Race one winner Croker second as Toparis takes third in Victoria.
Yamaha Racing Team’s Cru Halliday has earned the 2018 Australian Supersport crown after claiming a thrilling victory at the penultimate round of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) in Winton, Victoria.
Mladin Racing’s Max Croker broke through for his first-career national Supersport championship race win in the opening 13-lap affair, taking full advantage of drama for Halliday and Tom Toparis (Cube Racing Kawasaki) in the first turn.
A mistake from Toparis saw him run Halliday wide, both running off-track, enabling a small group at the front to break clear. After leading lap one, Croker ultimately hit the front of the pack for good on lap three and rode away to a 2.047s victory, with Halliday managing to recover to P2 from outside of the top 10 and stretching his championship lead to 47 points.
Third was Nic Liminton (Yamaha) in an inspiring performance, holding Damon Rees (Honda) at bay, as Broc Pearson (Yamaha) was fifth. Positions six through 10 were filled by Toparis, Scott Nicholson (Next Gen Suzuki), Giuseppe Scarcella (Kawasaki BCperformance), Jack Passfield (Yamaha) and Ty Lynch (Yamaha).
Victory in race two was enough for Halliday to capture the 2018 Australian Supersport Championship crown this afternoon, crossing the line 1.203s ahead of title-rival Toparis in a measured performance. Halliday led through the first turn until Toparis made an early move for the position and was able to lead lap one.
The second lap saw Halliday counterstrike to reclaim P1 and that’s where he would remain, salvaging the overall and championship in the process. It was a great effort from Toparis to finish second, keeping race one winner Croker at bay, with Liminton and Pearson filling the top five placings.
Sixth came an improved Scarcella, as Rhys Belling (Yamaha), Nicholson, Zac Johnson (Yamaha) and Passfield the top 10. Halliday won the overall from Croker and Toparis, who scored the final podium place on count-back from Liminton. In the championship, Halliday now has the 52-point advantage he needed heading into Phillip Island’s finals next month.