News 27 Mar 2023

'Bad luck' costs Halliday Sydney ASBK victory chance

Second overall amidst mixed conditions for YRT contender.

Image: Foremost Media.

The sheer pace in the dry of Cru Halliday was clear at Sydney Motorsport Park, however, ‘bad luck’ and the performance of Josh Waters meant the Yamaha Racing Team rider was unable to convert his strong practice and qualifying form to a race victory.

Halliday opened round two of the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship by setting a new outright ASBK best-lap in FP1, lowering that effort to a 1m28.895s to lead practice.

The number 65 fired his R1 to pole position under the lights, and arguably entered the races as a favourite to challenge the winning streak of Waters (McMartin Racing Ducati).

Waters stretched out to an eight-tenth lead on lap four of the opening bout, but as the race progressed Halliday was able to claw his way back to within three-tenths of the V4 R rider as the momentum appeared to be on his side. In what was shaping up to be a thrilling conclusion to the encounter, race one was red-flagged due to the mechanical issue of Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team).

Race two started in patchy conditions on slicks, and was restarted soon after in the wet following the rain. Admittedly not a wet weather specialist, Halliday was able to salvage a third place-result which saw him second overall for the round.

“Honestly, it wasn’t that bad, bad luck in the first one as I was starting catch Josh [Waters] in the later part of that race,” Halliday explained to CycleOnline. “It looked like he had a bit of a tyre issue and I think I managed my tyres a little bit better, but then the red flag came out which put an end to me going for an attack on him.

“It is what it is, race two started off real patchy and we were all on slicks, it was pretty hairy there for a bit. I actually started getting into a bit of a flow, then it was red-flagged, and I knew straight away, I was like ‘this was not good for me’, being there in the wet, I’ve always struggled there in the past’.

“To be honest, I felt pretty good in the wet tonight and ended up putting it P3 for that race. I’m actually pretty happy with the two races, just a bit of bad luck and bad weather, but I am sure we will come back in Queensland swinging.

Despite a ‘racing incident’ in the season-opening race at Phillip Island, Halliday has been able to recover from that zero-point score to fourth in the championship standings, 49 points adrift from Waters who has won all five races in the 2023 season to date. Round three of the series takes place at Queensland Raceway between 28-30 April.