Wayne Maxwell takes ASBK Superpole at SMP
Superbike report By Trevor Hedge
Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell was in ominous form this afternoon at Sydney Motorsports Park during the 10-minute Superpole session held in warm conditions at the 3.93km circuit.
Wayne Maxwell took pole with a 1m29.905, three-tenths quicker than YRT teammate Glenn Allerton. The real danger sign for Maxwell’s competitors though is that the 33-year-old put in three laps quicker than any other rider. In what was only a five-lap session that is some shot across the bows of the ASBK top runners ahead of Sunday’s two 12-lap races.
That race distance surprisingly short for an ASBK round, as there are only two races for the premier category. Presumably the almost 30-strong field, where a couple of the slower riders are almost ten-seconds slower than the pole time, made organisers keep the races short to try and reduce problems due to lapped traffic. As it stands, at the pace displayed today the top runners are highly like to lap the last few bikes in the field, despite the short 12-lap race distance.
Glenn Allerton also looks strong, as does DesmoSport Ducati’s Mike Jones.
Crankt Protein Honda’s Troy Herfoss will be looking to find some speed tomorrow as the 28-year-old will start from the head of the second row. Herfoss will also perhaps be doing a rain dance ahead of tomorrow, as on current forecasts we are heading for 5-10mm of rain here on Sunday. Rain is expected to arrive around 0300 Sunday, it is then forecast to back off through the morning, before rain is expected to fall again around midday, just as the Superbike runners will be preparing for their first bout…
Cru Halliday was a further half-a-second off Herfoss, and 1.25-seconds behind Maxwell. That will be deeply troubling the 27-year-old ahead of tomorrow.
Daniel Falzon was the last rider to qualify for the Superpole session but the South Australian did not leave his pit bay, instead choosing to sit the session out safely, his position on the second row already secured, and thus he had little to gain.
Matt Walters will start from seventh on the grid ahead of the injured Jamie Stauffer.
Michael Blair and Ben Burke round out the top ten ahead of Brayden Elliott.
When the Motul Supersport machines headed out for their first qualifying session, it was anyone’s guess who was going to top the times. With a pole position and the Pirelli Superpole award up for grabs, Cambridge Olivier managed to lay down the fastest time of the session with a 1:43.176 lap.
Yamaha mounted Troy Guenther, and current championship leader pushed his machine throughout qualifying, concluding with the second fastest lap after 20 minutes (1:34.196). Cube Racing’s Callum Spriggs rounded out the top three times with a 1:34.405 lap time around the Sydney Motorsport Park circuit.
When the Motul Supersport class headed out for their second and final qualifying session, all eyes were on Olivier. With another 20 minutes on the clock to post the fastest time, the pressure was on. However it was Mitchell who managed to post a time of 1:34.489 followed by Spriggs with a lap time of 1:34.551. Rounding out the top three times for the second session saw Sam Clarke finish with a 1:34.705 lap time.
When the times were combined it was Olivier who remained fastest for the day with a 1:34.176 lap time and claiming the Pirelli Superpole Award at the conclusion of both sessions, while Guenther took second and Spriggs was just behind with a 1:34.405 lap time in third.
“We went into Q1 and we were quite fast, and coming into Q2 the track wasn’t as grippy, and I saw that no one was improving on their times from the first session,” he said.
“I didn’t want to push too hard if I didn’t have to, and I especially didn’t want to throw the bike down the track, so I am very happy with first position.
“It’s a great feeling heading into tomorrow’s racing in P1. Tomorrow’s weather looks like there may be some rain, I have had good results in the past in the wet and hopefully we can back it up tomorrow,” Olivier concluded.
Both the Motul Supersport and Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike classes will once again battle it out tomorrow, when racing commences for Round 3 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Honda Moto 3/125GP
Braving the cool track conditions this morning it was the Honda Moto 3/125GP competitors who laid down the rubber in their opening practice session, young Tom Edwards managing the fastest time, prior to the first qualifying session for the class commencing.
When the Honda Moto 3/125GP competitors faced the Sydney Motorsport track for their qualifying sessions, it was once again Edwards who showcased his raw speed, concluding both qualifying one and two, at the top of the time sheets with the fastest lap of 1:40.164. Brian Houghton, current Moto3/125GP championship point’s leader, was unable to catch Edwards, wrapping up qualifying with a 1:40.878 lap. Tayla Relph managed her fastest time in qualifying one, finishing in third with a fastest lap time of 1:41.136.
It was young Locky Taylor who got a monumental jump, and shot out to the lead and in to the the first corner as the opening race of the weekend got underway.
However, Edwards managed to pass Taylor, and left the door open for Relph to slip through, relegating Taylor to third, when the pack came on to the front straight. By lap two, there was healthy gap developing between the eager competitors, with Edwards out in front with a 5.5 second gap on second placed Relph.
By the half way mark of the race it looked as though the position’s were decided, however the race was quickly tuned up side down, when young Edwards crashed at turn two, and was unable to re-join the field. Relph was then able to take advantage of Edward’s misfortune, moving in to first position where she stayed for the remainder of the race. The lady of the moment then went on to cross the finish line in first place, while second place was taken by Taylor, and Ben Leonard concluded race one in third position.
The Over 300 Production, Under 300 production and Women’s classes were the first bikes on track today at Round 3 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli. And when their first practice session of the day wrapped up this morning, Brandon Demmery appeared to have carried his form from Round 2, into SMP after setting the quickest pace on track.
After the opening practice session, the Production class then focused their attention on two qualifying sessions, which saw a total of 26 riders hit the track, who were all vying for the quickest times. At the conclusion of both qualifying 1 and 2 Demmery just couldn’t be beaten, with a lap time of 1:47.302. Aiden Hayes wrapped up the sessions just behind Yamaha mounted Demmery with a 1:48.011 lap time, while Ty Lynch snatched up third position with a concluding lap time of 1:48.461.
With Demmery starting from pole position in the first Production race for the weekend, the pressure was on, as the tight knit group charged off the grid and into the first corner.
However, by the second lap it was Callum Alderson who managed to slot himself into first ahead of Demmery, with Hayes also managing to make the move on the Yamaha rider, relegating Demmery to third and slotting himself in second. But the positions didn’t remain for long, as the top six riders battled it out in the 8-lap race, with the fight for the number on position well and truly alive.
By the half way point in the race, the positions had changed yet again, with Demmery reclaiming the front position but locked in to a neck and neck battle with Alderson, while Drew Sells managed to find his way through the pack to slot in to third. Jack Davies also snuck through the traffic into fourth, while Hayes and Lynch rounded out fifth and sixth places respectively.
The battling six riders kept spectators on their feet, as they approached the closing stages of their first race for the weekend. The pressure mounted for Davies in fourth, who eventually crashed on the last lap forcing him to lose valuable positions. Demmery then went on to stream to the finish line on his Yamaha machine, taking the opening race win just ahead of Alderson in second, who was only inches off first place. Sells also managed a strong race finish, in third while Hayes wrapped up race one for the Production class in fourth.
YMF R3 Cup
With the first round jitters out of the way for the all new YMF R3 Cup, competitors headed out for their first practice session at Sydney Motorsport Park, where Aiden Hayes proved his dominance ahead of the first qualifying session with the top time in practice.
When the first qualifying session got underway for the YMF R3 Cup competitors, Zec Levy managed to redeem himself after this morning’s tough practice session, finishing fastest with a 1:48.881 lap time. Callum Alderson narrowly missed out on the top position, finishing only .235 seconds behind Levy in second, while Hayes finished third with a 1:49.593 lap time.
With the battles between the YMF R3 Cup competitors growing, the second qualifying session saw a change in the standings. Alderson managed to knock Levy from the pole position, launching his Yamaha machine around the track to post a 1:48.129 lap time. Levy then sat in a comfortable second (1:48.881), while Hayes remained strong in third at the conclusion of the second qualifying session with a 1:49.850 lap time.
When racing kicked off this afternoon for the YMF R3 Cup class, it was Alderson who remained on top, as he led the pack around the first corner. Alderson wasn’t without pressure, as Levy stuck close behind and was determined not to let Alderson out of his sights. The number 37 machine of Jack Mahaffy rounded out the top three, followed closely behind by Ty Lynch, Michael King and Aiden Hayes in fourth, fifth and sixth positions.
With positions remaining relatively unchanged throughout the race it wasn’t until lap six, that the battling front pair went toe to toe, which eventually saw Levy snatch the top spot from a hard charging Alderson. Mahaffay also swapped positions with Lynch which relegated him to fourth, while Hayes sat behind in fifth position.
However, Alderson was determined not to finish today without a victory, manoeuvring his machine around Levy to cross the finish line in first place at the conclusion of race one. Levy managed to hold on to finish in second position, while Mahaffy fought to also make a last minute move on Hayes to finish in third. Hayes and Lynch then finished race one in fourth and fifth places respectively.
When the Club Challenge bikes hit the track this afternoon, the changing conditions proved difficult to manage and not long after racing got under way, a crash forced the race to be red-flagged. When the race was re-started, the Club Challenge class was reduced to five laps.
When racing eventually got underway, it was Colin Lewis who manouvered his way to the front, and then went on to take the opening Club Challenge Class victory. Second place was awarded to Simon Rees, followed by Robbie Tesoriero who crossed the finish line in third.