A battle of the ages was witnessed at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for Round 1 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australia Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK).

Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda, CBR1000SP) won a YMI Superbike race that saw it all, spills, thrills and nail biting passing and just throw a re-start in there, as rain brought a stop to the original running of the race. Troy Bayliss (Desmosport Ducati, 1299 Panigale R FE) came ever so close to pulling of the fairytale comeback, but came up just short in second place.

Race 1 Superbike Podium - Waters, Herfoss, Bayliss

Race 1 Superbike Podium – Waters, Herfoss, Bayliss – Image by TBG Sport

The start of the race was eventful as they come with Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, GSX-R1000R) maintaining the lead and Bayliss dropping through the field. Glenn Allerton (NextGen Motorsports, BMWS1000RR) was an early casualty in the first lap, with a crash.

Yamaha Racing Teammates had an early battle, with Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1M) overtaking Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1M) down Gardner straight to move into second position.

Despite his less than ideal start, Bayliss was slicing his way through the field, overtaking Bryan Staring (Kawasaki BCperformance, ZX-10R) and Falzon to move into third. Maxwell crashed out halfway through the race, with rain drops pouring around the circuit.

A red flag flew after just six laps due to rainfall, causing a restart. The race was declared wet and the battle was back on. Once it did get back underway, fireworks erupted at the front.

Herfoss and Bayliss - Image by TBG Sport

Herfoss and Bayliss – Image by TBG Sport

At the re-start, Waters now led from Bayliss, Falzon and Staring. It didn’t take long however for Bayliss to hit the front and lead, with Waters struggling for pace. This left an almighty scrap to occur between Bayliss, Falzon, Herfoss, Staring, Waters, Aaron Morris (Maxima Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R1), Alex Phillis (Phillis Racing, Suzuki GSXR1000R) and Walters.

Despite Maxwell re-joining the race, he soon had to pull into the pits and retire after he gambled on wet tyres.

On the final lap, Bayliss had the lead but was overtaken by Herfoss who then held on to take the checkered flag. Second was Bayliss, followed by Waters, Falzon and Morris.

ASBK could not have had a better YMI Superbike race to start the season. If this first race is anything to go by, season 2018 could be anyone’s game!

Herfoss saying after the race; “One thing I’ve learned over the years is that anything can happen during a race weekend. When we all went into pit-lane, I assumed the race would be called. I’ve been in this situation before though and kept calm. I was coming through the field in the rain and it allowed me to judge the grip levels well. The last few laps would have been very exciting for the crowd.”

YMI Superbike Race One Provisional Results

  1. Troy HERFOSS (Penrite Honda, Honda CBR1000SP)
  2. Troy BAYLISS (Desmosport Ducati, Ducati Panigale FE)
  3. Josh WATERS (Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia, Suzuki GSX-R1000R)
  4. Bryan STARING (BC Performance, Kawasaki ZX-10R)
  5. Daniel FALZON (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1)
  6. Aaron MORRIS (Maxima Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R1)
  7. Alex PHILLIS (Phillis Racing, Suzuki GSX-R1000R)
  8. Michael BLAIR (Gosford Classic Car Museum, Yamaha YZF-R1)
  9. Matt WALTERS (Swann Insurance Superbike, Kawasaki ZX-10)
  10. Mark CHIODO (Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia, Suzuki GSX-R1000R)

‘Torpedo’ Toparis Back on the Winner’s Board for Australian Supersport

Tom Toparis (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R) has claimed the first Australian Supersport win of the 2018 season at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

The victory setting him up for a big year on-board his Kawasaki machine for the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK). The result was nothing short of impressive, with a 6.454s gap to his nearest challenger.

Toparis led the Supersport - Image by TBG Sport

Toparis led the Supersport – Image by TBG Sport

In the opening stages of the race, Toparis went from fifth on the grid, to the lead and built a significant gap, followed by Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R6), Broc Pearson (Yamaha, YZF-R6) and Max Croker (Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R1000).

As the race began to settle, Toparis cleared off into the distance, with Halliday further behind and Croker managing to get past Pearson quickly. The top three (Toparis, Halliday, Croker) maintained positions until the checkered flag.

Toparis commented; “Despite not getting the best start off the line, I managed to take the lead very quickly. Got a gap and managed it to the end. There’s no way you can write Cru off however. It’s just great to get solid points to start the year and big thanks to the Cube Racing Team.”

Halliday shared his thoughts after taking second; “I’m a little disappointed by the race. We had a minor issue throughout the race. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.”

Croker was very pleased with his debut under the tutelage of Mat Mladin. Croker sharing; “It’s a fantastic result and probably one of my hardest rides ever. We have stepped up from the 300’s for this season and I’m feeling very comfortable with the Supersport bike. The team has been working very hard, after we had a few issues in qualifying, but we managed to get them sorted for the race.”

Fourth-placed Giuseppe Scarcella (BCPerformance Junior Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) enjoyed his return to ASBK competition. The top five was rounded out by pole sitter Pearson.

Two more Australian Supersport races will take place on Sunday at 10:55am and 17:05pm local time, during the opening round of 2018 ASBK.

Australian Supersport Race One Provisional Top Ten

  1. Tom TOPARIS (Cube Racing, Kawasaki) ZX-6R
  2. Cru HALLIDAY (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R6)
  3. Max CROKER (Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R1000)
  4. Giuseppe SCARCELLA (BCPerformance Junior Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R)
  5. Broc PEARSON (Yamaha, YZF-R6)
  6. Brendan CLARKE (Champions Ride Days Race Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R)
  7. Scott NICHOLSON (NextGen Motorsports, Suzuki GSX-R)
  8. Damon REES (Carl Cox Motorsports, Honda CBR1000RR)
  9. Aidan HAYES (Cube Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R)
  10. Rhys BELLING (VIC) / LXI Racing Yamaha YZF-R6)

Bayliss and Bramich Split the Wins at Phillip Island in Australian Supersport 300

Two tightly-contested Australian Supersport 300 Championship races had spectators on the edge of their seats today at Phillip Island, for Round 1 of the 2018 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK).

Bayliss and Bramich dominate the Supersport 300 - Image by TBG Sport

Bayliss and Bramich dominate the Supersport 300 – Image by TBG Sport

Harry Khouri (Yamaha, Acid Racing) started both races from pole position. Race one was taken out by Oliver Bayliss (Kawasaki,Cube Racing) who look set to take out Race Two before Tom Bramich (Yamaha,JLT) passed him on the last lap to take the win.

Race One

In this morning’s opening affair, Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing, Kawasaki Ninja 300) inched to an incredible .356s victory over Khouri.

The battle for the front running positions were immense with five riders finishing within .611s of each other as they crossed the finish line down Gardner Straight. Zac Levy (Puma RV’S, YZF-R3 ) attempted to challenge Bayliss for the lead, but lost the front coming down Lukey Heights in a last-ditch effort to take the victory.

Bayliss took the checkered flag, followed by Khouri, Locky Taylor (Yamaha, LTR Racing), Tom Bramich (Yamaha, JLT, YZF-R3), Hunter Ford (Yamaha South Sydney Commercial, YZ-R3) and Levy who managed to remount to collect valuable points.

Bayliss was cool and methodical, managing to strike at the right moment on the final lap.

Young Bayliss commenting; “I’m very happy to have won that race after yesterday’s terrible day. It all came down to the start and making my way through the pack.”

Race One Australian Supersport 300 Result:

  1. Oliver BAYLISS (Kawasaki,Cube Racing) Ninja 300
  2. Harry KHOURI (Yamaha, Acid Racing) YZF-R3
  3. Locky TAYLOR (Yamaha, LTR Racing) YZF-R3
  4. Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha, JLT) YZF-R3
  5. Hunter FORD (Yamaha South Sydney Commercial, YZ-R3)
  6. Zac LEVY (Yamaha, Puma RV’S) YZF-R3
  7. Seth CRUMP (KTM Rock Oil,RC 390) 1:52.152
  8. Jarred BROOK (KTM Australia) KTM RC 390
  9. Ben BRAMICH (KTM, GOWMoto) KTM RC 390
  10. Laura BROWN (Yamaha, WNR) YZF-R3

Race Two

Race two saw Bramich take victory, in an epic battle with Bayliss that saw the pair go back and fourth in the lead, before Bramich made his move with only meters to spare on the final straight.

It looked set for a copy of race one with an intense battle occurring at the front. However, Seth Crump (KTM Rock Oil, RC 390), Ford and Levy went down at Lukey Heights halfway through the race (Crump failing to rejoin the race) causing the race to be stagnated at the front. That left Bramich and Bayliss to duke it out between the two with a significant gap behind them.

Supersport 300 Race 2 - Image by TBG Sport

Supersport 300 Race 2 – Image by TBG Sport

It looked on the last lap that Bayliss had the advantage leading until Gardner Straight. Bramich managed to bide his time however and overtake Bayliss on the last lap. Only .020s separated the two at the finish line.

Bramich saying; “Really great race, it took me awhile to even realise that Oli and I had such a gap on third place. The battle with Oli was great! I was just trying to watch my tachometer to make sure I didn’t over rev the bike or change gear too early. Luckily we managed to pull off the overtake.”

Bayliss was still optimistic despite missing out on the Race Two victory; “It’s still a great result. Considering how bad our Friday went, we really managed to turn it around. I knew Tom was behind me heading into Gardner straight and he managed to get the slipstream right. It bothers me to miss out on the win but Tom deserved it with that ride.”

Completing the top five was Khouri, Taylor and Levy.

Race Two Results Supersport 300:

  1. Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha,JLT) YZF-R3
  2. Oliver BAYLISS (Kawasaki,Cube Racing) Ninja 300
  3. Harry KHOURI (Yamaha, Acid Racing) YZF-R3
  4. Locky TAYLOR (Yamaha, LTR Racing) YZF-R3
  5. Zac LEVY (Yamaha, Puma RV’S) YZF-R3
  6. Jarred BROOK (KTM Australia) KTM RC 390
  7. Ben BRAMICH (KTM, GOWMoto) KTM RC 390
  8. Corey BRIFFA (KTM RC 390)
  9. Callum O’BRIEN (Yamaha, BANHAMS WA) YZF-R3
  10. Dylan WHITESIDE (Urban Kawasaki) Ninja 300

The third and final Australian Supersport 300 Championship race is scheduled for 16:05pm on Sunday afternoon, which will determine the overall winner of this weekend’s opening round of the 2018 season.

YMF R3 Cup Wide Open after Saturday’s Racing

Two races took place today for the YMF R3 Cup, effectively bookending Saturday’s preceding’s for the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK).

YMF R3 Cup - Image by TBG Sport

YMF R3 Cup – Image by TBG Sport

Taking victory in Race One was Tom Bramich (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3) before pole setter Hunter Ford (Ford Brothers Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3) bounced back in Race Two to claim victory.

Race One

Taking the lead into turn one was Bramich, followed by Ford and Harry Khouri (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3). By the second lap, Bramich had a one second advantage and it was clear from the outset he was comfortable in the damp conditions and trying to put a gap between himself and the competition.

Max Stauffer (Chris Watson Motorcycles, Yamaha YZF-R3) was also starting to make an impression to move himself into the podium position.

By the time there was five laps to go, Bramich had amassed a huge lead of six seconds. Constantly in the 1:54’s to decimate the competition. The best anyone else could achieve was in the 1:56’s by the mid-stage of the race.

As the competitors raced down to the finish line, Bramich collected a special win with a 10.860s gap over the pole man Ford.

Stauffer looked on course for a podium placing, but was pipped to the line by the charging Zac Levy (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3). Rounding out the top five was Callum O’Brien (BANHAMS WA, Yamaha YZF-R3).

Bramich explained his strategy; “It was always the plan to try and make a break for it at the start. It was actually more wet out there than I thought it was going to be. We took risks in the opening stages of the race to try and build that gap. I knew everyone else would be hesitant in the damp. We still have plenty of races to go, so we’ll have to keep it on two wheels.”

YMF R3 Cup Race One Provisional Results

  1. Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  2. Hunter FORD (Ford Brothers Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  3. Zac LEVY (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  4. Max STAUFFER (Chris Watson Motorcycles, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  5. Callum O’BRIEN (BANHAMS WA, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  6. Locky TAYLOR (LTR Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  7. Ross BEAMES (Yamaha YZF-R3)
  8. Harry KHOURI (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  9. Travis HALL (Yamaha YZF-R3)
  10. Tayla RELPH (North Star Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3)

Race Two

Starting from pole, Ford didn’t have it all his own way in Race Two of the YMF R3 Cup with only just over a second separating Ford in first and Taylor in fifth position. Ford battled up front with Bramich, Levy, Khouri and Taylor.

The five riders at the front of the pack swapped positions throughout the exciting eight-lap race, and the race wasn’t decided until the final seconds, as Ford snatched the victory.

Stauffer, O’Brien, Laura Brown (WNR, Yamaha YZF-R3), Hall and John Lytras (Yamaha YZF-R3) rounded out the top 10, in what is looking like being a hotly contested championship in 2018.

The final Round 1 race for the YMF R3 Cup will take place at 8:55am tomorrow morning, and with Ford and Bramich both claiming race wins, the overall is well and truly up for grabs in Race Three.

YMF R3 Cup Race Two Provisional Results:

  1. Hunter FORD (Ford Brothers Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  2. Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3
  3. Zac LEVY (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  4. Harry KHOURI (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  5. Locky TAYLOR (LTR Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  6. Max STAUFFER (Chris Watson Motorcycles, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  7. Callum O’BRIEN (BANHAMS WA, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  8. Laura Brown (WNR, Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3)
  9. Travis HALL (Yamaha YZF-R3)
  10. John LYTRAS (Yamaha YZF-R3)

2018 ASBK Calendar

  • Round 1- WSBK, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC February 22 – 25
  • Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
  • Official ASBK Test, The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 3-4
  • Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
  • Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
  • Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
  • Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
  • Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14
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