Hunter Ford was the quickest of the 300cc Supersport riders this morning after dipping in the 2m11s ahead of Olly Simpson, Ben Baker and Oli Bayliss.
Perhaps nothing underlined just how small a factor outright horsepower plays in deciding a fast lap time here more than Cru Halliday’s 1m57.493 in the second Supersport session of this morning. Less than two-seconds off the best Superbike time so far today, and that time good enough to have placed him in the Superbike top ten…
Halliday punted the new YZF-R6 to the fastest 600cc Supersport time of the morning well clear of second placed Tom Toparis while Zac Johnson was also a star of the morning, despite a hefty tumble for the 18-year-old from Jam Jerrup near Phillip Island.
The track has started to clean up more today, again we have been kissed by the weather gods with clear skies and negligible wind to stir up the sand and dust.
With their riders now having an idea which way the circuit goes the teams are now also starting to dedicate time in working towards a suspension set-up. This is paying great dividends in regards to tyre life, which some teams are now starting to get a bit of a handle on. Yesterday a new rear tyre was barely good for two laps, that has improved markedly today as set-ups start to get dialled in. Still, for those have not started to arrive at a decent set-up and Pirelli have completely run out of SC0 rubber. That is no slight on Pirelli, as Bryan Staring was the leading runner on Dunlops throughout the first two rounds of the season, but obviously has major woes here, the Western Australian languishing outside the top 15 on the timesheets and five-seconds off the pace!
Troy Herfoss topped proceedings yesterday and was again quickest in the opening session this morning.
Wayne Maxwell was the first man to drop in to the 1m55s this morning, a 1m55.521 on the fourth of his eight laps in that session.
Herfoss responded though to make the new benchmark of 1m55.398.
The second practice session of today was red flagged before anybody had even managed to get a flying lap in. Matt Harding had gone down softly at turn 13 but him and his machine were in a dangerous position so the session was temporarily halted. They were quickly back down to business but only two laps later there was a red flag stoppage yet again, this time it was David Barker down at the same spot. A short delay again to clear rider and machine before the session was underway again at 1140 (SA Time), with a track temperature of 33-degrees and a pleasant ambient of 21-degrees.
As soon as the riders were into putting flying laps together it was immediately obvious much progress was being made. Herfoss, Waters, Maxwell and Falzon all quickly into the 1m55s and the Honda man again atop the charts, knocking on the door of the first 54 with a 55.010.
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