Features 29 Oct 2023

Racefeed: 2023 ASBK Rd6 Phillip Island

Direct updates from the sixth round of the season in Victoria.

Follow the 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) with direct SBK and Supersport updates from the sixth round of the season at Phillip Island through Racefeed.

Image: Foremost Media.

Supersport race one:

Double Australian Supersport champion Tom Toparis converted from pole position to deliver a controlled ride to victory in race one. Olly Simpson (Yamaha) grabbed the holeshot, with Toparis taking the lead into turn one on lap two. From there Toparis began to stretch out a small advantage, posting a 1m35.266 on the second lap before a moment from the number 45 dropped him back to second, with Cameron Dunker (Yamaha) moving into P2. From there, Toparis stretched out and managed the gap out front, ultimately taking the checkers with a 2.7s advantage. Dunker finished an important second, with Simpson unable to make up the ground lost early in the race, completing the top three. Fourth was Jonathan Nahlous, breaking away from the group fighting for fifth, with Ty Lynch (Yamaha) emerging on top in that battle ahead of Jake Farnsworth (Yamaha) and Hayden Nelson (Yamaha). Meanwhile, Dallas Skeer (Yamaha), Scott Nicholson (Yamaha) and Jack Passfield (Yamaha) completed the top 10.

Superbike race one: 

Yamaha Racing Team’s Cru Halliday delivered speed and composure when it counted to take his first race win of the season. Josh Waters (McMartin Racing) made a fast start and swiftly found his way to the lead, ahead of Max Stauffer (GTR MotoStars Yamaha) and Halliday, while pole-setter Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati) dropped to P6. Defending champion Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team) made his way to second on lap two, taking Stauffer into The Hayshed. Waters opened up just over half a second advantage by the time Jones was second, but the R1 rider was back within striking distance at the end of lap four, and made his move for the lead into turn 10 turn two laps later. Waters ran wide into Miller Corner next time round, allowing Halliday through who was sixth-tenths behind Jones at this point. With five laps to go, Halliday had the gap to Jones under two-tenths, and then took the lead into turn one as Waters was one second back in P3. Jones returned the favour the next time round, and sliced past the number 65 into turn one, before disaster struck at turn four and he crashed out of the race. Halliday withstood the late charge of Waters to win by .077s, with Stauffer securing a solid P3 result. Fourth was Glenn Allerton (GT Racing BMW), leading the group of Bryan Staring (MotoGO Yamaha) and Pearson across the line. Championship leader Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) ran wide into turn one while running P6, with nine laps to go. He was able to recover and finish P7, his championship lead now eight points, as Ted Collins (Livson Racing), Anthony West and Arthur Sissis completed the top 10.

Supersport race two:

New championship leader Dunker emerged on top in what was a dramatic second Supersport encounter at Phillip Island. Dunker grabbed the holeshot, as Toparis was back to fourth in the early stages, but wasted no time in taking third from Nahlous into turn four, with Simpson taking Dunker for the lead. Toparis moved into second at MG before an incident at the final corner on the opening lap saw him fall hard, bringing out the red flags. Toparis was stretchered off the track, and is conscious and under the care of the Racesafe Medical team. In the restarted nine-lap outing, Nelson pulled into pits after the warm-up lap as Simpson rapidly dropped to the back of the field, clearly dealing with an issue. Dunker again grabbed the early lead, followed by Lynch and Nahlous. As the race entered lap two, Nahlous swept by Dunker and Lynch into turn one. Nahlous was shuffled back to third at the beginning of the third lap by Dunker and Farnsworth, but he was back to the front by Miller Corner when Dunker ran wide, with the leading group of six at this point also including Skeer, Nicholson and Lynch. Farnsworth then took to the front, with Skeer moving into P3 with three laps left, but on the penultimate lap he ran off the track at The Hayshedand and dropped back to fifth. Nahlous and Dunker had a small gap at the front entering the final lap, but the number 20 lifted his hand off as he crossed the line, afterwards dropping back which gave Dunker breathing room. Dunker took the checkered flag first to take the overall, with Nahlous finishing the race in second ahead of Farnsworth third, eight-tenths back from the lead in third, millimetres ahead of Lynch. Fifth was Skeer, as positions six to 10 featured Nicholson, Jack Favelle (Honda), Brendan Wilson (Yamaha), Passfield, and Declan Carberry (Suzuki). Simpson’s issue forced him to retire from the race, meaning Dunker now holds a 14-point lead entering the final round at The Bend, with Lynch third in the standings and two points back from Simpson. Nahlous finished second for the round, with Farnsworth third.

Superbike race two:

A timely race win for Waters saw him secure the round victory, and draw level with the championship lead. Waters launched to the lead once more in race two, with Stauffer making another quick start to slot into second behind Stauffer, with Pearson ahead of Allerton, Jones and Halliday. Jones was second by lap three with the gap to Waters 0.8s at this point. As the race approached its halfway point, Jones had closed the gap to Waters to under four tenths, while race one winner Halliday had moved into third, making progress towards the leading two. Roughly a second back from Halliday, Stauffer, Pearson and Herfoss were engaged in a battle for fourth. On lap eight, Halliday took Jones into turn one for the lead, with a three-rider battle emerging for the lead, as Herfoss took Pearson for fifth into turn one. Despite pressure from Halliday and Jones, Waters held on to take a pivotal race win, with Halliday and Jones completing the podium. Herfoss was fourth, with Stauffer and Pearson in positions five and six, as Staring, Allerton, West and Collins featured in positions 7-10. Waters won the overall on countback ahead of Halliday, with Stauffer third for the round. Critically, Waters is now equal on points with Herfoss entering the final round at The Bend, with Allerton now P3 in the standings.