Australian Superbike: Halliday Quickest In Practice Friday At Phillip Island

Australian Superbike: Halliday Quickest In Practice Friday At Phillip Island

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

Cru Halliday sets Phillip Island alight in ASBK practice

Yamaha Racing Team’s Cru Halliday has burst out of the blocks in practice for round one of the 2024 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK) at Phillip Island today.

Halliday, 35, was fastest in both 30-minute practice sessions, with Josh Waters (On Ya Bike Adventures Ducati) making it a quinella on his Panigale V4 R as the duo laid down early pacesetting markers ahead of qualifying and three 12-lap races.

The mi-bike insurance Australian Superbike competitors were also joined on track today by their Michelin Supersport and Race and Road Supersport 300 compatriots as the ASBK season opener is held in conjunction with the 2024 FIM Motul Superbike World Championship.

Results for all the ASBK Championship classes are here.

To purchase tickets for Phillip Island, click here.

mi-bike insurance Australian Superbike

A combination of cool and overcast conditions with the addition of a new surface was always going to be a recipe for spectacular practice times, and that’s how it panned out as Halliday and Waters both dipped under the current lap record (1m31.075s) as times tumbled in the afternoon session.

Halliday’s new circuit best lap of 1:30.840 on the YZF-R1M was pure class, setting him up for his first pole position in the Australian Superbike class since round two at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2023.

“I was a bit nervous coming into this round because everyone has been going well over the pre-season – but you virtually reset every time you come here,” said Halliday. “As soon as I completed my first practice session, I knew I had a lot of speed because I was one 10th of a second off my fastest ever race time here.

“In the second session, we tried a different tyre and the laps were actually quite fast. We haven’t changed the Yamaha for the last two years at Phillip Island, as we believe we have a really good set-up. We came here knowing what we want and it works.”

Waters, who’s won five of the last eight races at Phillip Island, will be trying his best to deny Halliday the one extra championship point for pole position – but, of course, the battle runs much deeper than just a two-way affair.

Behind Waters (1:33.033), two-time Australian Superbike champion Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1, 1:31.349) was third overall on combined practice times, ahead of Troy Herfoss (DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1:31.365), teenage sensation Harrison Voight (McMartin Racing Panigale V4 R, 1:31.393), Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1:31.642), Anthony West (Addicted to Track YZF-R1M, 1:31.848) and Max Stauffer (Penrite Racing YZF-R1, 1:32.005).

Herfoss, in particular, is methodically working himself into his new home at Ducati, putting the field on notice that he’s primed for a huge weekend.

Plenty of other stars are also looking to pounce in qualifying, including former Australian Superbike champions Bryan Staring (MotoGo YZF-R1), Glenn Allerton (GT Racing BMW M 1000 RR), Arthur Sissis (Unitech Racing YZF-R1) and Michelin Supersport-winning graduate Cameron Dunker (Penrite Racing YZF-R1).

The opening 12-lap race will be held at midday tomorrow, followed by the final two battles on Sunday.

Michelin Supersport

The Michelin Supersport class is a hotbed of excitement and anticipation in 2024, and qualifying for round one was a case-in-point.

After 20 hectic minutes, Jonathan Nahlous (Yamaha YZF-R6) powered to his first pole position in Supersport with a 1:35.258 on his final flying lap.

That was enough to edge out fellow Yamaha riders Tom Bramich (1:35.518) and Olly Simpson (1:35.741), with the trio to start from the front row of the grid for the three 10-lap races.

“I just put my head down and managed to do everything right on my hot lap,” said 17-year-old Nahlous, who missed the corresponding round in 2023 because of injury. “It didn’t feel extraordinarily fast, but I’ll take it!

“And the important thing is that I believe I can go even faster.”

Twenty-six riders qualified, with row two to be filled by Mark Chiodo (Honda CBR600RR), Jack Mahaffy (YZF-R6) and 16-year-old Hayden Nelson (Kawasaki ZX-6R).

Honda and Kawasaki are making welcome returns to the Michelin Supersport cauldron in 2024 to take on the dominant YZF-R6.

Two Superport races will be held on Saturday, at 9:25am and 1:35pm respectively, featuring a heady mix of incumbents, returning stars and riders moving up from Supersport 300.

Race and Road Supersport 300

Czech visitor Petr Svoboda produced the perfect conversion in the opening Race and Road eight-lap Supersport 300 race, easily winning from pole position.

Josh Newman managed to hang tough with the FIM WorldSSP300 No. 6 in the first half of the race before the ruthless Svoboda cleared off, winning by 6.709 seconds – an incongruous margin in a class where victories are normally measured in milliseconds.

Victorian Varis Fleming, in a final Aussie ride before he heads off for a Spanish campaign, made it a Kawasaki trifecta on the podium in a lonely third place, while the battle for fourth became a massive arm wrestle and eventually fell the way of Harrison Watts (Kawasaki) ahead of Ryan Larkin (Yamaha), Jordy Simpson (Yamaha), Mitch Simpson (Yamaha) and Tara Morrison (Kawasaki).

Ryder Gilbert (Yamaha) set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:49.021.

Races two and three will be held across Saturday and Sunday.

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