Curious start to ASBK qualifying at Sydney Motorsports Park
Yamaha Motor Finance ASBK 2017 – Round Six – Sydney Motorsports Park
It was somewhat of a strange start to the opening 30-minute qualifying session for the YMI Superbike class at Sydney Motorsports Park this morning.
The day was warming up to be a simply gorgeous Spring morning. The track temperature heading towards 40-degrees, while the ambient was a quite pleasant high teens.
By the halfway point of the session the top runners had only put in a couple of flying laps.
Wayne Maxwell was the early pacesetter with a 1m31.056 on his first flying lap before then retiring to the pits. He came out again later in the session to improve to 1m30.930 on the fifth of the six laps he completed this morning.
Daniel Falzon then became the first man this weekend to go under 1m31s, a 1m30.912 on the South Australian’s third lap, which was completed with a little over ten minutes remaining in the session. The 23-year-old did complete another couple of laps later in the session but did not lower that benchmark any further. However, it was still good enough for him to top the Q1 session overall when the chequered flag came out.
“Couldn’t be happier to have claimed provisional pole position here at Sydney Motorsport Park for the sixth round of the Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbikes. The team and I managed to stop the clock with a 1min30.912 on our third lap out of a total of six. It’s really satisfying to know that we have some pace for the second qualifying session later on this afternoon. It’s qualifying one, so we are not counting our chickens before they hatch. There will no doubt be faster lap times set come qualifying two, but nevertheless it’s the first time we have been into the 1min30’s around here, so I’m happy! It’s very reassuring to know that we are heading in the right direction this weekend. I really hope that we can put down another strong performance in qualifying two and start from the front row.”
The Honda men had clearly made significant steps forward overnight. Defending champion Herfoss languised just outside the top ten yesterday and was clearly struggling for speed, especially on corner entry. The bike had been essentially turned upside down overnight, suspension both front and rear was signifcantly changed, mapping was also tweaked.
The first flying lap by both riders told their men on the spanners that they had moved in the right direction. Staring put in a 1m31.13 on his third lap, while Herfoss notched a 1m31.674 on his second lap before returning to the pits.
Suzuki’s Josh Waters looked comfortable yesterday and did not turn a wheel in anger until late in the session, the Mildura man straight down to 1m31.08, third quickest with seven minutes remaining. He then lowered that marker to 1m30.991 with three minutes left in the session. Like Staring, Waters put only four laps together in the half-hour session.
Glenn Allerton put in five laps with his best of 1m31.718 coming on the first of those.
Josh Hook had been getting plenty of laps in on the Ducati. The most of any rider in the session in fact. The 24-year-old ended the session in seventh place just ahead of Cru Halliday. The #65 Yamaha man most displeased with his progress this morning. Matt Walters rounded out the top ten and took the mantle of fastest Kawasaki, just behind ninth placed Michael Blair.
Robbie Bugden is one of very few men to have ever dipped into the 1m29s at Sydney Motorsport Park. Bugden’s 1m29.842, set on a GSX-R1000 in 2013, is the current qualifying lap record around the 3.93km Gardner Circuit layout, previously known as Eastern Creek International Raceway. Today though Bugden could only muster a 1m32.345 from the BCperformance Kawasaki to finish outside the top ten.
Surely times will fall significantly this afternoon. No rider matched Maxwell’s 1m30.681 from yesterday’s free practice, in fact all the top runners apart from the Honda men were significantly slower than they managed during Friday practice. It will be very interesting to see what unfolds this afternoon when the second and final 30-minute qualifying session gets underway around 1500.
Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike – First Qualifying Results
Daniel Falzon – Yamaha 1m30.912
Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha 1m30.930
Josh Waters – Suzuki 1m30.991
Bryan Staring – Honda 1m31.135
Troy Herfoss – Honda 1m31.674
Glenn Allerton – Yamaha 1m31.718
Josh Hook – Ducati 1m31.789
Cru Halliday – Yamaha 1m31.976
Michael Blair – Yamaha 1m32.207
Matt Walters – Kawasaki 1m32.326
Robbie Bugden – Kawasaki 1m32.345
Alex Phillis – Yamaha 1m32.485
Corey Turner – Ducati 1m32.568
Beau Beaton – Ducati 1m32.580
Lachlan Epis – BMW 1m32.673
Motul Supersport 600 – First Qualifying
Mark Chiodo continued to set the pace at Eastern Creek this morning but his rivals also increased their pace considerably over what they managed yesterday. Toparis the closest to Chiodo and on that Q1 form the battles for the wins look as though they might be fought out between those two unless their rivals can find a lot more pace this afternoon.
Championship leader Ted Collins seems content to ease his way into things here this weekend. Reasonable results here should see the NextGen Suzuki youngster claim the #1 plate in the Motul Supersport Championship here this weekend with a round remaining.
Motul Supersport 600 – First Qualifying Results
Mark Chiodo – Triumph 1m34.028
Tom Toparis – Kawasaki 1m34.353
Sam Condon – Yamaha 1m34.954
Chris Quinn – Yamaha 1m35.126
Mason Coote – Yamaha 1m35.141
Hayden Spinks – Kawasaki 1m35.571
Nic Liminton – Yamaha 1m35.668
Ted Collins – Suzuki 1m35.678
Cambridge Olivier – Yamaha 1m35.759
Jordan Carlsson – Yamaha 1m35.973
Sam Muldoon – Kawasaki 1m36.021
Aidan Hayes – Kawasaki 1m36.068
Rhys Belling – Yamaha 1m36.555
Simon Rees – Kawasaki 1m36.702
Mick Hefferan – Kawasaki 1m36.705
Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 – First Qualifying
Broc Pearson is returning from significant injuries he sustained in a pre-season crash but the Queensland youngster was lucky to escape any further serious injuries when he fell heavily at Sydney Motorsports Park this morning. Kudos to Brandon Demmery for managing not to run Pearson over!
Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 – First Qualifying Results
Tom Edwards – Yamaha 1m44.023
Yanni Shaw – Kawasaki 1m44.168
Jack Mahaffy – Yamaha 1m44.278
Oli Bayliss – Kawasaki 1m44.325
Reid Battye – Kawasaki 1m44.330
Billy Van Eerde – KTM 1m44.988
Max Croker – KTM 1m45.212
Zac Levy – Yamaha 1m45.344
Hunter Ford – Yamaha 1m45.353
Corey Briffa – Yamaha 1m45.606
Tom Bramich – Yamaha 1m45.766
Broc Pearson – Yamaha 1m45.815
Locky Taylor – Yamaha 1m46.587
Ben Bramich – Yamaha 1m46.807
Brandon Demmery – Yamaha 1m46.891
Jarred Brook – KTM 1m46.996
Drew Sells – Kawasaki 1m47.410
Rogan Chandler – Yamaha 1m47.759
Jonah Sita – Yamaha 1m48.029
Seth Crump – KTM 1m48.434
Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup – First Qualifying Results
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.