News 22 Feb 2018

Cube Racing charges into 2018 season at Phillip Island

Cube Racing press release:

The youthful Cube Racing team will commence the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) season this weekend at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC, entering the Supersport division with Tom Toparis, as well as the Supersport 300 category with Oli Bayliss.

Goulburn-bred title-challenger Toparis will be focused on his national Supersport bid in which he was quickest in pre-season testing, while also lining up as a wildcard in the Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) opener. He was 17th in the official WorldSSP test this week after posting an impressive 1m35.490s lap-time.

“We are learning so much doing the WorldSSP wildcard,” Toparis said. “Things from other teams and there are so many things we are learning, which is helping this weekend and obviously we can take it into the future on the other bike. It’s going to be a big weekend for sure, with plenty of track time, so I’m just looking forward to getting out there again in race-mode – the Cube Racing team and I are good to go.

“Together as a team we are all learning things, which has to be good for us. I’m sure the learning is not going to stop, as we still have four more days of riding ahead of us. In terms of the ASBK series, it’s a long season with 15 races in total across seven rounds, so the target is to get away from Phillip Island with a solid overall finish, then we’ll assess where we are after that.”

After finishing fourth in the Up To 300 Supersport championship last season, talented 14-year-old Oli Bayliss will be back for more in 2018 and is eager to capitalise on the lessons learned in his rookie campaign. He will be a regular toward the front of the tight-knit pack this year.

“It should be a good weekend, testing went well and we’re pretty confident coming into Phillip Island,” Bayliss said. “I’ll be aiming for P1 in the races, although top three would be great as well. I’m really looking forward to this season.”

Cube Racing team owner and manager Ben Henry is excited to work with both Toparis and Bayliss for a second full season, also assisting Aidan Hayes once again in the Supersport field throughout the year to come. It’s shaping up as a strong season ahead for the Queensland-based squad.

“We went really well in testing, which left us really happy for a few reasons,” commented Henry. “One of the pros from the test for me was the fact I don’t get to spend a lot of time with Tom, so it was good to spend some time with him and that probably helped him. I believe we did really well and he did a PB, so you can’t ask for too much more than that.

“In terms of the Australian championship, I expect Tom to finish on the podium. I never expect anyone to win because it’s just not the way it is, but I do expect him to finish on the podium and that is the first goal for us this season.

“For Oli, he is in a funny spot. He is not getting any smaller and the bike is not getting any faster, so it is at its limits and Oli is riding really well. Like Tom, if Oli were to put the bike on the podium that would be fantastic. I know he is keen to win here and he’s definitely good enough, but for sure, expect to see him on the podium. If he were to win I would be over the moon!”

Opening practice was staged this afternoon at Phillip Island, with Toparis topping the Supersport ranks and Bayliss leading the way in Supersport 300, setting up a top weekend ahead for the Cube Racing team.

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