The third stop on this year’s Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) calendar was at Sydney Motorsport Park and it was a red letter day for the Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) with Wayne Maxwell dominating the day with the perfect 1-1 scores ahead of team mate Glenn Allerton with 2-2 results.
From the moment the bikes hit the track on Saturday, the pace was a clear indication that all three riders were going to be hard to lock down and beat around the 3.93km Gardner GP Circuit. Wayne Maxwell topped the qualifying time sheets just ahead of team mate, Glenn Allerton with Cru Halliday lurking in fifth place.
Racing proved what timed qualifying produced with Maxwell and Allerton clearly the class of the field. The pair produced some world class racing as they shadowed each other for the entire length of race one while rain was the only thing to separate the duo in race two.
Race one saw Maxwell take command of the twelve lap race after hitting the lead at turn two and from there was never headed. He fought off several attacks from Allerton as he held his nerve under extreme pressure from Allerton who was all over the back tyre of Maxwell.
As they charged onto the front straight at SMSP, Maxwell tucked in and managed to cross the finish line just .219seconds ahead of his team mate. Cru Halliday came back from a couple of mistakes to claim fourth and make it an impressive 1-2-4 finish for the YRT crew.
Race two was held in inclement weather, the first rain affected race of the season but no-one, including Allerton, had an answer for Maxwell as he just bolted away at the front winning by a massive 14.110sec from Allerton. It was again another 1-2 finish for Yamaha.
Unfortunately, the wet weather proved a little more difficult for Cru Halliday who doesn’t have the experience in the slippery conditions as his team mates. Halliday slipped back to 13th place in race two, electing to keep his machine on two wheels and gain some championship points.
“I was really enjoyed the weekend, especially race two,” Maxwell said. “I felt very relaxed. The Yamaha R1M was fantastic and working really well. What can I say, you have days where everything just clicks and you have days where it doesn’t. The challenge is anyone can win on a good day, it’s trying to win on a bad day. We proved that at Wakefield Park that we could win on a bad day and today we have proved that we can win on a really good day.
“I have to say a massive thanks to the whole Yamaha Racing Team and my mechanic, Warren [Monson]. The entire team are working really well together, and the results at the track are really showing. I’m just the guy that gets to take the celebrations. Yes I do my part and I have to give feedback and so on. However without the good people around you and the good product that they supply you, which is the Yamaha R1M, you can’t win races.”
“Second place today was a great result for myself and the Yamaha Racing Team,” Allerton said after race two. “To get a one-two in both races and the overall is fantastic. I felt like I could have won the first race, however, Wayne was just too good and didn’t make a mistake all race long.
“The second race was really difficult conditions. It was wet, then it was starting to dry out. Wayne and I were racing at a pretty good pace at the start. During the race I had a few big moments, so I decided to back it down a little bit. Wayne was pushing on, but I knew to consolidate second place was a smarter option.”
“This weekend wasn’t the best that I have had. We had good dry pace in race one, however in race two I did struggle,” said Halliday. “I just wasn’t really confident to push in the race. I found myself outside the top ten. By then I knew I couldn’t push any harder, so I just said to myself – just stay on and bring the Yamaha R1M home and collect points for the championship. Some days you have bad days and this was one of them.”
John Redding – Team Manager
“Wayne was good on the track, both wet and dry and Glenn has consolidated his position in the championship so it was a terrific day for the team. I’m sure they and the whole team are very happy with the whole weekend. Congratulations to the whole team as they have all worked really hard this weekend.”
From Sydney Motorsport Park, the Australian Superbike Championship now makes the 3,934km long haul to the west to Barbagallo Raceway which will take place on 3-5 June.
Round Three Results – Sydney Motorsport Park
1st Wayne Maxwell (YRT) 51
2nd Glenn Allerton (YRT) 40
3rd Mike Jones 36
4th Jamie Stauffer 32
5th Troy Herfoss 30
8th Cru Halliday (YRT) 25
Championship Standings after Round Three
1st Glenn Allerton (YRT) 133
2nd Wayne Maxwell (YRT) 131
3rd Troy Herfoss 125
4th Mike Jones 93
5th Ben Burke 85
6th Cru Halliday (YRT) 77
7th Daniel Falzon (YRT Supported) 70
8th Brayden Elliott 67
9th Michael Blair (YRT Supported) 66
10th Matt Walters 61
It was mixed results for Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) at the second round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park, New South Wales on the weekend.
All three riders suffered falls from their machines over the course of the weekend but continued to fight on despite the drama and post some respectable results in what was action packed weekend of racing.
Race one proved to be one of the most dramatic in some time with three red flags, three re starts and then two race leaders going down before the race was over.
Wayne Maxwell led the YRT charge on the weekend and started brightly with P2 in qualifying and confident of a good result in racing. All kinds of drams unfolded in race one with Allerton assuming the lead and Maxwell tucked in behind. Allerton fell at turn five leaving Maxwell to control the race but on the very next lap, he copied Allerton in the exact same turn and both YRT riders were down in the same corner.
“We had a front tyre issue in race one and I didn’t think it was as bad as it was,” explained Maxwell after race one. “It simply caught me out at the top of the hill. I knew Glenn had crashed there and the next lap I was on the ground and I couldn’t believe it.”
The former Australian Superbike champion bounced back in race two to take a flawless 5.179sec race two victory to pocket a healthy twenty-five points. The thirty-three-year-old got a lighting start that he knew was going to be so important. He was never headed leading from start to finish in the sixteen lap race.
Despite the challenging day and the seventh place round finish, Maxwell moved five points closer to the championship lead and now sits just 15 points behind series leader, Troy Herfoss.
Maxwell later described the day as an emotional rollercoaster. “To be on the ground to a dominant race win is pretty cool. While the first race was disappointing it was nice to take out the second race. I got a good start and just got myself into a rhythm and just saw my time increasing on the lap board.”
In twelfth place, scoring a solid third place and eighteen points in race two after a coming off in race one was Glenn Allerton. Allerton felt like he was super strong for race day to challenge to win both races, but admitted that he let it get away from him this weekend.
Allerton now slips to second place in the championship, two points shy of the championship lead.
“That fall in race one was costly but when Wayne did the same thing, it must have been a nightmare for the team. It’s disappointing, but that’s racing. We now head to Sydney Motorsport Park which is my home track. I had a great feeling with the bike at the test, so I’m going to go out there and go even harder.” Allerton commented.
Tied with Allerton on the day was team mate Cru Halliday who also scored a third place finish and a DNF.
Halliday, who qualified fourth on the grid was unfortunately taken out at turn one in the first of three race stoppages, which in the end saw a complete full race start in the later part of the afternoon.
With a drama filled restarted race one, Halliday kept the number sixty five R1M on two wheels to come home in third place and set the second fastest lap time, which was a 57.826 on lap four.
In race two, Halliday again was taken out at the first corner on the opening lap, which he later said it was simply out of his control.
One positive to take from the week for the 27 year old, he has moved from ninth to seventh in the Superbike championship with fifty-two-points on the board.
“It was nice to finish in third,” Halliday said after race one. “I would have liked to have got into a battle with my two teammates before they came off. It just panned out the way it did. My pace was good, but I just wasn’t in the right part of the track where the right guys were.”
“Race two was terrible and not the best way to end what was a good weekend,” said Halliday. “What can you do? I guess these things happen in racing. You just have to move past it.”
“I can’t say enough about this 2016 Yamaha YZF-R1M. It’s hooking up unreal and the Yamaha Racing Team have had the tyre degradation under control. I barely did any changes to the bike, just a few little gearing changes here and there. The whole team are working so hard. I just feel bad for putting the bike down in the last race.”
The Australian Superbike Championship now heads to Sydney Motorsport Park for round three which will take place from 16-17 April.
Round Two Results – Wakefield Park
1st Troy Herfoss – 43
2ND Ant West – 40
3rd Ben Bourke – 32
7th Wayne Maxwell (YRT)
12th Glenn Allerton (YRT)
13th Cru Halliday (YRT)
Championship Standings after Round Two
1st Troy Herfoss – 95
2nd Glenn Allerton – 93 (YRT)
3rd Wayne Maxwell – 80 (YRT)
4th Ben Bourke - 73
5th Michael Jones - 57
6th Daniel Falzon - 56
7th Cru Halliday – 52 (YRT)
8th Michael Blair - 45
9th Ryan Hampton- 42
10th Braydon Elliot - 41
The first round of the ASBK at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, is well known as being one of the fastest, most picturesque, and action packed rounds on the ASBK calendar, so don’t miss all the thrills and spills from round one, and make sure you tune in.
7Mate – Round 1, Phillip Island – Saturday March 12, 12:30pm
Fox Sports 5 – Round 1, Phillip Island – Thursday, March 24, 8:30pm
Fox Sports 5 – Round 1, Phillip Island – Saturday, March 26, 2:00am (REPLAY)!
Yamaha Racing Team’s (YRT) Glenn Allerton kicked off his 2016 season with an outstanding performance at the opening round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), held in conjunction with the World Superbike Championships (WSBK), at the iconic Phillip Island circuit, in Victoria.
YRT’s last minute decision to contest the event paid immediate dividends with Allerton taking the perfect three wins from three starts, while team mates Wayne Maxwell secured third place for the round and Cru Halliday posted his best Phillip Island showing in some time.
But the weekend was all about Allerton, as he emerged victorious after all three hard fought races that often had the top three riders separated by less than half a second. The first two races saw Allerton, Mike Jones and Maxwell separate themselves from the pack go bar to bar for both 10lap races. Each rider had an opportunity to secure the race win, but it was Allerton who wanted it the most and demanded the win.
Race three saw Allerton and Maxwell joined by Troy Herfoss and again, the race was within three. Allerton wasn’t to be denied in a career defining weekend and took home the perfect 75 points and now leads the championship 18 points over Mike Jones.
“It is pretty amazing to think that two weeks ago we weren’t even racing here or the ASBK and now I just won the round,” Allerton beams. “The late decision meant we never had any testing here but thankfully the team was able to pull together and get all three bikes where they needed to be and we put in a good YRT showing.
“It is also rewarding to win races like that. I had to ride at my best for every lap of every race and earn those wins. Mike, Wayne and Troy were all riding well and it became a real fight out there but it was fun and the crowd certainly got to watch some great racing.
“Thank you to everyone on the Yamaha Racing Team for their efforts to make this come together so quickly and having our R1’s in great shape and our team sponsors for their support,” Allerton ends.
Wayne Maxwell kicked off his weekend in fine style taking the all-important pole position after setting the fastest lap in qualifying and was confident of a good showing in race conditions.
In each and every race, Maxwell put up an almighty fight and was within a couple of bike lengths of winning every race. He ultimately finished with 3-3-3 results plus the one point earned from pole position to give him third for the round, just two points behind Mike Jones in second.
“We were close every race but not close enough,” Maxwell laughs at the end of racing. “Glenn rode well this weekend and deserved his win so congratulations to him. It would have been nice to pinch a race win or two but it was a good start to the year and it’s always important to get a good result at the opening round of any championship.
“There are a couple of things to work on before the next round but thank you to the team for what has been a busy couple weeks and we can look forward to the next round.
Cru Halliday has long had a love / hate relationship with the iconic Phillip Island circuit but his riding over the weekend went along way to improving the friendship. A track that he has struggled to achieve his best results at, Halliday was determined to shake off the past and make the picturesque track and happier hunting ground.
And for the opening two races, Halliday did exactly. He posted two impressive fourth places finished and within sight of the leaders in a strong return to form. Unfortunately, some of that good work was undone through no fault of his own when in race three a rider in front of him fell and Halliday was forced off the track and then fell as a result. He was unable to finish the race and the overall result doesn’t reflect the improvement in Halliday’s performance.
“I was determined to do better here as I have struggled in the past,” Halliday explains. “It’s been a track that has always got the better of me and I’m not sure why so I came here with a really positive attitude and wanted to get off to a good start for the year.
“The first two races were good and I felt that there was still some room for improvement so that is also positive. In the final race I just wanted to finish the weekend strongly and gain some good points but in the hustle and bustle of the opening lap, I had a rider go down in front of me and I had no option but to run off the track to avoid him.
“Overall it was a better weekend here for me and I can take some confidence in those first two races,” Halliday concludes.
As announced over the weekend, YRT will now focus on the ASBK championship for the 2016 season. Round two of the championship takes place at Wakefield Park, NSW on March 25-27.
For more information on the Australian Superbike Championship: www.asbk.com.au
ASBK Results – Rd1
1st Glenn Allerton – 75 (YRT / R1M)
2nd Mike Jones – 57
3rd Wayne Maxwell – 55 (YRT / R1M)
4th Troy Herfoss – 52
5th Michael Blair – 45
6th Ben Bourke – 41
7th Daniel Falzon – 39
8th Robbie Bugden – 35
9th Cru Halliday – 34 (YRT / R1M)
10th Matthew Walters - 32
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2014 Australasian Superbike Champion & AFX-Superbike Champion, 2013 Australian Superbike Champion