The Yamaha Racing Team rode a rollercoaster of emotion throughout the final round of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), but ultimately came home without the championship trophy after a gripping weekend of racing at Winton, Victoria, over the weekend.
Despite the rough weekend for the team and not results they were after, they still managed a 2-3-4 result in the championship and vowed to be back faster and stronger in 2017.
Heading into the grand finale, Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell had a seven point advantage over championship rival Troy Herfoss, while fellow YRT rider Glenn Allerton was a further eleven points down on Maxwell.
For the second year running, Wayne Maxwell and Troy Herfoss were locked in battle for the ASBK crown but the weekend got off to a sluggish start for Maxwell when he could only managed ninth in qualifying and had to start well behind the leaders in the two seventeen lap races. However, in race one, Maxwell stormed his way from ninth to fourth place and put up a valiant effort to keep his grip on the points lead which saw him take a three point championship lead into the last race.
Once again Maxwell again used every bit of his experience to fight through the field. He got up to as high as fourth, but unfortunately lost the front end at turn five and went down which cost him any chance of winning his second ASBK crown.
Maxwell finished the day in 12th place and was third in the championship standings on his Yamaha R1.
“I knew we we’re going to be on the back foot from the word go as we didn’t have a lot of dry time,” explained Maxwell. “After the test in August we had a bit of work to do but I was hoping things would go our way and we could get the job done but it just wasn’t the case. Two years in a row we have dropped the ball at the last minute so we need to have a look at what we are doing and come up with some answers.
“To win as many races as anyone else and have two DNF’s and to lose the championship by twenty-two points is not ideal. In saying that I guess we just have to try and take the positives out of it. I can look at the negatives and get all down about it, but I still have the drive to win. We just have to work on what let us down and then come back next year with all guns blazing,” Maxwell said with determination.
Glenn Allerton also experienced a challenging weekend but with Maxwell falling in the final race, he made the leap to second outright in the championship. Finishing fourth overall for the round with an 8-2 result, Allerton admitted that the weekend was a hard one as things didn’t quite go his way.
Allerton’s pace in the wet conditions was not so bad, but he did struggle on a dry track. His work was cut out for him after he unfortunately missed out on making it to Superpole.
The opening race on Sunday saw Allerton showing that he had the speed but had a few issues that he couldn’t get around. He made amends in the final race of the year by coming from seventh to finish second which handed him 33-points for the round.
“I came here to win this championship, so it’s a bitter pill to swallow not to win,” explained the former three times Australian Superbike champion.
“Congratulations to the other guys. Its motor racing and things happen. We’ll just move on to next year. Hopefully we can iron out a few issues that we have. Just little things here and there to make the bike better as the Yamaha YZF-R1M is such a great bike but I believe we can make it better,” Allerton declared.
“Overall I’m really thankful that the team has stuck by me, no matter what. We had some tough times there at Morgan Park, but thanks very much to Yamaha Racing Team for all their support in 2016,” concluded Allerton.
However, there were some positives that came out of the final round, and one of them being for 28-year-old Cru Halliday who ended up snaring second place overall for the round. Halliday did struggle on the opening day when conditions were wet, cold and miserable but it came good for the Camden based rider in the end.
Halliday was the sole YRT rider to make it through to Saturday’s ten minute Superpole session, which saw him qualifying in fifth position with a time of 1min21.654, which was set on fourth lap out of a total of seven.
“It wasn’t a bad run in Superpole,” Halliday said after the session. “I went from third to fifth position, which is not really what we wanted as we would have liked to have qualified on the front row. In saying that, I gave it everything I had, but ended up in fifth.”
Race one saw Halliday getting a really good start off the line and making his way from fifth to fourth by the opening lap. By lap three he moved his way up to third and would stay there for the next nine laps behind former two times Australian Superbike champion, Josh Waters aboard the Team Apex Motorsport Yamaha R1 machine.
Halliday managed to get by Waters on lap twelve and with four laps to run he passed Herfoss to take command of the race. Halliday held onto the race win by 1.421sec, which was his first ever ASBK Superbike race win. In the process Halliday also posted the fastest lap of the race by setting a 1min21.844 on lap four, which is now the new official lap record.
The second race saw Halliday finishing in fifth position due to having some tyre issues but his 1-5 result netted him second for the round and his first trip to the podium for the year.
“You can only do what you can do,” said Halliday after race two. “I just wanted to bring the bike home and collect the points to make sure I had enough to finish on the podium,” explained Halliday.
“To finish second is really good, as it’s a good way to finish the year off with a podium finish to repay back the team for all their hard work in 2016. It’s been a roller coaster of a ride this weekend. There has been a lot of emotions within the team with the championship and all. As I said, you can only do what you can do. It’s a shame to see Wayne crash out in race two, which cost him the championship, but that’s racing. I knew Wayne was going to give it 110%. I gave it 110%, as did Glenn. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t, and that last race just didn’t, but the overall round did.”
“It’s an up-and-down year, but I have to say a massive thanks to Yamaha Racing Team and all of our sponsors for this year. There is a lot of work that goes into running a race team and all three bikes, so hats off to everyone in the team and everyone behind the scene as well,” concluded Halliday.
Yamaha did take out the manufactures championship with 1074-points on the board.
“The year has been a little bit up-and-down,” team manager John Redding said at the conclusion of the round. “Today, obviously, I’m very disappointed. We came into the round with a small buffer. Testing in August didn’t really go well for us and this weekend we did struggle to find a good set up.”
“I think each of our riders had different issues when it came to that. So we couldn’t find a common thread. At the end of the day we lost. We have to go away and have a think about how we can improve things. The positives for the year are the same as last year, as Yamaha Racing Team won more Superbike racers than anyone else. I guess that is what we can take away as a positive, Redding ends.”
Round six Results – Winton Motor Raceway
1st Troy Herfoss – 46
2nd Cru Halliday – 41 (YRT)
3rd Josh Waters – 35
4th Glenn Allerton – 33 (YRT)
5th Brayden Elliott – 33
12th Wayne Maxwell – 17 (YRT)
Final Championship Standings
1st Troy Herfoss – 255
2nd Glenn Allerton – 238 (Yamaha YZF – R1M)
3rd Wayne Maxwell – 233 (Yamaha YZF – R1M)
4th Cru Halliday – 165 (Yamaha YZF – R1M)
5th Mike Jones – 163
6th Brayden Elliott – 153
7th Daniel Falzon – 151 (Yamaha YZF – R1M)
8th Jamie Stauffer – 146
9th Sloan Frost – 121
10th Ben Burke – 114
Round 6 - Australian Superbike Championship – Live from 9:00am - Sunday 2nd October 2016 from Winton Motor Raceway Victoria
Wayne is leading the championship and heads to Winton with a 7 point lead.
Superbike Races x 2 x 17 Laps. Race 1 at 11.35am and Race 2 at 2.55pm
Wayne increases championship lead to 7 points going into the finale at Winton Motor Raceway on 30th Sept - 2nd October 2016.
The stage has been set for a grandstand finish at the final round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) after Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell claimed second place at the penultimate round of the series at Morgan Park in Queensland to hang on to a seven point lead heading into the final round.
The 33-year-old Victorian took a 2-2 result from the Morgan Park event which was won by rival Troy Herfoss, while YRT team mate, Glenn Allerton finished third and all three riders are separated by just 11 points a gripping championship chase.
Maxwell started the weekend with a fall but still managed to recover to take the second fastest time in qualifying and was ready to rumble when the green light came on.
Race one on Sunday saw Maxwell sitting in second place throughout the whole 19 lap race distance, finishing behind Herfoss but 3.175 seconds ahead of YRT supported rider Daniel Falzon, who took third.
The opening laps of race two saw Maxwell sitting in third place behind race one winner, Herfoss and teammate, Cru Halliday, until Maxwell made his move on Halliday and slotted into second place.
The 2-2 result was a solid result for Maxwell but he wasn’t that happy with his weekend, as he felt that he could have maybe pushed a little harder early on.
“Finishing second a fair way back in each race was not ideal,” said Maxwell after race two. “Overall this is the best I could manage at Morgan Park which isn't that suited to the Yamaha YZF-R1M but we managed to get on the podium and keep the championship lead so there is some positives to take away from here.”
Heading into the last round at Winton Motor Raceway, Maxwell does know that the track is one of his strongest on the ASBK calendar, so he is looking forward to the grand finale and what is proving to be another show down for the fight for the title.
“The team will have a test at Winton prior to the round which should help us get a good setup for the round. I’m really looking forward to the last round, that’s for sure,” concluded Maxwell.
Taking the final spot on the podium at Morgan Park was championship contender and YRT mounted, Glenn Allerton, who finished with two fourth placing’s in both of the races.
After missing out of Superpole by a mere .021 second, Allerton started the two races from seventh place on the grid meaning he had some serious work to do if he wanted to chase down the leaders.
Race one saw Allerton charging through the pack and by lap two he was up to third place. The former Australian Superbike Champion held his ground until lap nine when he was overtaken by Daniel Falzon dropping him to fourth. Allerton settled for fourth place and brought home valuable championship points.
Race two and once again Allerton wasted no time at all by storming his way from seventh to as high as third place during the race. He managed to get by Halliday on lap three and from there the pair had a ‘ding dong’ battle. On lap twelve however Halliday got the upper hand and got back past Allerton and held him at bay by 1.189 seconds.
“It was a tough weekend,” said Allerton who was physically drained after dealing with a back injury throughout the event. “Unfortunately this stuff happens to all of us throughout the year. It’s never going to be easy and you are never going to get an easy run where you feel good all the time. To get third overall at a track which really didn’t agree with me is really good, so I’m happy.”
“The three of us are just 11 points apart so it’s going to be a tight last round on a track we all have plenty of experience on. I’m really looking forward to the final race at Winton and a big finish to the year,” Allerton ends.
Finishing in 11th place with 18 points to his name was Cru Halliday. Halliday started the weekend off brilliantly by posting the fastest lap during Friday’s practice session however it wasn’t all smooth sailing as he did have a small fall towards the end of the session when he lost the front end and went down.
Race one for Halliday and he didn’t get off to the best of starts as he got hit up by a couple of riders heading into turn two. On the opening lap Halliday had slipped back to seventh place but managed to make his way back up to sixth on the second lap. On lap six he fired back up to fifth place but made a mistake heading into turn six and lost the front end on lap ten and fell from his machine rendering his race over.
Halliday put his misfortunes behind him for race two and managed to come home in third place, which was his first top three finish for the 2016 season.
“I’m pretty happy about getting third in race two,” said an excited Halliday, who set the second fastest lap in race two.
“I got a good start for once, which is probably the first one this year. I just couldn’t handle the pace of Troy. It was good that Wayne came past me as I know he is a lot quicker around here than me.”
“I rode pretty defensive and managed to hold onto third place, which I’m extremely happy about. Hopefully we can carry this confidence for Winton now and try and finish off on a high for this season,” concluded Halliday, who sits in sixth place in the championship with 124-points to his name.
The Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship will conclude at Winton Motor Raceway, just outside of Benalla on September 30 – October 2.
For a full list of results, www.computime.com.au
Round five Results – Morgan Park Raceway
1st Troy Herfoss – 51
2nd Wayne Maxwell – 40 (YRT)
3rd Glenn Allerton – 34 (YRT)
4th Daniel Falzon – 34
5th Jamie Stauffer – 31
11th Cru Halliday – 18 (YRT)
Championship Standings after Round five
1st Wayne Maxwell – 216 (Yamaha YZF- R1M)
2nd Troy Herfoss – 209
3rd Glenn Allerton – 205 (Yamaha YZF – R1M)
4th Daniel Falzon – 137 (Yamaha YZF – R1M)
5th Mike Jones – 137
6th Cru Halliday – 124 (Yamaha YZF – R1M)
7th Brayden Elliott – 120
8th Jamie Stauffer – 115
9th Ben Burke – 114
10th Sloan Frost - 98
The 4th Round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Barbagallo Raceway WA, it's well known as being one of the most physical tracks in Australia, so don’t miss all the thrills and spills from Round 4, and make sure you tune in to 7Mate or FoxSports5.
7Mate – Round 4, Barbagallo Raceway – Saturday June 18, 12:30pm
Fox Sports 5 – Round 4, Barbagallo Raceway – Thursday, June 30, 8:30pm
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2014 Australasian Superbike Champion & AFX-Superbike Champion, 2013 Australian Superbike Champion