Maxwell Leads ASBK
Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell did all that was required to snatch up the Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike Championship lead today, racing to impressive results across two exciting races, at Round 4 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli at Barbagallo Raceway.
Despite carrying a hand injury after a crash during practice, Maxwell showed strength and determination on the Western Australian circuit today, fighting off an in form Ducati mounted Mike Jones to snatch up the round four win.
With reigning 2015 ASBK Champ Jones starting on pole for the first time so far this season this morning, there was plenty of excitement on the grid ahead of race one commencing today – but it was Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Troy Herfoss who screamed off the straight and in to the lead, while Yamaha Racing Team’s Maxwell and Glenn Allerton slotted in behind him.
With two laps in the books, Maxwell began to apply the pressure on Herfoss for the top spot, and by the time riders reached the switch back section of the track on lap three, Maxwell was the new race leader, with Herfoss relegated to second. Unfortunately for Herfoss, two more positions were snatched away from him when Allerton and Jones began their charge to the front – Allerton moving in to second behind his teammate, while DesmoSport Ducati’s Jones slotted in to third.
After only five laps, for the Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbike class, Maxwell continued to maintain a healthy gap on teammate Allerton, while Jones held down third position from Jon Daniels Racing’s Daniel Falzon, who had passed Herfoss to move in to fourth. From there, Falzon was on a commanding charge, snatching up a new lap record with a 55.446 lap time, proving that he was well and truly the fastest Superbike on track during race one.
After eight laps, Jones applied enough pressure on second placed Allerton to make the pass, relegating Allerton to third, where he also began to feel the daring speed of Falzon’s Jon Daniels Racing Yamaha machine.
But it was Jones’ performance who had spectators cheering on their feet in race one – the Ducati mounted star snatching away the lead from YRT’s Maxwell on lap 11, while Falzon steered his Yamaha past Allerton to slot in to third position.
With eight laps remaining, the running order saw Jones continuing to lead from Maxwell by 0.161 of a second, while Falzon maintained an impressive third position followed by Allerton and Herfoss who were in fourth and fifth places respectively.
By lap 14, Jones and Maxwell began to approach back markers, but it did not at all effect Jones’ impressive performance – streaming past lapped riders, and with a clear track ahead of his Ducati machine, Jones continued to hold off the experienced Maxwell.
With four laps to go in race one, the only change to the standings came from Falzon, who dropped from third to fifth position, allowing Allerton to move up a spot while Herfoss followed suit in fourth.
And when the Superbike riders headed in to their last lap, both Jones and Maxwell remained only 0.14 of a second apart, treating spectators to a final dash to victory.
But it was a fairy tale ending for youngster Jones, who showcased impressive maturity, leading from lap 11 all the way to the chequered flag. Despite applying the pressure on Jones throughout the entire race, Maxwell (Yamaha) crossed the finish line in second position followed by teammate Allerton, while Honda mounted Herfoss and Falzon wrapped up race one in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Just outside the top five was SA Kawasaki’s Ben Burke in sixth, followed by Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team), and Brayden Elliott (Knobby Underwear Suzuki). Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Jamie Stauffer raced to ninth, while local Ben Stronach finished race one in an impressive 10th place.
When race two kicked off, thousands of spectators watched on as Herfoss launched off the grid and in to turn one with the lead for the second time today, followed by Maxwell and race one winner Jones.
And with the confidence of a race win up his sleeve, Jones took no time at all to make two passes and move in to the race lead, and unfortunately for Herfoss it was somewhat a repeat of race one, because before long Maxwell had also gotten by the Crankt Protein Honda machine.
After four laps, Jones continued to lead from Maxwell by only 0.187 of a second, while Yamaha’s Allerton had also made the pass on Herfoss to move in to the final podium position.
But by lap five, spectators on the straight were greeted with a new race leader – Maxwell’s number 47 Yamaha R1 machine leading the way from Jones by the narrowest of margins followed by Allerton who remained in third. Herfoss who had led the first lap of race two, dropped back to a disappointing sixth place.
As the Superbike class reached the half way point, Allerton began to close in on the rear tyre of Jones’ Ducati machine, testing the youngster’s ability to hold off the undeniable experience of his closest threat. Falzon, who now holds the Barbagallo lap record after race one, maintained fourth position from Halliday and Herfoss who were in fifth and sixth places.
With seven laps remaining on track, Maxwell, Jones, and Allerton began a three-way fight for the top spot, ensuring that spectators would leave the Round 4 of the ASBK with the final race going down to the wire.
And when riders headed in to lap 17, it was a shock to the crowd to see Yamaha teammates Maxwell and Allerton in positions one and two, with Jones losing time in the basin forcing him to drop back to third position.
And when the chequered flag flew for the final time for the Superbike class, it was Maxwell’s turn to celebrate – taking the final race win aboard his Yamaha machine, while teammate Allerton finished in an impressive second. DesmoSport Ducati’s Jones wrapped up the final race of the day in third, followed by Falzon and Herfoss who finished in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Yamaha Racing Team’s Halliday concluded the final race of the day in sixth, followed by Burke, Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Stauffer, Matt Walters and Elliott who all finished inside the top ten.
When the points from both races today were tallied, Yamaha Racing Team’s Maxwell 2,1 finishes saw him awarded with the Round 4 win and the Superbike championship lead, followed by Jones who wrapped up the round in second, while Allerton completed the Superbike podium in third.
Yamaha Racing Team’s Maxwell, who will head in to Round 5 as the championship leader by five points, spoke moments after stepping off the Superbike podium.
“I’m absolutely stoked to leave round four with the win. Barbagallo was one of the tracks that I was unsure about, and didn’t know whether I could go with the likes of Mike (Jones) and Glenn (Allerton), so to get a race win and to turn everything around after a crash on Thursday feels awesome,” Maxwell shared.
“A massive shout out to the Racesafe crew who got me out there and allowed me to get the job done, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.
“We have an awesome tight crew with the Yamaha team, and to come away with a win feels awesome. To do it in front of such a big crowd, and to be a part of such a great championship feels fantastic – I’m looking forward to celebrating with the boys tonight.”
Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbikes Round 4 Results
1 Wayne MAXWELL 45
2 Mike JONES 44
3 Glenn ALLERTON 38
4 Daniel FALZON 33
5 Troy HERFOSS 33
6 Cru HALLIDAY 29
7 Ben BURKE 29
8 Jamie STAUFFER 25
9 Brayden ELLIOTT 24
10 Adam CHAMBERS 20
Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance Superbikes Championship standings
1 Wayne MAXWELL 176
2 Glenn ALLERTON 171
3 Troy HERFOSS 158
4 Mike JONES 137
5 Ben BURKE 114
6 Cru HALLIDAY 106
7 Daniel FALZON 103
8 Brayden ELLIOTT 91
9 Jamie STAUFFER 84
10 Matt WALTERS 73
It was a perfect day at Barbagallo Raceway for Banham WA Racing’s Sam Clarke, who raced to two impressive race wins, going undefeated, and becoming the Motul Supersport Championship leader in front of a home crowd at Round 4 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli.
Clarke, who arrived at Round 4 on a wave of confidence, did not disappoint his Western Australian fans today, fighting off tough competition to conclude the day victorious.
Despite Clarke starting the first Motul Supersport race of the weekend on pole, when lights turned green and bikes left the grid for the first time today, it was JNL Racing’s Luke Mitchell who launched in to the race lead, however with the home crowd advantage at Round 4, Banham WA Racing’s Clarke only took half a lap to move into the top spot and from there the Kawasaki pilot checked out.
With three laps in the books, Clarke had more than a 1.2 second lead on Mitchell who continued to circulate in second, while series points leader Troy Guenther (Graffiti Alley Racing) held down third position, from Cube Racing’s Callum Spriggs and Ben Blyth, who maintained fourth and fifth positions respectively.
By lap four, Clarke was simply unstoppable out in front, setting a new lap record with a 57.184 lap time, smashing that of Jamie Stauffer’s 600cc record (57.533) which was first set in 2011.
With Clarke out in front, the battle for positions came from Guenther and Spriggs who were both going head to head for third position, keeping spectators guessing as to who could make up time through the sectors at Barbagallo.
By lap 10, the front four Supersport riders Clarke, Mitchell, Guenther, and Spriggs all began to spread out, pulling a 13 second gap on fifth placed Blyth, and putting two seconds between each other’s respective positions.
From there, there was no change to the standings, with Clarke streaming to his first Motul Supersport race victory for the weekend by 2.346 seconds, followed by Mitchell, Guenther, Spriggs and Nic Liminton who made a late charge for fifth position.
Despite showing early speed, Blyth wrapped up race one in sixth, followed by Chris Quinn, Matt Price, Robbie Menzies and Thomas Bryden who all completed the top ten finishing positions.
With a race one victory, Clarke immediately became the Motul Supersport Championship leader by a marginal two points from Guenther before the lunch break, setting up the last race of the day as a dash for ultimate glory.
In the final race of the day, Clarke had the support of the home crowd behind him, so it was no surprise to see his Kawasaki machine get the jump off the start, followed closely by JNL Yamaha’s Mitchell in second and Spriggs in third.
With three laps in the books, Clarke stretched out his lead to .553 of a second, while Spriggs managed to get by Mitchell to move in to second position, while Guenther was in third.
From there, the front four riders separated themselves from the rest of the Supersport group, and by lap seven, Clarke began to come under fire from Yamaha mounted Mitchell who was not prepared to take second without a fight.
However, in a surprise to spectators a mistake from Mitchell on lap nine caused him to drop back to fourth, and left the door open for Cube Racing’s Spriggs to launch his attack on local rider Clarke.
And from there the final Supersport race of the day was set to go down to the wire – Clarke holding off Spriggs by the smallest of margins (0.194) while Guenther and Mitchell continued to apply the pressure in positions 3 and 4.
Mitchell, who was determined to snatch up points in race two, managed to get by Guenther with only two laps to go, and when riders headed in to their final lap of the day on the Barbagallo circuit, Clarke was in the box seat to collect his second victory on home soil.
And when the chequered flag flew for the final time, Clarke and the Western Australian crowd celebrated – the Kawasaki star racing to the final win, going undefeated at Round 4 and snatching up the Motul Supersport Championship lead.
Following Clarke, was Spriggs who crossed the line in second position in the final race of the day, while Mitchell was forced to settle for third.
Despite entering the round with the championship lead, Guenther wrapped up race two in fourth position, followed by Ted Collins, and Nic Limiton.
When the points from both races were tallied, Clarkes 1,1 results saw him awarded with the round four Motul Supersport victory, while JNL Racing’s Mitchell took the second step on the podium, followed by Cube Racing’s Callum Spriggs.
Clarke shared his thoughts, moments after celebrating with champagne, alongside family and friends.
“It’s been an awesome weekend – we’ve had a good round and we have increased the championship lead even more in that last race, which is what we came here to do,” he said.
“I can say that I will probably have a drink to celebrate tonight that’s for sure.
“I did struggle in the last race – I was a bit sidewards everywhere. It didn’t go quite as easily as the first race, and Callum (Spriggs) and Luke (Mitchell) applied the pressure, but it makes racing fun and I’m stoked to finish with the win!” Clarke concluded.
Motul Supersport Round 4 Results
1 Sam CLARKE 51
2 Luke MITCHELL 38
3 Callum SPRIGGS 37
4 Troy GUENTHER 35
5 Nic LIMINTON 31
6 Matt PRICE 26
7 Thomas BRYDEN 25
8 Ben BLYTH 24
9 Rhys CLAY 21
10 Joshua MATHERS 21
Motul Supersport Championship Standings
1 Sam CLARKE 162
2 Troy GUENTHER 152
3 Callum SPRIGGS 143.5
4 Luke MITCHELL 137
5 Ben BLYTH 114.5
6 Chris QUINN 92
7 Nic LIMINTON 89.5
8 Ted COLLINS 83.5
9 Robbie MENZIES 70
10 Mark CHIODO 53.5
It was Brandon Demmery’s consistency that paid off today, racing to the overall Production round win, while in the Honda Moto 3/125 GP category it was Ben Leonard who had reason to celebrate at Round 4 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli at Barbagallo Raceway.
When the stacked Production class lined up on the grid for their second race of the weekend this morning, there was tension in the air, with fastest qualifier Alderson looking to redeem himself after a disappointing end to race one yesterday, while 2 Thugs’ Demmery was carrying significant confidence in to race two after collecting the opening Production win yesterday.
Despite Alderson launching off the grid and into turn one with the lead, it took no time at all for Demmery to assert himself, snatching up the top spot and leading the pack on to the straight after two laps.
However, Alderson was not prepared to settle for second best, and after the first split on lap three, had moved in to the race lead once again, ahead of Tom Toparis in second, followed by Demmery in third.
When riders had completed six laps, Alderson had stretched out his lead to a comfortable 0.918 of a second – leaving the battles for the remaining top positions to unfold behind him. And battle they did. Demmery, DB Racing’s Reid Battye and Toparis all putting on a performance for ASBK spectators – the trio slip streaming and switching positions numerous times throughout the race.
In the final stages of race two, the running order saw Alderson continuing to lead from Battye who had edged out Demmery and Toparis to move in to second, while Yamaha mounted JDR Racing’s Jack Dawes came from no where to launch in to an impressive fourth position.
But it was on the final lap for the Production class, that it all went pear shaped for Battye – the second placed rider going down in the final turn before the finish straight, marking an early end to race two for the Kawasaki mounted star, who was forced to leave the track in the hands of Racesafe.
So when the chequered flag flew, it was Alderson who secured ultimate redemption, snatching up the second race win for the Over 300cc Production class, while Demmery crossed the line in second. Up to 300cc competitor Drew Sells (Race Centre) completed race two by finishing in third, while Dawes put on an outstanding performance to race his Yamaha R3 to fourth, followed Sam Condon who finished in fifth place.
In the third and final race for the day for the Production class, Yamaha’s Alderson edged out tough competition from Demmery to take the holeshot, and within two laps, Alderson looked unstoppable – stretching out his gap on second to an impressive 1.245 seconds.
After three laps, the running order saw Alderson with a commanding lead, followed by a hard charging Demmery and Sells who continued to go head to head in second and third positions.
With Alderson checked out, spectators got their excitement from watching the battle between Demmery, Sells, Dawes and Toparis unfold – the four riders all chopping and changing positions, leaving the crowd guessing as to who would finish on the podium.
By lap seven, Dawes made his way past Demmery to move in to second position, while Sells dropped back fourth, but not letting the front runners out of his sight.
However, the fight for second position was in now way over, and with two laps remaining, Demmery, Dawes and Sells were all well within striking distance of a spot on the Production podium.
But when race three wrapped up, no one could take the attention away from a victorious Alderson, who collected his second victory for the weekend from Demmery, while Sells and Toparis wrapped up race three in third and fourth places respectively.
Dawes, who challenged for a podium position earlier in the race was forced to settle for fifth, while Justin Hall, Paul Young and Aidan Hayes all concluded the final race of the day inside the top ten.
With points from three races combined, Demmery concluded round four as the Over 300cc Production winner, while in the Up to 300cc category it was Sells who collected the round four win, and in the Women’s Production class, Jessica Boujos left Barbagallo Raceway today victorious.
Demmery shared his thoughts immediately after collecting his Round 4 Production class trophy
“We decided that after the first race it was pretty safe for us to finish second in the next two, and to take a handy points lead in to the next round feels good,” Demmery shared.
“I would have liked to get a couple more wins under my belt but Callum (Alderson) rode hard all weekend, and watching him ride off in the distance was a little bit upsetting but I’m very happy to be finishing on the top step of the podium.
“At the moment I’ve got a 35-point lead in the championship so it’s mine to lose at this point – it would be silly to push when I don’t really need to. I’m happy, the team’s happy, and we got the job done this weekend.”
Honda Moto 3/125 GP
With championship leader Brian Houghton forced to race aboard a borrowed 125 machine in race two after bike issues yesterday, when riders lined up for their second battle this weekend, there was plenty of excitement on track.
When racing kicked off, it was Locky Taylor who launched in to the early race lead, however by the time the pack reached turn four on lap one, Taylor had taken a tumble, handing the lead to yesterday’s race one winner Ben Leonard.
However, Leonard also wasn’t able to hold on to the lead for long, making a mistake on that very same lap, forcing him to drop back to fourth position and handing the lead over to Tayla Relph for a total of two laps.
By the time riders headed into lap five, spectators welcomed yet another Moto3/125GP race leader, with David Doughty having his turn at the front – from there, Leonard also made his way back up the ranks to second position, relegating Relph to third.
However, with Leonard on a charge, there was no holding back the Honda rider, and with three laps remaining it was Leonard who snatched up the Moto 3 race lead, while Relph was able to capitalise on a mistake from Doughty to move in to second, followed by Pettit who held down third position.
And from there, positions remaining unchanged – Leonard fighting to his second race victory for the weekend, while Relph secured a podium finish for race two in second – Pettit wrapped up an action filled race in third, while despite leading the race for a period of time Doughty finished in fourth.
Tom Hatton concluded the second Honda Moto3/125 GP race in fifth position, while Tim Boujos, David Manson and Brian Houghton all took positions inside the top ten.
When the Honda Moto 3/125 GP class took to the grid for the final time this weekend, it was once again Leonard who shot off in to the early race lead, however Relph was determined not to let him out of her sights, and by the time riders headed in to lap two, Relph had taken control of race three, leading from Leonard, Doughty, Pettit and Houghton.
From there, the race was set to go down to the wire with Relph and Leonard taking turns at leading for an incredible nine laps before a winner was decided.
By lap five, Doughty decided to join the party and battle for the race lead too, applying the pressure on Leonard who was in second, while Relph continued to lead by the smallest of margins on her pink Honda machine.
However, by the time riders had headed in to the basin section of the track on lap eight, Doughty had shot from third to the lead, forcing Relph and Leonard to battle for second behind him.
But Relph was not prepared to go down without a fight, and it was her late braking coming on to the straight with three laps to go that served her well, securing the race lead once again.
But despite Relph carrying fantastic momentum, it was an early finish to Round 4 for the Honda Moto 3/125 GP competitors, with Doughty going down at turn four forcing the final race to be prematurely red flagged.
The race was then declared at lap nine, meaning that Relph was awarded the race three victory, while Leonard took second, followed by Locky Taylor who inherited third position when Doughty went down.
However, despite Relph being awarded the final race win, Leonard’s 1, 1, 2 results saw him finish round four on the top step of the Honda Moto 3/125 GP podium, followed by Relph who wrapped up round four in second, while Pettit’s consistency saw him awarded with third.
In the 125 category, Pettit was also victorious, followed by Doughty and Tom Hatton who finished the round in second and third places on the podium respectively.
Leonard spoke to the media after stepping off the podium, where he celebrated with champagne alongside his Honda Moto 3/125 GP competitors.
“It’s been an absolutely wicked weekend for me, we pushed so hard and we have in recent rounds as well, but this weekend went perfectly. We had a bit of a race plan for the last race but it was sort of cut short with the red flag, but I’m happy to come away with the round win,” Leonard shared.
“I pushed myself past the point I’ve ever pushed myself to before, and I’m just happy I got past it all.
“I would celebrate tonight but I’m straight back in to training for footy tomorrow (laughs). But I can’t thank everyone enough for the help this weekend, it’s been great.”
For more information on the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli, head to www.asbk.com.au
Image courtesy of Andrew Gosling/tbgsport
2016 ASBK calendar:
- Round 1 Phillip Island GP Circuit, WSBK, Vic 25-28 February
- Round 2 Wakefield Park Raceway, NSW 25-27 March
- Round 3 Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW 16-17 April
- Round 4 Barbagallo Raceway, WA 3-5 June
- Round 5 Morgan Park Raceway, QLD 6-7 August
- Round 6 Winton Motor Raceway, Vic 30 September – 2 October