Southern Downs & QRRC Round 2
Images by: Images Everything
Round two of the Southern Downs and Queensland Road Racing Series held at Morgan Park Raceway saw exciting racing over the weekend, as DesmoSport Ducati’s Mike Jones and YRT’s Aiden Wagner shared the race wins, with Oli Bayliss making his superbike debut racing on board the DesmoSport Ducati V4R Superbike, securing podiums and a personal best lap time.
Troy Bayliss – DesmoSport Ducati
“I’m glad we made the decision to put Oli on the V4R. The way he rode proved what we all thought, that he was ready to make the next step and I’m really proud of what he did this weekend, on both the Superbike and the 600. He had a few moments out there, but kept his head, made smart decisions, set quick lap times for the conditions and brought the bike back in one piece. For Mike, he put in another solid display that we’ve come to expect from him. Even starting from pitlane just proved to light a fire, and to be honest, I think he enjoyed the challenge. I think some of the club guys got a buzz from Jonesy coming through the field making 17 passes in 7 laps too.”
Although not a part of the Australian Superbike Championship, the club-run round provided the perfect opportunity for teams to get back to business and go racing, with the Superbike field seeing Wagner up against the Ducati duo of Jones and Bayliss, with Cru Halliday unable to attend due to border restrictions.
Race 1 saw Oli Bayliss miss the start of the race, after not making it out of the pits on time, while Mike Jones had to start from pit lane. Aiden Wagner won the opening race from Corey Turner, with Mike Jones working his way to third.
The second race saw Mike Jones claim the win from Aiden Wagner. Oli Bayliss completed the podium well ahead of fourth placed Corey Turner.
In a turn-around Wagner and Jones swapped finishing place the third stanza, Wagner claiming his second win of the weekend. Jones and Bayliss battled it out for the final podium positions with Mikes Jones taking P2 by a tenth.
Mike Jones clinched the final race win of the weekend, while Bayliss and Wagner fought over the final podium position after Wagner ran wide on the final lap. Bayliss claimed that P2 which prevented Wagner from taking the overall round win.
In the four races contested over the weekend, Wagner finished with 1-2-1-3 results on 88-points, equal with Jones who compiled 3-1-2-1 finishes to get the round win by virtue of a better finish in the final race. Corey Turner was third overall, thanks to consistent finishes, while Kyle Mountney was fourth. Oli Bayliss was fifth overall after not starting the opening bout.
“That was such a fun weekend! A big thank you to the club, volunteers and officials that made it possible for us to go racing, it just felt good to get back on the bike and actually go racing again. Although I would’ve loved to clean-sweep all the superbike races, it wasn’t to be this weekend, but we had a lot of positives to take from it. We were racing at a pace that I think we would be close to at ASBK with the track conditions, and I got plenty of opportunities to make solid, clean passes on my way through the field. I was able to lead from the front, defend my position and take some wins. I was impressed with Oli’s results over the weekend too, and I’m glad I could help him this weekend along with the rest of the team.”
“Its been a long time between races but it’s awesome to be back on track and on my R1M. It might not be an ASBK round but it’s racing and we are fortunate enough to be able to compete, so thank you to The Sportsmen Club, MQ and also Yamaha for making this happen. It’s also the first time this year I have been able to race injury free. I had some hand and wrist issues at the beginning of the year but have recovered 100% and it feels good to be strong on the bike and back towards full race speed. The team had the bike in good shape and despite the windy and the cold conditions, we were able to generate some good lap times and for me the hit out was needed to get some race miles back into my mind and body. I enjoyed the weekend at Morgan Park and hopefully we can get some more racing done before the end of the year.”
“Once we got things setup for me, I felt really comfortable on the bike and I’m really happy to be on it. The way it handled and stopped, it didn’t feel too different to the 600 to be honest, but the power and speed of the V4R is incredible. I’m really grateful to Ben (Henry) and Dad for giving me the chance to ride the bike, and also to Chris (Jones) for helping set the bike up for me. Morgan Park is where I basically started my road racing career, and every bike I’ve ridden, I’ve ridden here first so it makes sense that I get to race a Superbike here first too. Mike (Jones) gave me some great advice over the weekend, and to race with guys like him and Aiden (Wagner) just gave me even more confidence. The V4R is definitely a challenge, and there’s a lot more to learn, but it was great to line up at a race again, and to put two DesmoSport Ducati V4R’s on the podium this weekend!”
Southern Downs & QRRC – Round 2 Results
|20||Kiri Welsh||+1 lap|
|21||Rhys Matthews||+1 lap|
|17||Rhys Matthews||+1 lap|