ASBK Symmons Plains Gallery B

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ASBK Symmons Plains Gallery B
Images by Andrew Gosling and Trevor Hedge

Mike Jones on ASBK pole in Tassie

Clouds had been gathering as the day progressed at Symmons Plains today but at the end of the opening Superbike qualifying session the darkest cloud hung over the JD Racing pit garage.

Daniel Falzon had a big off at turn three. The 21-year-old was okay, but the Caterpillar sponsored YZF-R1 was looking very much the worse for wear. Daniel remarked that it was the most violent highside he had ever suffered. The YZF-R1 quite unexpectedly and suddenly ejected him, slapping the South Australian down hard on the Tasmanian tarmac.

Falzon’s Shark helmet did its job to protect his noggin but it is only good for the bin now. The impact also leaving Falzon in a little discomfort across various other parts of his body.

Earlier in the day Mark Chiodo had dumped one of the JD Racing Supersport machines, then in the final Supersport qualifying session Nicholas Liminton threw the other YZF-R6 of the team down the road in a big way, making it an expensive trifecta for the JD Racing squad.

With the team trying to make one good bike out of Daniel’s pair of YZF-R1 machines in preparation for the second Superbike qualifying session, there were no hands available to try and reconstruct Liminton’s significantly damaged YZF-R6. It was parked up with a bike cover draped over it, the spectacle resembling a crime scene with a dropsheet covering a dead body. The crew have a big night ahead of them this evening.

Mike Jones topped the first qualifying session by a handy margin over Falzon. The second Superbike session got underway just before 1500 but only a few minutes into the session Ben Henry coasted to a stop in a dangerous position on the circuit. The session was red flagged while the Cube Racing ZX-10R was recovered. Henry took no further part in the session, the team chasing a recurring electrical gremlin.

Mike Jones was happy enough to sit out the second Superbike qualifying session comfortable in the knowledge that his 54.314 from the morning was extremely unlikely to be bested by title rival Falzon. This session of vital importance for Falzon to shake down the repaired YZF-R1 ,and also test his own physical limits to gauge any lingering effects from his hefty morning tumble. Jones was a lot more comfortable, having a cuddle with his girlfriend Carly on the pit roof.

Ashley Fleming ran on at the final hairpin and just managed to pull the Rick Gill sponsored GSX-R1000 before the tyre wall, sheep in the neighboring paddock scattered in panic in what almost a comical scene.

The top ten across the combined qualifying results from both sessions then went through to a 10-minute Superpole session to decide the final grid.

ASBK Combined Qualifying Results (Pre Superpole)
  1. Mike Jones 54.314 Q1
  2. Daniel Falzon 54.755 Q1
  3. Ryan Hampton 55.347 Q1
  4. Ben Henry 55.373 Q1
  5. Brett Simmonds 55.730 Q1
  6. Brad Wootton 56.702 Q2
  7. Kurt Sushames 56.783 Q2
  8. Adam Senior 56.917 Q1
  9. Quentin Blazeley 57.112 Q2
  10. Ashley Fleming 58.467 Q1
  11. Phil Czaj 58.899 Q2
  12. Tony Keogh 58.935 Q2
  13. Nathan Spiteri 59.875 Q2
  14. Marcus Burns 61.734 Q1

Mike Jones cracked out a 53.972 in the Superpole session and then stamped his dominance by backing that up with a 54.14. Jones’ pole time more than half-a-second quicker than anyone else could muster. 

Mike Jones – “Been making progress in each of the sessions, and the Australian Outdoor Living / Cube Racing Team have given me a great bike. Put in a couple of quick laps and getting into the 53s is a testament to the bike and the Pirelli tyres.

“I will take it as it comes, I have a year of experience on the bike now so this season it is about pushing myself and taking things to the limit, and so far it is working out well.”

The best of the rest was Daniel Falzon who recorded a 54.522, his fastest time of the weekend and a good signal that himself, and the JD Racing YZF-R1, are in reasonable shape for tomorrow’s two 17-lap bouts.

Daniel Falzon – “I would have not accepted second place quite so easily if I hadn’t had that crash, but I have to be pretty happy considering.”

New Zealand’s Ryan Hampton rounds out the front row, despite calling a premature end to his session when he suspected some sort of problem with the NextGen Motorspots BMW.

  1. Mike Jones 53.972
  2. Daniel Falzon 54.522
  3. Ryan Hampton 55.144
  4. Ben Henry 55.323
  5. Brett Simmonds 55.417
  6. Brad Wootton 56.451
  7. Quentin Blazeley 56.464
  8. Adam Senior 57.185
  9. Ashley Fleming 58.201
  10. Kurt Sushames 61.593
Supersport Qualifying
  1. Brayden Elliott – 56.667 Q1
  2. Kane Burns – 56.718 Q1
  3. Sam Lambert – 56.862 Q1
  4. Aaiden Coote – 57.110 Q2
  5. Chris Quinn – 57.268 Q2