Wayne Maxwell quick out of blocks at P.I.
Five different manufactuers in ASBK Top Five
Difficult start for DesmoSport Ducati
A small sprinkle of rain had fallen half an hour before the final Superbike practice session today but the track was clear and dry when riders exited pit-lane just before 1600 this afternoon.
A few niggles with the DesmoSport Ducati had held Troy Bayliss back a little in the earlier sessions and he was eager to get down to business this afternoon. He exited on his #2 bike but quickly returned to the pits to make some adjustments, as they shook down that machine after a hefty crash at Wakefield Park recently damaged it extensively and also left Bayliss with some hip trouble. Bayliss went out again for some more laps but ended the day 12th quickest in FP4, just ahead of Jamie Stauffer. On combined times Bayliss ended day one tenth overall.
Stauffer was a last minute inclusion when a seat became available on Craig McMartin’s Panigale R, the 38-year-old decided to get together with McMartin for this Phillip Island test. The two experienced campaigners will put their heads together after this next couple of days to decide if the Kurri Kurri based two-time Australian Superbike Champion will contest the full series or selected rounds. Jamie ended day one 12th quickest on combined times with his quickest time of the day set in the earlier FP3 session.
The first man into the 1m33s in the final session was Penrite Honda’s Troy Herfoss. That was also the first time today Herfoss had sneaked under 1m34s. The new look Honda effort making a move away from Ohlins and their years of data with the Swedish suspension manufacturer to take on a shock and fork internals from British manufacturer K-Tech.
Next man to bang in his best time for the day was Mike Jones, a 1m33.877 on lap seven. The 23-year-old very impressive on a ZX-10R borrowed from fellow Queenslander Callum Spriggs. Jones will not compete in ASBK 2018 but instead will soon announce his international racing plans for the year.
Then it was the turn of NextGEN BMW’s Glenn Allerton to lower his marker. A 1m33.947 on lap five for the three-time ASBK Champion and with ten-minutes remaining in the session.
Wayne Maxwell then shot to the top of the charts with a 1m33.619, then immediately bested it again with a 1m33.252.
Seconds later Allerton dropped three-tenths of a second off his best to move up to second place on 1m33.658.
With six-minutes remaining reigning ASBK Champion Josh Waters dropped the hammer on the Ecstar Suzuki GSX-R1000 with a 1m33.300, pushing Allerton back to third.
And that is how they remained at the flag. Maxwell top of the pops, ahead of Waters, Allerton, Jones and Herfoss.
That made five different manufacturers in the top five places in the FP4 session, but on combined times that shook out to three Yamaha machines in the top five.
Troy Herfoss and the Penrite Honda returned to pitlane after the flag on a trailer after suffering an electrical problem.
Encouraging performances came from the Superbike newcomers Mark Chiodo and Ted Collins, who both have the benefit of having teammates with multiple ASBK Championships under their belt, and whose expert tutelage they will benefit from as the season progresses.
ASBK 2018 Test – Day One Combined Times
- Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha 1m33.252
- Josh Waters – Suzuki 1m33.300
- Glenn Allerton – BMW 1m33.658
- Michael Blair – Yamaha 1m33.833 (FP3)
- Daniel Falzon – Yamaha 1m33.864 (FP3)
- Mike Jones – Kawasaki 1m33.877
- Troy Herfoss – Honda 1m33.923
- Bryan Staring – Kawasaki 1m34.021
- Matt Walters – Kawasaki 1m34.631
- Troy Bayliss – Ducati 1m34.917 (FP3)
- Mark Chiodo – Suzuki 1m35.010
- Jamie Stauffer – Ducati 1m35.086 (FP3)
- Ted Collins – BMW 1m35.187
- Callum Spriggs – Kawasaki 1m35.708
- Alex Phillis – Suzuki 1m35.870
- Aaron Morris – Yamaha 1m35.936
- Matt Harding – Kawasaki 1m36.114
- Lucas Vitale – Kawasaki 1m37.331
- Corey Turner – Suzuki 1m37.670
- Brendan McIntyre – Suzuki 1m37.697
- Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki 1m38.201
- Patrick Li – Yamaha 1m38.277
- Brad Swallow – Kawasaki 1m38.512
- Con Kokkoris – Ducati 1m38.513
- Adam Senior – Yamaha 1m38.622
- Adam Christie – Suzuki 1m38.661
- Scott McGregor – Yamaha 1m39.191
- Heath Griffin – Ducati 1m39.235
- Trent Gibson – Suzuki 1m40.125
- Phil Czaj – Aprilia 1m40.944
- Nathan Spiteri – Suzuki 1m41.703
- Ned Faulkhead – Honda 1m45.589