2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship
Winton – Round 5 – Sunday
Kawasaki Superbike Race Two
Wayne Maxwell had out-smarted the field in the opening Superbike race with his choice of a hard rear tyre proving the best option. In the latter stages of that opening race Mike Jones had no answer for the relentless pace of the #47 Suzuki.
Race one had been staged on the highest track temperature of the whole race weekend, tarmac temps in the mid-high 20s. Things had cooled down a little ahead of the second and final 16-lap bout this afternoon though, and dark clouds above Winton looked set to release participation at any minute…
Mike Jones scored the holeshot and led Maxwell through the esses but on the exit of the esses Mark Chiodo had a lurid slide which ended in a high-side. The following riders largely did an amazing job to avoid the carnage but as they threaded their way around Chiodo, some riders were left with no time to react and collected the Penrite Honda, Kyle Buckley the primary victim, as captured here below by Cori Mitchell.
That could have been so, so much worse but both riders were up and seemingly uninjured. That in itself was somewhat of a minor miracle. Later it was discovered that Buckley might have broken his collarbone in the incident, a tough blow on his return to racing.
That of course meant a red flag and a delay before a re-start. Herfoss had intimated that he was far from happy with the wait on the grid before the first start, something that might have contributed to Chiodo’s high-side on cold tyres. Now they were on the grid once again, teams rushing out with generators and tyre warmers to try and get some heat in the tyres in these cool Winton conditions.
As they sat on the grid, the clouds grew darker above them, and just as we were about ready for the re-start, rain started falling all around the three-kilometre Winton Motor Raceway… That caused further delays to the race start and officials to declare the race ‘wet’. Causing yet more consternation for the racers was the fact that while the track was now damp, it was certainly not wet enough to make wets have any chance of lasting even a shortened race distance.
Riders were then sent back to pit-lane and we had a 15-minute delay before they were called back out for a combined sighting and warm-up lap before a race start over a shortened 12-lap distance. From what I could ascertain everyone started the race on slicks, as even with a shortened race it was certainly not damp enough for full wets.
Wayne Maxwell got a brilliant start and led the field into the esses. Daniel Falzon slotted up to second place in the esses but then slid off on the exit from full lean. Lachlan Epis then also went down further down the field and we were under red flag conditions once again.
Riders came back to form up on the grid yet again and the Suzuki Ecstar squad were the quickest out of the blocks to get their man up on stands and tyre-warmers wrapped around his Pirellis.
Let’s have another go! This time around it was Arthur Sissis that muscled his way past Wayne Maxwell into turn one and the South Australian speedway star held on to the race lead for a couple of turns but it was not long before Maxwell and Jones had pushed him back to third.
Cru Halliday tried to go with them but the #65 then ran in way too hot, losing a lot of time before rejoining the race 10-seconds behind the leaders.
Alex Phillis ran on at the esses through the wet grass before somehow staying upright to rejoin at the back of the field.
Herfoss was marching his way forward, up to fifth, then passing Waters for fourth, then making short work of Staring to move up to third.
Up front though, despite the iffy conditions both Maxwell and Jones had clocked 1m20.7s on their first flying laps.
Herfoss was running a great pace but having to come from the outside of the fourth row of the grid the damage was done from the start, and he had little chance of reeling in Maxwell and Jones.
Mike Jones then passed Maxwell and raised his hand to suggest that they call this due to rain falling once again.
Maxwell responded a couple of turns later, also raising his hand… Herfoss took his chance to put the Penrite Honda into the lead as the leading pair slowed…
Officials responded and brought out the red flag, much to the apparent disappointment of Herfoss. Thus we have a race result, Maxwell declared the winner from Jones and Herfoss third.
The fact that only half-points were awarded certainly helps Halliday limit the damage from his mistake in that race. Likewise it also softens the blow for Falzon who took no points from that race.
Wayne Maxwell the round winner from Jones but it is the Ducati man that comes away from this weekend with a much improved advantage in the championship chase.
Today’s results are certainly not without controversy. The race had been declared wet, yet riders had chosen to start on slicks… They rolled the dice for their gamble, and some believe that once the dice come up then you are stuck with the result and have to take your medicine…
What if someone had gambled on wets, and were not set to march their way through the field a brilliantly calculated victory…?
On the other side of the coin there is also a duty of care to the riders…
Herfoss was absent from Parc Ferme when the TV interviews were held, despite claiming a podium result. The Honda man choosing to not make his frustrations too public for the television cameras… However, he did eventually make it down for the podium photos a little later on though, and pretended to smile…
There is nothing in it between the top five in the championship, less than 25-points from first through to fifth, and Josh Waters certainly still not out of the game in sixth.
There are 102 points still up for grabs and every single one of them will be hotly contested…
With this fifth round at Winton run and won, the series now moves to Phillip Island for the penultimate contest in early October, before the championship decider heads to Sydney Motorsports Park over the first weekend in November.
Kawasaki Superbike Race Two
|1||Mike JONES (QLD)||Ducati 1299 FE||5m30.404|
|2||Wayne MAXWELL (VIC)||Suzuki GSXRR||+0.048|
|3||Troy HERFOSS (QLD)||Honda CBR SP||+2.495|
|4||Bryan STARING (WA)||Kawasaki ZX10R||+5.678|
|5||Josh WATERS (VIC)||Suzuki GSXRR||+6.096|
|6||Arthur SISSIS (SA)||Suzuki GSXRR||+6.439|
|7||Aaron MORRIS (NSW)||BMW S RR||+9.575|
|8||Damon REES (NZ)||Honda CBR||+9.742|
|9||Cru HALLIDAY (NSW)||Yamaha YZF-R1||+10.970|
|10||Matt WALTERS (NSW)||Kawasaki ZX10RR||+11.813|
|11||Alex PHILLIS (VIC)||Suzuki GSXR||+15.542|
Kawasaki Superbike Round Points
|Pos||Name||Pole||Race 1||Race 2||Total|
Kawasaki Superbike Championship Points