Max Stauffer (Yamaha, Yamaha R3 321) took the Yamaha Motor Insurance (YMI) Supersport 300 class double at Phillip Island for Round 1 of the Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), winning both races by less than two tenths of a second.

Luke Power (RTR, Yamaha R3 321) and John Lytras (Caboolture Yamaha, YamahaR3 321) made Stauffer fight all the way to the line during the first race day of the FIM World Superbike Championship Weekend (February 22-24).

Stauffer battled with Power at the front for much of the second race, however a late rally from the rest of the field saw a four-wide finish to round out the first day of racing.

Australian Supersport 300 Race 1

An absolutely gripping battle saw Stauffer take the first win of the season by the skin of his teeth from challenger Power. The two leaders put on an absolutely stunning display of riding as they as they fought for the win amongst themselves, finishing more than five seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

As soon as the lights went out polesitter Power was down to third behind Locky Taylor (YRD, Yamaha R3 321) and Lytras. A red flag incident at turn two saw Tayla Relph’s (Kawasaki EX400) first weekend with the Kawasaki BCperformance squad get off to a terrible start after crashing out, and Kyle O’Connell (Yamaha R3) also ending up out of the race.

The race distance was subsequently reduced to six laps, but shortly after the restart it was Stauffer who made a miraculous recovery from his qualifying position of fifth, taking the lead from Power who found his way back to the top two. Callum O’Brien (Kawasaki BCperformance, Kawasaki EX400) slotted into third place, ahead of Seth Crump (Rockoil, KTM RC 390) in fourth.

On lap three Stauffer and Power were having an absolutely terrific scrap, heading side by side through turn three into turn 4 but Power couldn’t find a way past. After another look up the inside a lap later, Power finally got the move to stick, taking the lead on lap four before Stauffer claimed it back at The Hayshed.

Senna Agius (Kawasaki EX 400) moved through the field to lead the best of the rest, with Crump into fifth, and O’Brien falling back to seventh.

Beginning the final lap Stauffer remained in the lead. Power briefly snuck past Stauffer, holding the lead all the way through the final turn before Stauffer got in the tow and pipped Power by a mere five hundredths of a second at the line. Agius led home the rest of the field ahead of Crump, Harry Khouri (Excite M-sports, Yamaha R3 321), and Hunter Ford (Yamaha, Yamaha R3 321).

Australian Supersport 300 Race 1 Results

  1. Max STAUFFER (Yamaha, Yamaha R3 321)
  2. Luke POWER (RTR Yamaha R3 321)
  3. Senna AGIUS (Kawasaki EX 400)
  4. Locky TAYLOR (YRD, Yamaha R3 321)
  5. Seth CRUMP (Rockoil, KTM RC 390)
  6. Harry KHOURI (Excite M-sports, Yamaha R3 321)
  7. Hunter FORD (Yamaha, Yamaha R3 321)
  8. Zac LEVY (Demmery Motorsport, Yamaha R3 321)
  9. Dylan WHITESIDE, (Mark Lamont, Kawasaki EX300
  10. Callum O’BRIEN(Kawasaki BCperformance Kawasaki EX400)
  11. John LYTRAS (Caboolture Yamaha, YamahaR3 321)

Australian Supersport 300 Race 2

The field had clearly collectively decided that Power and Stauffer were not going to have it all their own way in Race 2, and on the first lap it was Seth Crump battling with Power into turn four.

Before long, Stauffer had joined Power to battle it out once again at the head of the field with Crump falling to sixth.

Stauffer and Power looked to be once again holding station at the head of the field, but they got a surprise as Agius ended up taking them both in one unbelievable slipstream move diving into turn one. An incident saw Hunter Ford (Yamaha, Yamaha R3 321) go down heading into turn three after swerving to avoid Crump, he was up and OK albeit out of the race.

The race really hotted up when Power took Agius around the outside at Siberia to hit the lead on lap five with Agius bundled back to third. Suddenly the rest of the field has caught up and everyone’s in on the action, with Agius, Khouri, O’Brien and Lytras all coming to join the party at the front and make it a six man battle pack for the win.

The action was intense at the front of the field, and it was clear that the race would be won by the rider who best timed their last-ditch move out of the slipstream just before the finish. As the riders went four abreast across the line it was Stauffer who pulled off the move to edge out Lytras, O’Brien and Khouri who all finished less than a tenth of a second behind.

Australian Supersport 300 Race 2 Results

  1. Max STAUFFER (Yamaha, Yamaha R3 321)
  2. John LYTRAS (Caboolture Yamaha, YamahaR3 321)
  3. Callum O’BRIEN(Kawasaki BCperformance Kawasaki EX400)
  4. Harry KHOURI (Excite M-sports, Yamaha R3 321)
  5. Luke POWER (RTR Yamaha R3 321)
  6. Senna AGIUS (Kawasaki EX 400)
  7. Yannis SHAW (WRP Bridgestone, Kawasaki EX400)
  8. Dylan WHITESIDE, (Mark Lamont, Kawasaki EX300
  9. Ben BAKER (Jekyl & Hyde, Yamaha R3 321)
  10. Seth CRUMP (Rockoil, KTM RC 390)

The first round of the Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship concludes tomorrow (February 24) at Phillip Island, as part of the FIM World Superbike Championship weekend.

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