Tom Toparis takes home 75 points from Phillip Island
Yamaha’s Cru Halliday second overall – Broc Pearson third
Broc Pearson (Yamaha, YZF-R6) was scintillating in the Australian Supersport Championship qualifying at Phillip Island’s opening round of the ASBK on Friday, soaring to pole position in mixed conditions.
The Yamaha mounted rider posted a fastest lap of 1:50.261 to put himself in pole position, setting himself up for a great start to the season.
That put Pearson .045s ahead of Yamaha Racing Team rider, Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R6) in second, while Brendan Clarke (Champions Ride Days Race Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) filled the three-rider front row of the talent-packed grid.
Australian Supersport Qualifying
Broc PEARSON (Yamaha, YZF-R6) 1:50.261
Cru HALLIDAY (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R6) 1:50.306
Brendan CLARKE (Champions Ride Days Race Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) 1:51.218
Giuseppe SCARCELLA (BCPerformance Junior Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) 1:51.311
Tom TOPARIS (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R) 1:51.686
Australian Supersport Race One
Tom Toparis (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R) claimed the first Australian Supersport win of the 2018 season at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. The victory setting him up for a big year on-board his Kawasaki machine and proving a taste of things to come over the weekend’s races. The result was nothing short of impressive, with a 6.454s gap to his nearest challenger.
In the opening stages of the race, Toparis went from fifth on the grid, to the lead and built a significant gap, followed by Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R6), Broc Pearson (Yamaha, YZF-R6) and Max Croker (Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R1000).
As the race began to settle, Toparis cleared off into the distance, with Halliday further behind and Croker managing to get past Pearson quickly. The top three (Toparis, Halliday, Croker) maintained positions until the checkered flag.
“Despite not getting the best start off the line, I managed to take the lead very quickly. Got a gap and managed it to the end. There’s no way you can write Cru off however. It’s just great to get solid points to start the year and big thanks to the Cube Racing Team.”
“I’m a little disappointed by the race. We had a minor issue throughout the race. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
Croker was very pleased with his debut under the tutelage of Mat Mladin.
“It’s a fantastic result and probably one of my hardest rides ever. We have stepped up from the 300’s for this season and I’m feeling very comfortable with the Supersport bike. The team has been working very hard, after we had a few issues in qualifying, but we managed to get them sorted for the race.”
Fourth-placed Giuseppe Scarcella (BCPerformance Junior Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) enjoyed his return to ASBK competition. The top five was rounded out by pole sitter Pearson.
Australian Supersport Race One Top Ten
1. Tom TOPARIS (Cube Racing, Kawasaki) ZX-6R
2. Cru HALLIDAY (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R6)
3. Max CROKER (Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R)
4. Giuseppe SCARCELLA (BCPerformance Junior Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R)
5. Broc PEARSON (Yamaha, YZF-R6)
6. Brendan CLARKE (Champions Ride Days Race Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R)
7. Scott NICHOLSON (NextGen Motorsports, Suzuki GSX-R)
8. Damon REES (Carl Cox Motorsports, Honda CBR)
9. Aidan HAYES (Cube Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R)
10. Rhys BELLING (VIC) / LXI Racing Yamaha YZF-R6)
Toparis backed up Saturdays Race 1 win with a Race 2 victory in the Australian Supersport Class at Phillip Island. Not even a re-start could throw Toparis off his game as he continued his sensational form.
Toparis and Halliday left the field behind early, gaining a nine second advantage on the paddock by lap four, leaving these two to duke out for the race win. Toparis made a break from Halliday on lap six, to push his lead to five seconds, before claiming the race win by just over six seconds, in a repeat performance of Race 1.
“The race was a bit sketchy for us, the red flag on lap two left us on the grid with no tyre warmers on, which made the first lap of the re-start a real challenge. Really happy to get the win and another 25 points, which is really important for the long run. It’s a good start for us and hope we can take out race three later as well.”
“I was happy with that ride, I got second in the first race but I felt better in this race, the guys at Yamaha looked after me so well last night and made such an effort to get the set up right, we will keep improving as the year goes on with new parts becoming available as the season progresses. We will bounce back, I just need to find a bit more pace to catch Toparis, and make a few less mistakes on my end and we will be right up there.”
The battle for third went back and forth throughout the eight-lap race at Phillip Island with Damon Rees (Carl Cox Motorsports, Honda CBR), Broc Pearson (Yamaha, YZF-R6) and Nic Liminton (Yamaha, YZF-R6) trading places throughout.
It would be Liminton however, who got the better of the group and claimed the last spot on the podium, while Pearson grabbed fourth and Rees rounded out the top five.
Next came Zachary Johnson (Bill Lambert MBW, Yamaha YZF-R6), Rhys Belling (LXI Racing, Yamaha YZF-R6), Brendan Clarke (Champions Ride Days Race Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R), Scott Nicholson (NextGen Motorsports, Suzuki GSX-R) and Dallas Skeer (Penrite Oils, Suzuki GSX-R), rounding out the top ten.
A causality from Race Two was Max Crocker (Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R) who had a fall and did not return to the track, a disappointment for Croker who finished on the podium in Race One and was looking set for a big weekend.
Brendan CLARKE (Champions Ride Days Race Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R)
Scott NICHOLSON (NextGen Motorsports, Suzuki GSX-R)
Dallas SKEER (Penrite Oils, Suzuki GSX-R)
Australian Supersport Race Three
Race three continued the Toparis domination as he completed the perfect weekend with another victory. Coming second was once again Halliday on his Yamaha machine. Halliday also took the fastest lap of the race. Liminton kept up his strong form from Race Two with another third place.
Toparis claimed the victory by 4.667 seconds in front of Halliday, and Liminton 8.703 further seconds back from the first-place getter. Coming in fourth was Zachary Johnson (Bill Lambert MBW, Yamaha YZF-R6). Completing the top five was Broc Pearson (Yamaha YZF-R6).
Riders failing to finish the race included Brendan Clarke (Champions Ride Days Race Team, ZX-6R) and Steve Haslam (Melling Mechanical, Yamaha YZF-R6). Halliday took out the fastest lap of the race.
As a result of his three victories, Toparis now has 75 points to his name for 2018 so far, with Halliday (60) and Pearson (50) in second and third.
Australian Supersport Race Three Results
Tom TOPARIS (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R)
Cru HALLIDAY (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R6)
Nic LIMINTON (Yamaha YZF-R6)
Zackary JOHNSON (Bill Lambert MBW, YZF-R6)
Broc PEARSON (Yamaha YZF-R6)
Damon REES (Carl Cox M-sports, Honda CBR600RR)
Giuseppe SCARCELLA (BCPerformance Junior Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R)
Rhys BELLING (LXI Racing, Yamaha YZF-R6)
Aidan HAYES (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R)
Ryan TAYLOR (Arden Homes, Yamaha YZF-R6)
Australian Supersport Round 1 Overall Provisional Standings
Tom TOPARIS (QLD) 75
Cru HALLIDAY (NSW) 60
Broc PEARSON (QLD) 50
Damon REES (NZ) 44
Zackary JOHNSON (VIC) 42
Rhys BELLING (VIC) 38
Nic LIMINTON (SA) 36
Aidan HAYES (QLD) 32
Giuseppe SCARCELLA (NSW) 31
Scott NICHOLSON (VIC) 31
Dallas SKEER (SA) 29
Brendan CLARKE (QLD) 28
Luke MITCHELL (NSW) 25
Matt BARTON (VIC) 24
Thomas BRYDEN (NSW) 18
Max CROKER (NSW) 18
Jack PASSFIELD (NSW) 16
Ryan TAYLOR (VIC) 15
Scott CHAPMAN (NSW) 10
Steve HASLAM (NSW) 3
2018 ASBK Calendar
Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
Official ASBK Test, The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 3-4
Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14
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