Saturday's opening Supersport affair dominated by Toparis.
Penrite Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss has taken a thrilling final lap victory in the opening Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) race of 2018, topping triple world champion Troy Bayliss (DesmoSport Ducati).
A two-part YMI Superbike race saw Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecstar) leading by over three seconds, chased by Bayliss, Herfoss and Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team) when red flags were raised due to increasing rain around the circuit.
The drama began as early as lap one in part one when Glenn Allerton (Next Gen Motorsports BMW) catapulted off his S 1000 RR into turn four in a bitter beginning to his campaign. Deep under brakes, it appeared to be a case of taking evasive action, marginally short of taking Herfoss and Bayliss with him as he high-sided out of contention.
With Waters out front and posting a quickest lap of 1m32.740s early on before the weather depleted, the next trouble struck Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team) when he went down at turn one as the rain began to intensify, however he remounted in P27 when the race was stopped. Mike Jones (Kawasaki) also went down directly afterwards.
Five laps in and after repeated requests from Waters to bring out the red flag, race officials finally did. Confusion reigned in pit-lane for some time, however it was decided the race would go on, declared wet for a six-lap sprint in mixed, cool conditions. Taking the race back a lap, it was Waters from Maxwell and Bayliss on the front row.
Upon resumption, with riders still on slick tyres as the drizzle eased, it was Bayliss who starred in his return to full-time racing, leading two laps across the line until a determined Herfoss made his way to the front – the pair trading places a number of times – and making it stick exiting Siberia on the final lap.
Herfoss crossed the line for victory 0.201s ahead of Bayliss, with Waters – who also took his turn at the front once again in part two – completing the rostrum. Fourth came Bryan Staring (Kawasaki BCperformance) within a second of the win, while Falzon in his factory Yamaha debut was fifth. Teammate Maxwell was a non-finisher.
The leading pack had no less than eight riders dicing for position in the restart, as Aaron Morris (Maxima Yamaha), Alex Phillis (Phillis Racing Suzuki), Michael Blair (Gosford Classic Car Museum Yamaha), Matt Walters (Swann Insurance Kawasaki) and rookie Mark Chiodo (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were the final top 10 scorers.
The opening Kawasaki Supersport race of the season was dominated by Cube Racing Kawasaki’s Tom Toparis, sprinting away from the outset with a 6.454s lap-time ahead of Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) and debutant Max Croker (Mladin Racing Suzuki).
While Toparis controlled the race out front, Halliday salvaged the runner-up with a loose handlebar hindering his attempts of tracking down Toparis. Behind them to complete the top five was Giuseppe Scarcely (BCPerformance Junior Team Kawasaki) and another rookie in Broc Pearson (Yamaha).
It was a Cube Racing double as Oli Bayliss (Kawasaki) won the first Supersport 300 encounter, from Harry Khouri (Yamaha), Locky Taylor (Yamaha), Tom Bramich (Yamaha) and Hunter Ford (Yamaha) – the five separated by just 0.611s across the line.
Race two of Supersport 300 later in the afternoon was won by Bramich, crossing the finish just 0.020s ahead of Bayliss, with Khouri edging Taylor for the final place on the podium. Levy brought his YZF-R3 home for a lonely fifth at race’s end.
The day began this morning with a damp race one of the YMF R3 Cup class, in which Bramich streeted away from the chasing pack to win by over 10 seconds ahead of Ford and Zac Levy, while Max Stauffer and Callum O’Brien completed the top five.
Capping off the day’s action was the second R3 Cup affair, this time with Ford topping Bramich by 0.087s, with Levy capturing third once again. In the fourth and fifth places were Khouri and Taylor, each within a second of each-other at the chequered flag.