News 28 Oct 2023

Toparis leaning towards not competing Sunday on Superbike

Priority is the Supersport category at Phillip Island ASBK.

Image: Foremost Media.

Double Australian Supersport champion Tom Toparis has been busy across Friday and Saturday at Phillip Island, completing all sessions in the 600 class plus the premier ASBK category but he is leaning towards contesting just Supersport on Sunday with the 666 Racing Stop & Seal team.

It was outlined prior to the weekend that Toparis – who was third in this year’s British Supersport Championship – would enter both the Superbike and Supersport classes at round six of ASBK, with a decision during the weekend to be made if would he complete Phillip Island in the premier class.

Toparis topped practice yesterday in Supersport and set the pace in the category’s qualifying one session this morning with a 1m35.495s. He has also impressed with his progress in the Superbike class so far, posting a 1m33.754s to land 10th in free practice four.

The priority for Toparis at Phillip Island is the Supersport category, while he has his eyes set on the Superbike class at The Bend, with tests planned at the venue on the R1 after round six. He will make a final decision on whether he will compete this weekend on the R1 after qualifying.

“For me, I’m lucky enough to be able to ride it [the Superbike] this weekend, it wasn’t meant to be ready,” Toparis explained to CycleOnline. “For me, it’s just me learning how to ride it, because that is the biggest difference coming from a 600 that I have ridden for like five years now.

“Changing my style, the bike is going to be close enough, isn’t it? For me, it’s just braking earlier, being smoother and parking it a bit more and driving off the exit. I sort of just really want to learn as much as I can in preparation for The Bend, but I also don’t want to ruin the 600 for this weekend.

“I think plan with the guys that we established, I’m going to do all the way up to qualifying, see how we go, and then tomorrow probably just the 600, unless I can do some magical thing in qualy.

“I did a 1m33s something then, I would love to get into a low 33. We used the same tyre then the whole session, so if I can bang a new tyre in qualy like everyone else, and yeah move forwards. I just want to continue the progression really. We go riding next week at Tailem Bend and I will do a lot of time on the Superbike then.

“For me being around good people and being taught what to do is the biggest thing, because I know as long as the bike is close, it’s up to the rider basically. So yeah, we will see how we get on.”