Josh Waters Storms to ASBK Phillip Island Pole
Reigning YMI Superbike Champion, Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, GSX-R1000R) will start his title defence from the front of the grid, at the opening race of the 2018 ASBK Championship. Smashing his way to the top-spot in qualifying at Phillip Island today, in wet conditions.
The YMI Superbike riders were greeted to an already wet track, but conditions began to take a usual Island turn with rainfall increasing steadily. That didn’t stop a battle ensuing between the classes’ elite riders for the number one grid slot.
The ‘rain master’ of the day went to Waters, as he set the fastest lap of 1:43.676, which ended up being .928s faster than second place getter and rival, Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1M). Waters and Maxwell are both Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit specialists, so we can expect fireworks as these two take off from the start line for tomorrow’s race.
Waters shared, “Very happy to be on pole position, it’s still going to be very hard tomorrow though! It’s great to be cutting laps out there with Australia’s best in all conditions. Huge thanks to the team and we’ll try our hardest. I think everyone was cautious towards the end when the rain really came down.”
Maxwell also commenting; “I was really happy to get P2 on the grid. Unfortunately, I caught traffic on my fastest lap, but it happens to everyone. I’m really happy with the way the Yamaha and the crew are performing. Looking forward to racing tomorrow.”
There was a collective cheer from the crowd when they saw Troy Bayliss (Desmosport Ducati, Ducati Panigale R FE) post the third fastest time, to earn a front row grid slot.
“I think that was my first ride in the rain in ten years,” Bayliss quipped. “It took a while to get a feel for the bike in the conditions but I eventually got comfortable. If you concentrate it’s actually physically easier on the body in the wet conditions. It’s a great spot for tomorrow’s race and Sunday.”
Behind Bayliss, came last year’s Round 1 winner, Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1). Falzon finished 1.735s from pole, while 2016 YMI Superbike Champion, Troy Herfoss completed the top five, a further 2.311s back from pole.
Despite the wet conditions spreading out the gaps between the competitors, picking a winner for tomorrow’s race will be a difficult task.
It’s all setup for a tantalising battle tomorrow with Australia’s best road racing talent battling it out. The lights are scheduled to go out on race one of the 2018 ASBK championship at 16:40 PM local time on Saturday at Phillip Island.
Top Ten YMI Superbike Provisional Qualifying Positions
- Josh WATERS (Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, Suzuki GSX-R1000R) 1:43.676
- Wayne MAXWELL (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1M) 1:44.604
- Troy BAYLISS (Desmosport Ducati, Ducati Panigale R FE) 1:45.093
- Daniel FALZON (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1M) 1:45.411
- Troy HERFOSS (Penrite Honda, Honda CBR1000RR SP) 1:45.987
- Michael BLAIR (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R1) 1:46.509
- Glenn ALLERTON (NextGen Motorsports, BMW S1000RR) 1:46.932
- Mitchell REES (Carl Cox M-sport, Honda CBR1000) 1:48.359
- Aaron MORRIS (Maxima Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R1) 1:49.150
- Matt WALTERS (Swann Insurance, Kawasaki ZX-10R) 1:49.192
Pearson Gets Off to a Flyer for Australian Supersport
Broc Pearson (Yamaha, YZF-R6) was scintillating in the Australian Supersport Championship qualifying at Phillip Island’s opening round of the 2018 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK) this afternoon. Soaring to pole position in mixed conditions.
The Yamaha mounted rider posted a fastest lap of 1:50.261 to put himself in pole position, setting himself up for a great start to the season.
Pearson sharing, “It was super wet out there and it was hard to keep the concentration at times. We had the bike dialed in and I can’t thank my team enough, I’m just trying to stay focused and hopefully we can maintain our position come tomorrow.”
Posting ‘that time’ put Pearson .045s ahead of Yamaha Racing Team rider, Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R6) in second, while Brendan Clarke (Champions Ride Days Race Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) will fill the three-rider front row of the talent-packed grid.
Halliday saying; “We haven’t had much track time in the wet on the YZF-R6. I’m happy with the team, we still have some fine tuning to do, and they’ve been flat out with the WorldSBK wildcard operation. Hats off to them for the effort they’re putting in for the new season.”
Giuseppe Scarcella (BCperformance Junior Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) will start out of fourth, 0.957s from the pole-time, after edging out yesterday’s pacesetter Tom Toparis (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R) to round out the top five.
Positions six through 10 belong to Kiwi rider Damon Rees (Carl Cox M-sports, Honda CBR600RR, Nic Liminton (Yamaha YZF-R6), Aidan Hayes (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R), Ty Lynch (Adelaide Motorcycle Recovery, Yamaha YZF-R6) and Matt Barton (Blue Marlin Pools East, Yamaha YZF-R6) respectively.
Race one of Australian Supersport 2018 ASBK is scheduled to be contested at 11:05am local time on Saturday.
Australian Supersport Provisional Qualifying Top Ten
- Broc PEARSON (Yamaha, YZF-R6) 1:50.261
- Cru HALLIDAY (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R6) 1:50.306
- Brendan CLARKE (Champions Ride Days Race Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) 1:51.218
- Giuseppe SCARCELLA (BCPerformance Junior Team, Kawasaki ZX-6R) 1:51.311
- Tom TOPARIS (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R) 1:51.686
- Damon REES (Carl Cox M-sports, Honda CBR600RR) 1:51.853
- Nic LIMINTON (Yamaha YZF-R6) 1:52.111
- Aidan HAYES (Cube Racing, Kawasaki ZX-6R) 1:52.227
- Ty LYNCH (Adelaide Motorcycle Recovery, Yamaha YZF-R6)
- Matt BARTON (Blue Marlin Pools East, Yamaha YZF-R6) 1:53.686
Khouri Slipstreams his way to Pole Position in Australian Supersport 300
A determined line-up of Australian Supersport 300 Championship riders did battle on Friday at Phillip Island during Round 1 of the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship, with Harry Khouri (Yamaha Acid Racing, YZ-R3) collecting pole position, his first in the Australian Supersport 300 Championship.
Khouri stormed to the top of the timesheets with a 1:50.907, ahead of Tom Bramich (Yamaha JLT, YZ-R3) who recorded a 1:51.007 to qualify second. Hunter Ford (Yamaha South Sydney Commercial, YZ-R3) slotted into third overall with a time of 1:51.846.
Khouri shared; “Qualifying went really well, I was improving my lap times throughout the session and I finally caught on to the group in front of me. I was lucky enough to get a good slip stream on the back of Levy, then using Hunter (Ford) to slip stream through to the line. I’m excited, as this is my first pole position and I do enjoy riding in the rain.”
Seth Crump (KTM Rock Oil, RC 390) impressed in tricky conditions to finish fourth clocking a time of 1:52.152, ahead of Zac Levy (Yamaha Puma RV, YZ-R3), who completed a tight top-five stopping the clock at 1:52.211. The top 10 was rounded out by Locky Taylor (Yamaha LTR Racing, YZ-R3), Oliver Bayliss (Kawasaki Cube Racing, Ninja 300), Max Stauffer (Yamaha Chris Watson M-cycles, YZ-R3), Ben Bramich (KTM GOWMoto, RC 390) and Benjamin Baker (Kawasaki BCPerformance Junior Team, Ninja 300).
With these riders securing their place on the grid, it sets up an exciting eight-lap opening race on Saturday at 10:40am local time.
Australian Supersport 300 Top 10 Qualifying
- Harry KHOURI (Yamaha Acid Racing, YZ-R3) 1:50.907
- Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha JLT, YZ-R3) 1:51.007
- Hunter FORD (Yamaha South Sydney Commercial, YZ-R3) 1:51.846
- Seth CRUMP (KTM Rock Oil,RC 390) 1:52.152
- Zac LEVY (Yamaha Puma RV, YZ-R3) 1:52.211
- Locky TAYLOR (Yamaha LTR Racing, YZ-R3) 1:52.476
- Oliver BAYLISS (Kawasaki Cube Racing, Ninja 300) 1:52.829
- Max STAUFFER (Yamaha Chris Watson M-cycles, YZ-R3) 1:53.020
- Ben BRAMICH (KTM GOWMoto, RC 390) 1:53.375
- Benjamin BAKER (Kawasaki BCPerformance Junior Team, Ninja 300) 1:53.830
Ford Ramps it up at the Island for YMF R3 Cup
Qualifying took place today for Round 1 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK), with Hunter Ford (Yamaha South Sydney Commercial, YZ-R3) setting the Phillip Island Circuit alight with a time of 1:50.394 to snatch pole position in the YMF R3 Cup.
Friday’s qualifying for the YMF R3 Cup was the final session of an action packed day at Phillip Island, with Ford managing to secure the coveted pole position from Tom Bramich (Yamaha JLT, YZF-R3) 1:50.443, who was the quickest in Thursday’s Free Practice.
Ford is happy with how the weekend is shaping up; “I’m feeling really good about how I’m riding, I’m excited to get out there and continue riding like this, and the set up is exactly how we want it so hopefully we can get a good start from pole tomorrow.”
Locky Taylor (Yamaha LTR Racing, YZF-R3) rounded out the podium with a time of 1:50.858 and joins the front of the grid for Saturday’s opening race.
Zac Levy (Yamaha Puma RV, YZF-R3) snuck in for fourth position after stopping the clock at 1:51.860, whilst the fastest qualifier from the Australian Supersport 300 class Harry Khouri (Yamaha Acid Racing, YZF-R3) had to settle for fifth position after crossing the line with a 1:52.362.
The top ten was rounded out by Max Stauffer (Yamaha Chris Watson M-cycles, YZ-R3), Laura Brown (Yamaha WNR, YZF-R3), Callum O’Brien (Yamaha Banhams WA YZF-R3), Ross Beames (Yamaha YZF-R3) and Travis Hall (Yamaha YZF-R3).
Saturday’s two races for the YMF R3 Cup will take place at 8:45 AM and 17:15PM and if qualifying is anything to go by we can expect a tight battle from start to finish.
YMF R3 Cup Top 10 Qualifying
- Hunter FORD (Yamaha South Sydney Commercial, YZ-R3) 1:50.394
- Tom BRAMICH (Yamaha JLT, YZ-R3) 1:50.443
- Locky TAYLOR (Yamaha LTR Racing, YZ-R3) 1:50.858
- Zac LEVY (Yamaha Puma RV, YZ-R3) 1:51.860
- Harry KHOURI (Yamaha Acid Racing, YZ-R3) 1:52.362
- Max STAUFFER (Yamaha Chris Watson M-cycles, YZ-R3) 1:52.886
- Laura BROWN (Yamaha WNR, YZF-R3) 1:53.044
- Callum O’BRIEN (Yamaha Banhams WA YZF-R3) 1:53.772
- Ross BEAMES (Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:53.975
- Travis HALL (Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:54.017
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