Yamaha Motor Finance ASBK 2017 – Round Six – Sydney Motorsports Park
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Wayne Maxwell leads Troy Herfoss by five-points but there are still 102-points up for grabs before the ASBK Title is decided

Forecasts predict that perfect racing conditions will greet Australia’s road racing elite when they descend on Sydney Motorsports Park this weekend for the penultimate round of the Yamaha Motor Finance sponsored Australian Superbike Championship.

Less than a fortnight ago the championship had a major shake-up when it visited Queensland’s Morgan Park. Troy Herfoss had gone into the round with a handy 13-point lead over BCperformance Kawasaki’s Robbie Bugden. Herfoss also had 15-points over early series leader Daniel Falzon of JD Racing, and 22-points over Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell.

After the first race in Queensland the game changed considerably, that quartet were all separated by only four-points after Herfoss and Bugden both fell in race one through crashes of their own making.

A massive shake-up to the championship, both Herfoss and Bugden making their first major mistakes in their 2017 campaigns, the points tightened up at the top considerably as a result. Maxwell had made his mistake in Darwin, while Falzon had also left Darwin disconsolate after being retrospectively excluded from the race one results in Darwin, Queensland proved the nemesis for Herfoss and Bugden. 

YMI Australian Superbike Championship Round Five Points Standings after Morgan Park Race One
  1. Wayne Maxwell 173
  2. Robbie Bugden 172
  3. Daniel Falzon 171
  4. Troy Herfoss 170
Cru Halliday leads Troy Herfoss at Morgan Park - Image by TBG
Cru Halliday leads Troy Herfoss at Morgan Park – Image by TBG

At Morgan Park Daniel Falzon wrecked one of his machines during Friday practice in a hefty fall and thus was on the #2 bike for the races at Morgan Park. Falzon carded a fifth place in the Queensland opener but the second saw him fail to finish after a handlebar broke on his YZF-R1, the result of earlier crash damage on that machine from Winton that had escaped inspection. The South Australian started the season in dominant fashion with a perfect 76-point hail from the opening round at Phillip Island, but has only added another 95-points to that tally from the following four rounds. As we have seen from upsets in Darwin and Morgan Park, anything is still possible and Falzon is still most definitely in the hunt for the #1 plate. Only 22-points separates Falzon from series leader Wayne Maxwell. 

Daniel Falzon had good pace at Morgan Park but a hefty knock in qualifying left them under the pump for the remainder of the weekend - Image by TBG
Daniel Falzon had good pace at Morgan Park but a hefty knock in qualifying left them under the pump for the remainder of the weekend – Image by TBG

Cru Halliday was on fire all weekend at Morgan Park and after taking pole position it looked as though he may dominate proceedings. Running his own team this year outside of the Factory YRT umbrella, Halliday used that freedom to run a tyre ‘shandy’ at Morgan Park, a Pirelli on the front and a Dunlop at the rear. He looked set for victory in race one until a late mistake saw him lose a couple of places to Maxwell, who had charged to the front from behind. DesmoSport Ducati debutante Corey Turner also got the better of Halliday in the closing stages. Leaving Halliday looking very, well, disconsolate is perhaps the more polite word to use than what springs to mind, see below…

Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike - Morgan Park Race One Results Wayne Maxwell Corey Turner +0.931 Cru Halliday +3.379
Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike – Morgan Park Race One Results
Wayne Maxwell
Corey Turner +0.931
Cru Halliday +3.379

Halliday bounced back with a brilliant victory in the second bout but a disastrous round at Wakefield Park early in the season had already effectively ruined his tilt at the title. His 44-point haul in Queensland put him back in the picture somewhat, but his rivals are going to have to suffer some serious misfortune this weekend to put him back in the hunt for the #1 plate. Still, while he is 39-points behind, there are 102 more points up for grabs before season 2017 ends. Halliday is certainly on course to surpass the 165-points he scored in the six rounds of season 2016 when he was a member of the official YRT squad. 

While Halliday had taken that race two glory, it was second placed man Wayne Maxwell that won the round by a single point over Halliday. 

Cru Halliday leads the field at Morgan Park - Image by TBG
Cru Halliday leads the field at Morgan Park – Image by TBG