2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship
Round One – Phillip Island
Superbike Race One
By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell had dominated pre-season testing and did the same here during qualifying to earn pole position for today’s opening round of the 2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship.
Wayne Maxwell on pole – Image by Rob Mott
Next to him on the front row was Cru Halliday and Josh Waters while Glenn Allerton headed the second row alongside Troy Herfoss and Mikes Jones.
The riders formed up on the grid in front of a quite reasonable and still building World Superbike crowd under skies that were a little overcast but did not look as though they would threaten rain. Famous last words and all that…
Mike Jones though failed to form up on the grid..The DesmoSport Ducati was on the grass with fluid escaping from the defending champion’s V4R.. His race over before it begun… When inspected after the race had started it looked as though it was actually a false alarm and the Ducati had been ready to race…
Josh Waters had the best clutch hand off the line and held his line heading towards one with Wayne Maxwell right behind him. Bryan Staring had started well and was up to third.
ASBK Race One gets underway at P.I. – TBG Image
Halliday up the inside of Staring to take third place at turn four but the Kawasaki man got him straight back. Herfoss was then up to fourth and ahead of Halliday, while Maxwell got the better of Waters to take the lead late on the opening lap.
Maxwell leads Waters and a busy ASBK Superbike pack – Image by Rob Mott
Cru Halliday stole fourth place back from Herfoss as they started lap two, the two swapping elbows and paint as they tussled for position at almost every turn.
Maxwell was still leading from Waters but he was not breaking away. Herfoss was up to third and then took second place from Waters as the Penrite Honda man put his head down to try and prevent Maxwell from breaking away.
Halliday then moved up to third place, relegating Waters back to fourth. The fastest man on track though was Aiden Wagner, the YRT man had started from the fifth row but a 1m32.290 on lap three had helped push him up to seventh position behind Glenn Allerton. Only two-seconds covered that top seven with nine-laps to run.
Maxwell leads Halliday and Waters – Image by Rob Mott
Herfoss through to the lead at Siberia! There is life in the old Fireblade yet!
The pack then tightened up even further. Herfoss leading Maxwell, Halliday, Waters, Staring, Allerton and Wagner the leading protagonists.
Maxwell used the power of the Ducati and a great run through turn 12 to move back through to the race lead. Halliday then pushed Herfoss back to third place.
Maxwell leads Halliday, Herfoss and Waters – Image by Rob Mott
Glenn Allerton and Aiden Wagner had a coming together and it was the BMW that came off worse with Allerton losing a number of positions. Wagner also lost some ground and the leading group was now down to five…
Herfoss very wide at turn one, perhaps a false neutral… Slipping back to fourth place with seven laps to run. He did very well to gather it up and not run off the circuit but the mistake did lose him plenty of time and his chance to fight for the win…
Maxwell leading Halliday – Image by Rob Mott
Cru Halliday was all over Wayne Maxwell around the back of the circuit but could not put a pass on the Ducati. Josh Waters had closed right up on the pair before a big slide through the Hayshed cost the Suzuki man some time.
Maxwell had a glance over his shoulder at MG Hairpin to look at Halliday. It was now down to this two and Josh Waters as Bryan Staring had started to lose touch with that trio. Herfoss had lost a number of positions, the Honda was down to eighth place behind Arthur Sissis, Daniel Falzon and Matt Walters.
Who would have enough tyre left to claim the win….
The top riders were still running mid 1m32s and torturing their rear tyres at that pace.
With three laps to go Josh Waters was now starting to struggle to match the late race pace of Maxwell and Halliday. Could the YRT man have the set-up and throttle hand to triumph over Maxwell and the Ducati…?
Halliday looked great around the back of the circuit and on corner entry but the combination of Maxwell and the Ducati through turns 11 and 12 looked almost unbeatable.
Matt Walters was running an absolutely brilliant fifth place on the Kawasaki but then he snapped a chain with two laps to go in a shocking blow for the Cessnock privateer.
Last lap board and Maxwell led Halliday by three-tenths but Halliday again closed in the corners. Maxwell a small mistake at turn one gave Halliday a sniff… Lapped traffic was also going to be a factor..
Halliday’s chance gone at turn four after getting baulked by lapped traffic. The YRT man playing it safe and the long game as he knew he had second wrapped up and was not wanting to gamble that 20 points away.
Maxwell the victor, his first race on the Ducati a great success. Wayne said after the race that he had controlled it from the front and always had it in hand. Some of Maxwell’s competitors are of the same opinion. From their close quarters combat hot seat some expressed thoughts that Maxwell was doing it easy on the Ducati, despite it not looking quite that simple from the sidelines. Wayne laid the boot in via his post race comments to further try and demoralise his competititors, the mental game on in earnest…
Halliday a strong fighting second place and Josh Waters proving the pace of his new privateer team with a highly creditable podium.
Waters stoked with his start to the season and finishing as the top Dunlop runner.
ASBK Race One Podium – Image Rob Mott
Bryan Staring was seven-seconds behind the race winner in fourth place but with ten-seconds over the Michelin shod Herfoss. The Penrite Honda man had got the better of Sissis, Falzon and Wagner to claim a fighting fifth place finish at the flag.
The second 12-lap bout of the weekend is scheduled to get underway at 1615 while the third and final contest is slated for 1030 on Sunday morning.
Wayne Maxwell – P1
“An awesome package, the bike was flawless and to get the first win for the V4R in Australia just shows how good the bike is.
“Behind the scenes Craig, endless hours to prepare an immaculate bike, we’ve seen the other Ducati stop and they’re the factory team so it shows you’ve got to know what you’re doing with the Ducati.
Wayne Maxwell congratuled by his family – Image by Rob Mott
“To Adrian that engineered the bike to make sure the chassis was good, massive thanks to him.
Wayne Maxwell congratulated by long time supporter Steve Thibou – Image by Rob Mott
“I was concentrating on not making mistakes, we’re having a few issues with back-shifting because we can’t change the electronics at all as yet, so when the tyre got warm it was spinning harder and the bike thought I was going to over-rev it so it wouldn’t let me shift gears. It’s a bit of a nightmare, so it’s something that we’re going to have to work on.”
Wayne with Adrian Monti – Image Rob Mott
Cru Halliday – P2
“When this place works for you it works really well, and when you don’t really have a good set-up it’s the worst place on earth. I think we’ve got a good package under us so that’s why I’m having fun with it.
“I think I used a lot of energy just to get back onto (Wayne), I was pushing the front a lot going through turn one cause I had a fair bit of corner speed on Wayne through there.
“There was some times there where he’d gap me and I’d force the issue to catch back up, which used a lot of tyre and then it would happen again the next lap, like a see-saw.
“He rode well too, didn’t make many mistakes I think he just made one little bobble out of Honda there, but at that time I was a bit back in the pack so I had other issues to take care of!
“This new 2020 Yamaha is feeling good under my feet so we’re looking forward to the next one.”
Josh Waters – P3
“Little bit shocked, extremely happy! It was a difficult race, I got a little bit tired at the end so that was my fault, but I haven’t been able to put in the effort that I think my other competitors have in the lead up. But no excuse, everyone was in the same race. A huge thanks to everyone who believed in me and the guys that are supporting me.
“I was happy riding around thinking “how cool is this!”, so it’s good to enjoy it again. I’ve got a small team but a good little team. We made an improvement from yesterday and we’ll keep trying to make it better.”
Troy Herfoss – P5
“I made a mistake and went off the track, and I really get angry when I make mistakes. I hit a false neutral into turn 1 and I lost the group a little bit, and again into Turn 2 I hit a false neutral and went off the track. From that point you’re not in the race.
“What did I learn from the race? I learnt that Wayne’s not the man to beat. When you’re one-second faster than anyone and then you can’t drop anyone in the race, that’s not winning. It looked like he had to really work for that race, and what I saw of Wayne was a really conservative rider.
“I don’t compare myself to the Ducati V4 R, I compare myself to myself and in general, I feel really good on the bike. The intensity I can ride at, I know, is good enough to win.”
2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship
Round One – Phillip Island
Superbike Race One Results
|5||Troy HERFOSS||CBR RR||+17.010||300|
|11||Linden MAGEE||S1K RR||+39.697||298|
|16||Glenn ALLERTON||S1K RR||+56.395||314|
|19||Dean HASLER||S1K RR||+1m04.432||289|
|22||Dominic DE LEON||ZX10R||+1m12.224||290|
|25||Michael EDWARDS||YZF-R1M||+1 Lap||286|
|DNF||Matt WALTERS||ZX10RR||3 Laps||317|
|DNF||Hamish McMURRAY||ZX10RR||4 Laps||265|