News 20 Oct 2017

Waters dominates opening Phillip Island Superbike races

Ford inches to opening Supersport 300 race win this afternoon.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Newly-crowned Australian Superbike champion Josh Waters was untouched in the Phillip Island Championship support races on Friday at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Waters was fastest in the sole practice session, took pole position at 1m32.893s and then dominated both 10-lap races on his GSX-R1000R this afternoon.

It was a convincing performance from the triple national champion, winning race one 4.173s ahead of Bryan Staring (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) and Cru Halliday (IPONE/YMF/YMI Yamaha), who in turn edged out Troy Herfoss (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) for position. Michael Blair (Blairbuild/IPONE Yamaha) completed the top five.

Waters was challenged for much of race two before ultimately streaking to a 3.942s advantage, again over Staring after he went off the track on the final lap, while Herfoss traded places with Halliday for P3. Behind them, Blair again crossed the line in fifth position just ahead of DesmoSport Ducati’s Corey Turner.

The day was a mixed one for ATR-backed Yamaha privateer Mitch Levy, qualifying fifth but crashing out of race one at turn one. He managed to bounce back later in the afternoon to claim seventh in the second encounter.

KTM-mounted Max Croker was able to take pole position in the Supersport 300 support division, his 1m49.118s lap-time a couple of tenths quicker than Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing Kawasaki), as Jack Mahaffy (Yamaha) rounded out the front row.

Once the lights went out on the first eight-lap affair of the weekend, it was Hunter Ford (Yamaha) who came out on top, beating Croker and Mahaffy to the line – the trio split by just 0.039s. Fourth was Bayliss and fifth Zac Levy (Yamaha), with the top seven all finishing within a second.