m26.568 (Over 300)
  20. Drew Sells – Kawasaki 1m26.788

Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 – Race One Report

Oli Bayliss capitalised on his pole position to lead the 35-strong field through turn one for the first time when the lights went out at 1508 this morning for the opening Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 nine-lap bout under sunny skies at Morgan Park.

Oli Bayliss blasts off the line from pole position in the opening Supersport 300 race of the day at Morgan Park
Oli Bayliss blasts off the line from pole position in the opening Supersport 300 race of the day at Morgan Park

His fellow combatants quickly showed him he was not going to have it all his oen way though with Billy Van Eerde slotting through to the lead followed by Jack Mahaffy and Reid Battye then relegated Bayliss to fourth before the end of lap one. 

Locky Taylor made that battle up front a five-way affair as the race passed half distance, also getting the better of Bayliss and pushing the Gold Coast youngster back to fifth just ahead of Zac Levy. 

Jack Mahaffy then crashed at turn six with two laps remaining and rejoined the race in 28th position. 

With two laps remaining it was still Van Eerde out front but Oli Bayliss might have been keeping his powder dry. A 1m23.913, quicker than his pole position time pushed him back up to third place.

Oli Bayliss - Image by TBG
Oli Bayliss – Image by TBG

Race leader Van Eerde though went one better, dropping in a 1m23.797 on the penultimate lap to extend his lead over second placed Reid Battye out to a full-second. The diminutive KTM youngster held that advantage to the chequered flag to earn the win ahead of Battye while Bayliss rounded out the outright podium. 

Reid Battye - Image by TBG
Reid Battye – Image by TBG

Of course this in category we have ‘Over 300’ and ‘Under 300’ sub-categories. Thus Van Eerde obviously takes the win in the ‘Over 300’ category while Locky Taylor and Zac Levy round out that podium.  

Billy Van Eerde – P1 (Over 300)

“That was such a great race! I’ve just got my first win at ASBK! Just a massive thanks to my family and KTM. Now I know I can win a race in the ASBK Championship and want nothing more than to back it up tomorrow. I can’t wait!”

Locky Taylor – P2 (Over 300)

“So good to be here at Morgan Park Raceway and put on a show for everyone, especially those who come to support me. I could not do this without the help from all of my sponsors and would like to thank each one! The racing is fantastic, and all the boys are so close to each other. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Billy Van Eerde - Image by TBG
Billy Van Eerde – Image by TBG

In the ‘Under 300’ sub-category, which in this round is the sole domain of the Kawasaki Ninja machines, Reid Battye was the class victor ahead of Oli Bayliss and Lachlan Epis. 

Reid Battye

“With such close elbow to elbow racing today, it could have been anybody’s race. All the competitors are so close. Let’s hope to bring it home tomorrow. BCperformance put together a great bike this weekend and I can’t thank them enough.”

 

Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 – Race One Results
  1. Billy Van Eerde – KTM (Over 300)
  2. Reid Battye – Kawasaki +1.165
  3. Oli Bayliss – Kawasaki +1.457
  4. Locky Taylor – Yamaha +3.074 (Over 300)
  5. Zac Levy – Yamaha +3.772 (Over 300)
  6. Tommy Edwards – Yamaha +5.912 (Over 300)
  7. Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki +6.075
  8. Max Croker – KTM +9.901 (Over 300)
  9. Broc Pearson – Yamaha +14.777 (Over 300)
  10. Seth Crump – KTM +17.838 (Over 300)
  11. Tom Bramich – Yamaha +21.129 (Over 300)
  12. Yanni Shaw – Kawasaki +21.247
  13. Jarred Brook – KTM +21.574 (Over 300)
  14. Hunter Ford – Yamaha +21.986 (Over 300)
  15. Joel Kelso – Yamaha +22.010 (Over 300)
  16. Brandon Demmery – Yamaha +22.454 (Over 300)
  17. Ben Bramich – Yamaha +22.704 (Over 300)
  18. Rogan Chandler – Yamaha +22.144 (Over 300)
  19. Mitch Kuhne – Yamaha +28.312 (Over 300)
  20. Tayla Relph – Yamaha +31.624 (Over 300)

Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup – Final Qualifying
  1. Jack Mahaffy 1m25.121
  2. Locky Taylor 1m25.397
  3. Hunter Ford 1m25.461
  4. Tommy Edwards 1m25.550
  5. Corey Briffa 1m25.668
  6. Tayla Relph 1m27.108
  7. Mitch Kuhne 1m27.215
  8. Ben Bramich 1m27.405
  9. Sharni Pinfold 1m28.299
  10. Boyd Hocking 1m28.300
  11. Ross Beames 1m29.673
  12. Jonah Sita 1m29.930
  13. Troy Ryan 1m30.336
  14. Ryan Dadd 1m32.562
  15. Matt O’Connell 1m33.804

Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup – Race One Report

Jack Mahaffy put in a 1m29.874 from a standing start to take the early advantage when the R3 Cup race got underway just after 1615 this afternoon. The young Victorian then backed it up with a 1m25.18 but Locky Taylor showed he was up for a fight with a 1m25.113, quicker than Mahaffy’s pole position time. Next time around it was Tommy Edwards who was to go quicker again, a 25.074 while Hunter Ford was also that in that four-rider mix.

At the chequered though it was Jack Mahaffy that took line honours ahead of Tom Edwards while Hunter Ford rounded out the podium.  

Jack Mahaffy - Image by TBG
Jack Mahaffy – Image by TBG

Locky Taylor had put in the fastet lap of the race with a 1m24.705 on the last lap but it was not enough to earn him the podium today, the diminutive Queenslander taking fourth. 

Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup – Race One Results
  1. Jack Mahaffy
  2. Tom Edwards +0.397
  3. Hunter Ford +0.451
  4. Locky Taylor +0.633
  5. Ben Bramich +20.838
  6. Mitch Kuhne +21.912
  7. Tayla Relph +22.151
  8. Boyd Hocking +23.501
  9. Jonah Sita +39.273
  10. Troy Ryan +39.670
  11. Ross Beames +49.308
  12. Ryan Dadd +67.65

GP Juniors Cup – Final Qualifying

Young Joel Kelso was on fire in the final GP Juniors Cup qualifying session finding 1.5-seconds somewhere this afternoon to blitz the field. The Darwin based youngster blitzed the field to take pole position with a 1m39.407 while Max Stauffer and Ned Faulkhead rounded out the front row. 

Joel Kelso - Image by TBG
Joel Kelso – Image by TBG
GP Juniors Cup – Final Qualifying Results
  1. Joel Kelso 1m39.407
  2. Max Stauffer 1m41.050
  3. Ned Faulkhead 1m41.175
  4. Tommy Edwards 1m41.421
  5. John Lytras 1m41.549
  6. Harry Khouri 1m42.165
  7. Tristan Adamson 1m42.720
  8. Zylas Bunting 1m44.006
  9. Hunter Penhallurick 1m48.270
  10. Rhys Williams 1m49.605
  11. Jarred Loveday 1m56.771

GP Juniors Cup – Race One Report

Polesitter Joel Kelso quickly got down to business in the opening five-lap race for the GP Juniors but it was clear that John Lytras, Tommy Edwards and Ned Faulkhead were determined to not let the Darwin youngster have it all his own way.

Half-a-second covered that top four at half race distance and it was John Lytras with his nose in front while third placed Ned Faulkhead had put in the fastest lap, a 1m40.068. 

At the last lap board it was still Lytras with his nose in front but at the chequered flag it was Tommy Edwards who had saved his best for last. A 1m39.962 not as quick as Kelso’s pole time but it was good enough for Edwards to claim the race victory on the line from Lytras while Kelso rounded out the podium just ahead of Faulkhead.

Only a tenth-of-a-second covered that top four at the flag.

GP Juniors Cup – Race One Results
  1. Tommy Edwards 
  2. John Lytras +0.003
  3. Joel Kelso +0.070
  4. Ned Faulkhead +0.102
  5. Max Stauffer +8.225
  6. Harry Khouri +8.236
  7. Tristan Adamson +8.956
  8. Zylas Bunting +15.438
  9. Hunter Penhallurick +42.785
  10. Rhys Williams +49.377
  11. Jarred Loveday +85.586