Cube Racing press release:
It was a strong and positive finish to the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) for Cube Racing’s Tom Toparis and Oli Bayliss at Phillip Island’s final round in Victoria on 6-8 October.
Starting in second position on the Supersport grid for Sunday’s two-race schedule with a qualifying time of 1m35.871s, Toparis remained consistent throughout the day and challenged for race wins in challenging windy conditions.
“Today was pretty good, honestly I expected to be closer in race one and I definitely expected to battle for the win,” said Toparis. “The wind change was just too much for me and I couldn’t deal with it, so that was the reason why I was so far off in the first race.”
After finishing second in race one, the Cube Racing squad made vital changes to the bike allowing the 17-year-old to run the pace neccessary to battle for the win as he crossed the line just 0.447s outside of the top spot.
“We went back and changed the bike completely for the second race and we could run with the leader,” Toparis explained. “I was so close to him but I just couldn’t show him a wheel anywhere really, I struggled with rear grip onto the straight in the final turn and that stopped me from getting a tow.
The day was good overall though, I got a whole bag of points and we were going pretty fast considering the windy conditions.”
Rounding out the series with a second place finish at round seven and third overall in the championship rankings, Toparis now looks forward to putting his newfound knowledge to work ahead of the upcoming 2018 season.
“This season I’ve learned a heap obviously, and I’ve learned pretty much every track in Australia now, so next year we should be strong no matter where it goes in all conditions,” he added.
“I can’t thank the team, my family and everyone else enough for what they’ve done for me this year, to gain all of the knowledge that we have this year will be a big head start coming into 2018.”
In the Supersport 300 category Bayliss continued to show strong form as he qualified in fifth position with a time of 1m49.880s ahead of the three-race schedule spread over both Saturday and Sunday.
Capturing two out of three victories in the Up To 300 category throughout the weekend, the 14-year-old finished out the season with the overall round victory and a fourth place ranking in the overall Up To 300 series points.
“I had a fairly good weekend here at Phillip Island,” Bayliss said. “I had a good first race and we made a few changes on the bike for the second race but it started to rain a bit and then it got real dry.
My wet tyres just starting to tear up and I lost the rear in turn 11 and had a bit of a crash. We went out for race three and did pretty well though, so besides from the crash in race two, it turned out to be a pretty good weekend.”
Satisfied with Cube Racing’s Phillip Island performance, team owner/manager Ben Henry praised both Toparis and Bayliss after engaging in some of the best racing throughout the weekend.
“Tommy was awesome on the 600, unfortunately we couldn’t take the win, but he was still fast and he’s definitely shown that he will be the guy to beat next year I think,” said Henry. “It was also cool to see him out on the Moto3 bike spinning laps for his first go.
“The 300 battles were awesome and I think they were the races of the day really. Oli is learning the ropes and he’s just a little bigger than the other guys at the moment and in that class it doesn’t pay. But he’s riding good, he’s riding really good, so that has been great.”
Cube Racing-supported Supersport racer Aidan Hayes finished also finished out his 2017 season on a high note using a 7-11 result to secure ninth overall for the weekend.
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