Defending champ quickest in QP1 at ASBK decider

2017 ASBK content brought to you by Dunlop Motorcycle Tyres
YMF ASBK 2017 – Round Seven – Phillip Island

The opening 30-minute qualifying session for the deciding round of the 2017 Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike category got underway at 1050 this morning under sunny skies at Phillip Island. While the track was dry, and ambient temperatures in the high teens, there was still some wind gusts to keep riders on their toes as they negotiated the high speed snaking ribbon of blacktop that is the iconic Phillip Island circuit.

Daniel Falzon - Image by Half Light
Daniel Falzon – Image by Half Light

Conditions are predicted to remain about the same all day, however, rain is forecast for tomorrow, with the predicted heaviest falls due to drop around 1500 Sunday afternoon. With the scheduled start of the second and championship deciding Superbike race slated for 1520, a front row qualifying position will be vital in order to stay out of the spray early on in the race if that deluge arrives on time tomorrow. Let alone, of course, the absolutely vital single championship point awarded to the fastest qualifying rider here today. 

Robbie Bugden - Image by TBG
Robbie Bugden – Image by TBG

While the circuit itself is fast, very fast, the 4.45km layout is not as much of a horsepower circuit as the high speeds might suggest. A horsepower advantage can most certainly be an advantage when it comes to duelling mid-race, and trying to get the upper hand over an opponent, however, when it comes to lap times quite often we see bikes with less outright horsepower lap faster than machines with a clear top speed advantage. We saw that demonstrated very clearly here a few years ago when Wayne Maxwell was on the Fireblade SP at MotoGP, while Glenn Allerton was on the NextGen BMW. Allerton was repeatedly 21km/h faster than Maxwell down the chute, which at 300km/h must translate to a 40+ horsepower advantage, but Maxwell hustled the Honda around here 1.2-seconds quicker than Allerton could manage here that weekend… 

This season of course both Wayne Maxwell and Glenn Allerton find themselves aboard YRT YZF-R1 machinery, that has no shortage of top speed.

Wayne Maxwell - Image by TBG
Wayne Maxwell – Image by TBG

Over at Team Honda, this weekend marks the first competitive outing of the new Fireblade SP2 here at Phillip Island. Both Staring and Herfoss were clocked at 286km/h at the speed trap yesterday which certainly puts them in the ballpark. The Suzuki of Josh Waters registered 290km/h in FP3 yesterday while the Apex Civil backed YZF-R1 of Alex Phillis topped the speed charts in that session at 299km/h. 

Daniel Falzon was obviously keen to get plenty of laps in early on in the session and was the first man in the 33s this morning, a 1m33.990 on his eighth lap before returning to the pits for tweaks to the JD Racing YZF-R1. The South Australian the early pacesetter in this session ahead of defending champion and current points leader Troy Herfoss.

Daniel Falzon - Image by Half Light
Daniel Falzon – Image by Half Light

Bryan Staring and Wayne Maxwell did not join the circuit until the session was well into it’s second half and Maxwell immediately shot to the top of the charts with a 1m33.242. Herfoss crossed the stripe shortly after on his first real dip at a fast time and was less than a tenth-of-a-second off Maxwell. 

Wayne Maxwell - Image by Half Light
Wayne Maxwell – Image by Half Light

With six-minutes remaining in the session it was most certainly game on. Fastest sectors were flashing up repeatedly on the timing boards, but it was Troy Herfoss the first man in the 32s this weekend, a 1m32.851 on Honda’s new SP2 Fireblade topping the charts with five minutes remaining. 

Troy Herfoss - Image by Half Light
Troy Herfoss – Image by Half Light

Maxwell then put in a quickest first sector but lost time around the back of the circuit, still improving his time to 33.201 but that was not good enough to knock Herfoss out of top spot. Let’s try again… Next time around Maxwell again quickest at the first split, up by 0.153, but again lost a couple of tenths in the next sectors and this time failed to improve. The YRT man then returned to pitlane, his challenge done for this session.

Thus Troy Herfoss sits on provisional pole with that scorching 1m32.851 ahead of Maxwell.

Troy Herfoss - Image by Half Light
Troy Herfoss – Image by Half Light

Team Suzuki’s Josh Waters third quickest and the second Crankt Protein Honda piloted Bryan Staring finished the session in fourth place, half-a-second ahead of Daniel Falzon.

Josh Waters - Image by TBG
Josh Waters – Image by TBG

Glenn Allerton was sixth quickest on the second of the YRT machines just ahead of Josh Hook who managed to hustle the Craig McMartin prepared Ducati Panigale R around the circuit in 1m34.416.

Glenn Allerton - Image by Half Light
Glenn Allerton – Image by Half Light

Matt Walters the fastest of the Kawasaki men today while championship contender Robbie Bugden languished in 16th place, despite putting in a hefty 16-laps in the 30-minute session, the most of any rider.

Robbie Bugden - Image by Half Light
Robbie Bugden – Image by Half Light

Bugden wrecked one of his BCperformance Kawasaki machines yesterday in an incident which also saw teammate Kyle Buckley go down. The number of laps that Bugden put in this morning suggests that he and the team were working on a long run to gauge tyre life. They were not present here testing early last week, unlike most of the top championship challengers, thus they lack that vital set-up data compared to their championship combatants. Clearly that 1m35.897 is no real gauge of Bugden’s potential tomorrow. Another ingredient that should not be dismissed is that with wet weather predicted tomorrow, most riders rate the Dunlop wets perhaps a little superior to the Pirelli options, and Bugden will race on Dunlops…

Robbie Bugden - Image by TBG
Robbie Bugden – Image by TBG

Final qualifying is scheduled to take place at 1440 this afternoon. The top contenders will be absolutely desperate to secure the quickest time today, that single championship point could likely end up being the deciding factor in who is crowned YMI Australian Superbike Champion for 2017…

YMI Superbike First Qualifying Times

  1. Troy Herfoss – 1m32.851 – Honda
  2. Wayne Maxwell – 1m33.201 – Yamaha
  3. Josh Waters – 1m33.370 – Suzuki
  4. Bryan Staring – 1m33.461 – Honda
  5. Daniel Falzon – 1m33.959 – Yamaha
  6. Glenn Allerton – 1m33.963 – Yamaha
  7. Josh Hook – 1m34.146 – Ducati
  8. Matt Walters – 1m34.479 – Kawasaki
  9. Alex Phillis – 1m34.482 – Yamaha
  10. Cru Halliday – 1m34.578 – Yamaha
  11. Michael Blair – 1m34.946 – Yamaha
  12. Corey Turner – 1m35.013 – Ducati
  13. Beau Beaton – 1m35.341 – Ducati
  14. Mitch Levy – 1m35.416 – Yamaha
  15. Ted Collins – 1m35.656 – BMW
  16. Robbie Bugden – 1m35.897 – Kawasaki
  17. Jed Metcher – 1m35.898 – Yamaha
  18. Sloan Frost – 1m35.944 – Suzuki
  19. Aiden Coote – 1m36.803 – Kawasaki
  20. Adam Senior – 1m37.741 – Yamaha
  21. David Barker – 1m38.110 – Kawasaki
  22. Kyle Buckley – 1m39.177 – Kawasaki
  23. Ben Stronach – 1m39.322 – Yamaha
  24. Trent Gibson – 1m39.542 – Suzuki
  25. Brendan McIntyre – 1m39.797 – Suzuki
  26. Matt Barton – 1m40.534 – Honda
  27. Scott McGregor – 1m40.622 – Yamaha
  28. Keith Harrison – 1m46.397 – Kawasaki
Bryan Staring - Image by Half Light
Bryan Staring – Image by Half Light

YMI Superbike Championship Standings

  1. Troy Herfoss 226
  2. Josh Waters 220
  3. Wayne Maxwell 211
  4. Robbie Bugden 201
  5. Daniel Falzon 188
  6. Cru Halliday 183
  7. Bryan Staring 151
  8. Corey Turner 138
  9. Mitch Levy 119
  10. Michael Blair 114
  11. Beau Beaton 111
  12. Glenn Allerton 96
  13. Troy Guenther 88
  14. Josh Hook 87
  15. Kyle Buckley 83

Supersport 600

Tom Toparis topped the opening qualifying for the Supersport 600 category this morning at Phillip Island. The Goulburn teenager only completing six lap in the session and it was his final circuit that credited him with provisional pole at 1m35.871, a very impressive time but two-tenths shy of his best from yesterday. 

Tom Toparis - Image by Half Light
Tom Toparis – Image by Half Light

Mark Chiodo was second quickest and the triple-cylinder 675 Triumph clocked the fastest register through the speed trap at 260km/h. While Chiodo was seven-tenths of a second slower than Toparis, he had more than double that advantage over third placed Mason Coote.

Mason Coote - Image by Half Light
Mason Coote – Image by Half Light

On this morning’s qualifying form it looks as though tomorrow’s 2 x 10-lap races might be lonely affairs for the youngsters, with the real battle looking to be for the final step on the rostrum and likely to be fought out between Coote, Taylor, Condon, Hayes, Quinn, Carlsson and New Zealander Mitch Rees. 

Supersport 600 First Qualifying Times

  1. Tom Toparis – 1m35.871 – Kawasaki
  2. Mark Chiodo – 1m36.587 – Triumph
  3. Mason Coote – 1m38.179 – Yamaha
  4. Ryan Taylor – 1m38.367 – Yamaha
  5. Sam Condon – 1m38.622 – Yamaha
  6. Aidan Hayes – 1m38.633 – Kawasaki
  7. Chris Quinn – 1m38.678 – Yamaha
  8. Jordan Carlsson – 1m38.784 – Yamaha
  9. Mitch Rees – 1m38.838 – Honda
  10. Rhys Belling – 1m39.337 – Yamaha
  11. Sam Muldoon – 1m40.147 – Kawasaki
  12. Mick Hefferan – 1m40.563 – Kawasaki
  13. Cambridge Olivier – 1m41.110 – Yamaha
  14. Ryan Sellen – 1m41.546 – Kawasaki
  15. Jake Pruiti – 1m41.801 – Kawasaki
  16. Brian Houghton – 1m41.854 – Honda
  17. Patrick Li – 1m42.550 – Kawasaki

Supersport 300 First Qualifying Times

Tom Edwards - Image by TBG
Tom Edwards – Image by TBG
  1. Tom Edwards – 1m48.821 – Yamaha
  2. Max Croker – 1m49.183 – KTM
  3. Reid Battye – 1m50.080 – Kawasaki
  4. Tom Bramich – 1m50.441 – Yamaha
  5. Jack Mahaffy – 1m50.598 – Yamaha
  6. Oli Bayliss – 1m50.641 – Kawasaki
  7. Zac Levy – 1m50.676 – Yamaha
  8. Ty Lynch – 1m50.713 – Yamaha
  9. Billy Van Eerde – 1m50.782 – KTM
  10. Yanni Shaw – 1m50.842 – Kawasaki
  11. Locky Taylor – 1m50.971 – Yamaha
  12. Broc Pearson – 1m51.256 – Yamaha
  13. Rogan Chandler – 1m51.521 – Yamaha
  14. Jarred Brook – 1m51.612 – KTM
  15. Scott Nicholson – 1m51.765 – Kawasaki
  16. Hunter Ford – 1m52.498 – Yamaha
  17. Brandon Demmery – 1m52.498 – Yamaha
  18. Seth Crump – 1m52.628 – KTM
  19. Peter Nerlich – 1m52.629 – Kawasaki
  20. Dan Thomas – 1m52.933 – Yamaha

Moto3 / 125 GP First Qualifying Times

  1. Joel Kelso – 1m43.775
  2. Dylan Whiteside – 1m44.142
  3. Dallas Skeer – 1m49.783
  4. Taran Ocean – 1m50.943 – 125
  5. Matt Barton – 1m51.078
  6. David Doughty – 1m53.333 – 125
  7. Dave Manson – 1m54.685 – 125
  8. Mark Laing-Hughes – 1m56.565 – 125
  9. Peter McFarlane – 1m57.585 – 125
  10. Nick Reagon – 2m02.769 – 125
  11. Nick Mathias – 2m02.937 – 125
  12. John Stafford – 2m03.455 – 125
  13. Scott Topping – 2m07.641 – 125
  14. Daniel Sherwood – 2m09.188 – 125
  15. Ian Hughes – 2m12.099 – 125
  16. Mark DeJong – 2m22.633 – 125
  17. Jeremy Huddlestone – 2m30.517 – 125

YMF R3 Cup First Qualifying Times

Jack Mahaffy - Image by TBG
Jack Mahaffy – Image by TBG
  1. Jack Mahaffy 1m50.837
  2. Tommy Edwards 1m50.870
  3. Locky Taylor 1m52.881
  4. Ty Lynch 1m53.227
  5. Ben Bramich 1m53.305
  6. Dan Thomas 1m53.829
  7. Troy Ryan 1m54.385
  8. Jack Passfield 1m54.392
  9. Tayla Relph 1m54.531
  10. Seth Crump 1m54.835
  11. Ross Beames 1m54.913
  12. Jonah Sita 1m55.102
  13. Laura Brown 1m55.685
  14. Harry Khouri 1m56.024
  15. Andrew Hannan 1m56.558
  16. Boyd Hocking 1m57.777
  17. Callum O’Brien 1m57.600
  18. Jake Brett 1m59.572
  19. Jonathon Henderson 2m00.117