The Australian’s set the scene for what will be a weekend of racing to remember, as the Moto3/125 GP and Period 5/6 categories headed out for their first races for Round 1 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli.

In the Moto3/125 GP class, all eyes were on Suus Customs rider Matt Barton, who lined up in pole position after topping qualifying times. And when race one got underway, Barton moved in to the early lead, before entering a fierce one on one battle with Honda mounted Brian Houghton for the top spot.

Barton and Houghton take a Moto3 125GP race win each

After two laps, Houghton had secured the lead with only .342 of a second separating him from Barton, however the fight had only just begun – the pair putting on a show for the crowd, switching positions numerous times throughout the 10 lap race.

With the two front-runners busy going head to head for the lead, the battles were also happening behind them, with Tom Edwards, Lachlan Kavney and Locky Taylor all fighting for the third spot on the podium.

And when the chequered flag flew, it was Barton who took the first Moto3/125 GP race win of the 2016 ASBK Championship, ahead of Houghton who held on for second, while 14-year-old Edwards put in an outstanding effort to conclude race one in third.

When race two commenced for the Moto3/125 GP class Barton looked to back up the form he showcased this morning. However, when race two got underway it was Locky Taylor who led from Houghton, followed by race one winner Barton who slotted in to third.

With a clean sweep to fight for, Barton began his mission to the front of the pack, and after two laps, had passed both Houghton and Taylor for the race lead. His lead however was relatively short lived, as Houghton and Taylor both dug deep – Houghton moving in to the race lead, ahead of Taylor in second and Barton who had been relegated to third.

With only four laps remaining the top three switched positions again, Barton moving back in to the race lead, with Houghton and Taylor behind him, treating spectators to some final action on track, before the conclusion of racing today.

And it was no shock that by the time the last lap board was shown, positions had changed yet again, Houghton finding his way back in to the race lead, ahead of Barton and Taylor – Houghton fighting hard to hang on until the chequered flag.

And hang on he did – the Honda mounted rider securing the Moto3/125 GP race two win, ahead of race one winner Barton, who wrapped up the race in second, followed by Taylor who eventually crossed the finish line in third.  

Houghton shared his thoughts at the conclusion of the battle filled racing this afternoon.

“I feel great after today, it was excellent and we just have to maintain it now. It’s not easy when you’re maturing in your years, keeping fit and keeping the mind fit, it’s all a challenge in it’s self but it’s good – it’s keeping me young,” he said

“I enjoy the battles out there, it’s what I grew up with in England in the British Super Cup and the British Championship on the 125’s and I raced the British Championship in Motocross so it has been ‘all on’ for a long time.

“I retired 20 years ago and came over here from the UK, and a couple of years ago someone twisted my arm (not very hard) and I’m back doing it at the pointy end again – it’s really good fun so far.”

For the Period 5/6 class, the first race was unfortunately red flagged, and with strict time constraints this weekend the race was unable to be restarted.

When the class hit the track for the second time this afternoon, the Historics finally had the opportunity to get in to some racing, and at the conclusion of the six laps Yamaha TZ560 mounted Craig Ditchburn took the race win, ahead of Marty Craggill in second, while Dean Oughtred concluded the race in third.

 

Image – Andrew Gosling/tbgsport

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