Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
Yamaha Racing Team’s Cru Halliday holds the Australian Superbike Championship points lead on his Yamaha YZF- R1M after round two of the championship concluded at Wakefield Park, NSW, over the weekend.
Halliday entered the round in second place after a great start to the championship at Phillip Island but moved into the series lead after another fast and consistent weekend at Wakefield Park and proved he is in this for the long haul.
In front of a good sized crowd gather at Wakefield Park, the weekend started off in perfect fashion as Halliday charged to the top of the time sheets in qualifying and took his first pole position of the season. With the confidence gained in qualifying, the 30 year old New South Welshman was ready to translate that into a top result in race one.
But the pressure of being on P1 got to Halliday and after a reasonable start, where he sat in second place, he began to fall off the pace and by lap 12 of 20, Halliday had dropped to fourth and struggling to regain his flow on the tight Wakefield Park circuit.
But he regathered his thoughts, got his mind back in the game and began to make his way forward again. He moved passed team mate, Daniel Falzon, then put in some big laps in attempt to chase down the lead pair of Troy Herfoss and Wayne Maxwell. On the last lap he latched onto the back of Maxwell and on the very last corner, he drove down the inside and made it stick, which gave him second for the race and a positive frame of mind for the second race.
Race two and again Halliday found himself in second place as the 24 rider strong field roared through turn one. This time Halliday was determined to stay in touch with the leader and latched onto the back wheel of Troy Herfoss and was never further than a couple of bike lengths away. He shadowed Herfoss for 13 laps before the race was stopped when a rider went down heavily and needed medical assistance.
He 2-2 results gave him second for the round, but more importantly, sees him take the series lead in the Superbike division for the first time in his career.
“I’m really happy with how the weekend went and that we are leaving here with the championship lead,” Halliday enthuses. “Getting P1 was awesome as this track can be hard to get a good feel on but the team did a great job of getting the bike just right.
“I rode a bit tight in the first race and didn’t flow and link up the track as I wanted and as a result, I struggled for speed. But, I was happy that I was able to rebound late in the race and make a couple of passes to salvage a good result.
“The second race and I was more relaxed and able to flow better. Troy was pushing the pace in front and we were all working hard to stay with him, but I was determined to stick on him and see if I could maybe pull another late race move but it was stopped with seven laps to go.
“Overall, I’m pumped with how the season has started and the effort everyone at YRT have put in. The team is working really well together at the moment and I really enjoy coming to the races with these guys,” Halliday ends.
Team mate, Daniel Falzon also made strides forward at round two and finished in fifth place with 5-4 results in the two races contested on the weekend.
Like Falzon, he qualified well and was on the second row of the grid but knew his race pace was good and able to be maintained for the entire 20 lap race.
He leapt from the grid in race one and was in the heat of the battle from the get go. He clawed his way into third by the mid-way stage, but when Halliday put on his late race charge, Falzon was relegated back to fourth a position where he would stay until race end.
Race two saw five riders break away from the pack in a fast moving freight train. Herfoss, Halliday, Maxwell, Jones and Falzon all raced tyre to tyre for the opening thirteen laps with some close racing and position swapping happening throughout. But when the race was red flagged, Falzon was in fifth, which gave him fifth for the round and moved him to eighth in the championship standings.
“The weekend was positive in many ways and in the right direction after round one,” Falzon begins. “I need to get a better qualifying position, so I can be up the front from the get go and that is something I will work on before the next round.
“I think if I can get track position early in the race, the results will improve, and I can get on the podium. That’s the goal for the next round and being in my home state in South Australia, I really want to be at my best and make a big charge up the championship table. I was on the podium there last year and it would be amazing to win there at the next round,” Falzon said.
Round three of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) will hit The Bends circuit, at Tailem Bend on April 26-28. For more information: https://www.asbk.com.au/