Cube Racing show flashes of brilliance throughout Sydney Motorsport Park ASBK event
Cube Racing press release:
Cube Racing’s Tom Toparis and Oli Bayliss carried race-winning speed throughout Sydney’s sixth round of the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) in both of their respective categories.
Starting out of the second spot on the grid in the Supersport class with a qualifying time of 1m34.226s, just two-tenths from pole position, Toparis entered Sunday’s racing as a strong favourite for race wins.
Finishing just 0.790s out of the lead in race one before being demoted to fifth due to a 10-second jump start penalty, he pushed forward and entered race two confident in his ability to claim victory.
The 17-year-old rookie’s day would end prematurely though in race two after taking a hit from another rider whilst running in second position, which was an unfortunate ending to a strong overall performance.
“Apart from the start in race one, I believe we were 100 percent capable of winning that one,” said Toparis. “My start was bad again in race two and I was slowing moving forward looking after the tyre before I copped a massive shunt from behind into turn two – next thing I knew, I was on my head flying along the ground.”
Although disappointed in the race two crash, the current third place rider in the points-chase escaped any serious injuries and looks forward to turning his luck around at Phillip Island’s season finale on 6-8 October.
“The crash was pretty bad and the bike is pretty destroyed, but physically I’m not too bad,” Toparis added. “I’ve just had no luck at all this season, but we’ll move onto the next round at Phillip Island and it should be good hopefully.”
Supersport 300 front-runner Bayliss made his presence known throughout the weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park after setting the Up To 300 pace in practice and then qualifying second in class, but fifth outright with a fast time of 1m44.325s.
After finishing just 0.262s outside of the lead and first in class for race one on Saturday afternoon, in race two on Sunday morning Bayliss backed it up with an eighth-place result overall and second in class, just 1.148s out of the lead in what was an extremely tight affair.
“It wasn’t a bad weekend for me,” said Bayliss. “In my first race I finished first in my class and second overall, so I had a really good race. In race two the wind picked up a lot, so my bike was revving a lot and I was on the limiter for a lot of the straight, but I guess everyone’s was. It’s all about learning for me at this point, but it was a good race.”
Although a mechanical would see Bayliss forced out of race three whilst running in the top Up To 300 position, the young speedster will take it in his stride and continue to focus on the positives as he holds down fourth overall in the Up To 300 championship chase.
“In the third race I was winning my class with one lap left and I guess I had an engine issue,” he added. “It wasn’t the best ending to the weekend, but I guess that’s racing and things happen.”
Team owner/manager Ben Henry, although disappointed in the final outcome of the weekend, continues to focus on the development of these young stars as they continue to show impressive form each round.
“With Tommy’s jump start in the first race, I still believe he rode the ride of the race, for sure,” Henry commented. “In the second race he ended up being taken out, which is a shame, but in the end that’s racing. That’s the way it goes, so you just have to take them sometimes.
“Oli was good too, he was really fast. Unfortunately he had a mechanical in the last race, which was a shame, but he was fast and it’s another 50 race laps that he has in his back pocket now, so it’s all good and we’re really impressed with their efforts once again.”
Cube Racing-supported Supersport racer Aidan Hayes finished out the Sydney event in 11th overall in his third outing alongside the team.
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