Cube Racing press release:
Cube Racing’s Tom Toparis has claimed another podium finish at Morgan Park’s fifth round of the 2018 Australian Supersport Championship in Queensland, as Supersport 300 contender Oli Bayliss concluded the weekend just shy of the top three.
Toparis laid down the second-fastest lap during Saturday’s qualifying sessions with a time of 1m15.163s, signalling his potential at the tight and technical 2.967-kilometre circuit.
The youthful talent acted on that pace in race one, although following a red flag he encountered is own challenges and ultimately settled for sixth after a critical error that saw him run off the track in the early stages.
In an impressive rebound later this afternoon, Toparis shot out to the lead in race two and controlled the field for a number of laps before claiming second position, salvaging third overall and enabling him to maintain second in the standings.
“It was a difficult one,” Toparis declared. “Race one was kind of tricky with the red flag and I think if that wasn’t involved, it would have been a lot different. I was right behind Cru [Halliday] and I had the ideal tyre, so I thought I’d be able to challenge him. I ended up getting caught up with Max Croker on the way into turn six, made a mistake and lost around 12 seconds.
“Race two I had nothing to lose. In the first couple of laps I had a battle with Cru, but he knew what tyre I had and just waited until it dropped off – I couldn’t really do anything about it. It’s hard to see someone ride away from you like that, but we’re heading into Winton now and just have to make the most of testing and keep trying hard.”
Bayliss was also second-fastest during Saturday’s Supersport 300 qualifying with a lap-time of 1m23.981s, which he later converted into a sixth-place finish following a nail-biting race one later that afternoon.
In the final two outings today he posted 4-8 race results for fifth overall, despite a 10-second penalty being handed down for a jump-start in race three. Those results have granted him third in the championship rankings.
“It’s not where I want to be, but it’s still not that bad either,” said Bayliss. “We know we’re pretty fast at Winton and I hold the lap record, so I should quickly be able to go fast there. I thought there was just going to be a group of us at this round, but it turned out to be a lot bigger and it was good racing.”
Cube Racing team owner Ben Henry was evidently proud of the squad’s efforts at Morgan Park, highlighting the positives that both boys can extract from the challenging weekend.
“Tom did okay this weekend and I think he proved to himself in the second race that he is good enough – he just has to work at,” Henry said. “I think that’s the best thing to come out of this weekend, that Tom was able to get to the front and have a go – he’s learning and it’s hard to go race someone like Cru who has done their time.
“Oli is battling away on his 300. We’re at the limit with our bike in the class, so we’ve just got to keep going and ride it out. He’s riding really well and when I watch him ride, like I’ve said, I believe he’s the best rider, but he’s just working a bit too hard for it. I’m positive that he’s doing as well as he possibly could and we’re happy.”
Cube Racing will now head to Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria for the penultimate round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) season, scheduled for 7-9 September.
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