Features 25 Mar 2023

Racefeed: 2023 ASBK Rd2 Sydney

Direct updates from second round of the season in New South Wales.

Follow the 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) with direct SBK and Supersport updates from the second round of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park through Racefeed.

Image: Foremost Media.

Supersport race one:
Yamaha-mounted Sean Condon did exactly what he needed to get his championship back on track in race one, converting pole position to victory in the overcast conditions. Despite getting shuffled back in the early stages, Condon maintained his composure in the opening laps and took the lead from Jake Farnsworth through turn two on lap four. The number 26 dropped the hammer to post a 1m32.9s and stretch his advantage out to nine-tenths. The gap remained around the one-second mark for the laps that followed, with Farnsworth riding to an unchallenged second position while keeping pressure on the lead. A clean ride from the fast-starting Tom Bramich (Yamaha) saw him finish third, ahead of Olly Simpson in P4 who recovered from running wide at turn four on lap three, while battling for the lead. Supersport rookie Cameron Dunker (Yamaha) emerged in fifth, in front of round one winner Ty Lynch (Yamaha) who overcame reigning champion John Lytras (Yamaha). Just two-tenths from Lytras, Hayden Nelson (Yamaha) finished P8, as Tarbon Walker (Yamaha) and Jack Favelle (Honda) completed the top 10.

Superbike race one:
McMartin Racing Ducati’s Josh Waters emerged victorious in the opening Superbike encounter, as the race was brought to a premature end following a mechanical issue for reigning champion Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team). Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) jumped to the early lead from pole, but Waters was at the head of the field come to the conclusion of lap one. The number 21 was able to edge out an eight-tenth advantage, with the pair lapping in the low 1m29s bracket to clearly distance themselves from the rest of the field. With five laps to go the gap between Halliday and Waters closed to just two-tenths in what was shaping up to be a thrilling conclusion to the bout, before a technical issue from Jones’ bike occurred a lap later which ultimately saw it catch on fire once parked at the side of the track. Jones was running a comfortable third at the time, but Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) was awarded the position after recovering from outside of the top six. GT Racing BMW’s Glenn Allerton finished ahead of Bryan Staring (MotoGo Yamaha) for fourth, the pair locked in an intense battle throughout the race. In sixth and one second back from the number 67 was Arthur Sissis (Unitech Racing Yamaha). Max Stauffer finished P7 after a strong start, leading Ted Collins (Livson Racing BMW), Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati) and Matt Walters (Aprilia) who rounded out the top 10. Jones’ mechanical issue was the cause of the red flag and as a result, he scored no points from that outing.

Supersport race two:
Dual Supersport 300 and R3 Cup champion Dunker mastered the tricky mixed conditions under lights to take his first victory onboard the 600 in national Supersport. Drying track conditions left competitors torn on tyre choice, with Lynch, Simpson and Dunker all opting for wets and breaking away in the early stages. Three soon became two as Simpson and Dunker cleared the number 85, the pair opening up a sizeable advantage in the laps that followed. Simpson led Dunker until two laps to go, when the GTR MotoStars rider capitalised on a mistake from the South Australian to take the lead and ride to a 1.040s victory. Simpson finished a clear second, 18 seconds ahead of Scott Nicholson who charged to third on slicks. Jonathan Nahlous (Yamaha) and Nelson were fourth and fifth respectively, ahead of Skeer, Passfield, Lynch – who suffered in the closing stages, Lytras and Luca Durning (Yamaha). Notably, race one winner Sean Condon – who was riding on slicks – crashed at turn six with five laps to go, and Farnsworth was pulled off the grid prior to the race start. Dunker’s race two victory elevated him to the round victory on 41 points, ahead of Simpson with 37 and Nelson on 29. In terms of the championship standings after round two, Lynch leads on 82 points, Simpson is second courtesy of 74 and Lytras is third with 72.

Superbike race two:
Despite the track being declared dry ahead of the second race, the conditions were far from ideal at the start of the encounter with the track not completely free from water. Allerton jumped to the early lead, with Halliday, Waters and Herfoss closing in, but after three laps the rain increased which brought out the red flags. In the re-started eight-lap outing, Herfoss was edging away at the front early-on but ran wide at turn six, dropping to fifth. Halliday then ran wide at the same spot, allowing Waters to take the lead and from there the number 21 took charge at the front of the field and stormed to a 6.3s victory, slowing before the line to celebrate. Herfoss was able to recover to second, leading Halliday in third by just under a second come race-end. A late charge from Sissis saw him fourth, two-tenths shy of a top-three as Allerton completed the top five after fighting hard to hold second throughout the mid-part of the race. Crossing the line in hot pursuit of the number 14 was Pearson in P6, as Collins, Stauffer, Staring and Jones completed the top 10. Waters’ double race victory saw him comfortably take the overall ahead of Halliday, with the number 65’s pole position critical in securing him second overall ahead of Herfoss in third. In terms of the championship standings, thanks to his five race victories to start the season Waters holds a commanding 35-point lead ahead of Herfoss, with Allerton in third a further eight points back. A disastrous round for reigning champion Jones sees him eighth in the title-race leaving Sydney, 62 points from Waters out in front.