Reflections and ultimate instances from opening day of ASBK Testing at SMP

ASBK SMP Check Day One

And so it begins….

The opening day of the two-day official ASBK Check at Sydney Motorsport Park bought underway in heat and sultry circumstances at 1400 on Wednesday afternoon and ran till nicely into the evening, the fourth and ultimate 25-minute session of the day not getting underway till 2153.

In the present day additionally marked the return of the Australian Superbike Championship to SMP for the primary time since late 2019, forward of the scheduled second spherical of the 2023 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship again right here on the nights of March 24-25.

Whereas ASBK has had such an extended hiatus from competitors right here in Sydney, many rivals have been utilizing the extremely profitable ST. George Motorbike Membership evening meets to get their heads across the very technical nature of the three.93 kilometre Grand Prix circuit.

The first lap of the 500cc race at the Australian GP 1991.
The primary lap of the five hundred cc race on the Australian GP in 1991 at Jap Creek – Picture by Phil Aynsley

This is identical lay-out because the likes of Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner and Daryl Beattie raced on within the early-mid Nineteen Nineties, when it was generally known as Jap Creek. For a lot of riders right here in the present day this was the primary time ever they’ve ridden across the circuit, and in addition the primary time they’ve ever ridden beneath lights.

Sadly although resurfacing works undertaken right here final week although noticed the monitor begin out fairly soiled and slippery on Wednesay morning, however by late afternoon the monitor was getting faster and the instances began tumbling. The ultimate Superbike session on the opening day of this check was staged round 2200 at evening, and our mail means that we’d certainly be racing this late at evening after we come again right here for Spherical Two which is a two-night assembly over the Friday and Saturday nights of March 24-25.

Harrison Voight leading Tom Bramich and Tom Toparis at a recent St. George Motorcycle Club meeting at SMP - Image RbMotoLens
Harrison Voight main Tom Bramich and Tom Toparis at a latest St. George Motorbike Membership assembly at SMP – Picture RbMotoLens

Whereas the likes of the now retired Wayne Maxwell should not on monitor right here in the present day, and different stalwarts together with Bryan Staring, Anthony West, Daniel Falzon and triple-champ Glenn Allerton are but to mattress down rides for season 2023, one may anticipate that Superbike numbers could be skinny on the bottom.

Whereas Glenn Allerton is probably not using right here, or make the grid on the opening spherical, we imagine he’ll doubtless contest the rest of the championship. Hearsay means that the three-time champ will more than likely be on a Ducati V4 R if the deal comes off…

As for Bryan Staring, there are apparently strikes afoot for him to check the MotoGo Yamaha this weekend with a view to doubtlessly becoming a member of them for the season. Fingers crossed.

However right here in the present day now we have the second, third, fifth, eighth and tenth place finishers within the 2022 Australian Superbike Championship all lacking from this check at SMP, nevertheless, there have been nonetheless 18 Superbikes entered right here in the present day.

Becoming a member of them had been 21 Supersports, 19 Supersport 300 machines, the complete 2023 Oceania Junior Cup complement, and even a handful of Moto3 bikes with the likes of the Thompson brothers, Marcus Hamod, Marianos Nikolis and Cam Dunker getting some laps in.  Numbers for the brand new SuperTwin class are definitely disappointing although and hopefully it may well begin to develop from right here, or its days might be numbered.

This two-day check will solely give a slight indications in direction of a kind information forward of the Phillip Island season opener later this month, which is being staged together with the opening spherical of the 2023 World Superbike Championship. Nevertheless, Phillip Island can at all times throw up loads of surprises, riders that go quick there may not essentially do as nicely at different circuits. That additionally works the opposite method round, with riders that may not problem for victory at P.I. then occurring to be quick in every single place else.

It is a new season with a variety of modifications for a lot of riders, and a variety of new issues being examined right here, reasonably than a definite focus being placed on outright lap instances. Though after all come the top of proceedings on Thursday riders will certainly need their names atop the time-sheets.

Josh Waters
Josh Waters is seen by most because the pre-season favorite – Picture RbMotoLens

Contemplating the pace he has proven to this point on the McMartin Racing Ducati Josh Waters is being anointed by most because the pre-season favorite by many, and on latest kind that’s laborious to disagree with.

Mike Jones – 2022 Australian Superbike Champion – Picture RbMotoLens

Nevertheless, the likes of defending champ Mike Jones, and his Yamaha Racing team-mate Cru Halliday, Penrite Honda’s Troy Herfoss and DesmoSport Ducati’s Broc Pearson might need one thing else to say about that… And who can neglect the duel for the title in 2019 that got here right down to the wire proper right here at SMP between Jones and Herfoss.

Troy Herfoss showed off a new Elite Roads livery on the Fireblade today at SMP - Image RbMotoLens
Troy Herfoss confirmed off a brand new Elite Roads livery on the Fireblade in the present day at SMP – Picture RbMotoLens

Troy Herfoss set his quickest time within the ultimate session, a 1m30.024 and was fast in each session. An ideal begin to his 2023 marketing campaign, third outright for the day.

Mike Jones is a Sunday man, right here he’s testing and might be working by means of a predetermined plan along with his crew chief Dylan. Additionally they prefer to play their playing cards near their chest, his kind right here on the check will fairly doubtless not be indicative of his race day potential. Not that being P4 in the present day is something to fret about.

Cru Halliday set the tempo on Wednesday at Sydney Motorsports Park – Picture RbMotolens

Cru Halliday was quickest on Wednesday with a 1m29.774 beneath lights within the fourth and ultimate session. Fractions away from the 1m29.727 set right here by Wayne Maxwell throughout a St. George spherical a few years in the past, however beneath the 1m29.842 ASBK Qualifying lap report set by Robbie Bugden method again in 2013 on a GSX-R1000. As of late Robbie heads up Dunlop’s race program in Australia. Halliday put in two 1m29s within the ultimate session of the day to again up his 1m29.787 within the third session to indicate it was no flash within the pan, he put in three laps that had been faster than anybody else’s greatest right here in the present day.

Robbie Bugden leading Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2013 - Image Keith Muir
Robbie Bugden main Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2013 – Picture Keith Muir

Yamaha unbiased Arthur Sissis is once more considerably of a darkish horse. Whereas the South Australian privateer has not often challenged for wins and has just a few podiums to his title, Arthur’s consistency in racking up factors all through a season is at all times spectacular. Sissis and his group solely must discover a tiny bit extra pace earlier than he turns into an actual title contender. They’d some bike issues that held them again in the present day although and might be hoping for a bother free run tomorrow to be able to get comfy right here at SMP.

Teenager Max Stauffer has been making some huge strides of late and has put in loads of laps right here at SMP just lately within the St. George rounds on his privateer Yamaha that’s put collectively by Aussie Superbike legend dad Jamie. Max saved his greatest for final in the present day, dropping in a 1m30.824 within the ultimate late evening fourth session of the day.

Broc Pearson was one other that saved his greatest for final, a 1m30.235 within the ultimate session to be fifth total. An ideal begin for the DesmoSport Ducati rider.

Mark Chiodo has made some huge modifications for this season with a change to Honda equipment and can compete each right here and in British Superstock 1000. He has had some braking troubles that they’ve been making an attempt to get on high of in the present day.

Whereas Lachlan Epis is concentrating on the Asian Highway Racing Championships this yr he’ll doubtless additionally contest some chosen ASBK rounds, and has been displaying sizzling tempo at SMP within the St. George Motorbike Membership Night time Collection. He was quick right here in the present day, a 1m30.407 within the third session on Pirelli rubber earlier than switching to Dunlop within the fourth session to begin getting accustomed to the Dunlops he’ll race on this yr within the Asian Highway Racing Championships. He bought on phrases with the Dunlops fairly shortly with a 1m31.158 in that ultimate session the place he modified rubber manufacturers.

With Epis spending a lot time overseras, it seems as if the first full-time ASBK assault from BMW this season will come by way of Nathan Spiteri’s Livson Motorsports outfit, who this season fields 2017 Aussie Supersport Champ Ted Collins on their M 1000 RR. Collins will get loads of monitor time in along with his South West Monitor Days operation however has restricted expertise on a Superbike. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see how he develops all through the season however he made a very good begin in the present day that I’m certain the group could be pleased with.

Senna Agius may even contest the Phillip Island season opener on a Fireblade. {The teenager} has already proven podium pace on house soil in his couple of outings on a Superbike late final yr after ending second within the 2022 FIM Moto2 European Championship. A sequence that he’ll contest once more this yr as a consequence of new age restrictions which have delayed his commencement to a full-time Moto2 World Championship trip, that must wait till 2024.

Senna Agius – Picture RbMotoLens

Fellow FIM Moto2 European Championship contender Harrison Voight will race some rounds of the Australian Supersport Championship. The 16-year-old will little question set a bar for the remainder of the home Supersport subject to measure themselves towards and he definitely did that in the present day at SMP.

Younger Queenslander John Lytras will defend his Supersport Championship in a yr the place the 600 cc competitors seems as if it could be slightly hotter than now we have seen lately.

Ty Lynch ran Lytras the closest in 2022 and the South Australian is again for one more shot on the title this yr however continues to be struggling slightly with the accidents he sustained final season.

Tom Bramich informed that he felt he bought a bit misplaced in direction of the top of final season thus goes again to fundamentals with the electronics settings throughout this check. He has additionally put Ohlins suspension again within the bike to attempt to get comfy, earlier than then taking what they be taught from that after which making use of it to their Okay-Tech set-up.

Then now we have the likes of confirmed contenders akin to Jake Farnsworth, Ben Baker, Dallas Skeer, Scott Nicholson and Jack Passfield together with a contingent of Supersport 300 riders making the step as much as 600 Supersport competitors in 2023. Plus extra contenders that little question I’ve missed.

YMF R3 Cup and Supersport 300 Champ Cam Dunker makes the step as much as 600 Supersport in 2023 – Picture RbMotoLens

Double YMF R3 and Supersport 300 Champion Cameron Dunker makes his step as much as the Supersport class, whereas 2018-19 YMF R3 Cup Champion Hunter Ford makes a return to racing after a compelled hiatus. Ford captured the 2019 YMF R3 Cup proper right here at SMP and was on his technique to Europe earlier than some troubles stored him at house and away from the monitor. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see how a lot pace Ford can muster this season, I anticipate him to be aggressive when he has some laps beneath his belt. Sadly gearbox issues in the present day sidelined him for 3 periods however he’s hoping to get the elements required tomorrow morning to be able to get again on monitor.

Sean Condon plans to contest the entire Australian Supersport Championship.
Sean Condon plans to contest the whole Australian Supersport Championship.

Sean Condon was the cat amongst the pigeons right here in the present day within the 600 ranks, the on-again, off-again Sydneysider dominated the opening Supersport apply session on Wednesday afternoon at SMP, greater than 1.5-seconds faster than the remainder of the sector on what was a inexperienced monitor. Condon has informed that he plans to contest the whole Australian Supersport Championship, the 33-year-old was the one one to threaten Voight’s dominance right here in the present day.

The Supersport 300 Championship seems fairly huge open however an attention-grabbing growth is that Brandon Demmery is again within the class full time with none aside from Troy Corser serving to him out behind the scenes. Demmery was a serious participant within the early years of the 300 Supersport class and it’s attention-grabbing that he chooses to remain within the 300 ranks, we cowl the the reason why right here.

Brandon Demmery brings a massive wealth of experience to the Supersport 300 category - Image RbMotoLens
Brandon Demmery brings a large wealth of expertise to the Supersport 300 class – Picture RbMotoLens

Newcomer Riley Nuata set the tempo in the present day within the Oceania Junior Cup forward of returning racers Bodie Paige and Hunter Corney.

I’ve bought to say on a private notice, it’s good to be working at a circuit with such nice infrastructure and a correct practical media centre right here at SMP. It’s good to be again, let’s hope the circuit cleans up additional tomorrow and the boys set some new benchmarks however with the forecast predicting temperatures of 33-degrees tomorrow maybe the short instances will are available Thursday’s opening session.

As at all times, if you wish to fill us in on any background, appropriate us on something or get one thing off your chest, be at liberty to drop me a line or come and discover me on the monitor. That’s usually extra productive than having a sook about me behind my again 😉

Wednesday ASBK Check Occasions from SMP

Superbike Mixed Occasions

Pos Rider Bike  P4 F.Lap
1 Cru HALLIDAY (NSW) Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:29.774 1:29.774
2 Josh WATERS (VIC) Ducati V4R 1:31.102 1:29.970
3 Troy HERFOSS (QLD) Honda CBR RR 1:30.024 1:30.024
4 Mike JONES (QLD) Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:30.225 1:30.225
5 Broc PEARSON (QLD) Ducati V4R 1:30.235 1:30.235
6 Lachlan EPIS (NSW) BMW M RR 1:31.158 1:30.407
7 Max STAUFFER (NSW) Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:30.824 1:30.824
8 Senna AGIUS (NSW) Honda CBR RR 1:31.015 1:30.881
9 Ted COLLINS (VIC) BMW M RR 1:31.829 1:31.472
10 Mark CHIODO (VIC) Honda CBR RR 1:33.421 1:33.401
11 Arthur SISSIS (SA) Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:33.668 1:33.668
12 Paris HARDWICK (NSW) Kawasaki ZX10R 1:34.607 1:34.199
13 Josh SODERLAND (NSW) Ducati V4R 1:35.629 1:35.629
14 Dominic DE LEON (NSW) Kawasaki ZX10R 1:36.053 1:36.053
15 Ben ANGELIDIS (NSW) BMW M RR 1:36.125 1:36.125
16 Nick MARSH (NSW) Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:36.403 1:36.403
17 Michael EDWARDS (QLD) Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:37.792 1:37.792
18 Michael KEMP (SA) Yamaha YZF-R1M 1:39.262 1:39.262

Supersport Occasions

Pos Rider Class Bike P4 F.Lap
1 Harrison VOIGHT (QLD) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:33.002
2 Sean CONDON (NSW)  SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:33.239 1:33.239
3 Jake FARNSWORTH (NSW)  SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:33.635 1:33.635
4 John LYTRAS (QLD) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:34.010 1:33.895
5 Scott NICHOLSON (VIC)  SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:34.011 1:34.011
6 Dallas SKEER (SA)  SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:34.317 1:34.317
7 Giuseppe SCARCELLA (NSW) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:35.392 1:34.352
8 Jonathan NAHLOUS (NSW)  SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:35.141 1:34.502
9 Tom BRAMICH (VIC) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:34.560 1:34.560
10 Jack PASSFIELD (NSW) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:34.918 1:34.693
11 Hayden NELSON (NSW) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:34.843 1:34.843
12 Cameron DUNKER (NSW) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:35.174 1:34.905
13 Ben BAKER (NSW) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:35.384 1:35.384
14 Ty LYNCH (SA) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:36.237 1:35.726
15 Jack FAVELLE (NSW) SS Honda CBR RR 1:35.753 1:35.753
w Reece OUGHTRED (VIC) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:36.281 1:36.281
17 Luca DURNING (QLD) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:37.325 1:37.325
18 Marcus HAMOD (NSW) SS Honda CBR RR 1:38.637 1:38.637
19 Noel MAHON (VIC) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:38.840 1:38.840
20 Simone BOLDRINI (NSW) SS Yamaha YZF-R6 1:39.200 1:39.200
21 Hunter FORD (NSW) SS Kawasaki ZX6R 1:40.036
22 Brian BOLSTER (NSW) ST Suzuki SV 1:45.015 1:45.015
23 Dan HUGHES (WA) ST Yamaha YZF-R7 1:48.535 1:48.090

Supersport 300 Occasions

Pos Rider Class Bike P4 F.Lap
1 Marcus HAMOD (NSW)  SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:44.633 1:44.633
2 Cameron SWAIN (QLD) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:45.254 1:45.254
3 Brandon DEMMERY (NSW) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:45.363 1:45.363
4 Steve SFORZIN (VIC) SS3 Kawasaki Ninja 1:45.899 1:45.899
5 Sam PEZZETTA (SA) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:46.036 1:46.036
6 Brodie GAWITH (VIC) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:46.397 1:46.082
7 Joshua NEWMAN (NSW) SS3 Kawasaki Ninja 1:46.349 1:46.349
8 Henry SNELL (QLD) SS3 1:46.939 1:46.939
9 Valentino KNEZOVIC (NSW) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:47.079 1:47.079
10 Cooper ROWNTREE (SA) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:47.335 1:47.335
11 Lincoln KNIGHT (NSW) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:48.292 1:47.348
12 Luke JHONSTON (VIC) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:47.432 1:47.432
13 Stephany KAPILAWI-JAMES (QLD) SS3 Kawasaki Ninja 1:48.669 1:48.669
14 Casey MIDDLETON (QLD) / RaceDNA SS3 Kawasaki Ninja 1:48.865 1:48.865
15 Tara MORRISON (SA) SS3 Kawasaki Ninja 1:49.110 1:49.110
16 Abbie CAMERON (WA) SS3 Yamaha YZF-R3 1:49.297 1:49.297
17 Calvin MOYLAN (WA) SS3 Kawasaki Ninja 1:50.528 1:50.528
18 Daley MILLS (QLD) SS3 Kawasaki Ninja 1:51.720 1:51.254
19 Will NASSIF (NSW) SS3 Kawasaki Ninja 1:53.834 1:53.834

Moto3 Occasions

Pos Rider Class Bike P4 F.Lap
1 Cameron DUNKER (NSW) M3 1:39.168 1:39.168
2 Marianos NIKOLIS (NSW) M3 1:39.893 1:39.893
3 Carter THOMPSON (NSW) M3 Honda NSR 250 1:40.072 1:40.072
4 Hudson THOMPSON (NSW) M3 Honda NSR 250 1:45.426 1:44.542

Oceania Junior Cup Occasions

Pos Rider Bike P4 F.Lap
1 Riley NAUTA (QLD)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:00.160 2:00.160
2 Bodie PAIGE (QLD)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:00.474 2:00.426
3 Hunter CORNEY (QLD)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:02.055 2:00.856
4 Jake PAIGE (QLD)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:01.251 2:01.251
5 Rikki HENRY (SA)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:01.316 2:01.316
6 Sam DRANE (NSW)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:02.424 2:01.422
7 Valentino KNEZOVIC (NSW)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:01.516 2:01.516
8 Alexander CODEY (NSW)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:02.132 2:02.132
9 Jed FYFFE (NSW)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:02.212 2:02.212
10 Oscar LEWIS (NSW)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:02.429 2:02.429
11 Ella McCAUSLAND (VIC)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:02.471 2:02.471
12 Ethan JOHNSON (VIC)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:02.657 2:02.657
13 Nixon FROST (VIC)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:04.395 2:03.500
14 John PELGRAVE (QLD)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:03.749 2:03.749
15 Archie SCHMIDT (SA)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:05.226 2:05.226
16 Hunter CHARLETT (VIC)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:05.360 2:05.360
17 Nikolas LAZOS (VIC)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:08.240 2:05.437
18 Haydn FORDYCE (VIC)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:06.170 2:05.811
19 Elijah ANDREW (NSW)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:08.586 2:07.348
20 Rossi McADAM (WA)   Yamaha YZF-R15 2:10.225 2:08.586

Sydney Motorsport Park Official ASBK Check
Official Schedule

Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW – Official ASBK Check – Official Schedule
Thursday, February 2
8.30 8.45 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup Observe 1 15 minutes
8.50 9.15 Michelin Supersport (inc. SuperTwins) Observe 1 25 minutes
9.20 9.45 Dunlop Supersport 300 – Yamaha Finance R3 Cup Observe 1 25 minutes
9.50 10.15 Alpinestars Superbike Observe 1 25 minutes
10.20 10.35 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup Observe 2 15 minutes
10.40 11.05 Michelin Supersport (inc. SuperTwins) Observe 2 25 minutes
11.10 11.35 Dunlop Supersport 300 – Yamaha Finance R3 Cup Observe 2 25 minutes
11.40 12.05 Alpinestars Superbike Observe 2 25 minutes
12.05 12.35 Lunch 30 minutes
12.35 12.50 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup Observe 3 15 minutes
12.55 13.20 Michelin Supersport (inc. SuperTwins) Observe 3 25 minutes
13.25 13.50 Dunlop Supersport 300 – Yamaha Finance R3 Cup Observe 3 25 minutes
13.55 14.20 Alpinestars Superbike Observe 3 25 minutes
14.25 14.40 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup Observe 4 15 minutes
14.45 15.10 Michelin Supersport (inc. SuperTwins) Observe 4 25 minutes
15.15 15.40 Dunlop Supersport 300 – Yamaha Finance R3 Cup Observe 4 25 minutes
15.45 16.10 Alpinestars Superbike Observe 4 25 minutes
16.10 17.00 All Groups & Riders to Exit the Circuit by 5pm Pitlane 50 minutes
All Occasions Listed are Australian Jap Daylight-Saving Time (NSW native time)

2023 ASBK Calendar

2023 ASBK Calendar
Spherical Circuit Location Date
Check Sydney Motorsport Park NSW Feb 1-2
R1 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit VIC Feb 24-26
R2 Sydney Motorsports Park NSW Mar 24-25
R3 Queensland Raceway QLD Apr 28-30
R4 Hidden Valley Raceway NT Jun 16-18
R5 Morgan Park Raceway QLD Jul 14-16
R6 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit VIC Oct 27-29
R7 The Bend Motorsport Park SA Dec 1 – 3