FX-ASC Rnd One Gallery A – Images by Russell Colvin and Trevor Hedge

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FX-ASC Rnd One Gallery A – Images by Russell Colvin and Trevor Hedge

Yamaha 1-2-3 on the grid for Swann Australasian FX-ASC Superbike season opener
By Trevor Hedge

After topping free practice throughout the day, Camden’s Cru Halliday confirmed the pace of the new Yamaha YZF-R1Mwith a 1m30.829 on the second of his three laps in the quick-fire 15-minute Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship qualifying session today at Sydney Motorsports Park. 

There were some doubts at how quick Team Yamaha could get the all new YZF-R1M performing with such little testing before the season, but Halliday and new teammates Wayne Maxwell and Glenn Allerton quickly dispelled that uncertainty today at Eastern Creek. Team Yamaha quickly coming to grips with their new mount and their riders delivering a dominant 1-2-3 performance that must be striking some fear into the previously dominant Team Honda camp.

Halliday was the pacesetter with his 1m30.829, almost half-a-second quicker than defending champion Wayne Maxwell and fellow teammate Glenn Allerton.

The even scarier thing is that on the second split Halliday looked on track to perhaps go even quicker, thus we quizzed the 26-year-old on how his lap had unfolded.

Cru Halliday – “You know, I probably did lose some time on that last part of the lap. I knew I had gone through sector two super hot, I said to myself going up between turns nine and ten, ‘don’t stuff this last part up’, and when you start thinking about the time that much you do end up making some mistakes.

“I took that last turn a little wider than expecte but I wanted to get good drive onto the straight, but I ended up having to short-shift to keep the bike stable, so I probably did lose a little.

“I actually don’t think 29s are out of the question if everything comes together perfectly.”

And how does tyre longevity look to be shaping up looking towards the 15-lap, 67.5km, race distance?

Pretty good actually, we learned a lot. On our first run it didn’t really pan out for us and I lost grip quite quickly, but the team then adjusted the rear suspension and got it working much better. I am not too worried about the end of the race, tyre choice and how we are going to use the tyres throughout the race will be the main key for tomorrow though for sure.

Troy Herfoss was the top qualifying Honda and will start tomorrow’s 15-lap race from the outside of the front row while Aiden Wagner, standing in for the injured Jamie Stauffer, celebrated his first ever Superbike qualifying session by putting the Team Honda Fireblade SP on the leading edge of the second row of the grid, only 0.156s behind Herfoss but still a full second behind Halliday’s pole position time.

Alongside Wagner on the second row will be Sean Condon and fellow Kawasak rider Mike Jones with Beau Beaton rounding out the top eight after putting in a 1m32.418 on the Ducati Panigale.

Matthew Walters qualified ninth ahead of new Honda rider Linden Magee, the Brisbane rider rounding out the top ten ahead of Kawaski ZX-10R riders Ben Henry, Ben Burke and Evan Byles

In the Supersport category Callum Spriggs topped proceedings with a 1m34.169 earning him pole position ahead of Michael Blair, Troy Guenther and Brad Swallow.

Paul Byrne dominated Formula Oz qualifying with a 1m33.5 on his LTR Honda Fireblade almost a full-second quicker than second placed Phil Lovett.

Angus Reekie topped the combined Pro Twins / Nakedbike class on the KTM 1290 Superduke R with a 1m34.658 nosing him ahead of Beau Beaton who i the Pro Twins class this weekend is not on the Ducati Panigale, but on the thundering 1600cc Vincent special produced by the Horner brothers in their Victorian workshop.

Luke Burgess topped Ninja 300 Qualifying with a clear 7-tenths of a second advantage over Mitchell Pirotta. Ben White and Mitch Kavney round out the front row.

Michael Witchard was the best of the Formula Xtreme C & D graded riders with a 1.37.205 earning the ACT rider pole position ahead of fellow Kawasaki riders Rancell Desker and Glenn Birchall.

Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship – Round One – Sydney Motorsport Park FX-ASC – Qualifying
  1. Cru Halliday – Yamaha – 1m30.829
  2. Wayne Maxwell – Yamaha – 1m31.271
  3. Glenn Allerton – Yamaha – 1m31.334
  4. Troy Herfoss – Honda – 1m31.718
  5. Aiden Wagner – Honda – 1m31.874
  6. Sean Condon – Kawasaki – 1m31.897
  7. Mike Jones – Kawasaki – 1m32.283
  8. Beau Beaton – Ducati – 1m32.418
  9. Matthew Walters – Kawasaki – 1m32.607
  10. Linden Magee – Honda – 1m32.820
  11. Ben Henry – Kawasaki – 1m33.519
  12. Ben Burke – Kawasaki – 1m33.591
  13. Evan Byles – Kawasaki – 1m37.967
Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship – Round One – Sydney Motorsport Park – Supersport Qualifying
  1. Callum Spriggs – Yamaha – 1m34.169
  2. Michael Blair – Yamaha – 1m34.478
  3. Troy Guenther – Kawasaki – 1m34.789
  4. Brad Swallow – Kawasaki – 1m34.853
  5. Luke Mitchell – Yamaha – 1m35.253
  6. Brayden Elliott – Suzuki – 1m35.270
  7. Mitch Levy – Yamaha – 1m35.559
  8. Jay Presepio – Yamaha – 1m35.875
  9. Cambridge Olivier – Yamaha – 1m36.041
  10. Jordan Carlsson – Yamaha – 1m36.363
  11. Michael Knight – Yamaha – 1m36.500
  12. Paul Young – Kawasaki – 1m36.595
  13. Ben Blyth – Yamaha – 1m36.847
  14. Brandon Demmery – Yamaha – 1m36.979
  15. Kyle Buckley – Kawasaki – 1m37.744
Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship – Round One – Sydney Motorsport Park – Formula Oz Qualifying
  1. Paul Byrne – Honda – 1m33.591
  2. Phil Lovett – Kawasaki – 1m34.502
  3. Mitch Paynter – Kawasaki – 1m34.952
  4. Simon Galloway – Kawasaki – 1m36.613
  5. Brett Kitchin – BMW – 1m36.653
  6. Darren Wilbow – Yamaha – 1m36.819
  7. Sophie Lovett – Kawasaki – 1m37.306
  8. Liam Wilkinson – Aprilia – 1m37.610
  9. Paul Dutton – Ducati 1198 – 1m37.725
  10. Jason Ivkovic – Suzuki – 1m37.915