Troy Herfoss tops Friday practice at Morgan Park

Troy Herfoss topped the timesheets from Crankt Protein Honda today at Morgan Park to start his weekend in the best possible fashion as he aims to claw points back on series leader Wayne Maxwell and Glen Allerton after Maxwell took the series lead at Wanneroo two months ago.

ASBK 2016 -Morgan Park - Troy Herfoss - Image by Keith Muir
ASBK 2016 -Morgan Park – Troy Herfoss – Image by Keith Muir

That current points gap between Herfoss and Maxwell is 18-points but with two races this weekend, and then the two final races at Winton in October, there are still 102 points up for grabs and the competition is wide open.

ASBK 2016 -Morgan Park - Wayne Maxwell - Image by Keith Muir
ASBK 2016 -Morgan Park – Wayne Maxwell – Image by Keith Muir

Wayne Maxwell  was 0.278 of a second slower than Herfoss.

Cru Halliday had topped the morning session despite a fall.

ASBK 2016 -Morgan Park - Cru Halliday - Image by TBG
ASBK 2016 -Morgan Park – Cru Halliday – Image by TBG

Troy Herfoss was nice enough to give Halliday a lift back to the pits on the back of the Crankt Protein Honda Fireblade SP.

ASBK 2016 -Morgan Park - Cru Halliday - Image by TBG
ASBK 2016 -Morgan Park – Cru Halliday – Image by TBG

Daniel Falzon had a good day on the JD Racing YZF-R1 to finish the first day of practice fourth quickest, a tenth ahead of Glenn Allerton and Jamie Stauffer. Falzon was also fastest through the speed trap at 230km/h in the final session, but little separated the entire field in the top speed stakes, the slowest bike in the top ten was the Honda of Jamie Stauffer at 225km/h.

Brayden Elliott was the fastest Suzuki rider, his 1m15.63 enough for seventh quickest.

Mike Jones had a disastrous round at Wakefield Park and his day started in a similarly poor fashion here on his home turf this morning. Jones had bounced back strongly from the disappointment of Wakefield with race one victory at Wanneroo. But gremlins again struck the DesmSport Ducati this morning, preventing Jones from successfully completing a single lap in the first or second session. Jones put in 17 laps in the final 25-minute session to end the day eighth on the timesheets.

Kiwi compatriots Sloan Frost and Ryan Hampton rounded out the top ten on the NextGen Motorsport Suzuki GSX-R1000s.

2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship
Round Four – Morgan Park – Friday Practice – Combined Times
  1. Troy Herfoss Honda 1m14.59
  2. Wayne Maxwell Yamaha 1m14.87
  3. Cru Halliday Yamaha 1m14.96
  4. Daniel Falzon Yamaha 1m15.09
  5. Glenn Allerton Yamaha 1m15.20
  6. Jamie Stauffer Honda 1m15.26
  7. Brayden Elliott Suzuki 1m15.63
  8. Mike Jones Ducati 1m16.51
  9. Sloan Frost Suzuki 1n17.04
  10. Ryan Hampton 1m17.48
  11. Brenton Hyde 1m18.41
  12. Adam Senior 1m18.66
  13. Ryan Yanko Honda 1m18.95
  14. Brendan Schmidt 1m20.98
  15. Luke Cooper 1m21.71
  16. Peter Berry 1m21.84
2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship
ASBK Championship Standings after Round four
  1. Wayne Maxwell 176
  2. Glenn Allerton  171
  3. Troy Herfoss 158
  4. Mike Jones 137
  5. Ben Burke 114
  6. Cru Halliday 106
  7. Daniel Falzon  103
  8. Brayden Elliott 91
  9. Jamie Stauffer 84
  10. Matt Walters 73

Motul Supersport

A field of 18 Motul Supersport riders took to the track for their first practice session at Morgan Park this morning, and from the minute bikes hit the circuit there was a competitive edge in the air. It took no time at all for Banham WA Racing’s Sam Clarke to find his feet – after only three laps the Kawasaki rider posted a 1:18.907 lap time that appeared unable to be beaten. But at the 14 lap mark, it was JNL Racing’s Luke Mitchell who topped the times with a 1:17.742, a time which wasn’t matched for the remainder of the session.

In the second practice session for the Motul Supersport competitors today, Mitchell once again cemented himself as a round five contender. By lap six, the Yamaha rider had posted the top time and looked certain to remain there. But in the second session, Clarke was looking for an edge, and by lap 11, he found it, recording the fastest time on track with a cracking 1:16.954. Mitchell wrapped up the second practice with a 1:17.216, while Graffiti Alley Racing’s Troy Guenther finished with the third fastest lap (1:17.906).

With the track cooling, by the time Supersport riders headed out for their third and final practice, it was a race for competitors to find grip and put down their fastest times. And there was plenty of action in the final practice of the day. With Clarke once again setting the fastest time with a 1:17.247 lap, Mitchell was determined to chase him down. However, a crash in turn three in the closing stages of the session impeded Mitchell’s charge – the JNL Racing rider forced to leave the track in the hands of Racesafe. With the final session red flagged and declared at the 20-minute mark, Clarke finished fastest with his 1:17.247 lap, followed by Guenther (1:17.285), and Mitchell whose earlier time saw him finish third fastest. Despite all of the action in the final session, Clarke’s flying 1:16.954 time from this morning remains unbeaten.

Honda Moto 3/125 GP

The Honda Moto 3/125GP class competitors relished in the fresh track conditions at Morgan Park Raceway this morning, and it was the local rider Tayla Relph (Tayla Relph Racing) who topped the times in the first practice session of the day with a 1:26.020, while youngster Locky Taylor finished with a 1:27.220.

In the second session, riders were treated to sunny conditions, with the Morgan Park surface hitting 37.2 degrees Celsius. This time it was current Honda Moto3 points leader Brian Houghton who was fastest on track with an improved lap time of 1:23.239, while Relph was only slightly off Houghton’s pace with a 1:24.353. Tommy Edwards was third fastest on track in the second practice session, wrapping up with a 1:24.939. Taylor and Sarah Fairbrother recorded the fourth and fifth fastest times respectively.

When the Honda Moto 3/125 GP bikes headed out for their final practice session, all eyes were on the local favorites Relph and Taylor who were tipped to be quick during the final outing of the day. Despite Relph setting the early fastest time, it was Edwards who shot to the top of the time sheets at the very end of the session (lap 9), posting a 1:23.280 time, while Houghton wrapped up the last practice in second (1:23.445) followed by Relph who was third fastest with her time on lap three (1:23.624). Despite Edward’s form in the final session, Houghton’s time from the second practice could not be beaten in the three sessions on the Morgan Park circuit today.

Akrapovic Production

In the newly supported Akrapovic Production class, it only took six laps for Race Centre’s Drew Sells to shoot to the top of the Up to 300cc Production class times (1:30.484) during the opening practice session this morning, while Kawasaki’s Sam Condon was only just off the pace recording a 1:31.265 lap time. In the over 300cc Production category, Yamaha R3 mounted Brandon Demmery was quickest in the class, and third fastest on track with a 1:31.491.

In the second practice session for the Akrapovic Production class, Kawasaki mounted Up to 300cc rider Tom Toparis improved on this morning’s times to finish quickest on track with a 1:26.784, while Demmery also improved his speed finishing with the second fastest time, a 1:28.896. Third fastest on track was Alderson (1:29.092), while this morning’s fastest rider Sells concluded the session with the fourth fastest lap time (1:29.333).

In the final Production class practice this afternoon, Race Centre’s Sells returned to the top once again, posting not only the fastest Up to 300cc Production time, but the quickest time on track during the session with a 1:27.786 – however was not quite able to match that of Toparis’ lap in practice two. Over 300cc rider Demmery was also fast in the third practice session recording a 1:28.372 on lap seven, while Sam Condon wrapped up the Production class’s time on track today, by making further improvements recording a 1:28.569.

YMF R3 Cup

The YMF supported R3 Cup returned to the ASBK today, with competitors having their first opportunity to hit the track for their practice session ahead of racing alongside the championship once again tomorrow. At the conclusion of first practice this morning, Puma RV’s Motorsport Team rider Zac Levy emerged as the early man to beat with a 1:30.582 lap time, followed by YRD’s Callum Alderson (1:31535) and Hunter Ford who was hot on his tail in the lap times chase.

When the second practice session kicked off for the YMF R3 Cup competitors, the track had heated up considerably from this morning’s session, meaning riders were able to push the limits and drive down the lap times. Yamaha’s Alderson was the man to beat in practice two, wrapping up the session with a 1:28.362, nearly a whole second quicker than his closest competitor Levy who concluded the session with a 1:29.315 lap time. Ford once again was slightly off the pace with his fastest lap being recorded on lap six (1:30.957).

In the third and final practice session this afternoon, YRD’s Alderson was once again leaps and bounds in front of his competitors, bettering his time from the second practice to wrap up the session at the top of the time sheets with a 1:28.244. Second quickest on track was Yamaha’s Aiden Hayes (1:30.237) while Ford was third fastest on track this afternoon with a 1:30.540 lap time.

Ricondi Club Challenge Formula 3 & 4

In the first practice session for the Club Challenge Formula 3 & 4 class, Suzuki SV 650 mounted Mark Gordon was fastest on track with a flying 1:30.171 lap time, while Aprilia rider Matt Edwards was second quickest this morning with a 1:33.491. The third fastest rider was that of Michael Cullen aboard his Honda CBR 250 machine who rounded out the session with a 1:35.114 lap time.

In the second practice for the Club Challenge riders, a number of ASBK regulars also took part, switching up the times yet again. Honda mounted Anthony Carroll took things up a notch posting the fastest time with a 1:28.106, while regular Production rider Sam Condon was second fastest on track (1:28.759), followed by the morning’s fastest rider Gordon who wrapped up the second session with a 1:30.439.

In the final practice session for the Club Challenge Formula 3 & 4 category, Kawasaki EX 300 mounted Condon went close, but wasn’t able to top the lap time Carroll posted during the second practice session – Condon wrapping up the final practice with a 1:28.144. Second quickest was fellow Kawasaki rider Reid Battye (1:30.400), while Honda mounted Simon Dixon wrapped up the top three final times with a 1:30.474.

With ASBK practice sessions done and dusted, competitors and teams will now prepare for qualifying and racing at Round 5 of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli at Morgan Park, which kicks off tomorrow.