Australian Superbike: Race Report From Sydney Motorsport Park

Australian Superbike: Race Report From Sydney Motorsport Park

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

Waters and Halliday the big winners in the ASBK Night Race in Sydney

Round two of the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK) produced a spectacular show for the ASBK night race, especially in the Alpinestars Superbike class, as Josh Waters (Ducati) made it back-to-back round wins to kickstart the season.

The McMartin Racing man also continued his strong form at the New South Wales-based circuit to make it back-to-back across two seasons, while local Sydney rider Cru Halliday (Yamaha) brought the chocolates home with friends and family watching on.

While Waters and Halliday were the ultimate stars of the show in the premier class, it was a dirty day for Troy Herfoss (Ducati) who was unable to take the grid in race one, following ongoing issues as a result of a crash in the warm-up session, and then crashed while leading on the second lap of race two.

The round podium featured Waters, Halliday and Broc Pearson (Ducati).

Race one

With Herfoss failing to complete the warm-up lap due to an electrical gremlin, grid number three was left vacant for the start of race one, where McMartin Racing’s Harrison Voight (Ducati) made a great initial jump but played cat and mouse with teammate Waters over the first couple of laps as the field sorted themselves out.

Waters retook the lead of the race on lap two and headed an angry pack of Superbikes that included Voight, Halliday, Yamaha Racing’s Mike Jones and Pearson.

Lap three saw the red flag come out, as Matt Walters (Aprilia) made a spectacular crash at turn one, with all riders returning to pitlane as officials recovered the motorcycle.

At the restart, Waters again got a nice jump to lead the rescheduled 10-lap race from Voight, Halliday, Jones and Penrite Racing’s Max Stauffer (Yamaha).

As the race reached the half-way mark, Waters remained in control of his opposition but would go on a downward slide as his tyres started to wear and fell into the clutches of his closest rivals.

As Halliday passed Voight on lap seven, he then set off on a mission to chase after Waters, where he succeeded in his quest with a nice pass on lap nine.

It was clear afterward that the tyre performance of Waters’ Ducati was shot as he came under attack from his teammate, but managed to not succumb to the pressure and held on for second, with Voight third.

“It’s unreal, I wanted to make my family and work friends proud, but at the same time it helps because it releases the nerves,” Halliday said at the race one parc ferme. “At the start of the race, I wasn’t feeling that confident as Waters and Voight were already far in front, I just kept my head and knew I had to put the laps together.

“I eventually noticed I was catching them, and eventually got past Josh, then skipped away.”


Josh Waters. Photo courtesy ASBK.
Josh Waters. Photo courtesy ASBK.


Race two

As the rain arrived just in time for race two, the Superbikes initally got going under lights, but the race was red-flagged moments later as it became apparent that the track was too wet and greasy for the riders to safely navigate their way around.

With most changing to a wet tyre, just like the opening act, the second encounter was rescheduled to a 10-lap affair, as Waters again led off the start-line.

Not a lap would go by before he was passed by the DesmoSport Ducati rider of Herfoss who played pioneer of the slippery circuit ahead of the field.

His taste of front-running would be brief, however, as he came off at turn seven, which gave teammate Pearson the race lead.

Pearson and Waters would dice at the front for several laps afterwards as the field behind gently cruised around the circuit, taking opportunities to make a pass where the risk of crashing was minimal.

Not all riders were lucky to get through the race unscathed, as Glenn Allerton (BMW) crashed on lap nine in the same spot as Herfoss, which promoted Halliday one position forward.

True to the professional he is, Waters did what he needed to do by taking it easy to the finish line, greeting the chequered flag first and maintaining a solid lead in the championship ahead of Pearson, Stauffer, and Halliday.

“The conditions made it very sketchy, I was really lucky to have stayed on the motorcycle and cross the line first,” said Waters.

“I would like to say a big thank you to McMartin Racing and all my sponsors for their efforts this weekend as it’s been a terrific outing for the ASBK Night Race.”

With a second-place finish in race two doubling with third overall for the round, Pearson takes great confidence from this event and looks forward to the season ahead.

“I’m really happy I was able to lead some laps towards the end of tonights race, so to put up a fight against Josh is pleasing for me,” he said. “It’s nice to just get into the mix and make some passes on Josh, given he’s one of the regular front-runners.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to race hard against him.”

The mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul will return for round three at Queensland Raceway on April 26-28.

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