PIRELLI WINS OPENING ROUND OF THE MI-BIKE MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE ASBK AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY MOTUL.
213 views • 15/03/2021
What a way to kick off the 2021 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance ASBK Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul! It was the tight and technical Winton Raceway that would host the opening round of the year after the forced postponement of the Phillip Island Round, and it soon became clear that everyone was more than ready and chomping at the bit to go racing. The race weekend would have it all, starting with some argy bargy on track leading to heated discussions in the pits during Friday practice, to a wild storm rolling through on Saturday afternoon, and then a Sunday of racing that saw some epic battles and lap records being smashed across all classes.
It was the premier Pirelli Superbike class that all eyes were on with a field that is stacked deep with talent and the racing certainly delivered. Sunday morning delivered near on perfect weather conditions for racing and it was two of the title favourites who would set the pace early. Boost Mobile Ducati’s Wayne Maxwell(Pirelli) started from second place on the grid and put all the grip of his Pirelli DIABLO Superbike slicks to great use early, quickly taking the race lead on lap 1, while pole sitter Troy Herfoss tried to latch on to the back of him. DesmoSport Ducati’s Mike Jones(Pirelli) quickly cemented his third position and tried to stay in touch with the leaders, but the lap times from the leaders were scorching, with the lap record being smashed a number of times within the first 10 laps. As the laps wound down in the first of two 16 lap races, it was Maxwell and Herfoss who would continue to trade paint, going back and forth swapping positions in an attempt to lead the race. It all came down to a thrilling last lap and it was the reigning ASBK champion Wayne Maxwell who would emerge victorious after a late braking manoeuvre in to MA corner allowed him to drive it up the inside of Herfoss to take over the lead. Herfoss in an attempt to respond went down, but was able to salvage some points, picking his bike up, re-mounting and finishing in 11th. So it was Wayne Maxwell(Pirelli) taking the win from Mike Jones(Pirelli) in second and Cru Halliday in third. Glenn Allerton(Pirelli) and his Maxima Racing BMW took fourth, while Arthur Sissis(Pirelli) on his Yamaha R1 rounded out the top 5.
When race 2 of the Pirelli Superbike class commenced there were some dramatic scenes on lap 1, firstly with Wagner running off track at high speed and hitting the ground hard, followed by Yannis Shaw also going down and in to the air fence which forced the race director to bring out the red flag. With the forced full re-start, the race was shortened to 14 laps and when the lights went out on the re-start it was once again the same 3 at the front, Troy Herfoss, Wayne Maxwell and Mike Jones. As the leaders started to separate from the rest of the field, there was one rider in the field who was turning heads. Young Oli Bayliss(Pirelli) in his ASBK Pirelli Superbike debut on board the DesmoSport Ducati V4R who was making his way through the field. After reeling off extremely fast and consistent lap times, Bayliss continued to make passes on much more experienced riders and even managed to close in on his team-mate Mike Jones before the chequered flag waved, seeing him cross the finish line in 4th position. A fantastic result on debut in the Superbike class for the young racer and the DesmoSport Ducati team.
With both Pirelli Superbike races in the books, it was the Boost Mobile Ducati rider Wayne Maxwell(Pirelli) who would stand atop of the podium come Sunday afternoon taking the overall round win, with DesmoSport Ducati’s Mike Jones(Pirelli) second and Penrite Honda’s Troy Herfoss third.
For the support classes it was a clean sweep of the podiums by Pirelli. The Motorsports TV Supersport class saw some awesome racing and a terrific battle at the front between Tom Edwards(Pirelli) and Broc Pearson(Pirelli), with both riders setting blistering lap times and pushing each other all day. The race wins were split with Tom winning race 1 while Broc won race 2 and the deciding factor for the overall round win was the extra point Tom Edwards took for taking out pole position. Max Stauffer(Pirelli) rounded out the podium after a fourth place finish in Race 1 and a third place finish in Race 2.
The 300 Supersport and R3 cup were dominated by Carter Thompson(Pirelli), who clean swept wins in the 300 Supersport class to go along with his pole position, and in the R3 Cup it was only Ben Baker’s(Pirelli) win in Race 2 that prevented Thompson also clean sweeping that class. At the end of the round it was Thompson’s perfect round score of 76 points in the 300 Supersport class with the round win, ahead of Ben Baker(Pirelli) in second and Tom Drane(Pirelli) in third. The R3 Cup standings sees Carter Thompson(Pirelli) leading Ben Baker(Pirelli) in second and Caleb Gilmore(Pirelli) in third.
In the Oceania Junior Cup it was Cameron Swain who dominated the weekend, taking all three wins, and leads the championship points ahead of Nate O’Neill and Harrison Watts.
Head of Pirelli racing Garry Crilly was elated with the results for Pirelli on the opening weekend of the 2021 ASBK Australian Superbike Championship. “It was a fantastic weekend of racing and it was great to come away with the win in every class, especially the premier Superbike class” Garry exclaimed. “We were able to generate great levels of grip that lasted the entire race distance, and as you can see from the lap time’s riders were still going just as quick on the last lap as they were in the opening laps. We’re really looking forward to getting to Wakefield Park and continuing to support the riders who choose to race on Pirelli”
The ASBK championship now heads to Wakefield Park in Goulburn, NSW on April 16th-18th for Round 3.
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