Crankt Protein Honda’s Troy Herfoss wins opening ASBK race at Wakefield Park
It was another dreary morning here at Wakefield Park as competitors hit the track for morning warm-up sessions. The last chance for competitors across the five different categories that make up the 2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship to fine tune their wet set-ups.
Yamaha R3 Cup Race Two
The opening bout of the day was the second bout for the Yamaha R3 Cup racers. Jack Passfield had won race one on Saturday over Ty Lynch, and it was Passfield that claimed top honours again today, this time from Tom Edwards and Boyd Hocking.
Jack Mahaffy unfortunately failed to finish, neither did Ty Lynch, thus Passfield’s championship is off to a fantastic start compared to two of his quickest competitors.
Yamaha R3 Cup Race Two Results
Tom Edwards +1.61
Boyd Hocking +7.22
Corey Briffa +7.345
Dan Thomas +22.643
Tayla Relph +22.795
Chris Dobie +42.148
Jonathan Henderson +47.882
Hunter Ford +50.446
Jonah Sita +50.663
Troy Ryan +51.539
Ben Bramich +53.322
Chris Balen +59.889
Mark Bottomley +1 lap
Jake Brett +1 lap
Motul Supersport Race One
Local youngster Tom Toparis started from pole position but it was Sam Muldoon who scored the holeshot. Both Mark Chiodo and championship leader Mason Coote went down on the opening lap, the two going down in separate incidents. Both riders remounted and Coote managed to bag a couple of points by claiming 13th place at the final flag while Chiodo finished 18th.
Muldoon led the entire first lap with Ted Collins in second place and Toparis in third but by lap three Toparis had hit the lead. Shortly after Toparis took the lead Muldoon slipped off leaving Toparis and Collins to fight it out for the win.
It was Toparis that best mastered the conditions however, the 17-year-old pulled away from Collins and by half race distance the Cube Racing Kawasaki rider had built a five-second buffer over Ted Collins and then backed his pace off a little to maintain that gap.
Giuseppe Scarcella was on a mission though, and was the fastest man on the circuit during the middle stages of the race as he thrust his way through the field. Scarcella got the better of Nic Liminton and then Jordan Carlsson before then dispensing with Ted Collins and Sam Condon to move up to second place. Scarcella was lapping more than two-seconds quicker than Toparis and the gap was 4.5-seconds with five laps to run, the local boy would have to respond or Scarcella would be on his tail in no time.
All the top runners were dealing with lots of lapped traffic which was also playing its small part. On lap 12 Scarcella was again more than two-seconds quicker than Toparis and with three laps to go only half-a-dozen bike lengths separated the pair.
Toparis the responded, going from 77-second lap-times back down to 74s to eke the gap back out to 1.7-seconds as Scarcella negotiated a lapped rider. Scarcella again though closed right up on Toparis and as they started the last lap nothing separated the pair. Scarcella went up the inside at turn one, Toparis then went back around him on the outside, Scarcella back to the lead again at the next turn, Toparis back again the next corner. Toparis led Scarcella through the infield left-hander and eked out a couple of bike lengths through the final bends to take the chequered flag, Toparis takes his maiden win in the Supersport category. Scarcella battled brilliantly in the conditions and put the fastest lap of the race in on the final lap to try and best Toparis but it was the local Goulburn boy that took the win by less than a tenth-of-a-second. Sam Condon rounded out the podium a further 15-seconds behind that duo.
Tom Toparis P1
“That was a crazy race, so slippery out there. Everyone slowed up a little after those guys fell early on. I got a big gap but then saw on the pit board that Giuseppe was closing quickly so had to respond. He got me under brakes on the final lap, but that then pushed him a little wide, so I could get back through. We didn’t expect to be winning races at round two in what is our first tilt in the Supersport category, so it is great to be here racing for wins, was not expected but super happy to be up the front here today. If it is dry this afternoon it will be a bit harder, but we are prepared for anything that comes.”
Giuseppe Scarcella P2
“I got caught up with a crashed rider on the first lap which put me back a few spots. I just enjoy riding the motorcycle, wet and dry, I just go out there and give 110 per cent where ever I can. Green bike, green leathers and green blood now, Kawasaki all the way.”
Sam Condon P3
“The first lap was hectic, a lot of riders crashed but I just tried to keep it steady. Congratulations to Giueseppe and Tom. That was out first wet race of the year so it was difficult for everybody.”
Motul Supersport Race One Results (16 Laps)
Giuseppe Scarcella +0.097
Sam Condon +15.346
Nic Liminton +18.814
Jordan Carlsson +22.953
Damon Rees +24.295
Ted Collins +24.924
Aidan Hayes +29.694
Lincoln Gilding +33.140
Grant Davis +38.751
Carl Kitson +39.385
Jimmy Broadbent +57.144
Mason Coote +1 lap
GP Juniors Cup Race Two
Tom Edwards had triumphed in Saturday’s opening GP Juniors Cup outing for the year over Joel Kelso and John Lytras and it was again that trio up the front of the field when their second race of the weekend got underway at 1145 this morning in very wet conditons at Wakefield Park.
This affair was much closer than Saturday’s bout. That leader trio were three-wide at times during the six-lap encounter. As the race wore on young Max Stauffer started to find his wet feet, so to speak, and on the second lap was the fastest rider on the circuit, but a slow opening lap saw the young debutant running in fifth place behind Ben Baker, that pair were already six-seconds behind the leaders.
By half race distance Kelso and Edwards had broken away from Lytras and that pair battled fairings as they slipped and slid around the circuit all the way to the flag. It was Kelso by a nose at the line, despite Edwards putting in the fastest lap of the race on the final lap. Lytras rounded out the podium 16-seconds behind that duo.
GP Juniors Cup Race Two Results
Tom Edwards +0.059
John Lytres +16.247
Ben Baker +19.483
Max Stauffer +19.885
Harry Khouri +22.854
Luke Power +47.847
Jack Cousens +1 lap
Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike Race One
Defending champion Troy Herfoss was to start the opening 20-lap Superbike bout from pole position but the #1 Honda returned to pitlane after the initial out-lap, to change to his dry bike and slick tyres.
His teammate Bryan Staring had already made the decision to start the race on slick tyres, most of the field were on full wets. Josh Hook changed to worn slicks on the grid but still had the wet suspension settings on the few year old ZX-10R he borrowed for the round. Hooky was on the spanners himself, aided by Speedway legend Jason Crump, in changing the tyres on the grid. Robbie Bugden on the BCperformance ZX-10R started the race on slicks.
Herfoss had to start from the back of the grid due to his last minutre return to the pits to change tyres, but it took the Goulburn born rider all of two laps to hit the front. A risky but calculating move to run slicks paying off for the 30-year-old, by lap four he had a massive seven-seconds on the rest of the field.
Bryan Staring was not faring quite as well on slicks, running just inside the top ten for the early parts of the race, slowly finding his feet with the conditons of the track before starting to pass riders and edge towards the top five.
Round one winner Daniel Falzon entered the pits with 13 laps to go in order to swap to a slick shod bike, rejoining the field in 18th position, 55-seconds behind the race leader.
Josh Waters was another to come in and swap to a slick shod machine two laps later, rejoining the race a lap down on Herfoss, and in 16th position.
Beau Beaton had been the closest rider to Herfoss for most of the early laps before eventually being overhauled by Robert Bugden and Josh Hook. With 11 laps to run Herfoss enjoyed a 16-second buffer over Bugden and Hook.
Perth’s Adam Senior had been one of the first to swap to slicks earlier on and by half race distance was running in sixth place, just ahead of Wayne Maxwell, the YRT man choosing to go the full distance on wets. Senior was thus the top running Yamaha at that mid-point of the 20-lap race.
On lap 12 Daniel Falzon put in a new fastest lap of the race to move past Cru Halliday and promote himself into 11th position. Further up the field Staring had continued his march forwards, passing Beaton for fourth position at the same juncture.
By lap 15 Herfoss had lapped up to eighth place. The riders still on wets were by now sliding all over the place with rubber flying everywhere from their rear hoops.
With four laps to go Herfoss had slowed his pace a little as he negotiated more lapped traffic. Allowing Bugden to reduce the gap back down to 15-seconds. Hook was still in third place a few seconds behind Bugden, but with a large 18-second buffer over fourth placed Bryan Staring. Adam Senior had moved past Beau Beaton and Aaiden Coote to promote himself into sixth position.
Herfoss lapped Beaton with 1.5 laps to run and had a 10-second lead Bugden as they got the last lap board. The Crankt Protein Honda man slowed to almost a crawl on the main straight, standing up on the pegs and acknowledging the crowd. That allowed Bugden to cross the line only four-seconds behind Herfoss while Hook rounded out the podium on a ZX-10R he borrowed for the weekend from Sophie Lovett.
Bryan Staring claimed fourth place ahead of Aaiden Coote while Adam Senior was the last rider to finish on the same lap to claim sixth place, and the honour of being the top finishing Yamaha.
Beau Beaton was seventh ahead of Wayne Maxwell and Daniel Falzon while Jack Baker rounded out the top ten.
Glenn Allerton had been ruled out of proceedings on Friday, after badly breaking his arm in a fall. The three-time champion has been operated on with a plate and screws inserted in his upper arm and could be facing up to three months on the sidelines.
Troy Herfoss P1
“I hesitated on the tyre decision, the team gave me the decision. I decided on slicks after the formation lap, so starting from the back of the grid was far from ideal. Once the lights went out I went like a madman, I caught the few other guys on slicks in no time, so I thought I should steady it a little. But I also knew that I had to get a large a buffer as possible, just in case the rain started falling again. Shaun made a few changes to the suspension before I went out but it was still a bit lary out there. A pole and a win so far, so off to a good start, everything is working great and hopefully later this afternoon we either end up with a proper wet race, or a completely dry race.”
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