Supersport field to be led away by Yamaha-mounted Liminton.
Queenslander Mike Jones (DesmoSport Ducati) has clinched pole position at Morgan Park’s fourth round of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).
The 2015 title-winner will lead the Kawasaki Superbike field away on Sunday after a new circuit best lap of 1m12.609s earned him position one in Q2 this afternoon.
Jones was the first rider into the 1m12s early in the session before Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) jumped to the top with two minutes remaining at 1m12.855s. It was short-lived, however, as Jones countered with a record lap, beating the previous benchmark of 1m12.651s set last year by team co-owner Troy Bayliss.
It was a stellar session for Jones aboard the twin-cylinder Panigale 1299 R FE, lodging a series of laps – five in total – in the 12s and firing a severe warning shot ahead of tomorrow’s 16-lap premier class races.
While Jones and Halliday were the lone riders in the 12s, the front row will be completed by Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki Ecstar) after he registered a 1m13.046s, which was enough to keep defending champion and late improver Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) at bay.
Completing the top five was series leader Bryan Staring (Kawasaki BCperformance), followed by Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team), Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecstar), standout replacement Aaron Morris (Maxima BMW), Matt Walters (Kawasaki) and Mark Chiodo (Penrite Honda Racing), who transferred through Q1.
Motorsports TV Supersport qualifying saw South Australian Nic Liminton continue his impressive run of form, posting a 1m15.176s to secure the pole position.
Liminton has been remarkable in the mid-stages of the season and edged ahead of rookie Reid Battye (Suzuki) by 0.333s, while championship leader Tom Toparis (Yamaha) will complete the front row in third.
There were no less than seven riders who lapped within the second in qualifying, as Oli Bayliss (Yamaha), Corey Turner (Honda), Callum Spriggs (Yamaha) and Broc Pearson (Yamaha) filled positions four through seven. The top 10 was rounded out by Chris Quinn (Yamaha), Dallas Skeer (Suzuki) and Ty Lynch (Yamaha).
Race one of the YMI Supersport 300 class was won by pole-setter Senna Agius (Kawasaki), comfortably 5.7s clear of John Lytras (Yamaha) in second and Harry Khouri (Yamaha) in third. Two more R3s in Hunter Ford and Max Stauffer were fourth and fifth.
Race one of the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup was a close affair as Jacob Roulstone won by 0.242s from Angus Grenfell, Glenn Nelson, Lucas Quinn, Max Gibbons and Carter Thompson – all six separated by just 0.772s.
An entertaining YMF R3 Cup outing saw Zac Levy (Yamaha) cross the line 0.014s ahead of Lytras, with Ford third. Brandon Demmery was next best in P4 and Khouri fifth, as the top seven riders were each within a second as the chequered flag fell.
The Superbike Masters opener late this afternoon was taken out by local veteran John Allen (Yamaha), over seven seconds ahead of Alexander Pickett (Yamaha), Murray Clarke (Suzuki), Mark McVeigh (Yamaha) and Scott Webster (Suzuki).