— Australian Superbike / ProStock Race One
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell scored the holeshot in the opening ASBK stanza of the weekend from Chas Hern before Beau Beaton pushed his way past the Victorian at Lukey Heights as Ben Henry, Linden Magee and leading ProStock rider Matt Walters gave chase.
Up front though it was Wayne Maxwell streaking away on the Team Suzuki GSX-R1000, his prime rivals for 2013 from Team Honda absent from the ASBK field this weekend due to wildcard entries in the World Superbike and Supersport Championship events.
While Maxwell disappeared up front Beaton, Magee, Hern and Henry tussled hard for second place, with Matt Walters looking on from sixth place behind that pack, well clear of the next best ProStock competitor Dustin Goldsmith who in eighth place was trying to challenge Superbike debutante Glenn Scott on the Insuremyride Fireblade.
Linden Magee seemed to improve as the race wore on and challenged Beaton for second place with seven laps to run only to be rebuffed by a fiercely determined Beau Beaton, making Magee get out of the throttle and also allowing Hern back through as he was forced to pull out of his overtaking manoeuvre. Up front Maxwell was g-o-n-e, to the tune of 8-seconds.
Lapped traffic started to become a factor with five laps to run, but the combatants in that battle for second place negotiated them safely as only 7-tenths covered that Hern-Beaton-Magee-Henry quartet.
Beau Beaton then had a huge moment, his Racers Edge GSX-R1000 getting completely sideways and oh-so-close to launching him into orbit, Beaton saved it but was forced to run off the circuit, through the gravel trap and had a soft tip-over before his machine brushed the tyre barrier, a great escape from what could have been a massive crash.
With Beaton out of the battle for second place Chas Hern capitalised to pull away from Magee and Henry, who looked to be struggling to stay on the tail of Magee as the laps counted down.
Out front Maxwell had buttoned right off through the lapped traffic to ensure he came home for his clear and easy win.
“We couldn’t ask for much more today, a flag to flag win is a good way to start things off,” said Maxwell.
“I got a good start and the bike was very consistent. There are a few things we are not quite happy with but we’ll stick to our plan of trying as many different settings as we can over the weekend to collect as much data as possible.
“We’re keeping focused on the main goal which is being ready for the first point-scoring round of the Championship in Tasmania.”
Despite enjoying a clear second place for the final couple of laps Chas Hern kept the CM Racing GSX-R1000 pinned and continued to lap in the low 34s to take second place from Magee by six-seconds. Ben Henry was not far behind in fourth place.
Glenn Scott managed to get the better of leading ProStock competitor Matt Walters to take fifth place outright. Walters set a new ProStock lap record of 35.05 on his way to sixth place outright, well ahead of ProStock rivals Dustin Goldsmith and Phil Lovett and revelled in opening his ProStock win account for the weekend and thus earning the ProStock Championship lead.
“It was a good race and good to be up amongst the Superbike guys in the early laps – that was definitely an eye-opener,” said Walters.
“It all went to plan but in the last few laps I got some arm pump and my hands just stopped working so I drifted back a bit.
“It’s great to be quick again and come away with the race lap record, I think tomorrow we might be able to go faster again if the conditions are right.”
— Earlier — Friday — Maxwell takes pole position at Phillip Island
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell stamped his authority in ASBK during qualifying for this weekend’s World Superbike Championship event at Phillip Island today with a 1m33.695.
“It’s my first official qualifying session on the bike and I couldn’t ask for much more than to come away with P1 to start the year,” said Maxwell.
“I’m treating this as a testing weekend and trying to get a good feel for the Suzuki and make any adjustments I need to at a track I am familiar with.
“The Dunlop tyre is hanging in there over the duration and I’m doing a lot of my fast laps at the end of the sessions which is promising.
“The next step is to find a bit more feeling in the bike and I’m hoping to have come on leaps and bounds by the end of the weekend.”
Last year’s ProStock Champion Linden Magee showed that he may be a force to be reckoned in the Superbike category this year with a 1m33.766. With Magee riding on Pirelli tyres and proving competitive it could also signal that Pirelli might be in a position this season to impinge on the Dunlop dominance of the ASBK ranks.
Beau Beaton (34.04) was next best on the Racers Edge Suzuki ahead of CM Racing’s Chas Hern (34.47).
With the Superbike category not running for championship points this weekend, and Team Honda incumbents Jamie Stauffer and Josh Hook missing from the ASBK events due to wildcard entries in the headline events, the focus is somewhat more directed at the well subscribed ProStock category.
Matt Walters set a new ProStock qualifying record of 1m34.927 on the Rover Coaches sponsored Kawasaki Connections ZX-10R. Four-tenths of a second ahead of Glenn Scott on the Insuremyride Fireblade, the ex-Supersport competitor using this non-points scoring round for the Superbike class to get his head around the full Superbike spec’ Fireblade.
“The conditions weren’t ideal, it was pretty windy out there but we came in knowing we had the bike setup pretty well and this session verified that,” said Walters.
“Everything went to plan to day, hopefully I can stick with the leaders during the races and all my fitness work will pay off.”
Ben Nicolson piloted his BMW S 1000 RR to the seventh overall fastest time – second best of the ProStock competitors.
Aaron Morris topped a Yamaha triumvirate of YZF-R6 Supersport machines. The Maxima Yamaha pilot’s 37.18 ahead of Daniel Falzon (37.36) and early pacesetter Ryan Taylor (37.81).
“We started off the day struggling a bit and were down by around 0.7 of a second but put on a new set of tyres and went 1.5 seconds faster which I was ecstatic with,” said Falzon.
“The new surface is super smooth and it’s hard to get a lot of feeling in the front end, I think that’s why there were a few people crashing.
“There is lots of grip though and it gives you a lot of confidence, especially with the run off areas at turn 1 and 4.”
Superbike/Prostock*: W Maxwell (Suzuki) 1m33.695s 1, L Magee (BMW) 1m33.766s 2, B Beaton (Suzuki) 1m34.046s 3, C Hern (Suzuki) 1m34.476s 4, M Walters (Kawasaki) 1m34.927s 5*, G Scott (Honda) 1m35.386s 6, B Nicolson (BMW) 1m35.555s 7*, B Henry (Suzuki) 1m35.704s 8, D Goldsmith (Kawasaki) 1m35.798s 9*, A Christie (BMW) 1m36.348s 10*.
Supersport: A Morris (Yamaha) 1m37.183s 1, D Falzon (Yamaha) 1m37.369s 2, R Taylor (Yamaha) 1m37.818s 3, M Lockhart (Kawasaki) 1m37.960s 4, C Spriggs (Yamaha) 1m38.055s 5, A Wagner (Yamaha) 1m38.133s 6, M Blair (Yamaha) 1m38.188s 7, C Quinn (Yamaha) 1m38.247s 8, A Gobert (Kawasaki) 1m38.404s 9, L Burgess (Kawasaki) 1m38.559s 10.
Shawn Giles got the better of Beau Beaton in the opening Historics race of the weekend with a 4.16 second win over the Irving Vincent rider. Robbie Phillis rounded out the podium a further 23-seconds down on the leading duo.
Beau Beaton was determined to give Shawn Giles a hurry up in the second Historics bout but the Irving Vincent called it a day with three laps to run, leaving Giles with a 16-second lead over Michael Dibb.
A lap later Dibb also suffered problems and pulled into the pits, promoting Scott Webster in to second place ahead of Robert Ruwoldt.
In the closing laps Stuart Loly got the better of Ruwoldt for the final step on the podium ahead of Robert Cole, Ruwoldt and Craig Ditchburn.
— Yesterday…..ASBK gets underway at Phillip Island
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell was the first man to dip into 1m33s bracket today at Phillip Island, suggesting his move to Team Suzuki for season 2013 is not going to slow the Phillip Island specialist down. Maxwell set his 1m33.945 halfway through the 30-minute session, a full two-seconds faster at that point than next quickest rider Linden Magee (Dynotech Maxima BMW), the Queenslander stepping up to the Superbike category this year and helping bolster the Superbike field.
Team Honda’s Josh Hook and Jamie Stauffer absent from their domestic duties due to WSBK being a non-points scoring weekend for the premier category, the pair instead taking on the world in World Supersport and Superbike.
Previous Team Honda incumbent, Wayne Maxwell, whittled his way down to a 33.846 before the chequered flag signalled an end to the day’s proceedings.
Magee hustled the BMW around in a 35.034 to finish the opening SBK session in second place, Linden the sole BMW entrant in the ASBK category this weekend due to Glenn Allerton’s wildcard entry in the World Superbike class.
Chas Hern, mounted on a PTR prepared Suzuki GSX-R1000 in Superbike this year, recorded a 35.552, half-a-second ahead of Cube Racing’s Ben Henry (36.03) and Beau Beaton (36.09), that trio all GSX-R mounted this season.
Glenn Scott debuted his Insuremyride Honda Fireblade with sixth place in opening practice, six-tenths ahead of top ProStock runner Matt Walters, the Kawasaki pilot putting in a 36.90 to ease Phil Lovett out of top spot in the category.
Once upon a time ProStock would have been called the supporting act for Superbike but with ProStock numbers more than double that of the Superbike class, p it should perhaps be seen as the other way around in season 2013…?
Or should – as promoter IEG has been consistently pushing for only to be continually rebuffed and frustrated by the controlling body and other interests – the premier class should have moved to ProStock specification rules across the board…? Continually trying to keep the Superbike category alive on life support, while it parasitically sucks the life out of the series as a whole, seems total madness….?
The Supersport category this year has been incorporated with the Superstock category, but the technical rules now allow for more extensive (expensive) modifications than Superstock has previously allowed, thus the category is now perhaps closer to Supersport, a category that has been struggling for numbers in recent seasons, not just in Australia but around the world, rather than the seemingly more successful and less modified Superstock category machines.
Chris Quinn headed the Supersport field with a 1m39.565, just pipping Aaron Morris for top spot (39.65).
Michael Blair (39.73) and Callum Spriggs (40.25) completed the all-Yamaha top four ahead of Kawasaki’s Michael Lockart (40.47).
Sixth and seventh places also went to Yamaha men, Daniel Falzon (40.53) and Aiden Wagner (40.57).
New Zealand’s Alistair Hoogenboezem was the top Suzuki rider (40.73) ahead of Aaron Gobert (40.89) and Alex Phillis (41.29), both Kawasaki mounted and rounding out the Supersport top ten. Mackay Kawasaki’s Luke Burgess suffered from electrical gremlins in the opening session and will surely move up the order tomorrow.
The booming Historics category saw Beau Beaton sneak the delectable Irving Vincent ahead of the recently all-conquering Shawn Giles on the TBR/D&D Springwood Suzuki Katana. Beaton’s 36.461 narrowly eclipsing the 38.491 of Giles, setting up what could be a fantastic battle to thrill Phillip Island this weekend.
The fact that the Historic machines hold perhaps even more interest for spectators while stationary in the pits, compared to their also very impressive on track exploits, is a big reason for the success of the burgeoning Period 5 and Period 6 Historic categories.
It seems clear that the battle for the win will see Giles and Beaton go head-to-head, but the battle for the final spot on the podium will see the CB 1150 R mounted Michael Dibb (43.67) battle with GSX Suzuki mounted Laurie Fyffe (47.78), Moto Martin Suzuki pilot Scott Webster (49.15), Kawasaki Z runner Albert Tehennepe (50.37) and quickest two-stroke pilot Michael Teniswood (50.69) all try to put their boots on the rostrum.
A full schedule and entry list for the weekend can be downloaded from the link below. Stay tuned to https://www.mcnews.com.au for all the action from Phillip Island this weekend.