2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship
Round One – Phillip Island
Superbike Race Two
By Trevor Hedge
Wayne Maxwell (Boost Mobile Ducati) looked to have had to work for his victory in the opening 12-lap bout of the Australian Superbike Championship earlier today at Phillip Island, but his rivals were not so sure…
Just how much Maxwell had controlled the opening bout would be revealed on Saturday afternoon in the second of the three 12-lap encounters that make up round one of the 2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship.
ASBK riders formed up on the grid after witnessing Toprak Razgatlioglu win a breath-taking first WorldSBK race of season 2020. The WorldSBK race distance almost double that of the ASBK competition, and with the Pirelli runners in ASBK running the exact same rubber as the WorldSBK competitors, there should be no problems in regards to tyre longevity over only 12-laps.
This morning Dunlop’s Josh Waters (Suzuki) and Bryan Staring (Kawasaki) finished in third and fourth respectively, while the Michelin shod Penrite Honda of Herfoss took fifth. That suggests that nobody is enjoying any real significant advantage on the rubber front in these cool conditions at Phillip Island today. The track temperature though had crept up a few degrees since the morning bout, now registering 32.5-degrees.
Defending champion Mike Jones was all fired up ahead of this second encounter for the day, which for him was his first! The DesmoSport Ducati had a little fuel coming out of the over-flow line as he went to form up on the grid for race one which saw him have to pull off onto the grass and miss the start of the race. Jones and the Gold Coast based team gutted at seeing their rider having to start his title defence firmly on the back foot.
Aiden Wagner clashed with Glenn Allerton in the opening bout and thus both had their potential curtailed so it would be interesting to see what they could bring to the table this time around.
Cru Halliday was very strong in the first race and ran Maxwell closest, would he be able to get the better of the #47 this time around?
Josh Waters seemed almost genuinely surprised to be on the podium in the opening bout and that would have the Mildura based three-time champ full of confidence ahead of this second 12-lap distance. And a confident Josh Waters makes for a very strong Josh Waters…
Daniel Falzon is back in his South Australian family run outfit this year and looked strong enough this morning to challenge for a podium, should the cards fall his way.
Matt Walters was running inside the top six and looking strong until the chain failed on his Cessnock Kawasaki and robbed him of a strong start to the season in the opening race.
American Superbike legend Josh Hayes had some brake problems rob him of his potential in the first bout and was fired up ahead of this second contest…
Race Two is away!
Wayne Maxwell led the field into turn one ahead of Josh Waters, Cru Halliday and Troy Herfoss. Mike Jones fifth ahead of Bryan Staring, Glenn Allerton and Daniel Falzon.
Herfoss got stood up at MG Hairpin by Mike Jones as the Ducati man took fourth place. Bryan Staring then looked up the inside of Herfoss at turn one as they started lap two and relegated the Penrite Honda further back to sixth.
Josh Hayes went down and out of the race.
This time around Maxwell was making a break, a 1m32.677 on the next lap saw him pull a second out on the field.
Herfoss was now building speed, through on Staring and then Jones to move back up to fourth place. Then the Honda man went through on Waters to move up to third position and started pulling away from that group.
Maxwell was leading Halliday by a second, with Herfoss equidistant back in third but now being chased hard by Jones and Staring.
Herfoss, Jones and Staring three-wide heading towards turn one but coming out the other side it was Staring with his nose in front of that pack as they fought over P3.
Aiden Wagner was in 11th place and would also be subjected to a jump-start penalty to make for a difficult debut round for the YRT rider.
Cru Halliday had managed to chase down Wayne Maxwell and with eight laps to run was only a couple of lengths behind the Ducati.
The battle for third place was broadening… Joining Staring, Herfoss, Jones was once again Waters, while Daniel Falzon and Matt Walters were also now looking to join that party and make it a six-way tussle.
Up front Halliday was still keeping Maxwell honest and that pair were more than six-seconds ahead of that busy war being waged over third place with five laps still to run.
The action continued to be all in that battle for third place as they tussled over track position and placings at almost every turn. At the last lap board Jones was third and Herfoss fourth, all battling hard.
Halliday was right behind Maxwell on the final lap, shadowing the Ducati man throughout, right on his tail through Hayshed… Perhaps trying to line something up for Lukey Heights but the YRT man ran wide and his shot at victory was gone with that mistake.
Wayne Maxwell the winner to make it two-from-two, Halliday a strong second place while Jones took third by a nose from Staring and Herfoss.
That final battle for third place though unfolded ten-seconds behind that leading duo. That difference will be deeply concerning those riders ahead of tomorrow’s third and final 12-lap race of the ASBK Superbike weekend. That third bout scheduled to take place at 1030 on Sunday morning.
Wayne Maxwell – P1
“The bike worked flawlessly again, it’s a full credit to everyone from Boost Mobile Racing with K-Tech. The suspension, the balance, Pirelli with the tyre – without the support of all the partners that makes it hard to make it happen. This is just the reward for the hard work we’ve put in at the start of the year. I guess it depends on what we’re restricted by at the moment, because Motorcycling Australia won’t let us have an ECU to (get more out of the bike). At the moment we’re controlled by them, so I’m unsure. We’ve got a lot more to give but until we can get some updated parts, we can only race with the bike that we’ve got.”
Cru Halliday – P2
“Mate that was absolutely everything (we had). I saw the gap happen between Josh and Wayne, to be honest, I know it was a decent sized gap but I didn’t want to panic because if I had panicked I would have over-rode the bike. I just slowly chipped away at him- usually it’s hard to lead a race so I just used Wayne as a mark and got to him. It’s probably easier closing the gap than actually passing because he’s a very good defensive rider and he’s a lot faster than me in the first part of the circuit. I did catch him in 1 but the rest he’s a lot quicker. I was going to go for a move around Lukey and MG but just pushed too hard- that’s what you’ve gotta do to try and get past him,
“He’s riding good, looks like the Ducati’s working well for him. But what can I say about my R1? This thing’s a hoot to ride, this 2020 model and I can’t thank the team enough. I’m really enjoying riding Phillip Island for the first time ever because I’ve got a package that really works for this track and works for me. If you don’t have a package under you that flows around here, this place can be a nightmare. I’m glad that we’ve got the right setup and we’re pointing in the right direction and I’m looking forward to the third race.
“To be honest I didn’t change one thing on the bike then, and I’m not going to change anything on the bike for tomorrow. You can see by the results we are up there, it’s just a matter of getting past him- that’s a whole other story. I’ll go home and think about it, but everyone can be beat.
“The (Ducati V4) is a lot faster, but hey, I’m not one to complain about power. With racing you get the lucky draw sometimes. They come out with a fast bike and Wayne’s team got on that bike this year, good luck to him, he gets that advantage. My bike has come out with a lot more power than last year’s model and I’m pumped with that. Not as fast as the Ducati but I think we’ve got some better aspects on the R1 than the Ducati. I think our bike handles a lot better than that, but time will tell. It’s only Race 2 of round 1, we’ve got Wakefield Park and the tighter tracks coming up. It looks like around the back here I’m faster than Wayne so we’ll see what happens. He could come out swinging in the next one and smoke us all and prove me wrong, so…”
Mike Jones – P3
“At the start of Race 1 I pulled up onto the grid for the race start, and the marshals seemed to think that there was a possible leak on the bike, some sort of fluid leak, and told me I couldn’t start the race. It wasn’t til afterwards that we realised that there was no leak from the motorbike, but regardless we weren’t able to start the race and we weren’t able to get any points from it, so that was quite a disappointment. But in saying that our full focus was on the next race and trying to maximise ourselves in that one.
“Coming back in Race 2 made a reasonably good start, progressed my way up a few positions, and overall had a really solid battle and finished in third position, so it was quite an exciting race.
“The V4R is actually quite a rider-friendly bike to first get on, and that’s quite confidence-inspiring, to jump on something that feels good straightaway, it’s a race-bred machine. In terms of pushing the bike to the complete limit and getting the most out of it, we’re not quite there yet. But it won’t be long and we’ll be there. It’ll just be a matter of track time and setup with the motorbike. Just finding the right setting that works well for me and my riding style, and of course just adapting myself to that bike- it’s a completely different motorcycle to the bike that I rode last year.”
2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship
Round One – Phillip Island
Superbike Race Two Results
|5||Troy HERFOSS||CBR RR||+10.175||303|
|9||Glenn ALLERTON||S1K RR||+22.095||306|
|15||Linden MAGEE||S1K RR||+38.458||295|
|21||Dean HASLER||S RR||+1m13.984||284|
|22||Dominic DE LEON||ZX10R||+1m14.237||287|
|26||Hamish McMURRA||ZX10RR||+1 Lap||268|
|27||Michael EDWARDS||YZF-R1M||+1 Lap||290|
|DNF||Josh HAYES||YZF-R1||11 Laps||298|
*(With ten second penalty)
2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship Points
|1||Wayne MAXWELL||Ducati V4R||1||25||25||51|
2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Manufacturer Points