Reflecting on first four rounds of 600, 300 and OJC this year.
With the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) support classes absent from the fourth round of the series at Hidden Valley, we Rewind and reflect on the 2022 season to date in Supersport, Supersport 300, R3 Cup and Oceania Junior Cup (OJC) ahead of their return to action at Morgan Park on 5-7 August.
Two commanding race victories from Senna Agius saw the Honda rider secure the overall win at Phillip Island’s Australian Supersport Championship opener, as Tom Bramich emerged as top of the series regulars.
Race one saw Agius ninth off the original start before he swiftly moved his way up to fourth in the opening stages, as Jack Passfield (Yamaha) crashed at turn 10, which brought out the red flag.
The eight-lap restart saw Tom Edwards (Yamaha) grab the holeshot again, this time closely followed by Agius at the end of lap one. Agius trailed the number 26 for the opening laps before pouncing into turn 10 to take the lead.
Edwards stayed in close pursuit until lap seven when he had a massive rear end slide out of turn 12, the cause quickly revealed as a flat rear tyre which forced him to retire.
Agius ultimately won the race with a 9.2s buffer over Tom Bramich (Yamaha) who kept his nose clean to secure P2 and a solid haul of points to start his 2022 campaign, ahead of Jack Hyde (Yamaha) who made his way past Olly Simpson (Yamaha) for third, Simpson crossing the line fourth.
Moving his way forwards to fifth was Queenslander John Lytras (Yamaha), as the top 10 was completed by Dallas Skeer (Yamaha), Ty Lynch (Yamaha), Tom Drane (Yamaha), Mitch Kuhne (Yamaha) and Timothy Large (Yamaha).
Agius made it two from two in the second race at ‘The Island’, a commanding performance from the Honda rider saw him cross the line 4.8s ahead of Edwards.
Edwards closely followed Agius until seven laps to go when he experienced a rear-end slide on the exit of turn six, dropping back two and a half seconds from Agius immediately afterwards, and within striking distance of Bramich, who ultimately finished third.
Simpson was able to stay close to Bramich during the opening laps before finishing a comfortable fourth ahead of Ty Lynch. The remainder of the top 10 was completed by Drane, Kuhne, Brendan Wilson (Yamaha), Rhys Belling (Yamaha) and Luke Sanders (Yamaha).
Embarking on a season in European Moto2, Agius’ double victory saw him comfortably take the overall ahead of Bramich, with Simpson completing the top three for round one of the new season.
Henry Snell (Yamaha) emerged victorious in Supersport 300, atop of Taiyo Aksu (Yamaha) and Kawasaki-equipped James Jacobs, as Varis Fleming initially lead the R3 Cup Championship following the first round, with Glenn Nelson (Yamaha) and Aksu second and third overall respectively in the category.
Both Fleming and Brodie Gawith (Yamaha) later had their points stripped across all six SSP300 and R3 Cup races at round one following a breach of technical compliance.
In the Oceania Junior Cup, a race three victory elevated Harrison Watts to take overall at Phillip Island, ahead of race one winner Cameron Rende as Teerin Fleming rounded out the top three.
Moving to round two at Queensland Raceway, the opening Supersport race was initially won by Edwards, the pole-setter converting from P1 on the grid to victory lane, before all of his points and lap record was stripped from the round following a post-race technical inspection.
It was initially John Lytras who led the opening six laps of race one in Queensland before Edwards took control of a four-rider train at the front and went on to cross the line first in the 14-lap encounter by 3.170s.
Behind him, Nicholson impressed after edging Lytras, while Simpson overcame a 10-second jump-start penalty to salvage fourth position. The top five was filled by Lynch, followed by Drane, Kuhne, the returning Troy Guenther (Yamaha), Chris Quinn (Yamaha) and Rhys Belling (Yamaha).
Both Bramich and Skeer crashed out of contention, while Jack Hyde (Yamaha) exited after going off-track himself.
Race two of the day in the Supersport class saw Edwards kept honest until the final laps when he managed to stretch an advantage and again take the chequered flag first.
His final margin as he crossed the line first came at 1.489s ahead of Lytras, who improved by one place this afternoon, and it was Simpson who completed the race third after factoring in the battle for victory during the early stages. Nicholson climbed to fourth by race’s end after getting the better of Bramich, as Drane, Lynch, Kuhne, Guenther and Belling were the top 10 across the line.
The overall for the round this weekend went to Lytras, as Nicholson and Simpson completed the podium. In terms of the championship standings leaving round two, it was Simpson at the head of the field on 72, ahead of Lytras on 67 and Lynch on 62.
The Supersport 300 category was won by Nelson after taking out both races on Sunday, joined on the podium by pole-setter Cameron Dunker (Yamaha) and race one winner Jacobs. Dunker won the R3 Cup overall after winning race three, turning the tables on Nelson, with Hayden Nelson (Yamaha) third.
Winning the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup weekend was Watts for the second round in a row, topping race three this afternoon and joined on the overall podium by Ryan Larkin, as well as opening race winner Hunter Corney.
Round three took place at Wakefield Park, and John Lytras did the double to take control of the series. The first Supersport race of the weekend was a three-rider battle at the front and it was Lytras who took P1 following the 15-lap restart.
When they initially got underway, Drane crashed in the turn one/two and prompted a red flag, but once things got back underway Bramich and Mahon also soon went down in separate incidents, as did Nicholson on the second lap.
Lytras effectively controlled part two and won ahead of pole-setter Sean Condon, who made a last corner move on Lynch, with the top five completed by Kuhne and Jake Farnsworth.
Positions six through 10 featured Belling, Timothy Large (Yamaha), Declan Carberry (Suzuki), John Quinn (Yamaha) and Nicholson, who managed to remount for points as the final finisher in the race altogether.
After winning round two on the Monday afterwards, this time around Lytras was able to enjoy the middle step of the podium with a commanding clean-sweep of the round in Goulburn.
Lytras once again controlled things from the front of the pack and went on the finish 0.520s ahead of the determined Lynch, who managed to build a buffer over Condon as he worked his way into third position by the conclusion of 16 laps.
Fourth was a solid way to rebound from Nicholson after crashing earlier, as did Bramich to fill the top five. Belling brought his R6 home sixth once again, ahead of Drane, Farnsworth, Large and Carberry.
The round podium was Lytras over Condon courtesy of his point for pole, with Lynch P3. In the point-standings, it’s Lytras at the head of the pack by 17 points from Lynch, with Nicholson a further 18 back in third.
All three races in Supersport 300 at Wakefield were won by pole position-holder Dunker, joined on the overall podium by Taiyo Aksu (Yamaha) and Nelson. Dunker has a 25-point advantage in the series over James Jacobs (Kawasaki) and Nelson.
The R3 Cup round belonged to Dunker with 1-2-2 results ahead of race two winner Nelson – the series leader – and final race victor Liam Waters (Yamaha). In the Oceania Junior Cup, Hudson Thompson went 2-3-1 to win the round on countback over opening race winner Watts, current points-leader, and Levi Russo, who topped the second race of the round.