Michael Blair scored the holeshot when the third and final Superbike bout got underway under clear skies at Phillip Island this morning just after 9am. Brayden Elliott got past the Yamaha man around the back of the circuit as Josh Waters, Jamie Stauffer and Troy Herfoss gave chase.
Waters got past Blair for second place at MG Hairpin and was then gazumped by Jamie Stauffer at turn 11. Waters reeled in Elliott quickly to challenge for the lead as Herfoss moved past Blair to claim fourth place early on lap two.
Elliott held off Waters aorund the back of the circuit, the GSX-R1000 bucking and weaving as he came on to the straight, the Tumut youngster full of aggression but Waters had him down the straight to take the race lead as both Stauffer and Herfoss started closing in from behind.
Waters put in a 1m33.912 on the second lap and backed that up with a 1m34.009 on lap three. Jamie Stauffer was the fastest man on that third lap though with a 1m33.704, promoting him past Elliott early on lap four and catapulting him towards Waters.
Herfoss took third place from Elliott early on lap four while Stauffer clawed back some more ground on race leader Waters, as they crossed the stripe with three laps to run the gap was down to 0.168 of a second. The battle for third place was still on with nothing separating Herfoss and Elliott, that pair though were now 1.7-seconds behind the leading duo of Waters and Stauffer. Jamie had put in a 1m33.549 to catch Waters and on the next lap made a move on the #21 machine around turn three to claim the race lead.
Elliott had still not given up hope of a podium, his Suzuki still tucked in tight behind the Honda of Herfoss with two laps to run. In fact, Elliott nearly ran into the back of Herfoss at turn four and was baulked a little as a result.
As the last lap board was produced the gap between Waters and Stauffer was 0.249 of a second, the Yamaha clearly faster down the straight but Stauffer had just enough of a buffer to hold Waters out as they tipped into turn one for the last time.
Elliott went under Herfoss at turn four on the last lap as the newly crowned ASBK Champion again looked uncomfortable at that very tight corner, traditionally known as Honda Corner.
Waters was tucked in behind Stauffer around turn 12 and again used the superior horsepower of the Yamaha to pass Stauffer as they crossed the line, the win to Waters by 0.089 of a second. Brayden Elliott managed to hang onto that third place after taking it from Herfoss to claim the final step on the race rostrum.
With that victory Waters also scored the overall win for the weekend, the title of Phillip Island Champion goes to Troy Herfoss though. The points from the MotoGP support races added cumulatively to the points scored at the WorldSBK weekend early this year to give Herfoss the mantle.
MotoGP Support Race – Australian Superbike Race Three
MotoGP Support Races 2016 Overall
Phillip Island Championship – MotoGP and WorldSBK Support Race Points Combined
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