2020 ASBK – Phillip Island

With Chris Plumridge


Yamaha Racing Team’s Cru Halliday has laid down a marker at the start of the 2020 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship season, quickest in Free Practice 1 at Phillip Island on the new 2020 YZF-R1. Halliday set the early pace of the weekend, his 1:32.500 a great start to a season where he is more determined than ever to break into the ASBK winner’s circle.

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Cru Halliday TBG
Cru Halliday – Image by TBG

Grey skies greeted the teams and riders, with the notorious Phillip Island weather once again testing the riders. Offshore wind would ensure fast speeds through the speed trap down the main straight, with all the riders looking to get their weekends, and their seasons, off to a good start.

Riders had only done two laps in the session before a red flag stopped proceedings. Glenn Scott’s BCperformance Kawasaki had spilt fluid on the racetrack through turns 3, 4 and 5, requiring a lengthy cleanup for the session to continue. Once the session resumed Cru Halliday was the first rider to dip into the 1:32s, his 1:32.836 putting him to the top of the leaderboard with 15 minutes to go. Wayne Maxwell was the only rider daring to match him at that point, his best of 1:33.097 the next fastest.

With three minutes to go Josh Waters joined Halliday in the 1:32s with a 1:32.973, a great start for the privateer on his team’s first outing in an ASBK round. Maxwell improved on his best to a 1:32.988 leaving him third.

As the final flurry of laps came in before the chequered flag, Halliday further improved his mark to a 1:32.500, ahead of Maxwell (1:32.610) and Waters. When the chequered flag fell to end the session that’s how they stayed, Halliday fastest ahead of Maxwell and Waters, Aiden Wagner on his first outing as a factory Yamaha Racing Team rider in fourth (1:33.563). Glenn Allerton on the brand-new 2020 Maxima BMW S1000RR was an impressive fifth (1:33.806) while CAT Yamaha privateer Daniel Falzon was sixth (1:34.096).


ASBK Season Launch

Speaking at the launch event for the 2020 ASBK this morning, Halliday and teammate Wagner said they were impressed by the speed of their new 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1.

However Halliday said there’s also improvement needed in his riding to truly take the fight to Troy Herfoss, Maxwell and Mike Jones.

Cru Halliday

“This is the year I need to start winning races. I just think I need to get more aggressive in the races and understand where these other riders are faster than me at some of the tracks where I really need to pick up the pace- and this is one of them.”

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Cru Halliday TBG
Cru Halliday – Image by TBG

Also speaking at the season launch, Desmosport Ducati’s Mike Jones was confident of getting his 2020 championship defence off to a good start.

Mike Jones

“The pace that we’ve got’s quite good, we finished up second quickest at the test and heading into this weekend we’ve got good race pace. I feel like the races are going to be just as hectic and intense as they were at the end of last year. It brought the level of the championship up, the depth of field’s getting more and more, the level of the championship’s getting higher and higher.”

Penrite Honda’s Troy Herfoss has plenty of new elements to his race package for 2020, with a new tyre in Michelin and a new Crew Chief in Paul Free. But the biggest change for Herfoss is still to come, with the 2020 Fireblade still on the way pending the import numbers to make the bike eligible for ASBK.

Troy Herfoss

“I’ve been watching the (WorldSBK) testing and all I care about is that the two fastest bikes (through the speed trap) are the Hondas! I’ve seen the bike, I’ve sat on the bike, I’ve started the bike, it’s got my name on it, it’s sitting there ready, the parts are ordered, they’re available, but we’re just waiting for the bikes to arrive in the country. Realistically it’ll be (here) the last half of the season.”

Boost Mobile Racing’s Wayne Maxwell has switched over from Suzuki to Ducati and has been impressed with the performance of the new-for-2020 V4R.

Wayne Maxwell

“It was really fast, that was the first impression! Just the way it accelerates, the bike is super-fast compared to the Suzuki, it accelerates a lot harder. Turning on the throttle… not only has it got a really strong engine the chassis also suited my style.”

Meanwhile over at Kawasaki BCperformance Bryan Staring says no news is good news.

Bryan Staring

“Nothing’s really changed for us, which is from my point of view a big positive. Same bike, same tyre, same team, same personnel. The racing (in ASBK) is really hard at the moment, and it’s also really good. Parity between the bikes is all quite good, and even with the tyre competition there’s a lot of brilliant things there.”

For Josh Waters this weekend marks his 100th race start in the ASBK, and his first with his own team. Waters announced his privateer effort officially only last Monday, and has been much more hands-on since departing Suzuki’s factory effort last year.

Josh Waters

“It’s a lot different for me this year because my program is back to the grass roots. A lot of late nights over the last month, but I’m doing it because I love it. I’m fortunate to have some great sponsors on board and we’ve got a good little team behind us so just try and enjoy it and try our hardest.”

Maxima BMW have also taken delivery of their 2020 S1000RR ready for Round 1. Glenn Allerton feels that while the team have been struggling to come to grips with the new machine, it’s only a matter of time.

Glenn Allerton

“We’re in a development phase with this new bike. I’m lucky enough to have a lot of support from BMW, but at the moment we’re on the back foot. It’s only going to get better from where we are. The potential of this new bike’s really high, we just haven’t been able to get the thing to handle in some of the corners especially on corner exit. It’s something that will only get better, and I’m looking forward to when we get on top of it.”

Round 1 of the 2020 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship began today, February 27, and runs until March 1 at Phillip Island.

Pos Name Bike Time/Gap Speed
1 Cru HALLIDAY  YZF-R1 1m32.500 309
2 Wayne MAXWELL V4R +0.110 309
3 Josh WATERS GSXRR +0.473 303
4 Aiden WAGNER YZF-R1 +1.063 301
5 Glenn ALLERTON S1KRR +1.306 305
6 Daniel FALZON YZF-R1 +1.596 307
7 Matt WALTERS ZX10RR +1.692 303
8 Troy HERFOSS CBRRR +1.818 295
9 Mike JONES V4R +2.175 302
10 Bryan STARING  ZX10R +2.236 299
11 Josh HAYES  YZF-R1 +2.490 294
12 Jed METCHER GSXRR +2.871 298
13 Arthur SISSIS GSXRR +2.985 298
14 Sloan FROST GSXR +3.517 298
15 Max CROKER GSXR +3.596 301
16 Linden MAGEE S1KRR +3.711 298
17 Glenn SCOTT ZX10R +4.851 298
18 Beau BEATON V4R +5.124 298
19 Brendan McINTYRE  GSXR +5.367 287
20 Giuseppe SCARCELLA 1199 +6.440 290
21 Nathan SPITERI GSXRR +6.739 288
22 Dominic DE LEON ZX10R +6.910 285
23 Matthew TOOLEY YZF-R1 +6.991 278
24 Dean HASLER S1KRR +7.010 286
25 Adam SENIOR YZF-R1 +7.086 279
26 Evan BYLES ZX10R +7.362 287
27 Michael EDWARDS YZF-R1M +9.396 284
28 Hamish McMURRAY  ZX10RR +11.128 263

 


Thursday 27th February 2020
*Thursday session not open to public*
Time Class Program
13:10 Oceania Junior Cup FP1
13:30 Australian Supersport  FP1
14:05 Australian Superbike  FP1
14:40 Australian Supersport 300  FP1
15:15 Oceania Junior Cup  FP2
Friday 28th February 2020
Time Event Program
8:25 Oceania Junior Cup Qualifying
8:45 ASBK Supersport FP2
9:05 Australian Superbike FP2
9:30 ASBK SS300 FP2
9:50 FIM Medical Inspection
10:00 FIM Track Inspection
10:30 WorldSBK FP1
11:30 WorldSSP FP1
12:25 Pit Walk 1
13:00 Australian Superbike Q1
13:25 Australian Superbike Q2
13:50 Oceania Junior Cup R1 | 6 Laps
14:15 ASBK Supersport Qualifying
15:00 WorldSBK FP2
16:00 WorldSSP FP2
16:55 ASBK SS300 Qualifying
17:15 Parade Laps
Saturday 29th February 2020
Time Class Program
8:25 ASBK Oceania Junior Cup R2 | 6 Laps 
8:50 ASBK Supersport R1 |10 Laps 
9:30 FIM Medical Inspection
9:40 FIM Track Inspection
10:00 WorldSBK FP3
10:35 WorldSSP FP3
11:05 Australian Superbike R1 | 12 Laps
11:40 ASBK SS300 R1 | 8 Laps 
12:15 WorldSBK Superpole
12:55 WorldSSP Superpole
13:40 Pit Walk 2 & Safety Car Laps
15:00 WorldSBK R1 | 22 Laps 
16:15 Australian Superbike R2 | 12 Laps
16:50 ASBK SS300 R2 | 8 Laps
17:15 ASBK Supersport R2 | 10 Laps
17:50 Hyundai N Experience (Test Drive)
Sunday 1st March 2020
Time Class Program
8:20 Oceania Junior Cup R3 | 6 Laps
8:50 FIM Medical Inspection
9:00 FIM Track Inspection
09:30 WorldSBK Warm Up
09:55 WorldSSP Warm Up
10:30 Australian Superbike R3 | 12 Laps
11:05 Pit Walk 3 & Safety Car Laps
12:00 WorldSBK SP Race | 10 Laps
13:15 WorldSSP RACE |16 Laps
15:00 WorldSBK R2 | 22 Laps
16:15 ASBK SS300 R3 | 8 Laps 
16:45 ASBK Supersport R3 |10 Laps
17:20 Hyundai N Experience (Test Drive)