— Phil Harlum’s ASBK Supersport Wrap
Up and coming South Australian Daniel Falzon has clinched his second 600cc title in the ASBK in as many years after wrapping up the Motul Supersport title with a steady third place on his Jon Daniels Racing Caterpillar Yamaha YZF-R6 in race two at the final round. Falzon was second in race one and third overall for the round to take the 2013 title by seven-points.
“This weekend we went into this round being a little conservative” said the 2013 champion. “We had a twenty-point advantage and that slowly got chipped away at by Aaron, but I managed to keep a level head and come away with third in the round which is all we needed.
“To get the Australian Supersport Championship win is just incredible; I didn’t expect to go back-to-back in Australian titles so soon in my career, it’s just surreal. To have all my family here for the support is excellent and I can’t wait for next year.
“Race two was tight with lots of us going for that second position, I just had to give the other a lot of room because I didn’t want to have any touches and potentially fall off, that could ruin our championship. I tried to play it by ear but my heart was in my mouth the whole time and I was watching my lap board and keeping an eye on the splits and kept my fingers crossed and kept my head down all the way to the end, even though I had a bit of an idiot moment on the straight on the final lap and celebrated a bit early and got pipped to the post by Michael Blair. That’s alright, doesn’t really bother us and it doesn’t affect the championship.”
Falzon came into the round with a twenty-point lead over title rival Aaron Morris on the Maxima YRD Yamaha Team YZF-R6 and Morris showed early in the weekend that he meant business. Morris qualified on pole with a 1:37.274 in the final Superpole session whereas Falzon was eliminated in Superpole two and would start Sunday’s two races from the third row of the grid in eighth. Morris went on to record two dominant victories, by 10.284 and 12.859 respectively and was the only rider in both races to record laps in qualifying and racing in the 1:37 bracket.
Blair Build Yamaha rider Michael Blair was third overall in the championship after another strong round, third and second in the two races tied him on points with Falzon, but due to the higher result in race two he took second place honours for the round over the newly crowned Champion.
Fourth overall for the round, and the championship was hard charging Victorian Ryan Taylor. Taylor was back to near 100% fitness after some bruising get offs earlier in the year and showed his pace at Phillip Island, regularly running at the from and challenging for the lead before Morris broke clear in both races. Taylor and Team Manager Stu Winton had also been busy developing the new Mupo Suspension over the season and look to be certain challengers for next year’s title.
Fifth for the round, in clearly his best Supersport round of the year, was Moto3 graduate and Supersport rookie Hudson Pitt. Pitt stunned the Supersport front runners with his pace this weekend and also showed great consistency. Qualifying fifth he went on to finish both races in fifth position resulting in fifth for the round. Incidentally, Pitt had picked up sponsorship this round from the Bleasdale Winery run by the Potts family who have a proud tradition at the seaside Victorian circuit. In 1932 Frank Potts entered his first Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island and scored second place, Pitt was obviously inspired and rode the wheels of his CMR Suzuki all weekend doing the Potts family proud.
Mason Coote had another sensational round finishing sixth in both races and overall for the round and was part of the large group of riders disputing second to eighth place in both races.
Another star of the weekend, unfortunately finishing a little further down the round order than he should have, was racers Edge Performance Supersport rider Mitch Levy. Levy was as high as fourth at one stage in race one and third in race two where he eventually finished in seventh, one- tenth behind Coote. Levy was on his second bike in race two after crashing out in the intense battle for third place while ahead of the most experienced rider in the field Aaron Gobert, and fellow Suzuki rider Pitt. Levy was twelfth for the round.
Aaron Gobert showed he can still run with the young guns as he went elbow to elbow with them in race one on his Wet 4 U / Gobert Motorsports Kawasaki ZX-6R. Unfortunately, he was excluded from the results after crossing the line in fifth for not having the correct tyre marking stickers at the end of race scrutineering check. A mechanical DNF in race two saw an early end for the former AMA and Australian champion.
Another personal best was seventh overall for the round for Tom Bryden on his privateer Yamaha with seventh and eighth placing’s, with local Victorian Cam Russell, South Australian Jake Thomas and Queenslander Dave Roughly rounding out the top ten for the round.
— ASBK 2013 – Round Seven – Phillip Island
— Phil Harlum’s Sunday ASBK Superbike Wrap
Team Suzuki’s Wayne Maxwell wrapped up the 2013 after a weekend of hard fought action at the Phillip Island circuit. Maxwell played a waiting game in race one to stalk title rival Glenn Allerton on the Next Gen Motorsport BMW in the final stages of the twelve-lap race before producing one of his famous turn ten passing manoeuvres on the last lap to take victory.
Maxwell got the weekend off to blinding start by setting the fastest ever Australian Superbike lap (1m32.274s) at the seaside Victorian circuit, shaving three-tenths of a second off the previous best that he had set back in November 2009.
Maxwell would go on to finish third in an enthralling final race that started out on a damp, but drying, track and saw the newly crowned champion well outside the top ten for the first time this year early as he negotiated the damp track on slick tyres. He would go on to recover second overall for the round by a solitary point, a pre-race shower had thrown up a heap of question marks over what setup to run in the final race of the 2013 season.
“The championship win is a great achievement, but full credit to the guys at Team Suzuki for giving me a bike that was awesome all year,” beamed the new ASBK champion. “Winning the first race was great, the best way to win the championship, I didn’t need to, but I really wanted to, and show that I was equally as strong today on the Suzuki as I have been any other year.”
Glenn Allerton on the Next Gen Motorsport BMW S1000RR won the round with victory in the final race, after taking a fine second in Sunday’s first race where Maxwell had beat Allerton to the line by a scant .014 of a second. Allerton took the lead on lap 10 and tried to make a break but Maxwell had snuck past Team Suzuki’s Robbie Bugden and Jamie Stauffer on the Team Honda CBR1000RR. The tricky conditions for race two saw Allerton produce a steady first few laps but no one could match his pace from lap four, eventual winning by a clear margin 3.284 seconds.
“Great way to finish off the year for the boys in the team, we started off the year with a win and we finish off the year with a win,” said Allerton. “It would have been good to have been a little stronger in the middle of the year but that’s all part of winning a championship. I am glad we got second for the championship for the team, and we went as close as you can to winning the race this morning, I am happy with the whole day, even though I feel it was like a win, there was less than half a wheel in between Wayne & I. I think that was the maximum we could do today, I have got a great feeling with the bike, the boys in the team have done a great job and I am happy.”
Third overall for the round was Team Volvo Group Suzuki’s Robbie Bugden. Robbie had done a majority of the hard work leading race multiple times early on in race one, but could not match the pace of his team mate or Allerton over the final laps of the first race after battling for the lead with Jamie Stauffer early on. In race two the five-times New Zealand SBK champion started on slick tyres on the damp but drying track, Bugden would complete the first lap in fourteenth place.
“Couple of cracking races really,” said Bugden. “The first race was a good fight with Glenn and Jamie, and then Wayne came through there in the end, he timed his run to perfection. That second race was a bit sketchy, especially early on, but pretty much all the way through to be honest.
“The slicks were the tyres to be on but it was really tough early on as it was just so slippery, you couldn’t get on the gas and you couldn’t get on the brakes, you just had to kind of roll around and I was probably a bit to cautious and let Glenn get that gap. Once I got some clear track, I figured Glenn was well up the road so I started pushing and lap after lap started throwing caution to the wind.
“I am a bit disappointed to come up a little bit short and miss the one-two in the championship for the team, they have been flawless really and it’s a pleasure to be a part of such a great group of people”.
Fourth overall went to Team Honda’s Jamie Stauffer. Jamie showed good speed early on in race one, leading at the completion of laps four, six and eight as he battled with Bugden for the lead, and was in the lead pack for the entire race, finishing fourth, 2.055 seconds behind race winner Maxwell. Race two saw both Jamie and team-mate Josh Hook struggle with the conditions and bike setup early on, both gathering pace as the race progressed to finish fifth and sixth, less than .05 of a second apart.
“First race we were there or there abouts,” said Stauffer. “But we couldn’t stay in front, whenever we did get in front we got passed and we ended up fourth. The second one was in mixed conditions and we decided to go out on slicks which was the right decision but I don’t know, we just didn’t seem to get a lot of grip in the dry parts until the last couple of laps so we struggled and didn’t finish real good”.
Hook was fifth overall for the round with fifth and sixth places in the two races putting him one point ahead of the impressive Ben Henry. Henry rode the wheels off the Australian Outdoor Living Suzuki in race two to finish fourth, seven seconds ahead of the Team Honda duo, the conditions suiting the privateer Suzuki rider.
Henry finished second overall in the privateer round points following his maximum score in race two, behind Racers Edge Performance Suzuki’s Beau Beaton, a single point the final margin. BC Performance by Bikes Connect rider Ben Bourke was a fine third privateer and eighth overall for the round in his ASBK Superbike debut.
Beaton took the privateer pole position point that secured the round win, victory in race one and second overall in the privateer’s championship behind Glenn Scott.
“First race we got ourselves into a good rhythm and the bike stayed really consistent over the whole race,” beamed Beaton. “We were battling with Linden and then he stepped off at the Hayshed which is never a good place to come off, but I could see on the pit board I was pulling away from Glenn and I felt fine for the race and the Pirelli tyres felt great as well and we could push into some good lap times at the end of the race which I was really happy with.
“Second race was a bit iffy and was in conditions that I don’t have a lot of experience in, the Pirelli slicks worked really well considering the conditions and the patchiness of the track. I pushed as hard as I could and stayed with the factory boys there when it was really tricky conditions but that’s how racing goes and we took the overall round win, big Thanks to Racers Edge Performance for a great year.”
The Privateer Championship came down to the wire. Next Gen Motorsports Linden Magee came into the round with a slender one-point lead over Scott, Magee’s race one DNF allowing Scott back in to the lead and Beaton into second. Scott, who has had a difficult struggle over the last few rounds with genuine bad luck bounced back at the island with seventh and eleventh to take the privateer championship by nine-points over Beaton, with Magee third, a further eight-points behind after a disappointing season finale for the BMW rider.
“This weekend has been extremely emotional for the whole team,” beamed privateer champ Glenn Scott. “I don’t really know where to begin. Superpole was cut unbelievably short for us due to a problem with the bike, the boys worked really hard on Saturday night to get the bike ready for today, and in morning warm up everything seemed to be ok.
“We were a way off in setup as we just didn’t get the track time with the issues we had so the bike was far from perfect. Starting from thirteenth we were a long way back but I got an unbelievable start and I was in sixth by turn two, a lot of that is due to the help from Bernie Hatton visualising a plan for the race.
“Then I found myself in a battle with Beau and Linden. I saw Linden crash and I knew I just had to finish the race, I was pushing hard to try and stay with Beau so I minimised the risk and settled for second in the race and good points.
“The heavens opened up and it started to rain for the second race and that brought a whole different ball game to the race. It was half wet and half dry, and I knew it was going to dry up but we only had the one bike working and no time to change back to slicks so we had to use the wets. I just did what I had to do, Beau and Linden went past on slicks and I knew I just had to finish this race. To bring home this championship after the last two round and the weeks in between I am more than happy to take the title and it is a massive relief”.
Third in the privateer championship went to Linden Magee who was still unsure of what caused the race one crash.
“It was just a really weird crash and I have no idea what actually happened,” said a bemused Magee. “I felt really comfortable and I’d done all the hard work and was getting into a rhythm and I am just thankful I wasn’t injured as it was a high speed crash. Second race I was on the spare bike and I’d never ridden in conditions like that before so I was just feeling my way and started moving forward at the end. To be honest I am pretty disappointed with myself really, came in leading the championship, it happens I guess”.
Living legend Phil Lovett rounded out the top ten overall for the round after leading early on in race two. After the second lap Lovett lead from Ben Bourke and Chas Hern with the fastest lap of the race, however his speed was not enough to hold position as the track dried and he dropped to tenth after the twelve lap distance was completed.
West Australian Adam Senior, Linden Magee and Chas Hern rounded out the point scorers in eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth.
— Top Ten QBE Australian Superbike Round 7 Results – Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
1. Glenn ALLERTON (BMW) 45, 2. Wayne MAXWELL (Suzuki)44, 3. Robert BUGDEN (Suzuki) 38, 4. Jamie STAUFFER (Honda) 33, 5. Josh HOOK (Honda) 31, 6. Ben HENRY (Suzuki) 30, 7. Beau BEATON (Suzuki) 28, 8. Ben BURKE (Kawasaki) 25, 9. Glenn SCOTT (Honda) 24, 10. Phil LOVETT (Kawasaki) 23
— Top Ten QBE Australian Superbike Championship (Final standings)
1. Wayne MAXWELL (Suzuki) 268, 2. Glenn ALLERTON (BMW) 234, 3. Robert BUGDEN (Suzuki) 231, 4. Jamie STAUFFER (Honda) 213, 5. Josh HOOK (Honda) 198, 6. Glenn SCOTT (Honda) 156, 7. Beau BEATON (Kawasaki) 155, 8. Linden MAGEE (BMW) 141, 9. Phil LOVETT (Kawasaki) 126, 10. Ben HENRY (Suzuki) 119