Yamaha and Troy Guenther celebrate Supersport Championship victory

Troy Guenther and the Graffiti Alley Team celebrate victory in the 2016 Australian Supersport Championship
Troy Guenther and the Graffiti Alley Team celebrate victory in the 2016 Australian Supersport Championship

18-year old Troy Guenther snared his first national road racing championship in the Motul Australian Supersport Championship at the grand finale of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Winton Motor Raceway on the weekend.

The YRD supported rider from Woodford, Queensland, went into the final round eight points behind the championship leader and came out of the other end of the equation with an eight point advantage and the championship cup thanks to a 1-2 result.

ASBK Morgan Park - Image by Trevor Hedge - Troy Guenther
ASBK Morgan Park – Image by Trevor Hedge – Troy Guenther

Race one saw Guenther sitting in third place for most of the race behind fellow YRD supported rider Luke Mitchell (JNL Racing). It wasn’t until lap seven he pulled the pin and got by Mitchell and then set about hunting fellow Queenslander Callum Spriggs.

ASBK 2016 - Winton - Image by Keith Muir - Callum Spriggs leads Luke Mitchell
ASBK 2016 – Winton – Image by Keith Muir – Callum Spriggs leads Luke Mitchell

With two laps to run Guenther got by Spriggs under brakes into turn one. In the end Guenther went on to claim the race win by 1.818sec, beating Mitchell who got by Spriggs on the last lap.

ASBK 2016 - Winton - Image by Keith Muir - Callum Spriggs leads Troy Guenther
ASBK 2016 – Winton – Image by Keith Muir – Callum Spriggs leads Troy Guenther

With Guenther scoring 25-points and his nearest rival scoring sixteen, it gave Guenther a slender one point championship lead heading into the final race of the season.

The championship fight went right down to the very wire between Guenther and Sam Clarke. The pair battled it out for seven laps until the last corner on the last lap which saw Clarke making a mistake allowing Guenther to go onto take the championship.

ASBK 2016 - Winton - Image by Keith Muir - Luke Mitchell leads Sam Clarke and Troy Guenther
ASBK 2016 – Winton – Image by Keith Muir – Luke Mitchell leads Sam Clarke and Troy Guenther

“To get a result like today is a surreal feeling and it hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Guenther who had a difficult start to the weekend in the wet conditions on Friday.

“The team worked hard and we managed to bounce back yesterday in qualifying. This championship wouldn’t be possible without all the hard work from my team and the support from everyone. This year has been really incredible. Words can’t describe it right now.”

ASBK 2016 - Winton - Image by Keith Muir - Troy Guenther leads Sam Clarke
ASBK 2016 – Winton – Image by Keith Muir – Troy Guenther leads Sam Clarke

Luke Mitchell finished third on the weekend with his 2-3 results which consolidated his third place in the title fight.

Mitchell’s weekend started alright on Friday. He was a bit off the pace, but he built up speed in the wet which was a good confident builder for him and his team.

Troy Guenther leads Luke Mitchell at WInton Motor Raceway
Troy Guenther leads Luke Mitchell at WInton Motor Raceway

“Its massive credit to the JNL Racing team as they got the Yamaha R6 working really well,” said Mitchell at after race two. “We finally had dry conditions on late Saturday afternoon, so I knew what I could do in the dry. I just missed out on pole position, which was a bit disappointing as I knew I had the speed for that.”

In race one Mitchell admitted that he no answer for Guenther and explained that he simply went past him like an express train.

“Troy deserved that race win for sure.”

“In race two when Callum checked out, I used all my grip to try and catch him and I wasn’t making any inroads. Credit to both Sam and Troy as they were both riding with a lot of heart there in the end, so well done to them on the championship. We’ll regroup and look towards next year. I’m going to be ready for next year, so bring it on,” concluded Mitchell.

The next best placed YRD supported rider was Race Center’s, Nic Liminton, who scored a solid fourth place overall.

Liminton, who strung together a 4-5 result expressed that it was good to finish the year on a positive note with his best result in qualifying and finishing fourth for the round.

“We have made huge gains through the year and have identified my strengths and weaknesses and can’t wait to start pre-season testing in anticipation for next year,” said Liminton.

RTR by Moto Obsession’s Ryan Taylor and Thomas Bryden were the next best YRD rider’s home, finishing in seventh and eighth place respectfully.

YRD team manager, John Redding was delighted to see another championship trophy in Yamaha hands.

“Congratulations to Troy and his team on a fantastic effort in winning this years’ Supersport Championship. It went all the way down to the final race and it was a tremendous effort to get the job done considering he came into the final round eight points behind.

“Thank you to all our YRD supported riders on another successful year. We look forward to continuing again in 2017 and building on Yamaha’s step up program that is in use around the world,” Redding ends. 

ASBK Motul Supersport 2016 Final Championship Points Standings
  1. Troy Guenther 239
  2. Sam Clarke 231
  3. Luke Mitchell 218
  4. Callum Spriggs 196.5
  5. Ted Collins 146.5
  6. Nic Liminton 145.5
  7. Ben Blyth 138.5
  8. Robbie Menzies 120
  9. Chris Quinn 110
  10. Mark Chiodo 81.5
Troy Guenther - 2016 Motul ASBK Supersport Champion
Troy Guenther – 2016 Motul ASBK Supersport Champion
Motul Supersport Race Two – Winton
  1. Callum Spriggs
  2. Troy Guenther +1.49
  3. Luke Mitchell +7.90
  4. Ted Collins +9.14
  5. Nic Liminton +11.53
  6. Ryan Taylor +19.67
  7. Cambridge Olivier +23.83
  8. Sam Clarke +27.26
  9. Thomas Bryden +27.51
  10. Brad Shaw +32.27
Troy Guenther - 2016 Motul ASBK Supersport Champion
Troy Guenther – 2016 Motul ASBK Supersport Champion
Motul Supersport Race One – Winton
  1. Troy Guenther
  2. Luke Mitchell +1.81
  3. Callum Spriggs +2.30
  4. Nic Liminton +12.95
  5. Sam Clarke +13.14
  6. Ted Collins +13.56
  7. Thomas Bryden +19.68
  8. Ryan Taylor +22.98
  9. Robbie Menzies +23.14
  10. Brad Shaw +31.01
Troy Guenther - 2016 Motul ASBK Supersport Champion
Troy Guenther – 2016 Motul ASBK Supersport Champion