Australian Superbike: Jones Breaks Record, Takes Pole At Morgan Park

Australian Superbike: Jones Breaks Record, Takes Pole At Morgan Park

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.




More, from a press release issued by ASBK:

Jones Obliterates Morgan Park Lap Record for Superbike Pole as Hayden Nelson Stars in Michelin Supersport

Alpinestars Superbike

After starting every race of the 2023 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK) race from the front row, Defending ASBK champion, Mike Jones on his Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1 M went one better, as he continued his recent resurgence in the Alpinestars Superbike category to claim his first pole position of the year and the vital championship point that accompanies the feat to start at the front of the field for tomorrow’s two, 16-lap races.

It was neck and neck throughout the two qualifying sessions with Q1 deciding the top 12 that moved through to the second stanza to define the top four rows of the grid.

Arguably, Jones has done more laps around the Morgan Park layout than most of the field combined and he put his local circuit knowledge to good use as he led the morning’s fourth practice session and backed it up to do the same in both qualifying sessions.

After the first 20-minute qualifying session Jones led Herfoss with Cru Halliday on the way back to the top in third. The session was halted after a few minutes when Glenn Allerton’s BMW had a mechanical problem and there was a chance that some fluid had leaked on the track surface. The session was soon resumed although the leading four riders of Jones, Herfoss, Halliday and Pearson remained in the garage for the remainder of the session.

It was a lot more frantic in the main qualifying session, but no one could unseat Jones…


Michelin Supersport

The Michelin Supersport Championship qualifying again proved it will be one of the closest fought tiles in recent years with the leaderboard changing numerous times during the two sessions today.

In the first part, defending champion, John Lytras, who was in the top slot in the three-practice sessions yesterday, sat out the session quietly confident that he had the pace to be able to lead the field heading into Q2. Without recording a time, the rest stepped up to the plate with class rookie, Hayden Nelson, slotting into the top spot from early series championship leader, Ty Lynch on Michelin tyres second fastest from JJ Nahlous, Cameron Dunker third with championship leader Olly Simpson fourth.

Nelson is an extremely fast learner and has adapted to the 600cc category with aplomb while for the championship leader, Olly Simpson it is his first visit to Morgan Park since he was a junior some 12 years ago, so for the South Australian he had to learn the track all over again. As for Nelson who happens to be a cousin of the Bayliss family, he has put in a few days there realising how critical it is to know the best line that is well known for its braking and acceleration, bumps around the back of the circuit requiring precision to find that sweet spot of the track.

For the second qualifying session, Nelson took a tip from Lytras’ lead to sit out the session, saving his energy and tyres as well as staying out of trouble in the final moments…


Supersport 300

The opening Supersport 300 race was an absolute cracker, like many before! Cameron Swain was the pacesetter through the practice and qualifying sessions from South Australian Brodie Gawith but come race time he had to fight every millimetre.

From lights out, Marcus Hamod gained the initial advantage heading into turn two but by the time the field reached turn four, he had been relegated to fourth by Swain as well as Henry Snell, Brodie Gawith with series leader Brandon Demmery right on the rear of the pack. The quartet soon gapped the rest of the field but as is the norm in the production 300 classes the positions in the leading bunch were constantly changing at every corner.

The Supersport 300 field was as close as ever in the opening race of the weekend
As the last lap board was displayed any one of the leading pack could’ve taken the win, but Swain stretched the throttle cable in the run from turn two to four and had a five-bike length lead as they headed to turn six. The four following attempted to close the gap but in a typical tiddler battle, the last corner played a part. It was Gawith who was the victim, as he tried to make a move in the final chicane and crashed out after he set a new lap record on the eighth lap of ten.

It was enough of a buffer to ensure Swain his third win of the year in the class…


Yamaha Finance R3 Cup

The opening race of the Yamaha Finance R3 Cup was another typical extension of the 300s. The race was the last one of the day and was shortened by a lap because of the setting sun infiltrating riders’ vision as they headed up the hill to turn three but the shortened distance only added to the intensity.

As with the 300 class the usual suspects were at the front of the pack for the seven-lap dash but their intensity lifted as the little champions realised there were three kilometres less to make a move.

From lights out it was Swain, Gawith, Demmery, Hamod and Snell who again set the pace. With the nature of the racing to give a lap-by-lap report of proceedings would be extremely difficult to follow as the lead changed so often from corner to corner, let alone who led each lap. As the pack charged across the line, it was Hamod, Swain and Snell with the timing screen giving the race-winning distance as 0.000 between Swain and Hamod….

bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup

Bodie Paige claimed a decisive race one victory in the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup to make it four wins in a row.

As the lights went out, a typical OJC race began. Chopping and changing, dicing and diving, the positions changed frequently as the contenders established themselves at the front. Riley Nauta couldn’t capitalise on his qualifying pace as he progressively slipped down the order to fifth…


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