2019 Australian Superbike Championship
Round 7 – SMP
The ASBK Finale – Part One
Troy Herfoss made it clear of his intentions to get right down to business with the Penrite Honda man putting in a series of 1m30s laps in morning warm-up, the best of which was a 1m30.280s.
Mike Jones was the only other man to record more than one lap in the 1m30s while Wayne Maxwell put in a best of 1m30.9s.
There also appeared to be a bit of gamesmanship or head games already unfolding during warm-up. Herfoss shadowing Jones for much of the session, it was unclear if the DesmoSport Ducati man knew he was being shadowed…
Jamie Stauffer had got out the right side of bed with a 1m31.020s in warm-up his fastest lap of the weekend. The McMartin Racing Team obviously making some progress overnight with their K-Tech suspension.
Bryan Staring was on the pace also with a 1m31.109s while YRT team-mate Cru Halliday and Daniel Falzon were both under 1m31.5s.
ASBK Superbike Morning Warm-Up Results
|1||Troy HERFOSS||Honda CBR SP||1m30.280|
|2||Mike JONES||Ducati FE||+0.031|
|3||Wayne MAXWELL||Suzuki GSXR||+0.713|
|4||Jamie STAUFFER||Ducati V4R||+0.740|
|5||Bryan STARING||Kawasaki ZX10RR||+0.829|
|6||Cru HALLIDAY||Yamaha YZF-R1||+1.084|
|7||Daniel FALZON||Yamaha YZF-R1||+1.200|
|8||Josh WATERS||Suzuki GSXR||+1.597|
|9||Mark CHIODO||Honda CBR SP||+1.655|
|10||Damon REES||Honda CBR SP||+1.874|
|11||Arthur SISSIS||Suzuki GSXR||+2.048|
|12||Matt WALTERS||Kawasaki ZX10RR||+2.182|
|13||Glenn ALLERTON||BMW S RR||+2.333|
|14||Lachlan EPIS||Kawasaki ZX10R||+2.438|
|15||Alex PHILLIS||Suzuki GSXR||+2.500|
|16||Sloan FROST||Suzuki GSXR||3.297|
|17||Ben BURKE||Kawasaki ZX10RR||+3.311|
|18||Brendan MCINTYRE||Suzuki GSXR||+4.763|
|19||Nathan SPITERI||Suzuki GSXR||+6.791|
|20||Michael EDWARDS||Yamaha YZF-R1||+6.846|
ASBK Superbike Race One
The ambient temperature had already passed 30-degrees and track temperatures were heading towards 45-degrees as the tension rose around Sydney Motorsports Park this morning.
A full season of training effort by the riders, a year of machine preparation and tuning by the teams, all coming down to one final day of competition to decide who would be the ASBK Superbike Champion.
Some red flag incidents on Sunday morning in support category races had allowed the nerves to build further and further ahead of the 13-lap opening Superbike bout that finally got underway at 1153, half-an-hour behind schedule.
Falzon got a good jump off pole position but Wayne Maxwell was the early race leader, Falzon second, Herfoss third, Staring fourth and Jones fifth.
Mike Jones moved past Staring to take fourth late on lap one and Falzon took the lead from Maxwell out of turn one early on the second lap. Jones then got Herfoss to move up to third place.
The Penrite Honda man was already asking more from his rear tyre than it could cope with as he tried to get back past Jones. Herfoss then put stupendous loads on his front tyre through turns one and two as he battled hard to stay in touch.
Maxwell went up the inside of Falzon to take the lead with ten laps to run. Herfoss lost close touch with the leading trio down the straight but then made all that ground back up into turn one.
Jones took second place from Falzon at turn four to move up to second place. Herfoss quickly followed suit to push the South Australian back to fourth place. Bryan Staring and Cru Halliday were also not far behind.
Mike Jones through to the lead at turn nine with nine laps to go. Daniel Falzon then slid out of the race at the same point.
Mike Jones, Wayne Maxwell, Troy Herfoss, the top three in the championship and the top three in this race… Eight laps to go… Staring looked strong in fourth and we know how those Dunlops hang in all the way to the chequered flag. Cru Halliday was in fifth, and still close enough to work his way into the podium fight if he had enough tyre left at the end.
Little changed over the next few laps apart from Staring and Halliday starting to creep towards that leading trio.
Herfoss up the inside of Maxwell around the back of the circuit with 4.5 laps to run… Jones had a half-a-second buffer now and it would be interesting to see if the Penrite Honda man had any tyre left to mount a late challenge. He had been sliding around since the opening lap so if asked to predict I would have said it was highly doubtful he would have enough rubber left to hang on to a podium, let alone challenge for a win.
Herfoss though left nothing in the locker in his quest to try and chase that Ducati. With two laps to go he had narrowed the gap down to under three-tenths and showing how inaccurate my prediction had been. Herfoss simply didn’t look to care as that Fireblade SP danced around underneath him, obviously comfortable with the set-up of the bike when grip was gone.
Herfoss was all over the back of Jones around the back of the circuit for the final time, you could tell how much he wanted it, but ultimately it was Jones that took the win. Power was perhaps the telling factor in that battle.
Wayne Maxwell had run out of tyre and in the closing laps was behing shadowed by both Bryan Staring and Cru Halliday, but just managed to keep them at bay for the final step on the podium.
With 13-laps left this afternoon to decide the title, Jones will take a half-point lead into that final battle to decide the war. Herfoss the man in second. Maxwell five-points further back in third.
And rain is expected this afternoon…
ASBK Superbike Race One Results / Standings