Yesterday's pole position enough for Jones to secure overall.
Emerging title rivals Mike Jones and Wayne Maxwell traded the race wins at Wakefield Park today in round three of the 2022 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), but it was Jones who stood in the middle of the podium overall courtesy of his pole position point.
Yamaha Racing Team’s points-leader Jones proved once and for all that his double in Queensland was no fluke, striking from pole position once again in the opening 20-lap affair this morning to edge defending champion Maxwell (Boost Mobile Racing with K-Tech McMartin Racing Ducati).
Maxwell led initially with Jones in tow, until the latter made his move with two laps to go and powered away to win by a full second as the chequered flag flew. It was another ominous effort from the former two-time champion to lead home current number one Maxwell, with second of the factory R1Ms Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) there in a comfortable third.
P4 was a sign of improvement from Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing), in turn ahead of Bryan Staring (DesmoSport Ducati) and Arthur Sissis (Unitech Racing Yamaha) right behind him. Maxima BMW duo Glenn Allerton and Josh Waters were next in line, with private Yamaha riders Daniel Falzon and Anthony West completing the top 10. 727 Moto rookie Broc Pearson was ruled out after a crash in warm-up, however, after sitting out Saturday, Max Stauffer (Yamaha) returned for race-day and brought it home in 14th position to earn a share of points.
The anticipated second bout between Jones and Maxwell saw the former jump out front early as Maxwell was caught up in the pack, but he soon made his way into second by the end of lap one and set his sights on the front.
It was Jones who managed to first half of the race until Maxwell made his move at the final turn on lap 13 of the 20, which is where he would remain – going on to win by 0.298s.
Jones tried to mount an attack on the closing lap, but with the points-lead to consider and the fact that he would win the overall regardless, P2 was enough for him to take the overall after claiming a point for pole position on Saturday.
Third in the race was Halliday after running as high as second initially and then being bumped back to fourth by both Maxwell and Staring, holding the fast-finishing Herfoss at bay for position. Staring eventually crossed the line in fifth, marginally in front of Sissis and Waters, while Allerton, West and Lachlan Epis (BMW Alliance Racing) were the top 10.
Overall, Jones edged Maxwell courtesy of his pole position point, with Halliday returning to the podium, while in the standings it’s Jones now 23 points ahead of Maxwell, with opening round winner Staring another seven points in arrears. Next stop for the ASBK’s premier class will be Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin alongside the Supercars between 17-19 June.