— Allerton on top of the world after dominating Australian Superbike opener
Procon Racing BMW rider Glenn Allerton has dominated a drama-charged day at Phillip Island, winning both races of the opening round of the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championships in spectacular style.
The field was forced to gamble after the race 1 out lap, with a damp circuit sending some riders scrambling for spare bikes with wet tyres fitted.
The BMW S 1000 RR-mounted Allerton elected to remain on slicks, and despite being swamped in the opening laps, soon found pace as a dry line around the 4.45km circuit emerged.
The 30-year-old picked off place after place, and by the fifth lap found himself in the lead after blazing past polesitter Wayne Maxwell who was struggling on deteriorating wet rubber.
Allerton greeted the chequered flag with a lead of over 20 seconds, with second-place going to another European machine, the Aprilia RSV-4 ridden by Ben Attard.
Proving the victory was no fluke, the NSW-based rider backed up the performance by winning race 2 in dry conditions, again by a solid margin.
Two wins from two starts, on debut with a new team and race bike, has Allerton excited about his championship chances in 2011.
“This is the best start to a season I’ve ever had,” said an ecstatic Allerton. “The weekend really could not have gone better for us given we are a new team and racing a new bike.
“We made a good choice this morning on the slicks but in the second race showed that the pace was genuine.
“Given the limited time we’ve had to work on the bike, the team at Hepburn Motorsport have done an awesome job and I cannot fault them at all. Thanks also has to go to all at BMW.”
Allerton is looking forward to continuing the form at his favourite track on the calendar next weekend.
“I love Symmons Plains, it’s my favourite track in Australia and I feel like we can be strong again there.”
Allerton leaves Phillip Island with a 13-point advantage over second-placed rider Troy Herfoss, who was impressive in his first ever Superbike outing with Team Suzuki.
Herfoss’ result was built on both speed and consistency. The GSX-R1000 rider settled for a strong fourth place in the opening race when unable to attack, but was on song in the second 12-lapper and raced to a comfortable podium position.
“It was a tough weekend and I’m very glad to come away sitting second,” said Herfoss. “Our testing pace was great so I was a little confused as to why I was taking a while to get comfortable on the bike.
“Getting a good result on wet tyres in the first race gave me the confidence I needed, and I was able to mix it with the leaders in the second.
“I’m taking steady steps in my approach to this season and this weekend has provided me with a solid start.”
A storming ride from iStyle The Natural Aprilia Racing Team’s Ben Attard has him sitting just a point behind Herfoss in the race for the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship crown.
Attard and his Aprilia RSV-4 showed pace in both races. He finished a solid second behind Allerton in race 1, also gambling on slicks on a drying track.
Fifth place in the second race rounded out a commendable weekend for the vastly-experienced rider.
“We’re still developing the bike but saw a chance in the opening race and pushed on with slicks, which paid off,” said Attard.
“It’s an encouraging result. We’ll work on the bike for the next round and hope to be up there again.”
Demolition Plus GAS Honda’s Craig Coxhell finished fourth for the weekend with two top-five finishes.
Team Honda Racing’s Jamie Stauffer rounds out the top five in a weekend that went awry for the factory outfit.
Stauffer’s teammate and polesitter, Wayne Maxwell consolidated in the opening race with a podium but a mechanical problem this afternoon sees him languishing in tenth overall.
Yamaha rider Cru Halliday took Prostock honours today after finishing both races, contested with the Superbike field, in the top three.
Halliday finished third in the opener behind Victorian John Phelan, but bounced back in the dry to record a win.
He leads the Prostock standings by 5 points over Phelan after the first of 8 rounds.
Linden Magee rounds out the top three on 33 points, 6 shy of Phlelan, after a consistent weekend.
In the Supersport ranks, Gobert Motorsports rider Aaron Gobert controlled proceedings on a damp track, using his experience to race to a deserved win aboard his Yamaha R6.
Combined with a fourth place in yesterday’s race, today’s result was enough to give Gobert the round win and sees him lead the championship heading to Tasmania.
“We had the bike setup really well for the conditions today and I felt really comfortable,” said Gobert.
“The race couldn’t have gone any better. It’s great to also get the round win after we were very competitive in the first race yesterday.”
Two second-place finishes to the Yamaha Racing Team’s Kevin Curtain sees the experienced campaigner sitting in second after an eventful Phillip Island weekend.
Polesitter and race 1 winner Brodie Waters finished third for the round on his Team Suzuki machine after running off the circuit in this morning’s 12-lap decider.
A fellow Suzuki rider benefited from Waters’ misfortune; Queenslander Blake Leigh-Smith took a deserved race podium, his first in the Supersport class.
Teams and riders will now set their sights on next week’s second round to be held at Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania.
Superbike – Race 1
1. Glenn ALLERTON (VIC) / Procon Racing, BMW S 1000 RR
2. Ben ATTARD (QLD) / iStyle The Natural Aprilia Racing Team, Aprilia RSV4
3. Wayne MAXWELL (VIC) / Team Honda Racing, Honda CBR-RR
4. Troy HERFOSS (VIC) / Team Suzuki, Suzuki GSX-R
5. Craig COXHELL (VIC) / Demolition Plus Gas Honda, Honda CBR
6. Beau BEATON (NSW) / North Coast V-Twins, Ducati 1198 R
7. Jamie STAUFFER (NSW) / Team Honda Racing , Honda CBR-RR
8. Robert BUGDEN (QLD) / Team Mack Trucks Suzuki, Suzuki GSX-R
9. Ben HENRY (QLD) Suzuki GSX-R
10. John PHLELAN (VIC) Kawasaki ZX10R (Prostock)
Superbike – Race 2
1. Glenn ALLERTON (VIC) / Procon Racing, BMW S 1000 RR
2. Troy HERFOSS (VIC) / Team Suzuki, Suzuki GSX-R
3. Jamie STAUFFER (NSW) / Team Honda Racing , Honda CBR-RR
4. Craig COXHELL (VIC) / Demolition Plus Gas Honda, Honda CBR
5. Ben ATTARD (QLD) / iStyle The Natural Aprilia Racing Team, Aprilia RSV4
6. Robert BUGDEN (QLD) / Team Mack Trucks Suzuki, Suzuki GSX-R
7. Beau BEATON (NSW) / North Coast V-Twins, Ducati 1198 R
8. Ben HENRY (QLD) Suzuki GSX-R
9. Cole ODENDAAL (NSW) / NSW Compensation Lawyers / GAS Honda Racing, Honda CBR-RR
10. Cru HALLIDAY (NSW) Yamaha YZF-R1 (Prostock)
Superbike – Round and Championship points
1. Glenn ALLERTON (VIC), 50
2. Troy HERFOSS (VIC), 37
3. Ben ATTARD (QLD), 36
4. Craig COXHELL (VIC), 33
5. Jamie STAUFFER (NSW), 32
6. Beau BEATON (NSW), 29
7. Robert BUGDEN (QLD), 28
8. Ben HENRY (QLD), 25
9. Cole ODENDAAL (NSW), 23
10. Wayne MAXWELL (VIC), 19
Supersport – Race 2
1. Aaron GOBERT (NSW) / Gobert Motorsports, Yamaha YZF-R6
2. Kevin CURTAIN (VIC) / Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R6
3. Blake LEIGH-SMITH (QLD) Suzuki GSX-R
4. Mitchell CARR (NSW) / Carr Bros. Motorsport, Triumph Daytona
5. Christan CASELLA (VIC) Triumph Daytona
6. Chas HERN (VIC) Suzuki GSX-R
7. Nicholas WATERS (VIC) / Waters Racing, Suzuki GSX-R
8. Brodie WATERS (VIC) / Team Suzuki, Suzuki GSX-R
9. Glenn SCOTT (NSW) Kawasaki ZX6R
10. Hafizh Syahrin ABDULLAH (MAL) Yamaha YZF-R6
Supersport – Round and Championship points
1. Aaron GOBERT (NSW), 42
2. Kevin CURTAIN (VIC), 40
3. Brodie WATERS (VIC), 39
4. Mitchell CARR (NSW), 35
5. Blake LEIGH-SMITH (QLD), 32
6. Christan CASELLA (VIC), 31
7. Chas HERN (VIC), 24
8. Andy LAWSON (QLD), 20
9. Hafizh Syahrin ABDULLAH (MAL), 18
10. Ryan TAYLOR (VIC), 18