Qualifying for the 2009 Australian Superbike Championship season finale at Phillip Island in Victoria is complete, with a controversial Superpole session being cut short after the rain fell halfway through.
The grid positions for tomorrow’s pair of 12-lap races have been decided after regular qualifying, where Oleon Motologic Racing’s Wayne Maxwell secured the top spot and the point that goes with it to close the championship lap to eight points heading into tomorrow’s races.
“It’s a good start – we’ve been fastest in every session since we got here and there are two races to go, although I’m sure it’s not going to be easy to win and will be a real dogfight tomorrow,” said 27-year-old Maxwell.
Maxwell’s 1:33.118 from this morning’s first session was good enough for pole, beating out Team Joe Rocket Suzuki’s Josh Waters’ 1:33.717 while defending series champion Glenn Allerton is third with a 1:34.376.
Waters’ three-time champion teammate Shawn Giles will round out the front row for tomorrow after posting a 1:34.695, looking to help his junior teammate in an all out Motologic v TJRS battle for the title.
The Supersport pole position went to ESG Honda’s Shannon Johnson, posting a 1:35.996 on his privateer CBR600RR to edge out defending champion Jamie Stauffer (Yamaha Racing Team) with a 1:36.086 and current series leader Bryan Staring (Yamaha Racing Team) at 1:36.137. Rookie Troy Herfoss (Team Joe Rocket Suzuki) will round out the front row after posting a 1:36.616.
“The bike’s working fantastic and the team’s fantastic – we’ve worked really hard,” Johnson said. “I’m not here to make a lot of friends and I believe we can finish third in the championship, which would be a fantastic achievement.”
None of the top five riders completed any laps in the second session, instead choosing to save their tyres for tomorrow’s races.
Visit MotoOnline.com.au tomorrow for event updates direct from the circuit live after each of the Superbike and Supersport races.