2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike
Round Three – Wakefield Park
The wind was fairly brutal here this morning at Wakefield Park and track temperatures lower than they have been all this week. Rain overnight also would have washed the circuit and thus changed the grip characteristics of this bumpy circuit.
The wind claimed its first victim when some track signage blew across the circuit and knocked Brandon Demmery from his machine during morning warm-up for the YMF R3 Cup, the incident can be viewed on the MCNews.com.au Instagram. That unfortunate incident understandably bought on some delays as officials checked and reinforced where necessary the signage around the track.
In the Superbike races yesterday it was clear that Troy Herfoss had the pace to deal with any of his competitors. Wayne Maxwell also had an edge over the rest of the field but could not match the speed of Herfoss.
However, Maxwell can finish second to Herfoss here all weekend and will still win the 2020 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship. This led Herfoss to slow the race pace down a few times yesterday to allow the rest of the field to close up to Maxwell, in the hope that one or two of those might be able to sneak past the Boost Mobile Ducati and reduce the points scored by Maxwell.
There was also an important point up for grabs this morning in another qualifying session. Today’s proceedings essentially a repeat of yesterday’s round two, while today is round three. This double-header weekend rounding out the COVID interrupted season that started way back in February at Phillip Island, before the plague effectively shut the country down.
There might be only 18 riders on the Superbike grid here today but there is plenty of depth in that field. Every ASBK Superbike Champion since 2008 is on the grid here today.
I am also glad to report there is also some new blood in the class! 16-year-old Luke Jhonston making his debut in the Superbike class after making the big step up from the Supersport 300 ranks, bypassing the normal 600 cc graduation process and jumping straight in at the deep end. He is also acquitting himself very well indeed, qualifying and finishing the races yesterday in front of some very experienced riders.
The track temperature for the opening qualifying session this morning was barely half of that experienced here yesterday. By the time the top nine hit the track for Q2 though the track temp had started to climb and had just nudged past 30-degrees and is not expected to get much warmer during the course of the day.
It was Troy Herfoss the claimed that important point for pole position, a 57.663 much slower than yesterday due to the wind and track conditions here this morning, but still good enough for pole. Trimming Maxwell’s lead to 16-points.
Wayne Maxwell qualified second while Glenn Allerton will join them on the front row.
Things got a little heated in the qualifying Parc fermé with Maxwell making some comments about Herfoss’ slowing tactics yesterday. Herfoss retorted through a clenched teeth smile saying ‘that he is just out here to prove he is the best Superbike rider in Australia’. Head games…
Cru Halliday heads the second row ahead of Mike Jones and Bryan Staring while Aiden Wagner heads row three alongside Josh Waters and Arthur Sissis.
Kawasaki Superbike Qualifying Results
|1||Troy HERFOSS||Honda CBR||+57.663|
|2||Wayne MAXWELL||Ducati V4R||+57.984|
|3||Glenn ALLERTON||BMW S RR||+58.051|
|4||Cru HALLIDAY||Yamaha YZF-R1M||+58.121|
|5||Mike JONES||Ducati V4R||+58.150|
|6||Bryan STARING||Kawasaki ZX10R||+58.283|
|7||Aiden WAGNER||Yamaha YZF-R1M||+58.580|
|8||Josh WATERS||Suzuki GSXRR||+58.594|
|9||Arthur SISSIS||Suzuki GSXRR||+59.194|
|10||Jed METCHER||Yamaha YZF-R1M||+59.328|
|11||Lachlan EPIS||Suzuki GSXRR||+59.423|
|12||Glenn SCOTT||Kawasaki ZX10R||+59.461|
|13||Brendan McINTYRE||Suzuki GSXRR||+1m00.146|
|14||Luke JHONSTON||Yamaha R1||+1m00.192|
|15||Giuseppe SCARCELLA||Ducati Panigale||+1m00.859|
|16||Nathan SPITERI||Suzuki GSXRR||+1m01.255|
|17||Chandler COOPER||Honda CBR||+1m01.535|
|18||Michael EDWARDS||Yamaha YZF-R1M||+1m01.832|
Kawasaki Superbike Race One Report
All the riders struggled with the wind in qualifying this morning and things had not getting any better ahead of today’s opening race, in fact they had gotten worse with gusts exceeding 70 km/h at times.
Troy Herfoss led the field through turn one ahead of Wayne Maxwell and Glenn Allerton as Mike Jones, Bryan Staring and Cru Halliday gave chase. Herfoss left them for dead over the course of the opening lap, pulling almost a full-second over the field after putting in a 61.878 from a standing start.
The top five then all recorded 58.1s on the first flying lap with Herfoss and Maxwell then both putting in 57.6s on lap three, the gap between them remained the same, eight-tenths of a second.
Mike Jones was looking stronger today, he closed onto the tail of Allerton and that pair started to close in on Maxwell. Cru Halliday also coming along for that ride and was getting faster as the race progressed.
Up front Herfoss was in a race of his own as the battle for the other steps on the podium started to really hot up. Maxwell was responding to the challenges of Allerton and his pursuers, doing enough to keep them at bay but he did not have enough speed up his sleeve to pull away from them.
With six laps to run the rear of Allerton’s NextGen BMW started to consistently break away under power as the grip went away from the three-time champ. That gave Maxwell some breathing space.
Herfoss then had a bike problem with five laps to go! Herfoss rolled to a stop! His championship chase over!
There was no oil out of the machine or any external indications of any problem thus presumably it was some minor electrical fault that had robbed him of his chance at the title.
Wayne Maxwell had two-tenths on a chasing Glenn Allerton who could sniff a potential victory…
Wayne Maxwell holds on though and with it the 2020 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship.
A privateer team run by Craig McMartin with the help of Racers Edge and backed by Boost Mobile are our Australian Superbike Champions.
The no-score by Herfoss in that one also sees him slip to third place in the series and Cru Halliday move up to second place, ten-points clear of Herfoss.
Kawasaki Superbike Race One Results
|1||Wayne MAXWELL||Ducati V4R||/|
|2||Glenn ALLERTON||BMW S RR||+0.403|
|3||Mike JONES||Ducati V4R||+0.991|
|4||Cru HALLIDAY||Yamaha YZF-R1M||+4.631|
|5||Bryan STARING||Kawasaki ZX10R||+9.345|
|6||Aiden WAGNER||Yamaha YZF-R1M||+12.178|
|7||Josh WATERS||Suzuki GSXRR||+15.066|
|8||Arthur SISSIS||Suzuki GSXRR||+21.314|
|9||Jed METCHER||Yamaha YZF-R1M||+27.970|
|10||Lachlan EPIS||Suzuki GSXRR||+30.698|
|11||Luke JHONSTON||Yamaha R1||+35.089|
|12||Glenn SCOTT||Kawasaki ZX10R||+38.465|
|13||Brendan McINTYRE||Suzuki GSXRR||+41.895|
|14||Chandler COOPER||Honda CBR||+1 Lap|
|15||Michael EDWARDS||Yamaha YZF-R1M||+1 Lap|
|16||Troy HERFOSS||Honda CBR||Stop-T8|
|17||Nathan SPITERI||Suzuki GSXRR||Retired|
|18||Giuseppe SCARCELLA||Ducati Panigale||Retired|
Kawasaki Superbike Championship Points
Kawasaki Superbike Manufacturer Championship Points