Tom Bramich wins YMF R3 Cup Round 1

Levy & Ford complete overall top three


Qualifying took place on Friday for Round 1 of the Australian Superbike Championship, with Hunter Ford (Yamaha South Sydney Commercial, YZ-R3) setting the Phillip Island Circuit alight with a time of 1:50.394 to snatch pole position in the YMF R3 Cup.

YMF R3 Cup qualifying kicked off on Friday at Phillip Island - Image by TBG Sport
YMF R3 Cup qualifying kicked off on Friday at Phillip Island – Image by TBG Sport

Friday’s qualifying for the YMF R3 Cup was the final session of an action packed day at Phillip Island, with Ford managing to secure the coveted pole position from Tom Bramich (Yamaha JLT, YZF-R3) 1:50.443, who had been quickest in Thursday’s Free Practice.

Locky Taylor (Yamaha LTR Racing, YZF-R3) rounded out the top three qualifiers with a time of 1:50.858 and thus joined the front of the grid for Saturday’s opening race.

YMF R3 Cup Top 10 Qualifying

  1. Hunter FORD (Yamaha South Sydney Commercial, YZ-R3) 1:50.394
  2. Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha JLT, YZ-R3) 1:50.443
  3. Locky TAYLOR (Yamaha LTR Racing, YZ-R3) 1:50.858
  4. Zac LEVY (Yamaha Puma RV, YZ-R3) 1:51.860
  5. Harry KHOURI (Yamaha Acid Racing, YZ-R3) 1:52.362

YMF R3 Cup – Race 1

Two races took place Saturday for the YMF R3 Cup, effectively bookending Saturday’s proceedings. Taking victory in Race One was Tom Bramich (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3).

Taking the lead into turn one, Tom Bramich was followed by Ford and Harry Khouri (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3). By the second lap, Bramich had a one-second advantage and it was clear from the outset he was comfortable in the damp conditions, trying to put a gap between himself and the competition.

Ford leads off the start line - Image by TBG Sport
Ford leads off the start line – Image by TBG Sport

Max Stauffer (Chris Watson Motorcycles, Yamaha YZF-R3) was also starting to make an impression to move himself into a podium position.

By the time there was five laps to go, Bramich had amassed a huge lead of six-seconds. Constantly in the 1m54’s to decimate the competition. The best anyone else could achieve was in the 1:56’s by the mid-stage of the race.

As the competitors raced down to the finish line, Bramich collected a special win with a 10.860s gap over the pole man Ford.

Stauffer looked on course for a podium placing, but was pipped to the line by the charging Zac Levy (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3). Rounding out the top five was Callum O’Brien (BANHAMS WA, Yamaha YZF-R3).

Tom Bramich - Image by TBG Sport
Tom Bramich – Image by TBG Sport
Tom Bramich

“It was always the plan to try and make a break for it at the start. It was actually more wet out there than I thought it was going to be. We took risks in the opening stages of the race to try and build that gap. I knew everyone else would be hesitant in the damp. We still have plenty of races to go, so we’ll have to keep it on two wheels.”

YMF R3 Cup Race One Results

  1. Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  2. Hunter FORD (Ford Brothers Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  3. Zac LEVY (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  4. Max STAUFFER (Chris Watson Motorcycles, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  5. Callum O’BRIEN (BANHAMS WA, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  6. Locky TAYLOR (LTR Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  7. Ross BEAMES (Yamaha YZF-R3)
  8. Harry KHOURI (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  9. Travis HALL (Yamaha YZF-R3)
  10. Tayla RELPH (North Star Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3)
ASBK 2018 - YMF R3 Cup - Round 1, Race 1 Results
ASBK 2018 – YMF R3 Cup – Round 1, Race 1 Results

YMF R3 Cup – Race 2

Starting from pole, Hunter Ford didn’t have it all his own way in Race Two of the YMF R3 Cup with only just over a second separating Ford in first and Taylor in fifth position early in the second bout. Ford battled up front with Bramich, Levy, Khouri and Taylor.

Hunter Ford made his mark on Race 2 with the victory - Image by TBG Sport
Hunter Ford made his mark on Race 2 with the victory – Image by TBG Sport

The five riders at the front of the pack swapped positions throughout the exciting eight-lap race, and the race wasn’t decided until the final seconds, as Ford snatched the victory.

Stauffer, O’Brien, Laura Brown (WNR, Yamaha YZF-R3), Hall and John Lytras (Yamaha YZF-R3) rounded out the top 10..

YMF R3 Cup Race Two Results

  1. Hunter FORD (Ford Brothers Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  2. Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3
  3. Zac LEVY (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  4. Harry KHOURI (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  5. Locky TAYLOR (LTR Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  6. Max STAUFFER (Chris Watson Motorcycles, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  7. Callum O’BRIEN (BANHAMS WA, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  8. Laura Brown (WNR, Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  9. Travis HALL (Yamaha YZF-R3)
  10. John LYTRAS (Yamaha YZF-R3)
ASBK 2018 - YMF R3 Cup - Round 1, Race 2 Results
ASBK 2018 – YMF R3 Cup – Round 1, Race 2 Results

YMF R3 Cup – Race 3

The final race for the YMF R3 Cup took place this morning, and it delivered action aplenty as Zac Levy (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3) took a strategic victory. Levy waiting until the final lap to attack for the win.

Ford and Levy battle it out - Image by TBG Sport
Ford and Levy battle it out – Image by TBG Sport

Tom Bramich (Yamaha YZF-R3) once again got off to a great start to lead the race, in front of Locky Taylor (LTR Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3) and Hunter Ford (Ford Brothers Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3).

Not far behind them were the ever-present Harry Khouri (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3) and Levy. For the entire duration of the race there was nothing between the top five.

On the last lap Levy managed to pull off a daring overtake for the win ahead of Bramich and Taylor, Khouri and Ford not far behind. Only 0.345s covered the top five at the checkered flag.

Zac Levy - Image by TBG Sport
Zac Levy – Image by TBG Sport
Zac Levy

“It was a difficult one, the wind was very strong and there wasn’t much grip. We’re all in the same boat though and I thought if I could get in front I could try and control the race and take the win. I’m happy to have got the lead on the last lap and controlled it to the line. About lap four or five, I could have passed but I wanted to bide my time and wait till the last lap. I just want to be on the podium every race and be consistent this season.”

Tom Bramich

“Super happy to get the overall round win. We had a goal to score the most points and we knew the racing was going to be close due to the nature of Phillip Island. We couldn’t break away at any point during today’s race and the five of us were exchanging overtakes all the time.”

As it stands, the current points tally has Bramich taking the overall round with 65 points, followed by Ford in second with 61 and Levy in third with 57 points.

The action will continue as ASBK returns to Wakefield Park Raceway for Round 2 of the championship, March 16 – 18.

YMF R3 Cup Race Three Results

  1. Zac LEVY (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  2. Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  3. Locky TAYLOR (LTR Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  4. Harry KHOURI (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  5. Hunter FORD (Ford Brothers Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  6. Callum O’BRIEN (BANHAMS WA, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  7. Max STAUFFER (Chris Watson M-cycles, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  8. Travis HALL (Yamaha YZF-R3)
  9. Tayla RELPH (North Star Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  10. John LYTRAS (Yamaha YZF-R3)
ASBK 2018 - YMF R3 Cup - Round 1, Race 3 Results
ASBK 2018 – YMF R3 Cup – Round 1, Race 3 Results
YMF R3 Cup Overall Podium - 1. Tom BRAMICH (VIC) Yamaha 65,  2. Hunter FORD  (NSW) Yamaha 61, 3. Zac LEVY (QLD) Yamaha 61- Image by TBG Sport
YMF R3 Cup Overall Podium – 1. Tom BRAMICH (VIC) Yamaha 65, 2. Hunter FORD  (NSW) Yamaha 61, 3. Zac LEVY (QLD) Yamaha 61- Image by TBG Sport

YMF R3 Cup – Round 1 Provisional Points

  1. Tom BRAMICH (VIC) Yamaha 65
  2. Zac LEVY (QLD) Yamaha 61
  3. Hunter FORD (NSW) Yamaha 61
  4. Locky TAYLOR (QLD) Yamaha 49
  5. Harry KHOURI (NSW) Yamaha 47
  6. Max STAUFFER (NSW) Yamaha 46
  7. Callum O’BRIEN (WA) Yamaha 45
  8. Travis HALL (QLD) Yamaha 37
  9. Tayla RELPH (QLD) Yamaha 32
  10. Ross BEAMES (QLD) Yamaha 31
  11. Laura BROWN (NSW) Yamaha 29
  12. John LYTRAS (QLD) Yamaha 27
  13. Troy RYAN (NSW) Yamaha 26
  14. Mitch KUHNE (QLD) Yamaha 25
  15. Bronson Joel PICKETT (WA) Yamaha 19
  16. Zylas BUNTING (NSW) Yamaha 14
  17. Zane FORD (NSW) Yamaha 12
  18. Ryan DADD (QLD) Yamaha 8
  19. Jake BRETT (NSW) Yamaha 7
  20. James WENSEMIUS (NSW) Yamaha 5
  21. Keegan PICKERING (NSW) Yamaha 2

2018 ASBK Calendar

  • Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
  • Official ASBK Test, The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 3-4
  • Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
  • Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
  • Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
  • Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
  • Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14