ASBK press release:
Defending Australian Superbike Champion Glenn Allerton survived a late charge from his Motologic Honda teammate Wayne Maxwell to secure pole position for this weekend’s second round of the Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains Raceway.
Allerton, who was fastest in the first of today’s two 30-minute qualifying sessions, watched anxiously as his teammate topped the timesheet in session two and closed the gap to within 0.113sec.
However, Allerton’s time of 53.432sec was enough to secure pole position and the bonus championship point awarded to fastest qualifier, the latter moving the 28-year-old into equal championship lead with Team Joe Rocket Suzuki rider Josh Waters on 43 points apiece in the seven-round national series.
“We’re only allocated two tyres for qualifying and I used both of mine in the first 30-minute session,” said Allerton. “The track temperature was quite variable today so it was a bit of a guessing game as to when go for the fast times – I guess we guessed right.
“I rate Wayne as my major rival even if he is my teammate, so hopefully I get the better of him tomorrow.”
Maxwell’s charge for pole was impressive after the 26-year-old demolished his number one bike in a spectacular crash on Friday and was riding today under an injury cloud.
“My shoulder’s a bit sore, and we had some problems with my spare bike in the first qualifying session today,” said Maxwell. “I was trying for pole, but didn’t quite get there.
“We’ve got the spare bike sorted now, and adrenalin will take care of any injuries. Bring it on.”
Waters had been fastest in Friday’s practice sessions, but the 22-year-old couldn’t match the pace of the Honda duo in today’s official qualifying sessions, dropping to fourth behind Yamaha Racing Team rider and lap record holder Dan Stauffer.
“Pole would have been good, but front row of the grid is so important at this track I’m happy with that,” said Waters. “There’s such a short run to the first corner it can cause a real traffic jam – and I don’t want to be part of it.”
Just 0.357sec covers the top six riders, with Allerton’s pole time 0.047sec below the Superbike lap record for the 2.4km Launceston circuit of 53.479sec, set at last year’s round by Dan Stauffer.
Allerton’s Honda has consistently been the fastest bike through the speed trap at 257km/h, 10km/h faster than Stauffer’s Yamaha, but believes he can go quicker given better conditions on race day.
“I did that time on Friday when there was a strong headwind,” said Allerton. “To get that speed I have to keep the throttle pinned through the right-hand kink, and that’s not easy when it’s blustery and other bikes are around.
“The Yamahas are strong out of the corners, but my Honda is better at the end of the straight,” added Allerton. “It’s going to make for great racing.”
In today’s qualifying session for the Australian Supersport Championship Yamaha Racing Team rider Jamie Stauffer qualified fastest ahead of Suzuki privateer Judd Greedy, with Yamaha Racing Team rider Bryan Staring third and Kawasaki Racing Team rider Ben Attard fourth. Just 0.535sec covers the four.
Both the Superbike and Supersport classes will contest two 21-lap races each tomorrow, with support categories including Superstock 1000, Superstock 600 and 125 Grand Prix.