ASBK Production and Moto3 Wanneroo Recap
It was Brandon Demmery’s consistency that paid off at Wanneroo, racing to the overall Production round win, while in the Honda Moto 3/125 GP category it was Ben Leonard who had reason to celebrate at Round 4 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli at Barbagallo Raceway.
When the stacked Production class lined up on the grid for their second race of the weekend this morning, there was tension in the air, with fastest qualifier Alderson looking to redeem himself after a disappointing end to race one yesterday, while 2 Thugs’ Demmery was carrying significant confidence in to race two after collecting the opening Production win yesterday.
Despite Alderson launching off the grid and into turn one with the lead, it took no time at all for Demmery to assert himself, snatching up the top spot and leading the pack on to the straight after two laps.
However, Alderson was not prepared to settle for second best, and after the first split on lap three, had moved in to the race lead once again, ahead of Tom Toparis in second, followed by Demmery in third.
When riders had completed six laps, Alderson had stretched out his lead to a comfortable 0.918 of a second – leaving the battles for the remaining top positions to unfold behind him. And battle they did. Demmery, DB Racing’s Reid Battye and Toparis all putting on a performance for ASBK spectators – the trio slip streaming and switching positions numerous times throughout the race.
In the final stages of race two, the running order saw Alderson continuing to lead from Battye who had edged out Demmery and Toparis to move in to second, while Yamaha mounted JDR Racing’s Jack Dawes came from no where to launch in to an impressive fourth position.
But it was on the final lap for the Production class, that it all went pear shaped for Battye – the second placed rider going down in the final turn before the finish straight, marking an early end to race two for the Kawasaki mounted star, who was forced to leave the track in the hands of Racesafe.
So when the chequered flag flew, it was Alderson who secured ultimate redemption, snatching up the second race win for the Over 300cc Production class, while Demmery crossed the line in second. Up to 300cc competitor Drew Sells (Race Centre) completed race two by finishing in third, while Dawes put on an outstanding performance to race his Yamaha R3 to fourth, followed Sam Condon who finished in fifth place.
In the third and final race for the day for the Production class, Yamaha’s Alderson edged out tough competition from Demmery to take the holeshot, and within two laps, Alderson looked unstoppable – stretching out his gap on second to an impressive 1.245 seconds.
After three laps, the running order saw Alderson with a commanding lead, followed by a hard charging Demmery and Sells who continued to go head to head in second and third positions.
With Alderson checked out, spectators got their excitement from watching the battle between Demmery, Sells, Dawes and Toparis unfold – the four riders all chopping and changing positions, leaving the crowd guessing as to who would finish on the podium.
By lap seven, Dawes made his way past Demmery to move in to second position, while Sells dropped back fourth, but not letting the front runners out of his sight.
However, the fight for second position was in now way over, and with two laps remaining, Demmery, Dawes and Sells were all well within striking distance of a spot on the Production podium.
But when race three wrapped up, no one could take the attention away from a victorious Alderson, who collected his second victory for the weekend from Demmery, while Sells and Toparis wrapped up race three in third and fourth places respectively.
Dawes, who challenged for a podium position earlier in the race was forced to settle for fifth, while Justin Hall, Paul Young and Aidan Hayes all concluded the final race of the day inside the top ten.
With points from three races combined, Demmery concluded round four as the Over 300cc Production winner, while in the Up to 300cc category it was Sells who collected the round four win, and in the Women’s Production class, Jessica Boujos left Barbagallo Raceway today victorious.
“We decided that after the first race it was pretty safe for us to finish second in the next two, and to take a handy points lead in to the next round feels good. I would have liked to get a couple more wins under my belt but Callum (Alderson) rode hard all weekend, and watching him ride off in the distance was a little bit upsetting but I’m very happy to be finishing on the top step of the podium. At the moment I’ve got a 35-point lead in the championship so it’s mine to lose at this point – it would be silly to push when I don’t really need to. I’m happy, the team’s happy, and we got the job done this weekend.”
Honda Moto 3/125 GP
With championship leader Brian Houghton forced to race aboard a borrowed 125 machine in race two after bike issues, when riders lined up for their second battle this weekend, there was plenty of excitement on track.
When racing kicked off, it was Locky Taylor who launched in to the early race lead, however by the time the pack reached turn four on lap one, Taylor had taken a tumble, handing the lead to yesterday’s race one winner Ben Leonard.
However, Leonard also wasn’t able to hold on to the lead for long, making a mistake on that very same lap, forcing him to drop back to fourth position and handing the lead over to Tayla Relph for a total of two laps.
By the time riders headed into lap five, spectators welcomed yet another Moto3/125GP race leader, with David Doughty having his turn at the front – from there, Leonard also made his way back up the ranks to second position, relegating Relph to third.
However, with Leonard on a charge, there was no holding back the Honda rider, and with three laps remaining it was Leonard who snatched up the Moto 3 race lead, while Relph was able to capitalise on a mistake from Doughty to move in to second, followed by Pettit who held down third position.
And from there, positions remaining unchanged – Leonard fighting to his second race victory for the weekend, while Relph secured a podium finish for race two in second – Pettit wrapped up an action filled race in third, while despite leading the race for a period of time Doughty finished in fourth.
Tom Hatton concluded the second Honda Moto3/125 GP race in fifth position, while Tim Boujos, David Manson and Brian Houghton all took positions inside the top ten.
When the Honda Moto 3/125 GP class took to the grid for the final time this weekend, it was once again Leonard who shot off in to the early race lead, however Relph was determined not to let him out of her sights, and by the time riders headed in to lap two, Relph had taken control of race three, leading from Leonard, Doughty, Pettit and Houghton.
From there, the race was set to go down to the wire with Relph and Leonard taking turns at leading for an incredible nine laps before a winner was decided.
By lap five, Doughty decided to join the party and battle for the race lead too, applying the pressure on Leonard who was in second, while Relph continued to lead by the smallest of margins on her pink Honda machine.
However, by the time riders had headed in to the basin section of the track on lap eight, Doughty had shot from third to the lead, forcing Relph and Leonard to battle for second behind him.
But Relph was not prepared to go down without a fight, and it was her late braking coming on to the straight with three laps to go that served her well, securing the race lead once again.
But despite Relph carrying fantastic momentum, it was an early finish to Round 4 for the Honda Moto 3/125 GP competitors, with Doughty going down at turn four forcing the final race to be prematurely red flagged.
The race was then declared at lap nine, meaning that Relph was awarded the race three victory, while Leonard took second, followed by Locky Taylor who inherited third position when Doughty went down.
However, despite Relph being awarded the final race win, Leonard’s 1, 1, 2 results saw him finish round four on the top step of the Honda Moto 3/125 GP podium, followed by Relph who wrapped up round four in second, while Pettit’s consistency saw him awarded with third.
In the 125 category, Pettit was also victorious, followed by Doughty and Tom Hatton who finished the round in second and third places on the podium respectively.
Leonard spoke to the media after stepping off the podium, where he celebrated with champagne alongside his Honda Moto 3/125 GP competitors.
“It’s been an absolutely wicked weekend for me, we pushed so hard and we have in recent rounds as well, but this weekend went perfectly. We had a bit of a race plan for the last race but it was sort of cut short with the red flag, but I’m happy to come away with the round win. I pushed myself past the point I’ve ever pushed myself to before, and I’m just happy I got past it all. I would celebrate tonight but I’m straight back in to training for footy tomorrow (laughs). But I can’t thank everyone enough for the help this weekend, it’s been great.”
Club Challenge C&D Grade
After an exciting race one on Saturday where BPR Racing’s Scott McCue streamed to victory, race two in Western Australia shaped up once again to be a win for the Kawasaki rider.
Despite Honda rider Kristo Raam initially leading the way, when the chequered flag flew on race two for the Club Challenge C&D class, 1000cc rider McCue had reason to celebrate, taking the win from Max James-Beatsonbell in second, while Anton Jones wrapped up race two in third.
In the 600cc category for the Club Challenge C&D class it was Velocity Race Team’s Nick Favazzo who secured the first victory of the day on Sunday, followed by Pascal De Roche and Andrew Smiles.
In race three, once again it was McCue who shot off in to the early race lead, and after only two laps had pulled an impressive two second gap on second placed Ash Jennings (Suzuki), and third placed Jones.
With McCue well out in front, the fight for positions were left to happen behind him, and before long Jones made his move on Jennings for second position, while Neil Fraser followed suit passing the Jennings Suzuki for third.
And when the chequered flag flew, that’s exactly where the riders finished – 1000cc rider McCue collecting his third race victory for the weekend, followed by Jones (BPR Racing) and Fraser (SKB Racing) who finished race three in second and third places respectively.
In the 600cc category it was Western Australian Eddie Kirrane who took the win in race three, while De Roche and Favazzo wrapped up the final Club Challenge race in second and third places respectively in the 600cc class.
When results were calculated from three races, McCue went undefeated and concluded the round with the 1000cc victory – second on the Club Challenge 1000cc podium was Jones, followed by Fraser who collected third.
In the 600cc category, Favazzo’s consistency paid off, rewarding him with the round victory, while De Roche and Phil Burke completed the 600cc podium in second and third places respectively.
When race two got underway for the Sidecar drivers, all eyes were on duo Murray Stronach and Steve Marshall who had showcased the incredible power of their Kawasaki machine when they took the win in race one on Saturday.
But despite Stronach and Marshall leading race two for a period of time, it was duo Jero Joyce and Corey Blackman who steered their Suzuki GSXR 1000 machine to victory, while despite a final corner challenge for the lead, Stronach and Marshall crossed the finish line in second position.
Drivers Graeme Evans and Jarred Scott (Hanger Racing) concluded race two in third, followed by Phil Brown and David Mercer who wrapped up their second outing in fourth.
In the final race for the Sidecars it was a familiar result for duo Joyce and Blackman, who applied the pressure when required and passed the likes of Stronach and Marshall to secure their second victory for the weekend.
With Jero and Joyce’s victorious performance, Stronach and Marshall were forced to settle for second position in the final race of the day, while Evans and Scott raced their Hanger Racing Kawasaki to another third.
Fourth in the final race was Rod Walker and Kevin Webb, followed by Darryl McLeod and Gabrielle Watson who wrapped up the final appearance for the sidecars in fifth place.
After three races, Joyce and Blackman’s 2,1,1 results saw the duo awarded with the top step on the podium, followed by locals Stronach and Marshall who collected second, while Evans and Scott rounded out the podium in third.