Sep 14, 2012
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Focused Stauffer sets Queensland Raceway Superbike pace
A freak whirlwind and a lengthy delay to clean up an oil spill characterised today's QBE Australian Superbike Championship Practice sessions, headed by perennial Queensland Raceway pacesetter Jamie Stauffer.
The Team Honda rider has been the man to beat at the 3.12km circuit in the past and got quickly up to speed despite the on-track distractions.
Stauffer was fourth-fastest in the opening Practice, 0.932s off fast man Glenn Allerton who was leading when the red flag was shown.
A strong gust of wind whipped dirt and debris onto the track at turn 6, forcing officials to declare the session with 5 minutes left on the clock.
Just minutes into the afternoon session an oil spill in the fast-braking area at turn 3 brought down three bikes, though riders were able to walk away safely.
Stauffer and Allerton were quick again when proceedings resumed, with the Honda rider able to improve 1.6s on his morning time to finish the day on top.
Already a two-time Champion, Stauffer remains a distant title chance should the frontrunners falter.
"We've been trying to get a few things done with the bike today and didn't really get a chance until the second session," said Stauffer.
"I reckon there will be a few people in the 1:08's tomorrow, the times really started to come down there at the end.
"I always seem to go well here and it would be good to finish out with a few more wins I can't really change what happens in front of me in the Championship so I'll just be focusing on the best results I can."
Defending ASBK Champion Glenn Allerton is fired up to round out his season with victory.
Like Stauffer, he's still in with a theoretical chance, and feels his BMW will be strong in race trim on Sunday.
"I feel like this can be my weekend," said Allerton. "I've got a really good feeling with the bike at the moment, we've done a couple of tests after Phillip Island and are coming on strong at the right time.
"The power delivery is getting better on the bike and we've got a good feeling for what this track needs.
"You never know what will happen on race day. I just need to put myself in the best possible position and go for those wins."
Points leader Josh Waters and his closest opposition Wayne Maxwell were third and fourth fastest today, lapping within two-tenths of each other at the end of both sessions.
Waters was one of the first riders to come across the debris on track following this morning's whirlwind and was relieved to stay upright on the slippery surface.
"It was pretty crazy, a windstorm picked up one of the safety bails and brought it out onto the track with all the dirt," said Waters.
"I was first through it and waved like crazy for the officials to red flag it which they did.
"It was a scary moment, that's for sure!"
Brodie Waters kept his nose in front in the race for Motul Supersport honours today.
The Suzuki rider rounded out the day with a 1m12.084s lap to head off points leader Mitchell Carr and Championship contender Josh Hook.
Local rider Brendan Clarke bought into their battle, using his extensive experience at his home track to set the fourth fastest time.
Riders will take to the track for qualifying tomorrow, with the top 4 in the Superbike and Supersport classes advancing to the Superpole sessions.
AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE C'SHIP at Queensland Raceway, Ipswich. Rd 5 Practice:
Superbike: J Stauffer (Honda) 1m09.115s 1, G Allerton (BMW) 1m09.398s 2, J Waters (Suzuki) 1m09.556s 3, W Maxwell (Honda) 1m09.700s 4, R Bugden (Suzuki) 1m09.821s 5, B Attard (Suzuki) 1m10.080s 6, L Magee (BMW) 1m11.023s 7, B Henry (Suzuki) 1m11.549s 8, N Waters (Honda) 1m11.635s 9, P Lovett (Kawasaki) 1m11.853s 10.
Supersport: B Waters (Suzuki) 1m12.084s 1, M Carr (Triumph) 1m12.203s 2, J Hook (Honda) 1m12.243s 3, B Clarke (Honda) 1m12.350s 4, C Quinn (Yamaha) 1m13.273s 5, G Scott (Yamaha) 1m14.319s 6, L Day (Suzuki) 1m14.480s 7, J Hassan (Yamaha) 1m14.189s 8, M Levy (Suzuki) 1m15.547s 9, A Quinn (Yamaha) 1m15.679s 10.