Features 30 Apr 2024

Debrief: 2024 ASBK Rd3 Queensland Raceway

Overall winners Jones and Toparis recall round three in Queensland.

Yamaha Racing Team’s Mike Jones was dominant at Queensland Raceway’s round three of the 2024 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK). The three-time champion found his way back to the top step of the Superbike overall podium for the first time this season, while Stop & Seal Racing’s Tom Toparis made it back-to-back round wins in the Supersport category. CycleOnline caught up with both riders after the races for this Debrief feature.


Image: Foremost Media.

Mike, what a weekend for you! Run us through the feelings after a dominant weekend.

Yeah, incredible weekend here. It’s the perfect one. In qualifying we were pole position with the lap record, then two race wins with a race lap record as well. It just couldn’t have gone any better, I’m very happy to get this result. The Yamaha Racing Team have been working tirelessly to give me the bike and package that I need to be able to get the results. It’s been a little while, so to be able to get it happening here is really good. In terms of the championship, it’s what I needed to do.

As you said, a result like this was needed. It’s been a tough season for you so far, but was a result like this expected for you coming to a home track of sorts?

It’s expected of myself, because it’s a track that I’ve done so many laps at. Theoretically, I should have an advantage over some of the other guys purely based on track time. On top of that, The Yamaha team based in Brisbane, so we have the chance to do a fair bit of riding and testing here. So it’s a place that the team come to with the expectation to win.

We saw some resurfacing happening here at the beginning of the year. Is that something noticeable to you?

Absolutely! Whilst we have set a new qualifying and race lap record, the track has changed. There was resurface works done at turn three and also turn six, so that’s definitely a lot smoother. Although it’s only two turns, there’s only six turns on the track, so it definitely makes those areas a little easier to ride, and with the new bitumen, possibly a little more grip there as well.

A result like today, is that a sense of relief for you as we move forward to another one of the Queensland rounds?

Yeah absolutely. For me, the way the calendar works, we do two rounds – one at Phillips Island and one at Sydney Motorsport Park – then we come here and do the two Queensland rounds, so I’d say I wouldn’t evaluate the championship and where we’re at until after Morgan Park. These two rounds are sort of my rounds, but I’d say that Phillip Island and Sydney are definitely more so for Josh [Waters] and even Cru [Halliday] and some of those guys. They sort of got the leg up initially, then I’m hoping that I can bring it back a little and re-evaluate after Morgan Park.

Congratulations on an awesome weekend. You really stamped your authority on this place. We look forward to seeing you at Morgan Park.

Thanks mate, cheers!


Image: Foremost Media.

Tom, round three of ASBK here at Queensland Raceway. What a day for you, you won the overall by that single point from qualifying on pole position. Take us through the weekend.

Mate, it was a crazy weekend to be honest, with off track stuff. Like all the stuff with our team, it was hard to race and put that stuff aside, if you know what I mean? On the bike, I had a great weekend. I think we went eight-tenths faster than they did last year, so the pace was hot. Race one, I got off to a really bad start and kept chipping away, I think it was the last two laps where I really found my feet and went on to beat the lap record on lap 13 or something. I felt really strong at the end. Unfortunately, in race two the race was shortened with a red flag. I set myself up to do a similar thing, I got off to an okay start, then there was a massive crash. I thought there was going to be a red flag. I got kind of borked by the other guys and Archie [McDonald] was in front of me, I kept taking a few tenths every lap and then right as I got into a position where I was in his draft… red flag. So I’m happy with the weekend and how it’s gone. Overall, the team is going really well and we’re happy with how it’s going.

Talking about the track, they’ve done some resurfacing here. Is that something you have noticed this weekend?

Well, I haven’t been here sicne 2017, so I don’t really remember what it was like before. I was on a 300 when I was last here. But, it obviously has good enough grip and we were lucky with the weather. It’s a great facility here, it’s simple, but it’s good for racing. The pits here are really good, they’ve all been re-done. So yeah, happy to come to QR!

As you said at the beginning there, some off track incidents with some fellow competitors. can you take us through that from your opinion?

It’s a hard one. I don’t really want to talk about it that much. I’m mates with Mark [Chiodo], but I’m sort of in the middle of something I don’t want to be in the middle of. It’s nothing to do with me, at all. But, it’s a shame that it’s gotten to the point that it has over what it’s about, which is crazy. I don’t know what to say, it’s crazy and I wish it didn’t happen to be honest with you. I just wish that evryone got on with the job and sorted it out off the track like it’s supposed to. Anyway, I think it’ll be all good. Everyone is still friends, that’s the thing. I know that I’m kind of in the middle cause I’m friends with everyone and I’m riding for the team that’s involved. I know that it’ll be alright, I just hope Marko is all good.

Great work. You got the job done here and got the win. We’ll see you at Morgan Park.

Thank you, it’s been good. Happy to get another win!