Josh Hook completes perfect Phillip Island Championship weekend for Team Honda
By Trevor Hedge
A slightly later start for the third and final Superbike bout of the MotoGP weekend for the men of Australian Superbike under cloudy skies at Phillip Island this morning with the eight lapper kicking off at 0940.
Again it was a Team Honda freight train as the huge field poured through turn one for the first time with Wayne Maxwell and Josh Hook the leading protagonists fighting for the lead.
Behind the Honda quartet a good early battle for best of the rest over fifth place was unfolding between Glenn Allerton, Linden Magee, Beau Beaton and Sean Condon. Hook led his teammates over the stripe for the first time with a 39.5 for from a standing start, even quicker than their opening gambit yesterday.
At the end of lap two Hook was still leading Maxwell, Stauffer and Herfoss but the Honda foursome still in tight formation. A couple of seconds behind them already was the battle for fifth place which on lap two had seen Beau Beaton on the Ducati Panigale break away from Magee and Condon, but that pair came back at him on lap three to cross the stripe next time around three-abreast much to the delight of the huge MotoGP crowd with Mike Jones also looking to join that fray. Glenn Allerton retired with some sort of problem with the NextGen BMW.
Up front Herfoss had started to lose touch with his Honda teammates while Maxwell and Stauffer were doggedly hanging on to Hook’s rear wheel in an effort to prevent their young teammate from breaking away for yet another win to complete a perfect record for the weekend.
Lap five saw Hook build a couple of bike lengths over his pursuers but things were far from settled as Maxwell put his head down to stick with the young Taree charger but Stauffer could not match their pace with the lap times getting lower and lower as every lap progressed.
Maxwell was three-tenths behind Hook as the pair got the last lap board. By MG Hairpin Maxwell was all over the back of Hook, also through 11, Hook on a tight entry and line through 12 and manages to keep Maxwell at bay to complete his stellar three from three weekend. Stauffer third with a ruined rear tyre, Herfoss fourth and Linden Magee took fifth place ahead of Mike Jones and Sean Condon while Beau Beaton faded to ninth in the latter stages of the race.
Hook’s perfect weekend handed him the win in the inaugural Phillip Island Championship win by two-points over Jamie Stauffer. Hook’s weekend at the MotoGP ending on a much higher note than the opening round of this two-round series staged with the World Superbike weekend, where Hook left in a medical helicopter with a broken neck which effectively ruined his tilt at this year’s Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship.
Hook could not be happier, “A huge thanks to Team Honda Racing; I couldn’t have had a better weekend. Three wins from three starts is great and to take the Phillip Island Championship title is awesome. The final race could not have gone better for the team either with Honda taking out the top 4 positions. It was a great event and I am stoked to win.”
Jamie Stauffer raced extremely well all weekend with consistent lap times and his title campaign cannot be faulted. “I am disappointed that I didn’t take the title after winning Round 1, but congratulations to Josh as he really raced to the limit and had such a strong weekend. I enjoyed the MotoGP event as always and it was great to see the Honda CBR1000RR SP dominate the podium. The 1-2-3-4 finish in front of the GP crowd was a great way to finish the event for us and well deserved by Team Honda Racing. Thanks to the team for their hard work, particularly Dan Williams. We now have to focus on the finale of the Australasian Superbike Championship. I am still battling for that title so there is still plenty of work to do this year.”
Wayne Maxwell had a mixed weekend at the MotoGP event on his Motul Honda, crashing out of Race 1 on Friday, only to be battling for the race win in Races 2 and 3. Maxwell finished 2nd in Race 3 and recorded the fastest lap of the race, 1:32.653 seconds. “What can I say? My DNF in Race 1 put me behind the eight-ball going into the weekend, but I was able to come back very strongly in Races 2 and 3. I had good pace and was able to finish 2nd in both those races, but Josh got the better of us all and deserves the honours. Thanks to the team for a great weekend. Now I need to turn my focus to the final race event of the ASC. I am currently in the lead heading into the last event at Sydney Motorsport Park so the biggest battle is yet to come.”
Troy Herfoss rounded out the podium for Round 2 of the Phillip Island Championship after his 4th place finish in the final race of the event for Superbikes. “To take 3rd overall for Round 2 was better than I expected this weekend as I struggled a bit to match the speed of the front runners. I am happy with my performance overall although obviously I would have liked to have taken some wins home. Well done to Josh, that was a great effort by him. I would like to thank the team and my sponsors for their help and I am really excited to head to Sydney Motorsport Park in November for the final round of the Australasian Superbike Championship.”
Team Principal, Paul Free could not be happier. “All 4 riders did the Honda brand proud this weekend and the success we had reflects the dedication and hard work of not just the riders, but the whole team. Josh had an outstanding weekend of results and his racing was really something to watch. Jamie, Troy and Wayne all raced extremely well, it was unfortunate that Wayne crashed in Race 1 and Jamie ran off the track to avoid him as both riders were performing outstandingly. Troy had a strong weekend and I’m glad he left the event with a trophy for 3rd overall. I would personally like to thank the riders and the staff on the team for their professionalism and hard work over the entire MotoGP weekend. The event went very smoothly for Team Honda Racing and to finish it off with a 1-2-3-4 result in Races 2 and 3 was perfect. We now shift our focus to November.”
Earlier in the morning Daniel Falzon, Aaron Morris and Callum Spriggs fought a titanic battle for Supersport honours with Falzon and Morris crossing the stripe neck and neck, Computime calling it as 0.005 of a second and subsequent video adjudication also ruling in Falzon’s honour. Falzon took the Supersport category with 115 points amassed over the MotoGP and World Superbike weekends to Morris’ 102 and Spriggs’ 97.
- Related Link – Race Two Report
Related Link – Race Two Report