Another big improver this afternoon was Western Australia’s Thryon Van Vuuren. Only minutes into the session the Kawasaki rider had lopped 1.3-seconds off his previous best to move from fifth to second. Unfortunately for him, morning pacesetter Troy Guenther also picked up his pace as did Kane Burns, that duo eventually pushing Van Vuuren back to fourth in FP3.
Brayden Elliott failed to improve from his FP2 time, but that 1m18.659 from this morning was enough to push Van Vuuren back down to fifth on combined time.
The Supersport battle is shaping up to be quite a tussle but none of the riders are within cooee of Aiden Wagner’s 1m16.692 Supersport lap record.
Superbike riders had been making plenty of tweaks to their machines for this afternoon’s final 25-minute practice session.
Mike Jones had made a shock change on his pacesetting ZX-10R in the search for more edge grip. Daniel Falzon had gone to a stiffer fork setting on the new YZF-R1. James Mutton had made his Ducati softer to try and engineer some compliance into the Italian machine over the bumps at the three-kilometre Morgan Park Raceway. Ben Henry had some problems this morning with his Cube Racing ZX-10R and missed FP2 but was back in action and quickly up to pace during FP3.
All of that four made progress apart from Mutton, who failed to better his 1m20.226 this morning and finished FP3 with a 1m20.531.
Predictably, Superbike debutant Falzon was the biggest improver, lowering his mark to 1m18.261, a full half-second quicker than he managed this morning.
Mike Jones improved only fractionally, down to a 1m16.343, still almost two-seconds quicker than Falzon and only a couple of tenths off his own Superbike lap record here.
Chas Hern was very impressive here this afternoonon on the EBR 1190 RX. The Victorian finishing the day third quickest on the American built machine and ahead of the likes of Phil Lovett and Ben Henry.
New Zealand’s Ryan Hampton was seventh quickest ahead of Joseph Salter and Phil Czaj while Ashley Fleming rounded out the top ten.
While Jones is riding on Pirelli this weekend, Daniel Falzon’s YZF-R1 is shod with Dunlop rubber, as is Phil Lovett’s ZX-10R and Chas Hern’s EBR. James Mutton is on Bridgestone.
Superbikes have two 30-minute qualifying sessions tomorrow before a Top Ten Superpole session scheduled for 1515 Saturday afternoon.
The first Superbike race of the weekend is scheduled to take place at 1130 Sunday morning. The second and final 14-lap race is slated to get underway at 1445 Sunday afternoon.
Qualifying takes place Saturday including a Pirelli Superbike Superpole session slated for 1520 on Saturday afternoon. Pirelli is sponsoring the Superpole session with a new Pirelli Superpole awards program which features separate awards for the fastest qualifiers in the Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike and Yamaha Supersport classes. The fastest qualifiers in each class win a free set of Pirelli Tyres on offer as the prize.
All categories apart from the premier Superbike and Supersport also have their first race on Saturday afternoon.
The ASBK Sunday schedule starts with the 250/300 Production category race two at 0930 with the first Superbike bout set down for 1135.
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