Josh Waters takes first blood in Sydney
Troy Herfoss takes second place ahead of Maxwell
The gap in the title chase down to three-points
2017 ASBK content brought to you by Dunlop Motorcycle Tyres
Yamaha Motor Finance ASBK 2017 – Round Six – Sydney Motorsports Park
Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One

Bryan Staring underlined his new found pace here this weekend by topping the ten-minute Superbike warm-up session this morning, a 1m30.632 his best lap of the weekend, and would have been good enough for a front row start but instead the Western Australian heads the second row on his Saturday form. 

Heading the front row is Suzuki’s Josh Waters alongside championship leader Wayne Maxwell and Glenn Allerton. The latter of that trio, on the outside of the front row, proved he has not lost his competitive edge as he continues his return from injury, the 14-lap distance though will be a massive test for his arm. 

Troy Herfoss really struggled for pace on Friday, languishing just outside the top ten, but the defending champion made some strides forward on Saturday to get up on to the second row. This circuit has never been a happy hunting ground for Herfoss, and it is all about points and not making any mistakes that will cost him his chance at the title today for the 30-year-old.

Morgan Park pole-setter and race winner Cru Halliday has also had his frustrations this weekend but is set to put that behind him today and starts from the outside of the second row.

Heading the third row is early series leader, and Friday pacesetter, Daniel Falzon. Alongside him is Corey Turner on DesmoSport Ducati, however the young Victorian is struggling with a troublesome finger injury that is causing him plenty of grief and holding him back a little.

Matt Walters took the honour of highest qualifying Kawasaki in ninth place ahead of Josh Hook, who makes his return to ASBK before flying to Europe tonight to test with his FCC TSR World Endurance squad ahead of the Paul Ricard round later this month. 

Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One - Image by Half Light
Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One – Image by Half Light

When the lights went out Waters capitalised on his pole position to lead the field through turn one while Staring had rocketed forward from the second row to trail the Suzuki man into turn two, Allerton right there also. Maxwell again not getting a great launch and down in seventh place at the early stages of this race. Falzon had started strongly and was in fourth place ahead of Herfoss. 

Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One - Image by TBG
Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One – Image by TBG

A 1m35.765 from a standing start to Josh Waters cemented that early lead but he was not breaking away. Staring was right there, and had been challenged by Allerton early on lap two, but that three were still in fairly tight formation. 

Fourth placed Falzon was more than a second behind that leading trio and was pushed back to fifth by Herfoss on the drive out of turn seven. 

Allerton again challenged Staring at turn one but the Honda man took that ground right back, only for the Honda to start blowing smoke! A massive blow for Staring, as he became aware of some sort of engine problems and pulled off the racing line and out of the race. Just as he had found his form and looked good for a solid podium, and in the hunt for a race win, he is left to rue what was…

Josh Waters was unaware of those problems and cracked out a new lap record, 1m29.941 on lap two and stretched away from the field. Meanwhile, the battle for second place ratched up another notch…  Maxwell sneaked past Allerton into second but then Herfoss got them both at turn two. Game on!

I had said in my preamble that Herfoss would probably be content to stay out of trouble and ensure he makes no mistakes. He obviously was not of that mind, as he was looking increasingly aggressive and happy to put it all on the line.  

Maxwell got Herfoss at turn two the next time around, while Falzon squeezed past Allerton, who most likely was starting to suffer arm fatigue and pain from those early season injuries. 

Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One - Image by Half Light
Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One – Image by Half Light

Herfoss was back through to second place with eight laps to run, while Allerton pushed Falzon back to fifth once again. Cru Halliday had been working his way forward towards that group and looked likely to join the party sooner rather than later. Josh Hook was also starting to close in on that bunch…

Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One - Image by Half Light
Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Race One – Image by Half Light

Glenn Allerton was managing to maintain his pace and actually closed back up on Maxwell and Herfoss after breaking away from Falzon. Josh Hook and Cru Halliday then pushed Falzon back to seventh, but that second-through-seventh pack was still quite tight, covered by less than two-seconds.

Maxwell took Herfoss at turn two with five laps to go but Herfoss came right back at him between turns two and three. Allerton was still right with them and Hook was looming large as he continued his march forward on the Craig McMartin prepared Ducati Panigale R. Meanwhile up at the front, Waters was in a race of his own five-seconds ahead.

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

Herfoss started to build a smaller buffer over Maxwell with three laps to run, a tenth here, and a tenth there, and by the last lap board Herfoss had some breathing space over his pursuers. Maxwell and Allerton then had Josh Hook on their mind! Hook up the inside of Allerton at turn two on the final lap, then all over the back of Maxwell.

Hook then took Maxwell into turn nine! Maxwell got him back on the exit and led the Ducati man around the final turns and just managed to hold Hook out on the line by eight-thousandths of a second to claim that final step on the rostrum.

Waters had took the chequered flag 2.6-seconds ahead of that battle, after backing it right off in the closing laps.  

Josh Waters had took the chequered flag 2.6-seconds ahead of that battle, after backing it right off in the closing laps.   - Image by TBG
Josh Waters took the chequered flag 2.6-seconds ahead of the battle, after backing it right off in the closing laps.   – Image by TBG

Troy Herfoss will be stoked with that second place finish considering how far back they were on Friday, and at a track that he doesn’t have a great record at. 

Wayne Maxwell had to fight off Hook to claim third place and hold on to his narrow championship lead over Herfoss, which has now been trimmed to three-points.

Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike - Race One Results Josh Waters - Suzuki Troy Herfoss - Honda +2.660 Wayne Maxwell - Yamaha +4.180
Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike – Race One Results
Josh Waters – Suzuki
Troy Herfoss – Honda +2.660
Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha +4.180

The win has strengthened Waters position in the points chase and it is now fair to say that the Suzuki man is now right in the game for the #1 plate this year, only 16-points behind Maxwell, and there is still 76-points up for grabs before this war is decided once and for all.

Josh Waters and his young daughter Izzy while wife Gin looks on from behind - Image by TBG
Josh Waters and his young daughter Izzy, while wife Gin looks on from behind – Image by TBG
Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike – Race One Results
  1. Josh Waters – Suzuki
  2. Troy Herfoss – Honda +2.660
  3. Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha +4.180
  4. Josh Hook – Ducati +4.188
  5. Glenn Allerton – Yamaha +4.497
  6. Daniel Falzon – Yamaha +10.424
  7. Cru Halliday – Yamaha +11.001
  8. Robbie Bugden – Kawasaki +12.201
  9. Michael Blair – Yamaha +18.526
  10. Corey Turner – Ducati +19.294
  11. Alex Phillis – Yamaha +20.348
  12. Beau Beaton – Ducati +25.851
  13. Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki +27.033
  14. Mitch Levy – Yamaha +27.290
  15. Matt Walters – Kawasaki +28.603
  16. Lachlan Epis – BMW +36.529
  17. Matt Harding – Kawasaki +36.905
  18. Sloan Frost – Suzuki +37.126
  19. Troy Guenther – BMW +38.027
  20. Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki +51.576
  21. Aaiden Coote – Kawasaki +56.449
  22. Adam Senior – Yamaha+63.564
  23. Trent Gibson – Yamaha +63.715
  24. Joel Rhodes – Yamaha +85.875
  25. Rowen Smith – Kawasaki +95.080
Josh Waters celebrates victory with new Suzuki Australia Managing Director Yoshiyuki Hakamata - Image by TBG
Josh Waters celebrates victory with new Suzuki Australia Managing Director Yoshiyuki Hakamata – Image by TBG
Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike – Championship Points Standings
  1. Wayne Maxwell 211
  2. Troy Herfoss 208
  3. Josh Waters 195
  4. Daniel Falzon 186
  5. Robbie Bugden 185
  6. Cru Halliday 168
  7. Bryan Staring 131
  8. Corey Turner 125
  9. Mitch Levy 110
  10. Beau Beaton 101
The bike is not even out of Parc Ferme before Phil Tainton is measuring how much fork travel Josh used in that race as they look towards improving the set-up further in race two - Image by TBG
The bike is not even out of Parc Ferme before Phil Tainton is measuring how much fork travel Josh used in that race as they look towards improving the set-up further in race two – Image by TBG

Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 Race Two

Billy Van Eerde got a great run off the line but Tom Edwards got the better of the KTM youngster at turn two, while Jack Mahaffy and Broc Pearson both started to threaten.  Mahaffy and Edwards then clashed around the back of the circuit and lost track position, allowing Van Eerde to again hold sway at the front of the field.

The leading quartet were five-abreast across the stripe for the first time; Edwards, Croker, Bayliss, Mahaffy and Van Eerde. Yanni Shaw upped his game on the next lap to join that group. With seven laps to run it was a KTM 1-2 made up of Van Eerde and Croker, but positions were constantly changing all around the ciruit. Edwards got Croker for second position in a brilliant and brave move at turn ten and that leading trio crossed the line virtually line-abreast.  

Oli Bayliss had been shuffled down the field on lap two after tangling with some other riders but fought his way back forward to join the party, less than a second covered the top eight. It then closed up even further! The top ten were covered by only eight-tenths of a second, with five laps to run as Jack Mahaffy hit the lead for the first time, on the next lap Mahaffy set a new fastest lap of the race, a 1m44.064 oh so close to 1m43s but it was not enough to break him away, and in fact after that lap Yanni Shaw took the lead of the race. Mahaffy took the lead back though and then managed to hold it for an entire lap.

Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 Race Two - Shaw leads Croker, Pearson and Battye - Image by Half Light
Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 Race Two – Shaw leads Croker, Pearson and Battye – Image by Half Light

With two laps to go it was Croker and Mahaffy side-by-side with Edwards, Levy and Shaw all right in that leading mix. Billy Van Eerde was not out of the picture, a 1m44.049 new fastest lap of the race on lap seven to the KTM youngster, holding sixth place ahead of Reid Battye, Oli Bayliss, Hunter Ford, Broc Pearson and Tom Bramich.  

At the last lap board Van Eeerde shot to the lead but at turn three he was gazumped by Mahaffy and Edwards. Reid Battye ran wide at turn two and lost a number of positions, his podium challenge over.

Two-tenths separated the top five as they negotiated the final two turns and nothing separated them all the way to the chequered flag, however at the stripe timing gave Zac Levy the nod for the win by less than three-hundredths of a second over Van Eerde with Tom Edwards a similar distance behind to round out the podium.

"Hi-Tec

Broc Pearson took fourth only a fraction behind those podium place getters and just ahead of Jack Mahaffy.

Yanni Shaw was sixth outright but the first ‘Under 300cc’ machine home to take the win in that category ahead of Oli Bayliss and Reid Battye.

Yanni Shaw was sixth outright but the first 'Under 300cc' machine home to take the win in that category ahead of Oli Bayliss and Reid Battye - Image by Half Light
Yanni Shaw was sixth outright but the first ‘Under 300cc’ machine home to take the win in that category ahead of Oli Bayliss and Reid Battye – Image by Half Light

Hunter Ford set the fastest lap of the race at 1m43.646 on his way to seventh place.

Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 Race Two Results
  1. Zac Levy – Yamaha
  2. Billy Van Eerde – KTM +0.029
  3. Tom Edwards – Yamaha +0.084
  4. Broc Pearson – Yamaha +0.156
  5. Jack Mahaffy – Yamaha +0.309
  6. Yanni Shaw – Kawasaki +0.844
  7. Hunter Ford – Yamaha +1.033
  8. Oli Bayliss – Kawasaki +1.148
  9. Max Croker – KTM +4.291
  10. Tom Bramich – Yamaha +4.671
  11. Reid Battye – Kawasaki +11.446
  12. Ben Bramich – Yamaha +11.649
  13. Corey Briffa – Yamaha +13.433

Motul Supersport Race One

Aaron Morris made his return to ASBK competition this weekend and signalled his competitive intent by qualifying on the front row alongside Tom Toparis and poleman Mark Chiodo.

Motul Supersport Race One gets underway at SMP - Image by Half Light
Motul Supersport Race One gets underway at SMP – Image by Half Light

As the lights went out it looked as though Toparis may have had some clutch creep and could be judged as jumping the start, his machine then seemed to spin up when he did start proper. No such problems for Chiodo though, who got a good launch and quickly set about building a lead in this 12 lap race via a 1m39.705 from a standing start.

Aaron Morris and Sam Muldoon were tussling for position, allowing Chiodo a little breathing space up front as that pair tripped each other up. Championship leader Ted Collins had moved up to fourth ahead of Toparis by the end of lap two. Chiodo clocked a 1m33.980 on his first flying lap but it was not enough to break away from his pursuers, Morris and Muldoon only a couple of bike lengths behind and ready to pounce should the young Victorian make the slightest mistake. 

Toparis was the fastest man on lap three to pull away from Ted Collins and join that front group, a 1m33.669 that new benchmark from the Goulburn youngster. 

Sam Muldoon made a ‘brave’ and very bold move on Chiodo that saw him actually clip the back of the Triumph, forcing him to stand it up and lose a fair bit of ground, allowing Morris back through to second place while Toparis pushed Muldoon further back to fourth.

A lap later Muldoon threw it away on the entry to turn eight, his ZX-6R Kawasaki tumbling through the dirt in a cloud of dust and disgust. And then there were three…

Aaron Morris took the lead for the first time on lap seven, and just as the race approached the halfway point that jump-start penalty for Toparis was confirmed by race control, thus while Toparis was on course for an almost certain podium, he would be demoted down the field by ten-seconds after the chequered flag.

Motul Supersport Race One - SMP - Aaron Morris leads Mark Chiodo and Tom Toparis - Image by Half Light
Motul Supersport Race One – SMP – Aaron Morris leads Mark Chiodo and Tom Toparis – Image by Half Light

After taking the lead Morris started pulling away from his pursuers. Toparis had got the better of Chiodo and still had his head down, both men presumably struggling with tyre wear, while Morris always rides loose and is more than comfortable with a machine moving beneath him. The rear tyre of Toparis visibly broke away quite luridly past the apex of turn one with four laps to go. 

Toparis closed a lot of ground back up on Morris on the penultimate lap and at the last lap board was half-a-second behind the race leader. Chiodo was out of the battle for the win and had backed it off to bring his machine home safely in third.

Morris took a resounding victory from Toparis and Chiodo rounded out the podium. After the ten-second penalty was applied Toparis still claimed fifth place ahead of championship points leader Ted Collins. Chiodo was promoted to second place and Mason Coote was advanced on to the podium just ahead of Sam Condon due to that jump-start penalty for Toparis.

Motul Supersport Race One Results
  1. Aaron Morris – Yamaha
  2. Mark Chiodo – Triumph +4.335
  3. Mason Coote – Yamaha +9.707
  4. Sam Condon – Yamaha +9.719
  5. Tom Toparis – Kawasaki +0.790 (Ten Second Penalty)
  6. Ted Collins – Suzuki +13.229
  7. Chris Quinn – Yamaha +19.328
  8. Jordan Carlsson – Yamaha +21.040
  9. Jake Pruiti – Kawasaki +21.269
  10. Nic Liminton – Yamaha +22.211
  11. Hayden Spinks – Kawasaki +24.204
  12. Thomas Bryden – Yamaha +26.494
  13. Aidan Hayes – Kawasaki +28.958
  14. Rhys Belling – Yamaha +29.994
  15. Cambridge Olivier – Yamaha +30.243
Motul Supersport Championship Standings (TBC)
  1. Ted Collins 247
  2. Mason Coote 182
  3. Tom Toparis 172
  4. Sam Condon 146.5
  5. Nic Liminton 138

Australian Moto3 / 125 GP Race Two

Dylan Whiteside had took a narrow victory over Joel Kelso in the opening bout on Saturday, that pair more than half-a-minute ahead of Dallas Skeer by the end of Saturday’s eight lap contest. In this race that leading pair had more than six-seconds over their pursuers by the end of the first lap!

Joel Kelso had a big slide that nearly spat him over the bars on the penultimate lap which gave Whiteside breathing space for the first time in the entire race and allowed him to take the race victory by 1.8-seconds.  Both of those riders lapped under the Tom Edwards’s previous lap record today and the new benchmark now a 1m39.157 to Whiteside. 

Dallas Skeer rounded out the podium 41-seconds behind the race winner while the first 125GP machine home was Travis Hall who also claimed fourth outright by a nose ahead of fellow two-stroke riders David Doughty, Dave Manson, Jeremy Huddletone and eighth placed Taran Ocean also on 125GP machinery. 

Australian Moto3 / 125 GP Race Two Results
  1. Dylan Whiteside – Moto3
  2. Joel Kelso – Moto3 +1.78
  3. Dallas Skeer – Moto3 +41.815
  4. Travis Hall – 125GP +66.73
  5. David Doughty – 125GP +67.03
  6. Dave Manson – 125GP +68.08
  7. Jeremy Huddletone – 125GP +70.87
  8. Taran Ocean – 125GP +71.04
  9. Ross Taylor – Moto3 +74.54
  10. Mark Laing-Hughes – 125GP +95.83

Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup Race Two

Tom Edwards, Jack Mahaffy, Hunter Ford and Broc Pearson quickly cleared out from their pursuers when the second Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup contest got underway at midday.

Late in the race Pearson lost touch with that leading trio and it was Mahaffy the eventual victor over Edwards and Ford. 

219 points apiece at the front of the championship hunt.

Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup Race Two Results
  1. Jack Mahaffy
  2. Tom Edwards +0.277
  3. Hunter Ford +0.371
  4. Broc Pearson +2.363
  5. Corey Briffa + 23.634
  6. Ben Bramich + 27.731
  7. Locky Taylor +27.872
  8. Tayla Relph +28.650
  9. Jonah Sita +38.275
  10. Boyd Hocking +38.405

Sidecar Race Two Results
  1. Boughen / O’Kane
  2. Ford / Menzies +7.101
  3. Harvey / Cushnahan +16.401
  4. Alton / Clancy +34.586
  5. Brown / Sheldrick +41.538
  6. Collins / De Angelis +46.798
  7. McKinnon / Gorrie +54.349
  8. Rayner / Campbell +69.319
  9. Goodale / Goodale +71.517
  10. Clancy / Grubb +82.24