— Australian Supersport Race One
— By Trevor Hedge
The opening bout of the Australian Supersport Championship schedule at Phillip Island this weekend was played out under clear and sunny skies in front of the World Superbike Championship crowd.
Daniel Falzon blasted away from the start line to head the 34-strong field through the re-surfaced turn one before being pipped by Ryan Taylor through the ensuing turn, the Pirelli rider then put his head down and tried to make a break from the field.
By the end of lap one Taylor enjoyed a full-second lead over Falzon, who has his hands full fending off challenges from Aaron Morris. That pair continually traded paint during the latter part of the opening lap and throughout the entire second lap and reeled in Ryan Taylor, who had slipped from a clear lead back down to sixth place in the space of a lap. Michael Blair crashed out of fourth place with eight laps to run.
Falzon then made his break, stretching out a full second from his pursuers, before a major moment allows him to fall back into the clutches of Morris, and Ryan Taylor who had discovered his second wind to pitch his hat back in the game.
As the mid-point of the ten-lap race approached Falzon and Morris broke away from their pursuers and were looking to make it a two man race for the win while Ryan Taylor, Michael Lockart and Chris Quinn tussled hard over third place.
That second group of riders had other ideas however, and as the laps wore on closed the gap to that leading duo back down to nothing.
Morris appeared to perhaps have the measure of Falzon, as the South Australian’s YZF-R6 tying itself in knots as Falzon pushed the bike harder than it was prepared to take. A big front end lose at Lukey Heights, and some major wiggle action out of turn three some of the protests from his Yamaha.
Chris Quinn took advantage of Falzon’s loss of composure to challenge and then take second place with two laps to run.
The battle stepped up another notch on the final lap as Quinn made his move on Morris, who retaliated and the pair traded places for the lead. Out of Siberia it was Morris but Quinn stayed right on his tail through the Hayshed, over Lukey and through turns 10 and was in the slipstream through 11 and 12…. Side by side across the line, the timing team called it for Morris by 0.099 of a second over Quinn. Daniel Falzon managed to hold off a last-lap challenge from Ryan Taylor to claim the final step on the rostrum.
Aaron Morris celebrated his hard won victory with a stylish mono on the Maxima Yamaha YZF-R6 on the cool down lap.
“I didn’t get the greatest start and worked out quickly that the track temperature had gone up a lot from the warmup which I knew would make things difficult,” said Morris.
“I hit the front on lap 4 or 5 and was able to stay around there for most of the race, I didn’t know Quinny (Chris Quinn) was coming up on me and was pretty stoked to come away with the win.
“I’m a lot happier that tomorrow’s race will be earlier and hopefully the track temperature will be down a bit.”
After the race Daniel Falzon’s pit crew found that their tyre pressure gauge was faulty and he started the race with the completely wrong pressures, this was the contributor to his handling problems during the race.
— Earlier — Friday — Maxwell takes pole position at Phillip Island
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell stamped his authority in ASBK during qualifying for this weekend’s World Superbike Championship event at Phillip Island today with a 1m33.695.
“It’s my first official qualifying session on the bike and I couldn’t ask for much more than to come away with P1 to start the year,” said Maxwell.
“I’m treating this as a testing weekend and trying to get a good feel for the Suzuki and make any adjustments I need to at a track I am familiar with.
“The Dunlop tyre is hanging in there over the duration and I’m doing a lot of my fast laps at the end of the sessions which is promising.
“The next step is to find a bit more feeling in the bike and I’m hoping to have come on leaps and bounds by the end of the weekend.”
Last year’s ProStock Champion Linden Magee showed that he may be a force to be reckoned in the Superbike category this year with a 1m33.766. With Magee riding on Pirelli tyres and proving competitive it could also signal that Pirelli might be in a position this season to impinge on the Dunlop dominance of the ASBK ranks.
Beau Beaton (34.04) was next best on the Racers Edge Suzuki ahead of CM Racing’s Chas Hern (34.47).
With the Superbike category not running for championship points this weekend, and Team Honda incumbents Jamie Stauffer and Josh Hook missing from the ASBK events due to wildcard entries in the headline events, the focus is somewhat more directed at the well subscribed ProStock category.
Matt Walters set a new ProStock qualifying record of 1m34.927 on the Rover Coaches sponsored Kawasaki Connections ZX-10R. Four-tenths of a second ahead of Glenn Scott on the Insuremyride Fireblade, the ex-Supersport competitor using this non-points scoring round for the Superbike class to get his head around the full Superbike spec’ Fireblade.
“The conditions weren’t ideal, it was pretty windy out there but we came in knowing we had the bike setup pretty well and this session verified that,” said Walters.
“Everything went to plan to day, hopefully I can stick with the leaders during the races and all my fitness work will pay off.”
Ben Nicolson piloted his BMW S 1000 RR to the seventh overall fastest time – second best of the ProStock competitors.
Aaron Morris topped a Yamaha triumvirate of YZF-R6 Supersport machines. The Maxima Yamaha pilot’s 37.18 ahead of Daniel Falzon (37.36) and early pacesetter Ryan Taylor (37.81).
“We started off the day struggling a bit and were down by around 0.7 of a second but put on a new set of tyres and went 1.5 seconds faster which I was ecstatic with,” said Falzon.
“The new surface is super smooth and it’s hard to get a lot of feeling in the front end, I think that’s why there were a few people crashing.
“There is lots of grip though and it gives you a lot of confidence, especially with the run off areas at turn 1 and 4.”
Superbike/Prostock*: W Maxwell (Suzuki) 1m33.695s 1, L Magee (BMW) 1m33.766s 2, B Beaton (Suzuki) 1m34.046s 3, C Hern (Suzuki) 1m34.476s 4, M Walters (Kawasaki) 1m34.927s 5*, G Scott (Honda) 1m35.386s 6, B Nicolson (BMW) 1m35.555s 7*, B Henry (Suzuki) 1m35.704s 8, D Goldsmith (Kawasaki) 1m35.798s 9*, A Christie (BMW) 1m36.348s 10*.
Supersport: A Morris (Yamaha) 1m37.183s 1, D Falzon (Yamaha) 1m37.369s 2, R Taylor (Yamaha) 1m37.818s 3, M Lockhart (Kawasaki) 1m37.960s 4, C Spriggs (Yamaha) 1m38.055s 5, A Wagner (Yamaha) 1m38.133s 6, M Blair (Yamaha) 1m38.188s 7, C Quinn (Yamaha) 1m38.247s 8, A Gobert (Kawasaki) 1m38.404s 9, L Burgess (Kawasaki) 1m38.559s 10.
Shawn Giles got the better of Beau Beaton in the opening Historics race of the weekend with a 4.16 second win over the Irving Vincent rider. Robbie Phillis rounded out the podium a further 23-seconds down on the leading duo.
Beau Beaton was determined to give Shawn Giles a hurry up in the second Historics bout but the Irving Vincent called it a day with three laps to run, leaving Giles with a 16-second lead over Michael Dibb.
A lap later Dibb also suffered problems and pulled into the pits, promoting Scott Webster in to second place ahead of Robert Ruwoldt.
In the closing laps Stuart Loly got the better of Ruwoldt for the final step on the podium ahead of Robert Cole, Ruwoldt and Craig Ditchburn.
— Yesterday…..ASBK gets underway at Phillip Island
— By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell was the first man to dip into 1m33s bracket today at Phillip Island, suggesting his move to Team Suzuki for season 2013 is not going to slow the Phillip Island specialist down. Maxwell set his 1m33.945 halfway through the 30-minute session, a full two-seconds faster at that point than next quickest rider Linden Magee (Dynotech Maxima BMW), the Queenslander stepping up to the Superbike category this year and helping bolster the Superbike field.
Team Honda’s Josh Hook and Jamie Stauffer absent from their domestic duties due to WSBK being a non-points scoring weekend for the premier category, the pair instead taking on the world in World Supersport and Superbike.
Previous Team Honda incumbent, Wayne Maxwell, whittled his way down to a 33.846 before the chequered flag signalled an end to the day’s proceedings.
Magee hustled the BMW around in a 35.034 to finish the opening SBK session in second place, Linden the sole BMW entrant in the ASBK category this weekend due to Glenn Allerton’s wildcard entry in the World Superbike class.
Chas Hern, mounted on a PTR prepared Suzuki GSX-R1000 in Superbike this year, recorded a 35.552, half-a-second ahead of Cube Racing’s Ben Henry (36.03) and Beau Beaton (36.09), that trio all GSX-R mounted this season.
Glenn Scott debuted his Insuremyride Honda Fireblade with sixth place in opening practice, six-tenths ahead of top ProStock runner Matt Walters, the Kawasaki pilot putting in a 36.90 to ease Phil Lovett out of top spot in the category.
Once upon a time ProStock would have been called the supporting act for Superbike but with ProStock numbers more than double that of the Superbike class, p it should perhaps be seen as the other way around in season 2013…?
Or should – as promoter IEG has been consistently pushing for only to be continually rebuffed and frustrated by the controlling body and other interests – the premier class should have moved to ProStock specification rules across the board…? Continually trying to keep the Superbike category alive on life support, while it parasitically sucks the life out of the series as a whole, seems total madness….?
The Supersport category this year has been incorporated with the Superstock category, but the technical rules now allow for more extensive (expensive) modifications than Superstock has previously allowed, thus the category is now perhaps closer to Supersport, a category that has been struggling for numbers in recent seasons, not just in Australia but around the world, rather than the seemingly more successful and less modified Superstock category machines.
Chris Quinn headed the Supersport field with a 1m39.565, just pipping Aaron Morris for top spot (39.65).
Michael Blair (39.73) and Callum Spriggs (40.25) completed the all-Yamaha top four ahead of Kawasaki’s Michael Lockart (40.47).
Sixth and seventh places also went to Yamaha men, Daniel Falzon (40.53) and Aiden Wagner (40.57).
New Zealand’s Alistair Hoogenboezem was the top Suzuki rider (40.73) ahead of Aaron Gobert (40.89) and Alex Phillis (41.29), both Kawasaki mounted and rounding out the Supersport top ten. Mackay Kawasaki’s Luke Burgess suffered from electrical gremlins in the opening session and will surely move up the order tomorrow.
The booming Historics category saw Beau Beaton sneak the delectable Irving Vincent ahead of the recently all-conquering Shawn Giles on the TBR/D&D Springwood Suzuki Katana. Beaton’s 36.461 narrowly eclipsing the 38.491 of Giles, setting up what could be a fantastic battle to thrill Phillip Island this weekend.
The fact that the Historic machines hold perhaps even more interest for spectators while stationary in the pits, compared to their also very impressive on track exploits, is a big reason for the success of the burgeoning Period 5 and Period 6 Historic categories.
It seems clear that the battle for the win will see Giles and Beaton go head-to-head, but the battle for the final spot on the podium will see the CB 1150 R mounted Michael Dibb (43.67) battle with GSX Suzuki mounted Laurie Fyffe (47.78), Moto Martin Suzuki pilot Scott Webster (49.15), Kawasaki Z runner Albert Tehennepe (50.37) and quickest two-stroke pilot Michael Teniswood (50.69) all try to put their boots on the rostrum.
A full schedule and entry list for the weekend can be downloaded from the link below. Stay tuned tohttps://www.mcnews.com.au for all the action from Phillip Island this weekend.