Australian Superbike: Championship Heading To Queensland Raceway

Australian Superbike: Championship Heading To Queensland Raceway

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By ASBK:

Electrifying ASBK action looms large at Queensland Raceway

The 2024 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK) makes its first foray into the sunshine state from April 26-28, with the always entertaining Queensland Raceway to host round three.

The 3.126km circuit just up the road from Ipswich has been a staple on the ASBK calendar for many years, and it never fails to deliver jaw-dropping races. Last year, the total combined margin across the four Alpinestars Superbike and Michelin Supersport battles was just 0.4 seconds, so it’s certainly a pressure-cooker environment of the highest order.

With excellent weather forecast for this weekend, we’re set to be delivered another round of cliff-hangers across the four categories: Alpinestars Superbike, Michelin Supersport, Race and Road Supersport 300 and the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup.

In addition, Aussie Racing Cars will also be joining the ASBK Championship for the first of two appearances in 2024, where amazingly high corner speeds, incredible late braking and pounding over ripple strips at full noise are a part of the attraction in the exciting silhouette formula.

As well the on-track pyrotechnics, the popular ASBK Trade Alley will return, as well as the ASBK Fan Zone. Spectators can also grab an autograph from one of the ASBK ambassadors – Steve Martin, Troy Corser, Chris Vermeulen and Garry McCoy – while Corser and Martin will also give selected lucky patrons the ride of their lives in the ASBK Pillion Program.

To purchase tickets for Queensland Raceway, click here. Tickets will also available at the gate.

Alpinestars Superbike

Last year, Queensland Raceway proved to be a turning point in the Alpinestars Superbike class. After five wins on the trot to start the season, Josh Waters’ winning streak on the McMartin Ducati evaporated as then Honda rider Troy Herfoss took two narrow wins ahead of Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team).

That tightened up the leaderboard appreciably, setting the scene for a pulsating championship where Herfoss was eventually crowned Superbike champion for the third time.

The story for the Mildura-bred Waters has followed a similar path to 2023 – he has four wins from the opening five races – but this year Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) is his closest challenger ahead of round three.

Waters is on 109.5pts compared to Halliday’s 84, followed by Harrison Voight (McMartin Racing Ducati, 82pts), Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati, 71.5pts), Jones (61.5pts), Cameron Dunker (Penrite Racing Yamaha, 61.5pts), Max Stauffer (Penrite Racing Yamaha, 60pts), Anthony West (Addicted to Track Yamaha, 58.5pts) and Bryan Staring (MotoGo Yamaha, 47pts).

Where’s Herfoss? The Queenslander – who’s now developing a cult following in America thanks to his winning ways in the King of the Baggers class – is languishing in 10th on the DesmoSport Ducati after a disastrous non-scoring round two under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park thanks to an electrical problem in race one and a crash in the wet race two.

Herfoss is ever the optimist, though, and he’s galvanised for another big showing at Queensland Raceway to claw back some precious points.

Halliday’s in fine form – he’s the only rider to have lowered Waters’ colours in 2024 — and he scored a pair of thirds at Queensland Raceway last year. He’ll bring up his 100th Superbike start this weekend, so it’d be extra special to celebrate the milestone by banking big points.

Meanwhile, the circuit has previously been a happy hunting ground for three-time champion Jones, and there’d be no better place to produce his first Superbike podium for the year than in front of family and friends.

With Voight a non-starter this weekend now that he’s started his 2024 European Moto2 campaign, the likes of Jones and Pearson should move past the teenager in the standings after the two 16-lap races on Sunday.

Pearson claimed his first podium for DesmoSport Ducati in Sydney, and will again be giving it a real crack on his home track – as will the veteran, West, and lap record holder, Staring.

The two other riders who will also loom large are Dunker and Stauffer. Stauffer was third in Sydney’s race two and was also the fastest at the recent Queensland Raceway test.

The reigning Australian Supersport champion, 16-year-old Dunker, will only be competing in his third ASBK meeting on a Superbike, but he’s continuing to look more ominous every time he climbs aboard the Yamaha.

Glenn Allerton sits in 11th on the GT Racing BMW. Allerton has been competing under an injury cloud for the opening two rounds, but with a further month of recuperation and his hit rate in the past at Queensland Raceway, expect some fireworks.

Finally, there is the fastest starter in the west, east and all points between – Arthur Sissis. The former junior speedway star and Moto3 rider is now under the ever-growing quick shade of the Gold Cost-based Stop & Seal Racing, but still on a Yamaha.

Prepare for two breathtaking Alpinestars Superbike races!

Michelin Supersport

The Michelin Supersport class now enjoys the largest depth of talent seen in years, with the tempo ramping up at the last round in Sydney. 

Multiple champion Tom Toparis (Stop & Seal Yamaha) returned to the class and took pole position, two race wins in extremely dominant fashion and set a new lap record. If we didn’t already know: Toparis is back and means business.

However, Toparis did start behind the eight ball after sitting out Phillip Island’s round one to focus on his FIM Supersport World Championship commitments. An imperious maximum-points haul in Sydney was the best way to begin the climb up the ladder, but he’ll have challengers coming from all angles in the two 14-lappers at Queensland Raceway.

The obvious one is Jonathon “JJ” Nahlous (Complete AV Yamaha), who swept all before him at Phillip Island before sharing podiums with Toparis, Sean Condon (Yamaha) and Jake Farnsworth (Wurth Race Developments Yamaha) in Sydney.

Nahlous has a 29pt (114 to 85) lead over Farnsworth after two of seven rounds, followed by the recently engaged Tom Bramich (Apex Yamaha, 76) and Olly Simpson (Yamaha, 70).

Simpson, the reigning No. 2, hasn’t had the start to the year he had banked on. After finishing second overall in the opening round, he hit a speed bump in Sydney by uncharacteristically crashing out of the first race before recovering to finish seventh in the second race to salvage some points.

While Yamaha dominates the grid, there are two Hondas in the mix with Marcus ‘The Hammer’ Hamod (Motocity) and Mark Chiodo (Honda Australia), who sit in fifth and sixth respectively.

There are also three Kawasakis in the mix with Brandon Demmery and Jacob Hatch on the Race DNA machines as well as Hayden Nelson on the BC Performance entry.

Then there are Toparis’ teammates in the Stop & Seal squad: Jack Mahaffy in seventh spot, Archie McDonald in eighth, Corey Turner in ninth and Glenn Nelson in 14th. What a busy pit box that will be!

Race and Road Supersport 300

Internationals have stolen a fair chunk of the limelight in the opening two rounds. At Phillip Island, it was Czech rider Petr Svoboda who took two dominant wins before Harrison Watts (Champion’s Ride Days) won the finale ahead of Tara Morrison (B&L Mechanical Air Services) – all Kawasaki mounted.

Morrison then missed the round in Sydney due to a broken collarbone but will return this weekend.

Meanwhile, the surprise in Sydney was Kiwi Jesse Stroud (Kawasaki), the son of former champion Andrew. It was his first visit to the track and, on a borrowed motorcycle, won the first race. This weekend, Stroud will be on a Yamaha.

Joshua Newman (Wet4U Race Fairings Kawasaki) and Watts share the championship lead, with Valentino Knezovic (Motocity Kawaski) 9pts adrift in third. Newman and Knezovic scored their maiden wins in Sydney, before Stroud and Newman had a coming together in race three. No doubt they will be wary of each other this weekend!

Ryan Larkin (Green Planet Nutrients Yamaha) will also be in the mix, with his confidence sky high after finishing equal second in round one of the 2024 Yamaha R3 Asia-Pacific Championship – which will be joining the ASBK Championship at The Bend (SA) from November 8-10.

bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup

There has only been one round of the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup in 2024, with a couple of Hunters leading the way after Sydney’s opener: Toowoomba’s Hunter Corney ahead of Hunter Charlett.

West Aussie Rossi McAdam is third in a logjammed leaderboard – and this weekend he will also compete against his sister, Lexie, to add some more flavour to the OJC class.

Like always, the safest ‘bet’ is that there will be any number of positional changes during each race and the winner will not be decided until the bunch of slipstreaming kids cross the finish line.

The OJC academy, where all riders are on identical race-prepped Yamaha YZF-R15s, is aimed at developing Oceania’s next circuit racing stars and is a key pillar in the FIM’s Road to MotoGP program.

The category is in its sixth year, and now has Australian championship status as well.

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