Australian Superbike: Report From Race Two And Race Three At Phillip Island

Australian Superbike: Report From Race Two And Race Three At Phillip Island

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

Waters resumes normal service to complete ASBK Phillip Island clean sweep

Round one of the 2024 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK) concluded at Phillip Island on February 25, with circuit master Josh Waters completing a full quota of victories on his Ducati.

The Mildura flyer undoubtedly produces his most scintillating work at the 4.448km grand prix venue, and so it was again this weekend as he won all three Australian Superbike races, including two on Sunday, on his Panigale V4 R.

He now takes a healthy lead into round two under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 22-23, where he will again have to be at his towering best against a crack field of seasoned veterans and talented teenagers. 

The final races were also held today in Michelin Supersport and Race and Road Supersport 300, with 17-year-old Jonathan Nahlous (Yamaha) producing another masterclass in the former and 15-year-old Harrison Watts (Kawasaki) breaking through for his first victory in the latter.

With Superbike Masters and the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup joining the Sydney roster, there’s going to be plenty to look forward to at the Night Race.

Results for Phillip Island are here.

Related:

Tickets on sale for NIght Race at Sydney Motorsport Park

mi-bike insurance Australian Superbike

The second Superbike race was a combative affair, with as many as seven riders fighting for the lead at one stage with grip levels a little lower than yesterday.

The two constants at the sharp end of the pack for a majority of the 11-lapper were teammates Waters and Harrison Voight, while Troy Herfoss (DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4 R) went back and forth as he struggled to find rhythm. However, the reigning Australian Superbike champion – as he so often does – found a way, passing Voight on the final lap to finish second behind Waters.

Cru Haliday (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1) was fourth and right on the bumper of lap record holder Voight, followed by Ant West (Addicted to Track YZF-R1) and Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4 R).

Halliday also set the fastest lap of the race – a 1:31.066 on lap three.

Cameron Dunker (Penrite Racing YZF-R1), Bryan Staring (MotoGo YZF-R1), Max Stauffer (Penrite Racing YZF-R1) and Glenn Allerton (GT Racing BMW M 1000 RR) rounded out the top 10.

After such a sensational morning bout, race three was short-lived after the Aprilia RSV4 of Matt Walters imploded in a massive plume of smoke at turn one, with the New South Welshman then crashing in his own oil trail.
 
The race was immediately red-flagged, with half points awarded. At that time, Waters was nearly two seconds in front of Voight, followed by Herfoss, West, Halliday, birthday boy Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1M), Stauffer and Pearson.

It’s been a great start to the year. To qualify on pole and then win the two-and-a-half races is great,” said Waters. “I’m not sure what it is about this track that I connect well with, other than that I just really enjoy the circuit.

“I like riding in Sydney, too, but I know that everyone in the Australian Superbike field is going to keep working hard and we need to keep on our toes also to make sure we stay ahead of them.”
 
Waters now takes a 15.5pt (65.5 to 48) lead over Voight into round two at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 22-23. Herfoss is on 47pts, Halliday 42 and West 38.5.

Michelin Supersport

No-one has been more in the ASBK groove than Nahlous Yamaha YZF-R6) at Phillip Island, and his sublime Michelin Superbike campaign was bookended with a third consecutive victory.

The win, by 2.451 seconds over Tom Bramich (YZF-R6), saw 17-year-old Nahlous take home the ‘full monty’: pole position, three race wins and a new lap record.

“It was a great weekend; it couldn’t have gone any better,” said Nahlous.”Race three was much harder than the others and I had to adapt on the run so I could put myself in a position to win, which took a while.

“From about lap four, I understood how to ride the track better which was beneficial to me, so I couldn’t have asked for a better way to complete the round.”

Nahlous and Olly Simpson (Yamaha) ran line astern in the first half of the race before Nahlous put the hammer down and pulled clear – circulating just shy of his one-day old lap record – leaving Simpson to deal with the advances of Bramich.

After electrical issues in the first two races – but still without a quickshifter in the finale – Bramich was galvanised for a big finish, and he passed Simpson on the last lap.

Jake Farnsworth (YZF-R6) finished a lonely fourth, ahead of Mark Chiodo (Honda CBR600RR), Hayden Nelson (Kawasaki ZX-6RR), rookie Marcus Hamod (CBR600R) and Declan Van Rosmalen (YZF-R6).

Meanwhile, Jack Mahaffy (YZF-R6) was on track for a top-five finish before crashing at turn 11.

Race and Road Supersport 300

The final Race and Road Supersport 300 eight-lapper was box office from start to finish, with Harrison Watts prevailing after a thrilling four-way drag to the finish line.

After knocking on the door with a slew of top-five finishes in 2023, it was Watts’ first win in the class. The 15-year-old edged out fellow Kawasaki Ninja 400 riders Tara Morrison and Pete Svoboda in the cliffhanger, with just 0.044 seconds separating the trio at the chequered flag.

Josh Newman (Ninja 400) was fourth, right on the hammer of the top three, ahead of Varis Fleming (Ninja 400) and the first Yamaha rider home, Valentino Knezovic (YZF-R3).

The race was another ‘routine’ Supersport 300 battle with too many positional moves to track, but this time there was some extra spice after Svoboda – who won races one and two – ran off the circuit at the ultra-fast turn 12 on lap one.

After dropping to 21st, his cause looked lost – but that didn’t faze the Czech, who pinned his ears back and carved through the pack. The rapid advance saw him hit the lead by lap seven alongside a new lap record of 1:46.529.

However, he couldn’t complete the three-peat as Watts and Morrison flashed across the line in front of him.

But with Svoboda now heading back to Europe to begin his 2024 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship campaign, Newman is the notional leader.

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