Despite the best efforts of defending champion and series points leader Troy Herfoss he was pipped for pole position by Cru Halliday in a tense 30-minute final qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. Halliday has been strong all weekend and at a venue where it seems that tyre longevity is going to be crucial, it will be interesting to see if Cru’s choice of Dunlop rubber for season 2017 will pay dividends here today. The majority of the front runners are on Pirelli rubber in season 2017, including the official YRT Factory entrants, who had made the switch to Pirelli for this season.
Josh Waters rounded out the front row while Bryan Staring headed row two alongside DesmoSport Ducati debutante Corey Turner and JD Racing Yamaha’s Daniel Falzon.
Falzon experienced a nasty fall during first qualifying which rendered the young South Australian momentarily unconscious. Medical staff did not give him a clearance for Q2 as he had clearly taken quite a significant whack to the head. He was however cleared this morning to participate in the two 16-lap bouts. Something that he and his privateer family outfit would have been very relieved about after making the long trek up from Adelaide.
It had been a long night for his dad and brother, along with mate Liam Wilkinson, in order to strip and rebuild his machine, and as you can see from the image above, that work was still continuing this morning. Falzon had made it out on his spare machine in morning warm-up and proved that everything was working as it should by recording a 1m14.159 and putting in seven laps.
It has been a while since I have seen a tyre shandy on the front row of a Superbike grid but it appeared that Cru Halliday started the race with a Pirelli in the front, and a Dunlop in the rear.
The lights went out at midday on the dot and it was Josh Waters quickly through to the front on the Suzuki while Halliday and the Honda pairing of Herfoss and Staring gave chase along with Corey Turner. After a double victory in Darwin it was obvious Waters was keen for that sort of domination again here today at Morgan Park.
After the opening couple of laps it became apparent that the pacesetters in this bout were going to be Waters, Halliday and Herfoss. That trio started to pull away from Staring after the opening few laps as Maxwell marched his way forward towards the back of the #67 Honda. Turner, Bugden and Falzon were right there also.
Disaster then struck the defending champion and series leader, Herfoss lost the front and tumbled off the circuit. The RH clip-on had broke in the crash thus while Herfoss was able to remount he could only limp back to the pits in frustration. A massive upset for the championship, and one that will certainly see the points table tightened up considerably.
That left Waters and Halliday at the front of the field tussling over the lead. Meanwhile, Maxwell finally got the better of Staring with nine laps to go, but it was a tight bunch of five consisting of Maxwell, Staring, Turner, Bugden and Falzon. Bugden then seemed to perhaps brush Staring, the two both losing a small amount of ground but remaining in front of Falzon.
The GSX-R1000 of Waters looked tremendously improved from the start of the weekend. It looked incredibly agile in this contest, turning quickly and precisely, allowing Waters to use different lines than Halliday around the back sections of the circuit.
With seven laps to go Maxwell upped his pace further. The #47 Yamaha man started reeling the leading duo in hand over fist. Waters and Halliday had slowed things up at the front, and Maxwell had seen his chance to join them, and the wily campaigner quickly grabbed that chance. With five laps to go he was with them, half a lap later he was passed Halliday and sniffing the exhaust of Waters’ Suzuki, which now really looked to be struggling for rear grip.
Both Maxwell and Halliday then got past Waters, with Maxwell taking the lead. Then it ws Cru, but the #65 then ran wide and lost not only the lead to Maxwell, but was then demoted to third place by Corey Turner.
Bryan Staring’s Honda had started to blow smoke, the Western Australian retired to the pits. A disastrous start to the day for the Crankt Protein Honda squad.
Tyre wear a telling factor here today, perhaps even more so than we had suspected. Maxwell had bided his time and chose his time wisely as when to make his charge. The quiet achiever, that can never be counted out of the equation….
Corey Turner on the Ducati was looking strong as the race progressed also. The big Ducati obviously looking after its Pirelli rubber well, and allowing him to look like the only one capable of perhaps mounting a challenge on Maxwell for the win.
At the last lap board though it was Wayne Maxwell by almost a full-second from Turner, who had 1.5-seconds on Halliday.
A brilliant tactical victory to Maxwell.
A incredibly mature performance from teenager Corey Turner. Outstanding stuff. The new Parc Ferme procedures for TV make it virtually impossible for our shooters, Andrew Gosling and Nick Edards, to try and convey any emotion after the races this season but we did get this quick impromptu celebration with Corey Turner and his supporters that we are only too pleased to share with you.
Cru Halliday was clearly struggling with his tyres towards the end of the race and did well to bring it home on the podium. Although from the podium image above he clearly was not satisifed with that third place.
Josh Waters played a game of survival in the closing laps to stay on the Suzuki and brought home important points in fourth place while after yesterdays trevails the Falzon family are probably considering their fifth place a great result.
Robbie Bugden… The other quiet achiever… The Kawasaki man came home sixth and just continues to rack up those points. 172 points his tally after this bout, a single point behind new championship leader Wayne Maxwell, one-point in front of Falzon who is in-turn, a single point ahead of Herfoss.
Four points now separate the prime quartet at the front of the 2017 Yamaha Motor Insurance Australian Superbike Championship.
Yamaha Motor Insurance Superbike – Morgan Park Race One Results
Corey Turner +0.931
Cru Halliday +3.379
Josh Waters +4.521
Daniel Falzon +7.216
Robbie Bugden +11.115
Alex Phillis +20.803
Beau Beaton +27.292
Glenn Allerton +29.521
Michael Blair +35.452
Mitch Levy +36.514
Sloan Frost +39.091
Ryan Yanko +46.643
Troy Guenther +48.621
Adam Senior +1 lap
Yamaha Motor Insurance Australian Superbike Championship Points Standings
Wayne Maxwell 173
Robbie Bugden 172
Daniel Falzon 171
Troy Herfoss 170
Josh Waters 152
Bryan Staring 131
Cru Halliday 129
Corey Turner 101
Beau Beaton 92
Mitch Levy 88
Motul Supersport Race One Report
It had been an incredibly close battle for pole position on Saturday between Triumph’s Mark Chiodo and NextGen Suzuki’s Ted Collins.
At the end of the qualifying session only one-thousandth of a second separated the pair, with Dunlop shod Chiodo claiming pole honours with an impressive 1m15.560.
Chris Quinn rounded out the front row while Tom Toparis headed the second row ahead of Nic Liminton and Sam Muldoon.
The Cube Racing squad were very busy on the grid working on the front end of the Goulburn youngsters ZX-6R.
The 14-lap Motul sponsored race got underway at 1044 this morning and Ted Collins was the early race leader from Mark Chiodo was then overtake by Tom Toparis and that leading trio immediately started to break away from fourth placed Chris Quinn.
Chiodo worked his way back past Toparis with 11 laps to run and only half-a-second covered that top trio who, by this stage of the race, already had four-seconds on fourth placed Chris Quinn.
As the race broached the halfway mark Toparis started struggling to maintain the pace to stay with Chiodo and Collins. A couple of laps later it looked as though Chiodo would also not be able to take the battle up to Collins over the final laps.
As the race wore on Pirelli shod Collins just got faster and faster. A 1m15.7 was the backed up with a 1m15.6 on lap nine which broke the backs of his pursuers. With five laps to run Collins enjoyed a two-second lead over Chiodo, who was starting to come back under attack from Toparis.
Chiodo then lost the front at turn four with three laps to go. The likeable young Victorian got going again and managed to rejoin the race in 15th position.
Nic Liminton had been taking the battle for fourth place to Chris Quinn, but with the unfortunate demise of Chiodo, that tussle had now become a fight for the final step on the podium.
Collins enjoyed a four-second buffer over Toparis at the last lap board while Liminton had nosed ahead of Quinn in to third place. And that was how it stayed to the flag, a dominant victory to Ted Collins who by our abacus, now leads the Australian Supersport Championship by 51-points over Toparis.
Saturday’s race one victor Billy Van Eerde was determined to add to his newly established win tally when racing got underway at Morgan Park this morning as part of round five of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship.
The 300 Supersport category is the most heavily subscribed class of racing this weekend with almost 40 entrants.
Thing were very tight at the top with Van Eerde tussling hard over the opening laps with Jack Mahaffy, Oli Bayliss, Reid Battye and Max Croker.
Even more riders had joined that front running pack by half race distance with Tommy Edwards, Broc Pearson, Zac Levy and Locky Taylor all throwing their hat in the ring for the win.
Oli Bayliss was in the thick of the action but went down at turn one five laps into the nine-lap encounter.Tom Bramich and Peter Nerlich also crashed out.
With two laps to run it was a five-rider freight train headed by Billy Van Eerde from Tom Edwards, Jack Mahaffy, Max Croker and Reid Battye.Most of these riders have all been junior dirt track champs but it is fair to say that Edwards has by far the most tarmac experience when it comes to close quarters battles from his riding in Europe and Asia. That experience likely to pay dividends when it comes down to the tactical battle through the last few turns on the last lap.
The leading trio started carving each other up over the last few corners, Van Eerde going down a few corners from the end but was quickly up and trying to remount his KTM RC390 but his machine was too damaged to continue.
At the flag it was Tom Edwards the victor by a tenth-of-a-second over Jack Mahaffy while Max Croker rounded out the podium ahead of Reid Battye and Broc Pearson. An absolutely thrilling start to the day’s proceedings here under sunny skies at the 2.9km Morgan Park Raceway.
Reid Battye had come in fourth outright but was the first ‘Under 300cc’ rider home, thus took the victory in that sub-category.
Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 – Race Two Results
Tom Edwards – Yamaha (Over 300)
Jack Mahaffy – Yamaha +0.141 (Over 300)
Max Croker – KTM +0.457 (Over 300)
Reid Battye – Kawasaki +1.557
Broc Pearson – Yamaha +5.112 (Over 300)
Zac Levy – Yamaha +8.417 (Over 300)
Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki +8.502
Locky Taylor – Yamaha +8.510 (Over 300)
Seth Crump – KTM +17.085 (Over 300)
Joel Kelso – Yamaha +17.165 (Over 300)
Brandon Demmery – Yamaha +17.290 (Over 300)
Hunter Ford – Yamaha +17.382 (Over 300)
Ben Bramich – Yamaha +21.803 (Over 300)
Yanni Shaw – Kawasaki +24.504
Drew Sells – Kawasaki +30.202
Tayla Relph – Yamaha +30.570 (Over 300)
Rogan Chandler – Yamaha +32.224 (Over 300)
Mitch Kuhne – Yamaha +32.821 (Over 300)
Callum O’Brien – KTM +38.113 (Over 300)
Danyon Turner – Yamaha +38.217 (Over 300)
GP Juniors Cup Race Two Report
Tom Edwards had won the opening GP Juniors bout of the weekend from John Lytras and polesitter Joel Kelso and this morning it was again that trio, joined by Ned Faulkhead and Harry Khouri, fighting it out for honours when the second five-lap bout got underway just after 1130 this morning.
Khouri eventually lost touch with that leading quartet as the pace hotted up and that top four then had an amazing battle all the way to the flag for victory.
Edwards’ experience won out yet again and he took victory over young John Lytras, perhaps the smallest rider in the field but showing plenty of fight, while Joel Kelso rounded out the podium as Ned Faulkhead again narrowly missed the podium. Less than half-a-second covered that top four at the flag.
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