Australian Superbike: Report From Race One At Phillip Island

Australian Superbike: Report From Race One At Phillip Island

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

Waters powers to season-opening ASBK Superbike victory at Phillip Island

Josh Waters’ affinity with the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit has continued this afternoon with the Victorian scoring an emphatic victory in race one of the season-opening 2024 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK).

Waters took maximum advantage of pole position on his On Ya Bike Adventures Ducati Panigale V4 R to scythe through the 12-lap race, finishing ahead of teammate and exceptionally gifted rookie Harrison Voight.

Reigning Australian Superbike champion Troy Herfoss was third in his debut for DesmoSport Ducati, followed by Yamaha Racing Team duo Cru Halliday and Mike Jones.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Nahlous (Yamaha) continued an imposing day for the teenage brigade with two runaway victories in the Michelin Supersport class, and the local Race and Road Supersport 300 brigade is yet to find a chink in the armour of Czech visitor Petr Svoboda (Kawasaki). The wildcard has now won two races from as many starts as he ramps up his preparation for the 2024 FIM Supersport World Championship.

All three ASBK Championship classes will again be in action on Sunday – two races for Australian Superbike and one apiece for Michelin Supersport and Race and Road Supersport 300 – as well as the World Superbike and Supersport classes with Aussies Remy Gardner, Oli Bayliss and Tom Toparis to feature.

mi-bike insurance Australian Superbike

After edging out Herfoss, Jones and Halliday in qualifying with a new Australian Superbike best lap of 1m30.379s, there was an air of inevitability when Waters blitzed the race one start and Herfoss struggled to get off the line.

Waters immediately set about putting the sword to the opposition – but it was early disaster for Ted Collins (BMW) whose race only lasted two corners before he was cannoned into by another rider and crashed out.

Meanwhile, Waters was in charge from Jones (YZF-R1), Voight (McMartin Racing Panigale V4 R), Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4 R) and 16-year-old rookie Cameron Dunker (Penrite Racing YZF-R1).

Voight was then, in his own words, “pushed and shoved” by his more experienced Australian Superbike rivals and ran wide at turn four on lap two as a result, dropping him back to sixth position.

The 17-year-old immediately rallied, though, initially battling with his old dirt track nemesis Dunker as he methodically worked his way back into second position by lap eight. He also set a new lap record (1:30.790) during his offensive.

Waters’ disappearing act saw him win the race – his sixth in the last nine Phillip Island races – by 1.250 seconds over Voight, followed by Herfoss, the slow-starting Halliday, Jones, Pearson, Anthony West (Addicted to Track YZF-R1) and Dunker.

“That was a really good race and a great reward for all the effort the team is putting in to continually improve every time we go out,” said Waters. “After I pulled out a good lead, I just played it safe as I had no idea how the tyres were going to wear.

“I’m really happy but we’ve got two races to go and I’m under no illusions how hard tomorrow is going to be. But for now, we’ll enjoy this one.”

Glenn Allerton (GT Racing M 1000 RR) and Max Stauffer (Penrite Racing YZF-R1) completed the top 10, while Arthur Sissis (Unitech Racing Yamaha YZF-R1) joined Collins on the DNF list.

Races two and three of the mi-bike insurance Australian Superbike program at Phillip Island will be held at 9:45am and 1:40pm tomorrow.

Michelin Supersport

Nahlous’ Michelin Supersport victories were achieved with absolute precision, defeating Mark Chiodo (Honda) in race one and last year’s No. 2 Olly Simpson (Yamaha) in the two 10-lappers.

The 17-year-old also set a new lap record of 1:34.682, obliterating Voight’s old mark of 1:34.979.

“I’m over the moon with my weekend so far,” said Nahlous. “Pole position, two wins and a new lap record is something that I am very proud of and a reward for all the hard work we’ve been putting in.

“The bike is riding on rails at the moment, and I can’t wait to get back out on track tomorrow.”

Race one saw Nahlous, from NSW, lead from start to finish on his way to a 4.573-second victory over Chiodo and Simpson.

Chiodo (Honda) moved into second place just before mid-race distance – his dive underneath Simpson at turn 10 a highlight – but by then Nahlous had already put the winning equation beyond doubt.

Nonetheless, an impressive return to Michelin Supersport for the CBR600RR, which was also extremely fast down Gardner Straight in the hands of not only Chiodo, but 2023 Supersport 300 champion Marcus Hamod.

Tom Bramich (Yamaha), back in action after injury cruelled his 2023 Supersport campaign, was also heavily involved in the scrap for second place early on before a gear shifter issue saw him fall through the pack and finish 11th.

Jack Mahaffy (Yamaha) was a solid fourth, well ahead of Jake Farnsworth (Yamaha) and Archie McDonald (Yamaha).

Race two saw Nahlous and Simpson scrap hard for the first half before the former pulled away for another easy win, with Mahaffy completing the trifecta from Jake Farnsworth (Yamaha), Hamod and Bramich, who was as far back as 12th in the opening laps.

Hayden Nelson (Kawasaki ZX-6R) and McDonald saw out the top eight.

Race three is at 11:25am on Sunday, as Nahlous looks to make it a clean sweep.

Race and Road Supersport 300

Two from two for Czech Petr Svoboda in the Race and Road Superport 300 class, with the FIM WorldSSP300 rider pulling clear of the pack in the final three laps to win by just over one second from fellow Kawasaki rider Josh Newman – the same 1-2 as Friday’s race one.

Ryan Larkin (Yamaha) put in a stirring final lap to finish third, just 0.03 seconds behind Newman. Mitch Simpson (Yamaha), Tara Morrison (Kawasaki), Valentino Knezovic (Yamaha), Harrison Watts (Kawasaki) and Ryder Gilbert (Yamaha) all flashed across the line in rapid succession to fill positions 3-8 in the eight-lapper.

Gilbert again set the fastest lap of the race, today’s 1:47.348 set in ideal conditions. The current lap record for Supersport 300 is of the oldest benchmarks at Phillip Island – Luke Jhonston’s 1:47.187 set in 2020.

Race three of the Race and Road Supersport 300 class will be held at 9:10am tomorrow.

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