BAYLISS DELIVERS ASBK RACE VICTORY FOR DESMOSPORT DUCATI IN DARWIN
DesmoSport Ducati’s Troy Bayliss broke through for his first race win since making a return to motorcycle racing during today’s fourth round of the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Hidden Valley Raceway in the Northern Territory.
The 49-year-old three-time Superbike world champion put forward a stunning performance in the Top End, qualifying on pole position with a new circuit best lap of 1m05.601s aboard the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition, setting the tone for Sunday race-day.
Bayliss has progressively gained strength in his comeback to the sport following a full decade in retirement, however that stint on the sidelines did little to dull his desire for victory. And in Darwin, he delivered.
Race one saw Bayliss lead the entire duration for a brilliant win, crossing the line 0.204s ahead of the chasing pack and withstanding all kinds of pressure in the process. He led again for much of the second 17-lap affair, however late issues under braking saw him ultimately fade to seventh.
Still, it was a magnificent result for Bayliss and the determined DesmoSport Ducati crew to capture second overall, climbing to third in the championship standings as the ASBK series reaches its halfway point in 2018. He’s currently 48.5 points from the lead.
“I owe that to our team and all of our sponsors at DesmoSport Ducati!” Bayliss beamed post-race. “It was a big call bringing an old fella on-board, but between our guys – Ben Henry, Paul Free and Byron Draper at Ohlins – they’ve built a lovely bike for me to ride and it’s so fun to ride it like that.
“Race two, it was positive to lead laps in the afternoon again, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be in the end. We still managed to score points though, which was good enough for second overall, and that’s a pretty solid result for us. Now I’m really looking forward to the next round and the rest of the season!”
DesmoSport Ducati co-owner and team manager Ben Henry was thrilled with the performance of Bayliss, confident that he will continue this upswing of pace into the coming rounds of the championship in its mid-stages.
“We’re really happy with this weekend, which started strong and Troy went on to take our first win in a really long time,” Henry commented. “It was exciting to have that happen in race one and, even though race two didn’t go to plan, that’s how it goes sometimes. You can’t ask for much more than pole and a race win, so it was great.
“Today was round four of seven in the championship, so we’re in the mid-point now and are sitting third in the points. You never know where you’re going to end up, this is racing and we will be fast at Morgan Park. Everything is coming together round by round and it’s all good, so thank you to everybody for getting behind us!”
The next stop for Bayliss and the DesmoSport Ducati team will take place at round five of the ASBK to be contested at Morgan Park Raceway, Queensland, from 17-19 August.
Like DesmoSport Ducati on Facebook, Follow @desmosportducati on Instagram and visit www.asbk.com.au for further information. Cube Performance Centre also has an exclusive DesmoSport Ducati section on its website, available to view at www.asbk.com.au
More, from a press release issued by Cube Racing:
PODIUM FORM FOR CUBE RACING TEAM AT HIDDEN VALLEY
Cube Racing teammates Tom Toparis and Oli Bayliss factored at the front of the field in the fourth round of the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship in Darwin, contending for podium results in the Supersport and Supersport 300 categories.
As the series resumed at Hidden Valley in the Northern Territory, Toparis slotted into second on the Supersport grid with a 1m08.059s, just 0.108s from pole position. He went on to capture 2-3 finishes in the pair of 14-lap races on Sunday.
“We had good pace in practice and qualifying, but it was a bit frustrating in the end,” the 18-year-old admitted. “The bike felt really good in cool temperatures and the lap-time was really good. It was just tricky in the races, couldn’t really get that consistency going.
“My start wasn’t great in race one, so that made things harder for myself and by the time I got to second that was all I could manage. We were a lot closer in race two, but in the end I ended up third and that was disappointing. Anyway, it’s all good and it’s good to be on the podium, so thank you to Cube Racing and everybody.”
That result sees Goulburn resident Toparis remain second in the Australian Supersport standings, 25 points outside of the lead following four of seven rounds.
In the action-packed Australian Supersport 300 ranks, Cube Racing’s Bayliss scored a popular pole position on Saturday with a new circuit best lap of 1m17.702s. He claimed second in race one that afternoon, only 0.013s short of victory following 10 nail-biting laps.
Sunday was another convincing effort from the 14-year-old Bayliss, running second in race two prior to crashing out of contention, however he managed to bounce back for fourth in race three – just half a second from first position. That salvaged him P7 overall, now fourth in the points.
“The weekend started off great, pushing the top two in practice through Thursday and Friday, then we got pole on Saturday and that felt great!” Bayliss reflected. “I was really confident going into the races, so I was happy to get second in race one because the bike is definitely better on tracks with less of a straight.
“It’s hard to explain what happened in the second race, I squared it off and lost the rear, so couldn’t finish the race. In the third one I was leading for most of it, but didn’t want to lead onto the straight and that was my problem – I probably should have. But anyway, we were competitive and that was good.”
Cube Racing team owner Ben Henry said it was another promising performance for both Toparis and Bayliss, even if he is certain the best is yet to come from each of them in the coming rounds as their experience continues to build.
“Tommy is riding really good, but Cru [Halliday] is doing a pretty decent job on a good motorbike,” said Henry. “We’re working hard with what we have and the one-lap pace was good, although come the races we just didn’t quite have the speed at this race. The bike just wasn’t quite as quick.
“Oli was really impressive again, he is riding the best he has ever ridden and is going so well. He’s getting all that he can out of that Ninja 300, which has a lower capacity to the competition, so it’s hard for him to race on that type of track. I feel he is the best rider in the class, so I’m sure his time will come.”
Next for the Cube Racing team in the Australian championship will be Morgan Park Raceway’s fifth round of the season in Queensland on 17-19 August.
Like Cube Racing on Facebook and visit www.asbk.com.au for further information. Cube Performance Centre also has an exclusive Cube Racing section on its website, available to view at www.asbk.com.au now.
More, from a press release issued by Penrite Honda Racing:
HERFOSS EXTENDS WITH PENRITE HONDA RACING AT HIDDEN VALLEY
Penrite Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss has captured his third-consecutive overall victory in the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), standing atop the podium at Hidden Valley in the Northern Territory on Sunday.
Herfoss was flawless aboard the factory-supported CBR1000RR Fireblade, qualifying second and then going on to record 2-1 finishes in the entertaining pair of 17-lap races in the humid heat of Darwin.
Race one saw Herfoss make his run at eventual winner Troy Bayliss on the closing lap of the race, only to come up 0.204s short across the line, but he rebounded in the afternoon to win by a commanding 1.147s with a new lap record of 1m05.904s.
“Both races were really exciting and in the end it was a really good result,” Herfoss reflected. “That’s three round wins on the trot now and the most important thing is that we’re winning races and competing for victory in each race now, which wasn’t so easy last year.
“We’re going to Morgan Park and Winton next, two strong tracks for me, and we’re just looking to keep pushing for race wins. Today I just wanted to hit the lap-time, my target race-pace, and I knew if I could do that we would be strong. A big thanks to Penrite Honda Racing and all of our supporters!”
Penrite Honda Racing team manager Shaun Clarke was proud of Herfoss’ efforts on Sunday, certain that the mid-season break has been of great value to the ER Motorsport-operated team.
With three round wins in succession, the team and Herfoss have cemented themselves as the squad to beat following four of seven rounds. Refinements with the K-Tech Suspension and Woolich Racing ECU developments have been instrumental in recent months.
“It’s quite clear that we had very good pace this weekend, even though it wasn’t completely a clean weekend for us,” Clarke explained. “We pulled it all together today, Troy had the pace to win and in the second race it appeared our bike was the best bike out there. Everybody is working well together once again and the winter break was really beneficial for us – it’s all looking good. These results are a reflection of the effort going in.”
The results this weekend now see Herfoss stretch his championship lead to 29.5 points, looking to claim his first ASBK crown since winning with Honda in 2016.
The next round of the 2018 ASBK championship will take place at Morgan Park Raceway in Queensland between 17-19 August. Follow Team Honda Racing on Facebook, as well as @teamhondaracing on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
More, from a press release issued by Swann Insurance Kawasaki:
TOUGH RUN FOR WALTERS IN TOP END ASBK WEEKEND
Swann Insurance Kawasaki’s Matt Walters worked his way through all kinds of adversity in the Hidden Valley round of the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), in what was one of his most challenging rounds of the season.
Walters ultimately displayed his top 10 pace in qualifying on Saturday, despite missing much of Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions, once again proving his capabilities aboard the Ninja ZX-10R.
Sunday was another difficult one for the Cessnock-based multiple national champion however, forced to charge through the pack to 12th position following an early off-track excursion in an inspired effort. He climbed the order from 24th place at the end of lap one.
The second race saw him caught up in another incident during the opening part of the 18-lap affair, going down on the opening lap and unfortunately putting a premature end to his weekend.
“Thursday was really difficult for us with a few issues that almost stopped us for the weekend, but we overcame those for Friday and got everything together,” Walters said. “I had limited time in practice, so qualifying as all about testing the suspension and everything, but it was still good enough for 10th and we were happy with that.
“It shows just how strong we actually were, but we just couldn’t prove it in the races because of a couple of incidents. They could have been avoided, but unfortunately they weren’t. It is what is, I was happy to get back to 12th in race one for some points, but then clipped the back of another rider in race two.”
“I was lucky not to be hurt in that one, but now we will move on and head to Morgan Park with a good attitude, try to put it all together from there. It’s positive to know that we qualified well and the one-lap pace was there this weekend, so we will head to the next one and try our best.”
Walters and the Swann Insurance Kawasaki team will now turn their attention to round five of the 2018 ASBK season, to be held at Morgan Park Raceway in Queensland from 17-19 August.
Like Matt Walters Racing on Facebook and visit www.asbk.com.au for further information on the series.