After a wet and treacherous start to Friday’s practice sessions, the fastest times were set in Practice Three. Goulburn’s local hero Herfoss, posted a 57.917 to set the fastest time of the for the YMI Superbike category. Not far behind was Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1) who posted a 57.921. Cru Halliday (Yamaha Finance, YZF-R1) was also impressive, with a lap time of 58.302.
Practice One featured a wet and greasy track, which had riders well off the pace to avoid crashing. The conditions improved with every practice session, with Practice Three yielding the most representative times.
Herfoss has been a Wakefield Park Raceway specialist in the past, and was pleased with the pace so far, adding; “For me it’s going well, the weather wasn’t ideal for the first session but we know we’re quite fast here, so we just have to make sure we’re fast over race distance. I got a 16 lap run which is almost a race distance. Now we’ll try to tune the bike up for qualifying.” Herfoss said.
Maxwell is hopeful that he can continue to improve to be competitive in potential wet conditions in the coming days “We are still learning. Every session we are improving and learning more about the tyre. We will just have to keep learning as we go. Hopefully we can get a bit more dry time before Sunday. Unfortunately the weather forecast doesn’t look like that for tomorrow, which means we might have to qualify in the rain.“
Halliday turned heads with his performance throughout the day by taking third place in the overall practice timesheets with his 58.302 time. Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecstar, GSX-R1000) and Bryan Staring (Honda, CBR-1000SP) rounded up the remaining top five spots.
Glenn Allerton (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1) crashed at the final corner during Practice Two, causing a red flag period. Allerton was taken to hospital with a devastating season dampener in the form of a broken arm as a result.
In Supersport, it was Sydney West Riders (Yamaha YZF-R6), Cambridge Olivier who posted a fastest lap of 1m01.110s on his circulation during the greasy 15-minute session, placing him .146 of a second in front of New South Welshman, Chris Quinn (Coopers HXR Yamaha YZF-R6) – now second in the Motul Supersport (SSP) category after Friday’s practice by the narrowest of margins.
In a show of just how close the SSP battle will be over the duration of this weekend’s racing, and speaking to the notoriety the ASBK now enjoys, Kiwi Damon Rees on his Tony Rees Motorcycles Honda (CBR- RR) was hot on the leader’s heels with an incredible best of 1:0345 in practice session three.
All eyes were on Goulburn local lad, Tommy Toparis (Cube Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R) who ended up in fourth after combined practice times were collated. Toparis also found the track to be slippery and treacherous during the first practice session. The Cube Racing Team rider managed fourth place in the Third Practice session of the Motul Supersport category with a 1:01.485 lap time.
“The first session was wet and greasy but drying at the same time, we got a few laps in the wet, in case it does rain for the race. The second practice session was solid and my times were pretty good. We just have a few things we have to sort out, hopefully I can qualify well and reset for the races.” Toparis stated.
Championship leader Mason Coote (YZF-R6) won Round One at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, finished 12th at the conclusion of day one.
Qualifying one (Q1) of the 2017 Motul Australian Supersport Championship is scheduled for 9:50am local time on Saturday, with Q2 due to take place at 1:55pm.
Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup
Jack Mahaffy (JDS Moto YZF-R3), took top honours overall in the YMF R3 Cup and the Over 300 category with a 1:08.316. Hunter Ford with a 1:08.429 and Tommy Edwards a 1:08.897 rounded up the top three.
Up To 300
On the back of his Phillip Island podium finish, Drew Sells (Race Center, Kawasaki EX-300) finished the Up To 300 category with a 1:08.839 ahead of Oli Bayliss (Kawasaki EX-300) with 1:09.174.
The introduction of the GP Juniors didn’t get off to an easy start as the riders had to brave the wet conditions of Practice One. Despite the track being slippery and wet the young riders were able to stay on their bikes. As the conditions improved the young riders were able to increase their pace.
Tommy Edwards (Yamaha Motor Australia) dominated the GP Juniors category, with his fastest time a 1:20.003 a full second and a half quicker than his closest challenger in Ben Baker with a 1:21.540.
For more information on the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli, head to www.asbk.com.au or like the ASBK on Facebook for live race results and to keep up do date with all the latest racing news this coming weekend.
Can’t make it to the track this weekend? Then make sure to watch ASBK action on free-to-air television, channel SBS 2pm-4pm AEDT or Live Stream asbk.com.au, 10am-5pm AEDT this Sunday.
2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship Presented by Motul Pirelli Calendar:
Round 2 Wakefield Park Raceway, NSW 17-19 March
Round 3 Winton Motor Raceway, VIC 28-30 April
Round 4 Hidden Valley Raceway, NT 7-9 July
Round 5 Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick, QLD 25-27 August
Round 6 SMP Eastern Creek, NSW 8-10 September
Round 7 Phillip Island Circuit, VIC 6-8 October