It was mixed results for Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) at the second round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park, New South Wales on the weekend.
All three riders suffered falls from their machines over the course of the weekend but continued to fight on despite the drama and post some respectable results in what was action packed weekend of racing.
Race one proved to be one of the most dramatic in some time with three red flags, three re starts and then two race leaders going down before the race was over.
Wayne Maxwell led the YRT charge on the weekend and started brightly with P2 in qualifying and confident of a good result in racing. All kinds of drams unfolded in race one with Allerton assuming the lead and Maxwell tucked in behind. Allerton fell at turn five leaving Maxwell to control the race but on the very next lap, he copied Allerton in the exact same turn and both YRT riders were down in the same corner.
“We had a front tyre issue in race one and I didn’t think it was as bad as it was,” explained Maxwell after race one. “It simply caught me out at the top of the hill. I knew Glenn had crashed there and the next lap I was on the ground and I couldn’t believe it.”
The former Australian Superbike champion bounced back in race two to take a flawless 5.179sec race two victory to pocket a healthy twenty-five points. The thirty-three-year-old got a lighting start that he knew was going to be so important. He was never headed leading from start to finish in the sixteen lap race.
Despite the challenging day and the seventh place round finish, Maxwell moved five points closer to the championship lead and now sits just 15 points behind series leader, Troy Herfoss.
Maxwell later described the day as an emotional rollercoaster. “To be on the ground to a dominant race win is pretty cool. While the first race was disappointing it was nice to take out the second race. I got a good start and just got myself into a rhythm and just saw my time increasing on the lap board.”
In twelfth place, scoring a solid third place and eighteen points in race two after a coming off in race one was Glenn Allerton. Allerton felt like he was super strong for race day to challenge to win both races, but admitted that he let it get away from him this weekend.
Allerton now slips to second place in the championship, two points shy of the championship lead.
“That fall in race one was costly but when Wayne did the same thing, it must have been a nightmare for the team. It’s disappointing, but that’s racing. We now head to Sydney Motorsport Park which is my home track. I had a great feeling with the bike at the test, so I’m going to go out there and go even harder.” Allerton commented.
Tied with Allerton on the day was team mate Cru Halliday who also scored a third place finish and a DNF.
Halliday, who qualified fourth on the grid was unfortunately taken out at turn one in the first of three race stoppages, which in the end saw a complete full race start in the later part of the afternoon.
With a drama filled restarted race one, Halliday kept the number sixty five R1M on two wheels to come home in third place and set the second fastest lap time, which was a 57.826 on lap four.
In race two, Halliday again was taken out at the first corner on the opening lap, which he later said it was simply out of his control.
One positive to take from the week for the 27 year old, he has moved from ninth to seventh in the Superbike championship with fifty-two-points on the board.
“It was nice to finish in third,” Halliday said after race one. “I would have liked to have got into a battle with my two teammates before they came off. It just panned out the way it did. My pace was good, but I just wasn’t in the right part of the track where the right guys were.”
“Race two was terrible and not the best way to end what was a good weekend,” said Halliday. “What can you do? I guess these things happen in racing. You just have to move past it.”
“I can’t say enough about this 2016 Yamaha YZF-R1M. It’s hooking up unreal and the Yamaha Racing Team have had the tyre degradation under control. I barely did any changes to the bike, just a few little gearing changes here and there. The whole team are working so hard. I just feel bad for putting the bike down in the last race.”
The Australian Superbike Championship now heads to Sydney Motorsport Park for round three which will take place from 16-17 April.
Round Two Results – Wakefield Park
1st Troy Herfoss – 43
2ND Ant West – 40
3rd Ben Bourke – 32
7th Wayne Maxwell (YRT)
12th Glenn Allerton (YRT)
13th Cru Halliday (YRT)
Championship Standings after Round Two
1st Troy Herfoss – 95
2nd Glenn Allerton – 93 (YRT)
3rd Wayne Maxwell – 80 (YRT)
4th Ben Bourke - 73
5th Michael Jones - 57
6th Daniel Falzon - 56
7th Cru Halliday – 52 (YRT)
8th Michael Blair - 45
9th Ryan Hampton- 42
10th Braydon Elliot - 41
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2014 Australasian Superbike Champion & AFX-Superbike Champion, 2013 Australian Superbike Champion