Zac Levy takes victory in Supersport 300 Race Three at Phillip Island
Tom Edwards wins overall round and leads 300 Supersport Championship
After two nail-biting Supersport 300 races on Saturday that saw Reid Battye and Tom Edwards share the wins and it was again this young pair of combatants heading towards turn one side-by-side to start the third and final eight-lap bout for the tiddlers.
Tom Edwards had the early advantage but Zac Levy then put his nose in front and led the field around the back of the track while Jack Mahaffy and Reid Battye gave chase. Billy Van Eerde had started strongly on the KTM RC390 and was engaged in battle with Jack Passfield for track position.
Next time across the stripe it was Jack Mahaffy and Tom Edwards side-by-side just ahead of Zac Levy and Reid Battye, absolutely nothing separating that leading quartet while Van Eerde got a good entry to turn one to also join on the back of that group. It was Battye on a charge though with a 1m51.032 on that first flying lap, that’s quicker than most road riders ever manage on their 1000cc sportsbikes!
Side-by-side at the line at the end of lap three was Edwards and Mahaffy while Jack Passfield was the new fastest man on the circuit, 1m50.715 to move up to third place ahead of Drew Sells, who had joined that party.
Billy Van Eerde got a much better run through turns 11 and 12 the next time around, tagging right on to the back of Edwards and Mahaffy and putting in his fastest lap of the race thus far, a 1m50.967. Reid Battye was still right there as was Jack Passfield, Drew Sells and Zac Levy, not much more than a second covering that entire top seven at half race distance.
Tom Edwards then dropped the hammer and managed to stretch away to the tune of a few bike lengths around the back of the circuit and the next time down the chute, Battye, Van Eeerde, Levy and Passfield were four-wide just ahead of Mahaffy and Sells.
Things closed up right up again on the next lap, half-a-second covered Edwards, Passfield, Van Eerde and Levy with 1.5 laps to run as Billy Van Eerde stuck his nose in front for the first time, albeit momentarily. The entire top six had dipped into the 1m50s bracket with Mahaffy the new pacesetter with a 1m50.552 on the third from final lap. Mahaffy was the only rider in the 1m50s on the penultimate lap as he battled for the race lead with Tom Edwards as Jack Passfield lined both of them up on the final lap of the circuit.
Battye went from fourth to second late on the final lap then the order shuffled so much that I could not keep track of it, the best run through turns 11 and 12 though was rendered by Zac Levy, the Yamaha rider making it three different winners from the three opening 300 Supersport races for 2017.
Jack Mahaffy score second place ahead of Tom Edwards while despite setting a new 1m50.402 lap record on the final circuit Reid Battye was edged off the podium.
Jack Passfield claimed fifth place as Billy Van Eerde was tripped up late on that final lap to lose touch with the leaders on the KTM.
“I didn’t end up with the win today, but I did win overall this weekend and I couldn’t ask for any more really. It was such close and tight racing between the front guys and my bike was feeling amazing too! I really enjoyed racing here with these guys at Phillip Island. I can’t wait for the next round!”
“It was an early race start this morning, which was awesome. The race was so tight it was unbelievable. I scored lap record! But P2 for me is a fantastic way to start up the 2017 championship and I am just so happy with the way it all turned out today!”
“It was a good race and I managed to stick it out with the boys. Unfortunately, in laps 5 or 6 I lost a little ground through Siberia. We’re stoked with how the last race went because we’ve been having troubles all weekend, but the guys have given me an awesome podium proven package that will be a really fierce contender coming into round two at Wakefield.”
Australian Supersport 300 Race Three Results
Zac Levy / Yamaha
Jack Mahaffy +0.514 / Yamaha
Tom Edwards +0.548 / Kawasaki
Reid Battye +0.575 / Kawasaki
Jack Passfield +0.633 / Yamaha
Billy Van Eerde +3.621 / KTM
Drew Sells +8.002 / Kawasaki
Laura Brown +12.360 / Kawasaki
Scott Nicholson +14.827 / Kawasaki
Tom Bramich +15.167 / Yamaha
Max Croker +15.177 / KTM
Oli Bayliss +15.299 / Kawasaki
Ty Lynch +16.011 / Yamaha
Yannis Shaw +16.673 / Kawasaki
Corey Briffa +16.894 / Yamaha
Zackary Johnson +16.963 / Kawasaki
Luke Sanders +17.097 / Kawasaki
Ben Bramich +17.332 / Yamaha
Brandon Demmery +31.414 / Yamaha
Lewis Wright +31.677 / Kawasaki
Jarred Brook +32.142 / KTM
Tyler Ferrari +32.199 / Kawasaki
Ryan Taylor +32.230 / Yamaha
Mark Ferrari +32.863 / Kawasaki
Locky Taylor +33.117 / Kawasaki
Hunter Ford +48.334 / Yamaha
Grace Poutch +52.955 / Kawasaki
Bronson Joel Pickett +53.204 / Kawasaki
Jonah Sita +56.108 / Yamaha
Peter Nerlich +56.245 / Kawasaki
Supersport 300 Championship Standings
As for the championship standings after this ripper opening round there are two championships within this class, ‘Over 300cc’ comprising machines such as the 321cc twin-cylinder Yamaha YZF-R3, and the 373cc of the single-cylinder KTM RC390. Then there is an ‘Up to 300cc’ category which is primarily comprised by a brace of 296cc Kawasaki Ninja 300 machines.
Tom Edwards, Reid Battye and Drew Sells the stand-out riders of the weekend as that pair amassed the highest results despite riding the lower capacity Kawasaki.
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