After posting the quickest Yamaha Motor Insurance (YMI) Superbike time in free practice two earlier this afternoon, Falzon got straight down to business in the single 15 minute qualifying session at the 4.445km Victorian venue and clocked a 1m32.742s on lap two. It was a benchmark that was never topped.
“I’m speechless, really!” Falzon beamed after securing a career-first ASBK pole. “We managed to get our first pole position in the premier Superbike category and it’s a credit to everyone involved. We’ve worked so well in the off-season. I can’t believe we set a lap-time in the 32s, and not just in the 32s, but a 32.7s! Thank you to all of my supporters. We’re going to live this one up!”
Behind him came 2010 ASBK champion Bryan Staring (Crankt Protein Honda Racing CBR1000RR SP) in his return to the series.
Bryan said; "I had an interesting lead up into the first round in getting here. My boys did such a fantastic job the preparation on the bike, and I'm really glad that I could do what I've been trying to do in testing. I must say a big 'thank you' to my team for that. I was really glad to get a clear run without anything in my road. I am happy with the result".
Starring finished 0.392s from pole, while 2013 title winner Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1) completes the front row after edging out defending Champion Troy Herfoss (Crankt Protein Honda Racing, CBR1000RR SP). All four set times within 0.478s of each other.
Yamaha Racing Team's Wayne Maxwell said; "The bike over the run feels good and I have a lot more confidence than I had before. We have good race pace, better than we've had on our previous tyre. I can't wait to get out there to see what we can do over the race distance!" Maxwell finished.
Fifth on the grid will be triple Champion - 2008, 2011 and 2014 - Glenn Allerton (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1), but over a second in arrears of Falzon, who in turn leads Robbie Bugden (Kawasaki BC Performance ZX-10R), 2009,2012 Champion Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-R1000), Beau Beaton (Racer’s Edge Performance Ducati 1199), top rookie Mitch Levy (ATR Landbridge Trasport YZF-R1) and Matt Walters (Swann Insurance ZX-10R).
A total of 39 bikes will take to the grid in the YMI Superbikes at round one of seven, boasting an incredible assortment of eight different manufacturers to commence what’s shaping up to be a historic 2017 season.
The lights are scheduled to go out on race one of the 2017 ASBK championship at 9:15am local time on Saturday at Phillip Island, alongside the Yamaha Finance round of the Motul Superbike World Championship. There will be three 12 lap YMI Superbike races contested across the weekend.
Live timing and results can be found here
Keep up to date with all things ASBK by visting the ASBK Facebook Page and Website for all the current news, results and media.