Australian Superbike: Halliday Fastest In Free Practice At The Bend

Australian Superbike: Halliday Fastest In Free Practice At The Bend

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By ASBK:

Editorial Notes:

American Travis Wyman, riding his Addicted to Track Yamaha YZF-R1, was 23rd overall when the lap times from all three of Friday’s free practice sessions were combined. See the combined Superbike practice results here.

American Cody Wyman, Travis’ younger brother, was 15th overall in Supersport free practice on Friday at The Bend. Travis Wyman is riding an Addicted to Track Yamaha YZF-R6. See the combined Supersport practice results here.

 

A full day of practice for all classes in the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK) from 8:30 am with clear skies, bright sun and near-perfect conditions for getting out on a racing motorcycle with some good friends/mortal enemies.

Alpinestars Superbike

In Superbike FP1, Josh Hook hit the top of the sheets when he completed the first flying lap of the day as 30 Superbikes made their way out on track.

The Thriller Motorsport trio of Hook, Shrötter and Miller were very keen to bank as many laps as possible on their untested machines.

It was soon business as usual; Maxwell, Herfoss and very-keen-to-perform-at-home Arthur Sissis the top three early.

Other early fast guys included West, Allerton, Jones and Waters. Jack Miller was into the top ten, a very good sign that his Thriller Motorsport bike was good out of the crate and an ominous sign for the regulars.

Fellow Thriller Motorsport rider Josh Hook and Marcel Shrötter were not unreasonably down in the mid-teens for the session, along with Moto3 regular Joel Kelso who was having his first hit out on a Superbike.

Troy Herfoss was fastest for the session with a late fast lap of 1:51.737, narrowing the gap to the lap record of 1:50.972 and pole record of 1:50.520. It was very solid for a first practice.

At the very start of FP2, Josh Hook crashed on his out lap at turn 12 due to an electronics issue that resulted in a high side. He was icing his wrist in the paddock ahead of FP3, but indicated he would not join that session and see how he pulled up Saturday morning to decide if he would participate in the rest of the round.

While Hook was picking himself up, Maxwell went back up to the top with Arthur Sissis again second. Cru Halliday sorted out earlier issues to push into third with FP1 fast man Herfoss close.

Jack Miller spent some time at the top of the timesheets before Cru Halliday delivered for the regular ASBK competitors and took P1 ahead of Arthur Sissis and Troy Herfoss.

Earlier in the morning, Sissis had bemoaned the number of times he had been P2 during practice sessions at The Bend over the years and it had happened again…

Jack Miller was an outstanding fourth with Wayne Maxwell fifth.

Championship leader Mike Jones was down in eighth, but ahead of second-in-the-championship Bryan Staring who was 12th and Jones was close enough to third placed Wayne Maxwell to be justifiably unconcerned.

Higher track temperatures appeared to take some of the pace out of the field early in Free Practice Two, but they apparently worked it out and Halliday’s 1:51.518 was 2/10ths quicker than Herfoss’ time from the morning, still working towards the lap record of Maxwell from 2021 of 1:50.972.

In FP3, Herfoss was again up top early. Mike Jones responded brilliantly to all the pressure and other things from this weekend to go to the top with 15 minutes to go. Arthur Sissis – as he had done in every other session- was in the top three with Cru Halliday and Wayne Maxwell fourth and fifth respectively.

Jack Miller was down in tenth with 12 minutes to go and was a second slower than his best FP2 time. We all waited for him to let loose something special.

At ten minutes to go, Cru Halliday put his Yamaha first for a YRT 1-2 with he and Jones at the top of the standings.

Bryan Staring’s tough practice day got worse with crash at turn six, but the timing screens indicated “rider up” to the relief of all.

With six minutes left for the day it was Halliday, Jones and Herfoss on top. Maxwell (4th) was followed by two of SA’s finest in Sissis and Falzon in that order.

DesmoSport Ducati’s day got even worse when Broc Pearson went down at Turn 12 and again we were pleased to see “rider up” but it was shaping as a rough evening for the factory Ducati squad with two bikes off in ten minutes.

The red flag came out with 4:57 left, perhaps effectively ending the session as a useful exercise. While they recovered the Pearson Ducati, riders went back to their garages to reset and that’s when we found out Miller had crashed as well; somewhere late in the lap and had ridden back to the pits. He was unharmed and the damage to his bike didn’t look severe, but it was also not minor. Screen gone, left winglet gone and some work to do to get the Thriller Racing Caterpillar machine back to race-ready.

When the session restarted, everyone was there at the end of pitlane ready to go. It was like a race start with riders desperate to get a few flyers in ahead of the chequered flag.

Sissis put in his fastest lap of the session to go to P2, then Jones, Herfoss and Allerton were up in sector one as the chequered flag came out.

At the end of the session it was again Halliday from Sissis with Mike Jones third.

Maxwell was fourth with Herfoss in fifth.

Overall for the day result saw Halliday top dog and the only rider in the 1:50s with Arthur Sissis in P2, Mike Jones third and Maxwell and Herfoss completing the top five.
Merged results from all three practice sessions.

Michelin Supersport

Ty Lynch set the agenda for the Michelin Supersport crew with he and Tom Bramich going 1-2 in first practice while John Lytras was back in seventh, just adding a little warmth to the ingredients for the title fight in that class.

The points situation sees Lytras able to not have to win this weekend, simply keeping Lynch and Bramich in sight will see him take the title.

In the second session, Harrison Voight- the only Supersport racer from the Thriller Racing stable -went P1 early and stayed there. Lynch and Bramich were two and three while Lytras slipped back to ninth.

In the final session for the day Scott Nicholson went down early in Turn 13 after 6 laps.

Tom Bramich managed to pip Thriller Motorsport’s Harrison Voight for P1 with Ty Lynch in third. Lytras was sixth, but comfortably close to the leaders to avoid any panic stations vis a vis the title situation.

Dunlop Supersport 300

In FP1, 2021 OJC Champion Cameron Swain stepped up to P1 with a small but useful gap to Sam Pezzetta and Hayden Nelson.

Championship leader Cameron Dunker was sixth and a second off that pace.

By FP2 however, Dunker apparently made some changes and immediately leapt to the top of the standings to assert himself. Pezzetta worked his way past Dunker to P1 late in the session and Dunker responded, posting his fastest lap – good enough for P2- on his final lap. Taiyo Aksu was third with Henry Snell fourth and Brodie Gawith fifth.

The final practice session of the day saw Hayden Nelson bounce back and post the fastest time and ensure that he isn’t forgotten in the title chase. Cameron Swain was second and Dunker rounded out the top three.

The overall results for the day saw Hayden Nelson first, then Cameron Swain, Cameron Dunker, Sam Pezzetta and Taiyo Aksu fifth.

Third in the title chase, Henry Snell did not post a time in the final practice of the day.

R3 Cup

If Dunker was going to play it quiet in the R3 Cup while he focussed on the Dunlop Supersport 300 title, then he sure messed up when he was sure not playing it right as he was at or near the top in multiple sessions.

In FP1, Cameron Dunker was top of the table from Glenn Nelson and Cameron Swain.

Cameron Swain was able to place his R3 up top in FP2 from Pezzetta and Gawith. Dunker was down in sixth, but was safe (for now!) with second overall Glenn Nelson in ninth while third in the title chase Hayden Nelson was seventh.

In the final practice session of the day, Dunker was on top by .2 of a second with Hayden Nelson second and Marcus Hamod third. Sam Pezzetta was fourth with Taiyo Aksu fifth to setup a fascinating weekend in the currently tied R3 Cup!

bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup

Ryan Larkin was at the top – or near enough – in both early practice sessions and showed a real affinity for The Bend layout, comfortably out front with a second over the field at times.

The interest remains with championship leader Harrison Watts who just needs to be thereabouts in qualifying and then ensure he buys a ticket on the leading group train come race time.

In FP2, Cameron Rende – currently second in the title chase – was 10th, while third overall Hudson Thompson was 14th.

In the final practice of the day -FP3, it was that Ryan Larkin fellow again and this time by an unimaginable 1.4 seconds to Hamod and Fleming in third.

For the current Championship 1-2-3, Harrison Watts was in 12th, Cameron Rende fourth and Hudson Thompson in eighth.

Sureflight Superbike Masters

One of the popular-for-a-look-in-the-paddock classes, the Superbike masters were on track for three practice sessions.

In FP1 it was local rider Strugnell on his Suzuki 750 who was P1 against higher capacity machines, but showing how good his machine was at The Bend.

In FP2 it was David Johnson on another Suzuki- an 1100 this time who was top of the table.

The final session late in the day saw Aaron Morris finally push his Suzuki 1200 into the top spot and take the fastest lap honours for the day.

Horsell Sidecars

The pairing of Underwood and Vercoe abord their F1 class Suzuki were dominant all day with some 12 seconds (not a typo!) between them and the field in the first two sessions.

Harvey and Marshall were the best of the rest in FP1 with Gorrie/Gorrie second fastest in FP2 and fastest in the F2 class.

In the final session of the day, it was… Underwood and Varcoe again on top, this time by under 2 seconds as Harvey and Marshall got down to business in the F2 class- and overall.

For the day it was Underwood Varcoe from Harvey/Marshall with Clancy/Bonney just .8 behind.

The earlier outrageous advantage enjoyed by the leaders was now under two seconds..!

 

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