Swann FX-ASC Mallala 2015 Image Gallery E
Images by Damir Ivka & Trevor Hedge
Team Yamaha & Team Honda FX-ASC Mallala Reports
Maxwell Hands Yrt R1 Maiden ASC Victory At Mallala
YRT’s Wayne Maxwell stood on top of the podium after winning round two of the Australasian Superbike Championship, held at the Mallala circuit, in South Australia.
Swann FX-ASC Mallala Image Gallery DIn a weekend of close and intense racing, it was Maxwell that came out on top, giving the all new Yamaha R1 its first major round win on Australian soil and boosting the confidence of the entire YRT outfit.
Maxwell claimed the round win on the day but not without spirited competition from his rivals all weekend. His race results of 1-4-2 were a combination of impressive race speed and common sense race craft and were enough to give him the round win by four points over Jamie Stauffer.
Race one saw Maxwell in a fierce battle at the front of the field with Troy Herfoss which wasn’t settled until the closing stages when Herfoss ran wide in a turn and allowed Maxwell to ride comfortably to victory. Race two and Maxwell played it smart, settled into a comfortable fourth place before rebounding strongly in the final leg to challenge for the lead in the early going before going on to finish second and take the round win.
The Mallala victory now puts Maxwell in second place in the championship after two rounds and just six points from the championship leader.
“It was a good weekend and I’m stoked with the results we achieved. I felt pretty good right from the start of the weekend and had a good day on Saturday so I was confident that we could make a good go of it on Sunday,” Maxwell explains.
“With each ride of the new bike we gain a little bit of knowledge and comfort and I still feel there is room for improvement. The team has worked hard to get it to this level and to think this is only its second event and we have already had some success.
“Thank you to everyone in the YRT crew and hopefully this is the start of a very successful period with the new R1,” he ends.
Glenn Allerton also showed plenty of speed over the weekend and was in the hunt for a podium position despite taking a heavy fall during the Friday practice sessions. Allerton kicked off the day in good fashion taking second behind Maxwell, making it a Yamaha 1-2, but an eighth in race two damaged those podium aspirations. To his credit, he redeemed himself immediately with a third place in race three and his 2-8-3 results left him in fourth place and just shy of a round podium.
Allerton holds down third in the championship after two rounds.
“I’m happy with race one and race three, it was only race two that let me down. We were on a bit of a different tyre strategy to the other teams and I wasn’t able to generate the speed and comfort required with our used tyres but once we put the newer ones on for the final race, we were instantly back up to speed.
“But, like I feel like we are making progress and the race wins aren’t far away,” Allerton said.
Cru Halliday had a rare off weekend by his usual lofty standards and finished the day in seventh place. Halliday has proven to be a potential race winner over the past two seasons but he couldn’t quite find his mojo on the weekend and had to settle for 7-5-7 results. Halliday was forced to deal with every riders’ nightmare, arm pump, and beyond the half way point of each race, it was more a matter of survival than racing at 100%.
Despite the tough weekend, Halliday still sits in fourth place in the championship.
“It wasn’t one of my better weekends, that’s for sure. I just couldn’t get it going all weekend and struggled with arm pump all weekend. I have never had issues with my arms as bad as this before, so I’m not really sure what caused it. I think I will quickly put this one behind me and make sure I get back amongst it at the next round,” Halliday said.
“The weekend was good in general,” states Team Manager, John Redding. “Everyone has been working hard and to get some success at Mallala was a good reward for the team and the riders. We seem to be making ground each time on the bike and with a bike like the new R1, the potential is almost endless.
“I’m sure everyone will continue to keep at it and after two rounds, all three riders are well placed in the championship,” Redding signs off.
Round three of the Australasian Superbike Championship returns to Sydney Motorsport Park on June 26-28.
Troy Herfoss Maintains ASC Championship Lead
Team Honda Report
Success for Team Honda Racing at Round 2 of the Australasian Superbike Championship this weekend with #3 Troy Herfoss maintaining his points lead in style and #2 Jamie Stauffer making a conclusive comeback from injury to finish 2nd overall on both days.
The dynamic duo gave loyal Honda fans much to cheer about and with such a competitive field of racers there was never a dull moment. The Hondas of Herfoss and Stauffer qualified well on Friday to start from P2 and P3 on the grid respectively going into Saturday’s FX-Superbike races.
The racing was close all weekend on the unforgiving Mallala circuit and Herfoss looked set to win the first race of the event, leading comfortably for much of the race, until on lap 8 he ran wide and had to settle for 3rd place behind team mate Stauffer in 2nd.
Stauffer won Race 2 on Saturday and put any questions about his return from injury to bed. He was back. Herfoss finished Race 2 in 4th place, recording the fastest lap of the race, a 1:06.885 sec. The final race on Saturday saw Herfoss finish a close 2nd recording the fastest lap of the race again, a 1:06.787 sec on the penultimate lap. Stauffer finished in 4th place.
After a successful day of racing to open Round 2 of the ASC, Stauffer would line up in P2 and Herfoss in P3 on the grid for Sunday’s Swann Insurance Superbike program.
Sunday’s racing was equally as exciting, but even more successful for Team Honda Racing with #3 Herfoss and #2 Stauffer winning a race apiece.
Race 1 saw Herfoss lead off the start line, but an early pass from Maxwell saw him battling for the win. Herfoss reclaimed the lead in the latter stages of the race only to run wide and drop back to 4th across the line. Stauffer finished in 5th place.
Fresh tyres for both CBR1000RR SPs in Race 2 changed the outlook completely and both Honda riders made the most of it with Herfoss leading off the start line and Stauffer right behind him. The Hondas were 1 and 2 for most of Race 2 and Herfoss took the win in style. A late pass by Jones meant Stauffer had to settle for 3rd place, but still recorded the fastest lap of the race, a 1:06.503 sec.
The final race of the day belonged to #2 Jamie Stauffer who led from start to finish with Herfoss finishing in 4th place.
An action-packed weekend of racing culminated in Troy Herfoss maintaining his championship lead in both the FX-Superbike championship and the Swann Series. Herfoss is pleased with the final result, saying “Overall I had a good weekend and to hold on to the championship lead heading into Round 3 is great although there is still a lot of work to be done. The racing this weekend was tight and this circuit definitely doesn’t leave any room for error. I’m really happy with where we are headed with the bike and want to thank Shaun and Glenn for the hard work they are putting in to keep us on top. I am really looking forward to Round 3 at Sydney Motorsport Park being my home track and we’ll see if we can extend our lead in the championship.”
Stauffer’s return from injury and months off the bike was most impressive and his efforts have provided valuable points heading into Round 3. “I’m really happy with my weekend given the amount of time I’ve been off the bike. I have been working really hard during my recovery to make sure I could come back as close to 100% as possible and I really think I couldn’t have done any more this weekend. To do 6 races over the weekend, on a circuit that is extremely physical and come away 2nd overall on both days is a good outcome. Obviously, I would rather be winning every race, but realistically I am happy with where I stand.”
Also pleased with the weekend’s results is Team Principal, Paul Free. “I’m really pleased with our team and the results this weekend. Both riders were extremely competitive all weekend and this circuit really does separate the men from the boys being so technically and physically demanding. The lap times of both Hondas were consistent and fast and I think we showed that it isn’t always about power in racing. Jamie has proven his commitment to winning this weekend by coming back stronger than ever after his injury and Troy is taking the team into Round 3 with the championship lead after another strong performance. We have a fantastic team this year, they are a strong, cohesive unit and the Honda CBR1000RR SP is an exceptional package to work with. I can’t wait to get the guys back out on track in Sydney for Round 3.”
SA Kawasaki BC Performance Report
The final day of racing at the Mallala round of the Swann Insurance Australiasian Superbike Championship brought some brilliant results for the SA Kawasaki BCperformance team, with special mention to Paul Young for his sensational results. The sun was blazing, keeping everything nice and warm on track, giving rider’s wonderful grip once the tarmac warmed up. Some changes had been made to the operating procedures of the team prior to the race meeting at Mallala and courtesy of those changes, the team worked in perfect unison, making the entire operation significantly more efficient for all involved.
SA Kawasaki BCperformance superbike riders Ben Burke and Evan Byles had a great day out on track, with both putting in very solid performances all day long. Ben set a great time in race one, tussling with Cru Halliday and Matt Walters, eventually getting the better of both riders to come home in 6th. Race two had Ben caught in a three way battle for fifth but was unfortunately bested by both Cru Halliday and Sean Condon, coming home in 7th. Unfortunately Ben lost the front end at turn three during race three after what Ben described as a ‘Love touch’ by one of his fellow competitors, bringing his weekend to an unfortunate close. However, Ben said, “I was very pleased with my weekend’s racing. We were able to bridge the gap to the leading group and the developments the team made between rounds one and two have made the whole package much better. I’m now looking forward to round three with some more developments coming to help run with the leaders more consistently. I’d like to thank my sponsors for all of their support.” Evan had a similarly progressive weekend, working in well in race one and better his times again in race two. Race three saw Evan achieve his best result all weekend, scoring himself 10th place. Evan mentioned that, “I had a very enjoyable weekend at Mallala with lots of familiar faces and friends from years ago coming past the SA Kawasaki BCperformance garages to say hello. Kelvin and Kirsty worked together to improve the set-up of my Ninja ZX-10R throughout the weekend to improve my performance to a new personal best of 1:10. The team is settling into the new season well now with all our team members working well together to achieve the best results. A big thanks to the huge crowd and Terry and Gloria for the great event”.
The Supersport class brought some mixed results, with Kyle Buckley finishing strongly in race one to place 5th but unfortunately had a collision with another rider in race two, ending his race. Kyle was ok but the bike suffered relatively significant damage. However, the team mechanics worked quickly to rebuild the bike for the next race. Kyle managed to compete in race three and finished strongly in 9th, despite riding a bike with unmodified road suspension. Kyle summed things up with “I had an up and down day today, I was able to run a good first race and hang onto the lead group, finishing in 5th place. A front-end loss in race two left me with a DNF and a bike that was only just able to be repaired for race three. Phenomenal job by the team to get the bike going for the last race, allowing me to regain some points in the championship and I’m looking forward to round three!” Paul Young felt much better today despite his crash yesterday, managing to compete in the leading pack in all three races, finishing 7th, 4th and 6th. He regularly battled with Rick Olsen, Mitch Levy and Troy Guenther, with all four riders providing some very entertaining racing.
The three Ninja 300 Cup races provided the most entertaining racing of the day with Paul Young managing to score a clean sweep of wins. Two of the three races were red flagged, and as such restarted to form two-part races. Unfortunately, Di Jones was unable to race today but we look forward to her re-joining the team at the next round. Paul absolutely dominated the day, winning by 1.5sec in race one, 9.7sec in race two and 7sec in race three. Luke Burgess, Jack Dawes and Ben White were constantly nipping at Paul’s heels but his skill and experience enabled him to put plenty of distance between himself and his competitors. Paul put forward his thoughts on the weekend – “It was by no means an easy weekend and I doubted the wisdom of contesting two classes at times. But getting three wins on the 300 and some solid points on the 600 was a great result to come away with after almost getting wiped out of the event altogether on Saturday. I must admit I struggled for strength on the ZX-6R with Saturday’s injuries but the 300 Ninja was no problem. The real highlight of the weekend though was that the whole team seemed to really hit a high in terms of working as a well-gelled unit at Mallala, and that’s just as pleasing as the good results.”
Special mention must go to the circumstances under which Paul achieved these wins – he had been working in Germany prior to the event and only landed in Adelaide at 10pm on Friday night. His subsequent crash on Saturday earned him torn leathers, a large gash in his arm, a pile of stitches and more bruises than a week-old piece of fruit. Not only did Paul get back up and brush himself off, ready to race again, he did it with absolute courage and dignity, despite being horribly jet lagged. And after all that, he accepted his wins with absolute graciousness and congratulated his competitors on their own achievements. Paul absolutely deserves to be recognised for his efforts this weekend and we as a team, pay tribute to him and his efforts.
The team has now packed up and is on the long road back to Sydney where we will regroup and prepare the bikes for the next round at Sydney Motorsport Park in six weeks’ time. We’re all very much looking forward to the next round of racing but in the meantime, we’ll also be doing lots of testing and further preparation to ensure all the riders and bikes are in the best shape possible to compete for wins in their respective classes.
Brayden Elliott Report
Brayden Elliott has retained his Championship lead in the Supersport category following round two of the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship at South Australia’s Mallala Motorsport Park with a pair of podium results in both the AFX-SBK races on Saturday and Swann Series on Sunday, continuing Brayden’s impressive start to the year.
A late session dash by Brayden in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session saw him claim the second quickest time with a 1:09.327 on lap nine of eleven in the session, handing him a front row start for the first race of the weekend. The starting position for Elliott helped him go on to claim second, third and fourth in Saturday’s three races for the AFX-SBK Championship, subsequently taking second overall for the round and first in B-Grade. The results now also place Brayden in third for the outright Championship and first in B-Grade.
Another front row start for Sunday’s three races as part of the Swann Series for Brayden saw him claim the win in the first nine lap event, in addition to claiming the fastest lap of the race with a 1:08.959. Leading race two up until the penultimate corner, a mistake by the Tumut rider that forced his Hankook Tyres Suzuki GSX-R 600 into neutral which saw him leave the track, re-entering and crossing the finish line in seventh. A solid result in the third and final race of the weekend placed Brayden in second, with another fastest lap of the race. The result handed Elliott third outright for the round and first in B-Grade, thus retaining the lead in the series both in the overall standings and in B-Grade.
Brayden Elliott: “It’s been another very successful weekend for myself and the Hankook Tyres Suzuki GSX-R 600. With it only being my second time that I had competed at Mallala, I was very happy to come away with the results that I achieved, in particular, to retain the series lead in the Australasian Supersport Championship. The racing was intense right across the weekend and certainly tested me to my limits at times.”
“We had a good qualifying result and it certainly allowed us to focus on areas where we could improve further for the weekend’s races. To come away with second for the round in Saturday’s Championship was a good result and it set us up well for Sunday’s racing which was to be a critical focus considering I held the lead in the series coming into the weekend.”
“Taking the win in the first race on Sunday was a great feeling, though it was disappointing to have suffered the issue in race two, going into false neutral which forced me to finish seventh after holding the race lead up to the final couple of corners. Fighting back to take second in race three and another fastest lap of the race was a strong result for us. To continue to lead the Championship is an outstanding achievement and I’m really looking forward to the coming rounds and to be heading back to Sydney Motorsport Park for the next event which is a track I am beginning to gain a lot of experience on.”
Brayden’s next event is round three of the 2015 Australian Superbike Championship which takes place at Barbagallo Raceway, Western Australia from 22-24 May.