Josh Waters dominates opening SBK race at Phillip Island

Josh Waters scorched off the line at Phillip Island as the first of four Superbike bouts got underway at a very wet Phillip Island at 1330 this afternoon and led Brayden Elliott into turn one in what could only be decribed as absolutely artrocious conditions.

MotoGP 2016 - ASBK Superbike Race One
MotoGP 2016 – ASBK Superbike Race One

Troy Herfoss marched his way forward as that opening lap progressed and then broke away from the pack to try and chase down Waters, who by halfway around lap two had a massive five-second lead on the Yamaha YZF-R1.

MotoGP Support Races - Australian Superbike - Image by Andrew Gosling
MotoGP Support Races – Australian Superbike – Image by Andrew Gosling

Waters contined to set the pace out front and never looked like being challenged by any competitor, his lead by lap five a massive ten seconds.

MotoGP Support Races - Australian Superbike - Image by Andrew Gosling
MotoGP Support Races – Australian Superbike – Image by Andrew Gosling

The battle for second hotted up as the race broached the halfway point of the ten-lap distance as Brayden Elliott passed Herfoss for second place, Jamie Stauffer was in that mix also and firmly in contention for a podium. 

The track was so wet that the fastest riders were only managing 1min55s lap times and by lap seven the leaders were already negotiating traffic as they lapped slower riders.

MotoGP Support Races - Australian Superbike - Image by Andrew Gosling
MotoGP Support Races – Australian Superbike – Image by Andrew Gosling

Herfoss got the better of Elliott on lap eight as he picked up his pace but he was never going to chase down Waters, the Suzuki rider got him back on the penultimate lap but Herfoss again nosed ahead as they started the final lap, Jamie Stauffer was then also right on the tail of Elliott to try and stake his claim for a podium.

MotoGP Support Races - Australian Superbike - Image by Andrew Gosling
MotoGP Support Races – Australian Superbike – Image by Andrew Gosling

Nothing separated that trio as they fought for position throughout the final lap but it was Herfoss that got the second position while Stauffer got the better of Elliott around turn 12 to claim third. Less than a tenth of a second covered Herfoss, Stauffer and Elliott at the chequered flag.

The top spot though went to Josh Waters, the Mildura rider completely dominated the opening encounter from start to finish.

A last minute decision to switch from the Pirelli rubber he normally runs to a Dunlop wet, perhaps the crucial factor in Waters’  dominance. Not being tied to a tyre sponsor opening up the opportunities for Waters and the Apex Motorsport squad to chop and change between Pirelli and Dunlop if they see an advantage to be had with one brand of tyre over another, for each particular situation as it arises.

MotoGP Support Races - Australian Superbike - Image by Andrew Gosling
MotoGP Support Races – Australian Superbike – Image by Andrew Gosling
MotoGP Support Races – Superbike Race One Results
  1. Josh Waters
  2. Troy Herfoss +7.215
  3. Jamie Stauffer +7.241
  4. Brayden Elliott +7.286
  5. Michael Blair +31.632
  6. Cru Halliday +54.107
  7. Ryan Hampton +78.09
  8. Alastair Loomes +1 lap
  9. Phil Czaj +1 lap