Racer comments from South Australia's third round of the year.
A selection of riders detail their weekend at The Bend Motorsport Park’s third round of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK). Team and privateer competitors can submit comments to [email protected] by Monday afternoon following events for inclusion in the post-event Quotebook feature.
Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) – Third overall:
I was a bit off the pace at the start of the week, so to finish up on the podium and be well placed in the championship is a good result for the team and myself. I had never raced a Superbike here as I was on 600s last year, so it took me a while to get my head around things and also get a set up I was comfortable with for the full race distance. The team did a great job with the bike and on the track managing tyres was the key. It is a circuit that can tear tyres apart quickly so at certain stages over the weekend I had to ride the bike a bit differently to keep tyre quality. The opening race I rode the track in a gear higher and was a smooth as possible on the throttle, while the last one I didn’t get a great start so I had to be patient and pick my way through the field. Congratulations to Bryan on a great round, he was a bit above the rest of us today but I like the next two tracks we race at, Morgan Park and Winton, so I’m hoping to race well there and get a round victory as I haven’t done that so far this year.
Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team) – 11th overall:
I’m very disappointed, to say the least. I came into this round with a whole heap of confidence knowing we had very strong pace and in my home state, I really wanted to be up the front and challenging for the round win. We showed we had the pace during the practice sessions and in qualifying, so I was ready to go for the weekend. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be as we some issues with the tyres during the course of the races on Saturday and today. The track was tough on tyres and the majority of the field had similar issues but I felt helpless once my rear tyre went off and there was nothing I could do about it. In the last race, it was one of those racing incidents. No one was really to blame. I had nowhere to go in entering turn two. I simply just got caught up with some of the riders which saw me coming unstuck. Unfortunately for the team it means we have a crashed bike and very few points. Fingers crossed we can improve on the next round at Morgan Park in July. Thanks to the Yamaha Racing Team for their efforts this weekend anyway as everyone has worked really hard.
Mike Jones (DesmoSport Ducati) – Second overall:
I’m closer to the championship lead, and I’m feeling good after a strong weekend for us. Ben [Henry] and Paul [Free] worked extremely hard to give me a great motorbike, and I just felt very comfortable on the bike. We had a strong plan, especially after the first race, but a bad start in race two hindered me significantly and then in race three I was nearly wiped out of the race altogether by another rider. So, taking that into account and still coming away with second overall, I’m really happy.
Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) – Fifth overall:
This weekend was definitely a difficult one in a few ways, although we managed to finish fifth overall in the end. To finish on a better note with fourth in race three was positive, so we will take the points from here and look to rebound again when the series continues.
Mark Chiodo (Penrite Honda Racing) – Seventh overall:
It was a good feeling to be in that position, to lead a race in the Superbike class and be toward the front. I’ve taken confidence from this weekend and it was positive to finish all three races again – it will be important to build on this result and keep moving forward from here.
Bryan Staring (Kawasaki BCperformance) – First overall:
Even with the advantage that we had in the Dunlop tyres, I still didn’t expect to have a weekend like this. A huge thanks to the Kawasaki BCperformance team, everybody at Kawasaki Motors Australia and also to Dunlop – how your fortunes can change.
Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki BCperformance) – First overall:
We’ve actually had a really good weekend aside from that crash in race two. We took two top 10 finishes, which was the highest I’ve finished this season, so it was great. Getting a good result going into the break is inspiring and to see what Bryan achieved is motivating as well.
Glenn Allerton (Maxima BMW) – DNF:
I’m gutted as the team and I were really starting to make significant inroads. I really felt like that we were going to be in for good results in all three races on Saturday and Sunday because we had a really good race setup to get the most out of the tyres. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be and I’m sorry for the Next Gen Motorsports guys, as they have a lot of work to do now.
Ted Collins (Maxima BMW) – 19th overall:
As I started to go around the outside of the other rider, he crashed, and I had nowhere to go and I simply hit his bike. I’m just so sorry for the team that I was unable to get them the results which they deserved. On top of that, I destroyed another motorcycle. I have to say a huge thank you to the team, as they all worked really hard to give me a good bike today. I honestly feel like if we were to have made it out for the third race, we would have been able to show that.
Matt Walters (Kawasaki Connection) – Ninth overall:
It was an interesting weekend because we found some really serious pace with the bike. Unfortunately we couldn’t keep the tyres up to it, but I was in the same boat as everyone in terms of the tyre wear. We learned a few things in terms of chassis set-up through trial and error that gave us two seconds out of the bike relatively easily. When we get to a track that doesn’t wear the tyres out too much I think we’ll be real serious contenders to actually win races. It’s taken us a while, but I believe we’ll be there. It’s a bittersweet feeling at the moment because I didn’t get the positions that I wanted to and it was out of my control, but coming into Morgan Park – where I had great results last year – we have a better motorbike in the Ninja ZX-10RR. I’m confident we will be able to challenge for the podium, so I’ll definitely be working hard with my training and preparation between now and the next round, will do a couple of track days at Morgan Park and we’re looking forward to it.
Glenn Scott (GSR Kawasaki) – Sixth overall:
I’m ecstatic with my weekend, my confidence and consistency is building nicely. The Bend is a unique circuit which challenges both rider and machine. A real solid strategy was needed for the three 10 lap races. I am thankful to have such a great team around me, my crew chief Al Samuels, mechanic Ryan Hughes and Tom Kallis from Darby St Automotive who worked incredibly hard to give me the best ZX10-R possible and we are very proud of our rewarding results. I look forward to continuing this success at round four in Morgan Park. I would like to extend my congratulations to Bryan Staring and Kawasaki on taking the win across all three races, it was a solid effort showing the true capabilities of the Kawasaki ZX-10RR.
Tom Toparis (Landbridge Yamaha) – First overall:
It was another great weekend for the Landbridge Racing Team and I. We extended the championship lead, which is what we came here to do. Nic is obviously very strong around here at The Bend Motorsport Park, which is his home track. He rides it really well and deserved his victory. I liked battling with him and it was good fun. I kind of got a little bit held up at the start of the race, as I got a bad start and towards the end of the race Nic’s tyre came on which worked into his advantage. He just got me into the second last corner on the last lap. Apart from that, we managed to have two really good wins this weekend and on top that, another pole position as well. We have a big gap now until Morgan Park and I’m headed off overseas now to race in the IDM series to do some more laps until the next round of the ASBK to keep my eye in. Hopefully racing in the IDM series that will help us get to Morgan Park on the ball and ready to go. I’m really forward to getting back to the tight tracks, such as Morgan Park and Winton in September. The tight tracks will suit the Yamaha YZF-R6 for sure. So, I can’t wait.
Nic Liminton (Yamaha) – Second overall:
I’m totally over the moon about that final race and getting the win. It was so good to do it in front of my friends and family who have come out to support me and this event in South Australia. To top it off with our very first Australian Supersport Championship win in the last race is just even better. I couldn’t be happier. Massive thanks to the team. The Yamaha YZF-R6 has been working great and we finally got the Pirelli tyre picking up really nicely. In that race, Tom sure did make me work for it. He is very, very quick and has won every race so far this season. So, to be able to put a stop to his winning streak is such a nice feeling. I’m looking forward to Morgan Park. Unfortunately, I missed the round last year due to my health issues. It will be great to be back there as I know I can go quick there. It should be another awesome round.
Zack Johnson (Rebuilder Yamaha) – ninth overall:
I’m happy with how the weekend has ended as we came into this weekend with no real expectations. Seeing I have been out of the saddle since the final round of the ASBK last year, we just wanted to finish without any dramas and we have managed to do that. So, to score an 8-8-10 result, I have no complaints whatsoever. We even tried something new in the final race to see if that particular set-up would work, as we didn’t have anything to lose and everything to gain. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, so at least we walked away with a bit of better idea where can improve on in the future. All in all, it’s just great to be back racing again.
Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing) – Seventh overall:
That definitely wasn’t the weekend I expected to have. It just didn’t come together for me really. The guys worked hard all weekend to give me the best bike possible, and when I did feel good on track, I came together with riders on the first lap pushing me back in the pack. I head home still in fourth, so it wasn’t all bad.
Avalon Biddle (Cube Racing) – Seventh overall:
What a great weekend! I was initially unsure about racing this round since I only just wrapped up the NZ Supersport Championship and missed testing, but it’s turned out to be a great decision. I’m incredibly happy with the bike, the team and the way everyone works together to help each other go faster. Both Mike Jones and Cru Halliday spent some time with me to help get up to speed faster with the circuit while Jeff [Dillon] and the entire Cube Racing team helped get the bike setup right. I moved forward in both times and race position every time I was on-track. I head back to New Zealand now to keep training before coming back and testing. I can’t wait to go racing again.