Josh Waters wins MotoGP Supports
Troy Herfoss crowned Phillip Island Champion
Australia’s returning ex Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters and the Team Apex Motorsports squad secured victory over Crankt Protein Honda Racings’ Jamie Stauffer in Sunday’s third and final Superbike support race at the Phillip Island MotoGP, however Troy Herfoss did all he needed to secure the Phillip Island Championship in front of thousands of spectators at the 2016 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Glenn Allerton had dominated the opening round of the Phillip Island Championship held in conjunction with the World Superbike support races back in February, but with Yamaha Racing Team not contesting the MotoGP Support events the race for the two-round title was thrown wide open. Even though Allerton did not ride the MotoGP support events he still finished fifth overall in the standings.
Herfoss (Crankt Protein Honda CBR1000RR SP) finished with 2-3-4 results in round two, and completed the title, which began at the World Superbike round back in February this year on 107pts, ahead of Michael Blair (Campbells Home Supplies Yamaha YZF-R1, 93) and his teammate Jamie Stauffer (90).
Four races had been scheduled for the MotoGP weekend but weather conditions on Saturday forced organisers to cancel one of the bouts, thus three races were contested to add to the three races staged at the WorldSBK event to decide the overall Phillip Island Champion for 2016.
While Mike Jones was missing from the Superbike grid due to his MotoGP opportunity with Avintia Ducati, regular Yamaha Racing Team rider Cru Halliday stepped into the breech aboard the DesmoSport Ducati for his first shot astride the booming Italian v-twin.
In his first appearance with the factory-supported squad owned by triple Superbike World Champion Troy Bayliss and Ben Henry, Halliday managed to finish the weekend unscathed with 6-6-7 results across the three races.
Halliday further improved his lap-speed aboard the Pirelli-shod 1299 Panigale S during this morning’s final eight-lap encounter for the event, crossing the line seventh in dry conditions.
“With another opportunity to ride the DesmoSport Ducati in the dry we moved forward again. We made a change with the shock for the final race and it worked, but the front wasn’t where I needed it just yet – the rain really affected our chance to set the bike for me earlier in the weekend. Still, the team did a great job with such a small amount of time for me on the 1299 Panigale S and we improved every time I went out. I dropped my laptime by seven-tenths today and that was on the last lap, so we were heading in the right direction and I really appreciate the opportunity to fill in for Mike this weekend.”
Josh Waters (Custom Plates YZF-R1) was the overall winner in round two with a near-perfect 1-2-1 scorecard, and was particularly dominant in the wet opener which was held in treacherous conditions on Friday. Stauffer was second overall (3-1-2) ahead of Herfoss, Brayden Elliott (Knobby Underwear/Royan Truck Repairs Suzuki GSX-R1000, 4-4-3) and Blair (5-5-5).
“I got a good start in that race but the run to turn one was bad, but I managed to make my way through on the first lap. I got in to the lead on the second lap but I had the bike cut out a little bit and Jamie was right behind me, so he got by me. The last lap I was pretty lucky when we caught the lapped rider I think it messed up his rhythm and then I got a really good run on to the straight and got the win. It’s great to win for Apex Motorsports and Custom Plates. Hopefully we can come back racing next year. I enjoyed it, and am enjoying racing a lot now,” Waters finished.
Over the two round Phillip Island Championship Herfoss did all it took to claim victory in the Championship, being presented with another trophy for his mantle and cemented what has been a great year for the Honda Superbike rider.
After a difficult season, Superbike veteran Stauffer was determined to finish the 2016 race season on a high, and crowds were treated to the impressive form that the Honda rider is known for at Phillip Island – showcasing his maturity and experience over three action packed days.
On Friday, Stauffer showed early speed recording the fourth fastest time in practice, and despite qualifying in sixth position in treacherous conditions, when race one kicked off, Stauffer was determined to finish with a podium – eventually crossing the line in third place. With the second race for the Superbikes cancelled due to the wet weather, on Saturday Stauffer claimed his first race win of the year, while on Sunday the Honda CBR1000RRSP rider secured second, rewarding the team with second overall for the weekend.
“I’m pretty wrapped with our weekend down at the Island – I have raced this circuit a lot throughout my career, and it’s always special riding alongside an event as big as the MotoGP. On Friday the track was obviously difficult because of the weather but we did the best we could, and to finish with a podium in all three of our races is a great way to finish off the year. I can’t thank the team enough for their support and encouragement throughout the weekend. It was so nice to finally be able to reward them for all their hard work this year with a few podiums, and what place better to do it than at the MotoGP.”
Recently crowned 2016 Australian Superbike Champion Herfoss, also showcased his skill and consistency on the world stage over the weekend, concluding the Australian MotoGP with not only 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishes in the support class races and third place on the Superbike podium, but his second title for the year, after his consistency saw him awarded the 2016 Australian Phillip Island Superbike Championship.
“Wow, what a crazy weekend! As most race fans and riders know, you never know what you’re going to get weather wise at Phillip Island, and true to tradition we were certainly dealt with every element at the MotoGP this weekend. The boys had a great pace this weekend, and both Josh Waters and Jamie were tough competition. We had some tight battles between us, and I hope the fans enjoyed the Australian Superbike races as much as we enjoyed being out there. To stand on the MotoGP podium this weekend, and to walk away with the 2016 Australian Phillip Island Superbike Championship was a nice way to cap off a great year with the team. I’m excited for 2017, and proud of everything we have achieved together throughout this season.”