2019 ASBK Supersport 300
YMF R3 Cup
Oceanic Juniors Cup

With Mark Bracks
Images by TBG and Rob Mott

Mark Bracks gives MCNews.com.au the inside scoop on the Supersport 300, R3 Cup and Oceania Juniors Cup categories, following their appearances at the official ASBK test at Phillip Island last weekend.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Seth Crump TBG
Seth Crump topped the weekend’s testing on his KTM

YMI Supersport 300 & YMF R3 Cup

Early signs at the test for the Supersport 300 and R3 Cup were that there hasn’t been too many departures from the ranks in 2019.

24 riders participated at the test, but by the time the race action happens in a few weeks the grids will swell to have nearly 40 riders vying for position.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Tom Bramich TBG
Tom Bramich was in attendence, but testing his WSBK machinery and not counted in the official time sheets

Two that did leave are Tom Bramich who is off to compete in the Supersport 300 World Championship in Europe, while Oli Bayliss steps up to the Supersport 600 class. Apart from these two, the class will have a lot of the same players for the year racing with the same insane intensity that we have become accustomed to.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Seth Crump TBG
Seth Crump

Honestly, no. It will probably be more intense and competitive, as each year the action rises to another level. Casting an eye over the entry list there is no doubt it will be a dynamite season.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Harry Khouri TBG
Harry Khouri

This year also oversees the introduction of the Kawasaki Ninja 400 to the category, albeit with some limitations, primarily of which are the restrictions on suspension changes for the 400, compared to the more extensive hardware based suspension tuning allowed for the smaller capacity Yamaha YZF-R3, Ninja 300 and KTM 390.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Locky Taylor TBG
Locky Taylor

Tom Bramich was at the test but was not included in the official times as he was testing a Ninja 400 that he will use in the Supersport 300 World Championship in Europe this year. The bike he will race for Carl Cox Motorsports is allowed a lot more extras than what is allowed in the corresponding category here, so Tom was out getting accustomed to a Kawasaki and the extras that come with it.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Tom Bramich TBG
Tom Bramich

The ever improving Seth Crump was fastest over the two days, but again, testing times mean little as every one of them are contantly improving their riding skill. His usual combatants were there in attendance including 2018 GP Juniors Cup Champion Max Stauffer, Locky Taylor and Harry Khouri.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Max Stauffer TBG
Max Stauffer

One interesting note is that BCPerformance Kawasaki have drafted in one of Australia’s fastest lady racers in Tayla Relph, who joins the team alongside West Australian Callum O’Brien. Relph is one of the most determined and gutsy competitors you’ll find and has deepened her intensity and determination since joining the ranks of the 300s after a number of years racing a Moto3 machine.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Tayla Relph TBG
Tayla Relph

O’Brien, another one of the graduates of the GP Juniors meanwhile is a very quiet unassuming young kid who knows what he wants and goes about the task with a minimum of fuss but a truckload of determination. Watch him come of age as a rider under the tutelage of the BCPerformance Team.

ASBK TBG Rnd Morgan Park Callum OBrien TBG
Callum O’Brien

As for Tayla now that she has a professional team environment around her, she may well take that little extra step to be a regular on the podium.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Tayla Relph TBG
With Ninja 400’s allowed in the class, limitations include having to use standard suspension

Adding spice to this already ultra-competitive line-up will be Senna Agius and Ben Baker, who both competed in the Asia Talent Cup last year. Their seasons were compromised by injury but both will gleefully jump into this cauldron of young talent and no doubt put to use their experiences of the competition with the best youngsters of Asia last year.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Senna Agius TBG
Senna Agius
Supersport 300 & R3 Cup combined testing
  1. Seth CRUMP (QLD) KTM RC 390 1:49.249
  2. Locky TAYLOR (QLD) Yamaha R3 321 1:49.429
  3. Senna AGIUS (NSW) Kawasaki Ninja 400 1:49.581
  4. Max STAUFFER (NSW) Yamaha R3 321 1:49.617
  5. Callum O’BRIEN (WA) Kawasaki Ninja 400 1:49.939
  6. Luke POWER (VIC) Yamaha R3 321 1:49.939
  7. Zac LEVY (QLD) Yamaha R3 321 1:50.109
  8. Ben BAKER (NSW) Kawasaki Ninja 300 1:50.823
  9. Harry KHOURI (NSW) Yamaha R3 321 1:50.829
  10. Zylas BUNTING (NSW) Yamaha R3 321 1:50.917
  11. Kyle O’CONNELL (QLD) Yamaha R3 321 1:51.117
  12. Peter NERLICH (VIC) Kawasaki Ninja 400 1:51.179
  13. Bronson PICKETT (WA) Yamaha R3 321 1:52.840
  14. Tayla RELPH (QLD) Kawasaki Ninja 400 1:52.952
  15. Jesse WOODS (TAS) Yamaha R3 321 1:53.055
  16. Cameron AGOSTINI (NT) Honda CBR 300 1:54.575
  17. Joseph MARINIELLO (VIC) Yamaha R3 321 1:55.758
  18. Jeremy CZMOK (VIC) KTM RC 390 1:57.141
  19. Hayden STIFF (NSW) Kawasaki Ninja 300 1:57.247
  20. Kristian AGOSTINI (NT) Yamaha R3 321 1:57.706
  21. Lachlan O’BRIEN (NT) Yamaha R3 321 2:00.319
  22. Ben ANGELIDIS (ACT) Yamaha R3 321 2:00.537
  23. Andrew DE KUYPER (VIC) Kawasaki Ninja 300 2:04.298

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Cater Thompson TBG
Carter Thompson

bLU cRU Oceania Juniors Cup

ASBK Testing OJC Phillip Island Rob Mott Bikes Oceania Cup
bLU cRU Oceania Juniors Cup

The weekend also saw the debut of the Oceania Juniors Cup for the young tackers. All on Yamaha YZF-R15s, the series is a step forward from the GP Juniors Cup with Motorcycling Australia taking over the running, and already it has shown great promise with over 25 riders turning up for the turn-key competition series.

ASBK Testing OJC Phillip Island Rob Mott Bikes Oceania Cup
bLU cRU Oceania Juniors Cup

It harps back to the very early days of production racing where a rider (or families in this case) pay an amount for the year which includes bike, riding gear, bike transport and all the rest, with the bikes being transported by MA and Yamaha.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Max Gibbons TBG
Max Gibbons

Turn up. Pick an ignition key. Go race.

It’s going to be hard to recognise the young racers as all bikes and leathers are identical so it will be subtle markings like numbers – that normally are hard to decipher at the distance, as well as helmet design that will identify them to the masses of onlookers that will witness their antics during the year.

ASBK Testing OJC Phillip Island Rob Mott Bikes Oceania Cup
bLU cRU Oceania Juniors Cup

Keep an eye out for names like Glenn Nelson, Angus Grenfell, Max Gibbons, Cros Francis, Reece Oughtred, Marianos Nikolis, Tom Drane, Zak Pettendy and Jamie Port. All will no doubt become part of an ever growing list of, ‘Names for the Future’.

ASBK TBG FebTest PI Archi McDonald TBG
Archie McDonald
Oceania Juniors Cup combined testing
  1. Max GIBBONS (QLD) 2:14.735
  2. Carter THOMPSON (NSW) 2:14.835
  3. Archie McDONALD (NSW) 2:14.897
  4. Cormac BUCHANAN (NZ) 2:14.957
  5. Angus GRENFELL (VIC) 2:15.082
  6. Cros FRANCIS (NSW) 2:15.202
  7. Glenn NELSON (QLD) 2:15.486
  8. Lucas QUINN (QLD) 2:15.668
  9. Jamie PORT (VIC) 2:15.681
  10. Alex KENWORTHY-JONES (NSW) 2:15.890
  11. Marianos NIKOLIS (NSW) 2:16.201
  12. Jai RUSSO (NSW) 2:16.352
  13. Reece OUGHTRED (VIC) 2:16.379
  14. Tom DRANE (NSW) 2:16.389
  15. Hunter DIPLOCK (NSW) 2:16.410
  16. Jacob HATCH (QLD) 2:16.515
  17. Zak PETTENDY (NSW) 2:18.255
  18. Tom CONNORS (NSW) 2:21.324
  19. Varis FLEMING (VIC) 2:21.506
  20. Dominic FLETCHER (NSW) 2:24.868
  21. Patrick BOGNAR (VIC) 2:25.186
  22. Toby JAMES (VIC) 2:25.215
  23. Lincoln KNIGHT (NSW) 2:29.342
  24. Pyper KENT (WA) 2:40.984
  25. Natalie BARBATI (VIC) 3:22.274
ASBK Testing OJC Phillip Island Rob Mott Bikes Oceania Cup
bLU cRU Oceania Juniors Cup
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