Nav­i­gat­ing the bends

Like a psy­che­delic snake, the Su­per­bikes weave through the Win­ton bends at the week­end.

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page -

Troy Her­foss (Pen­rite Honda Rac­ing, CBR1000SP) cap­tured the 2018 YMI Su­per­bike Championship at Win­ton Race­way on Sun­day.

In what was an epic show­down at the presents Round 6 of the Yamaha Mo­tor Fi­nance Aus­tralian Su­per­bike Championship pre­sented by Mo­tul Pirelli (ASBK) he man­aged to wrap up the championship — with a round to spare.

Her­foss took out the first race, which was filled with drama from the out­set as Bryan Star­ing (Kawasaki BCper­for­mance, ZX10R) crashed at turn one.

The race was soon red flagged as a re­sult and the rid­ers would have to restart.

When the race got back un­der way, Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Rac­ing Team, YZF-R1M) had a light­ning start with Josh Wa­ters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, GSXR1000R), Her­foss and Troy Bayliss (Des­mo­sport Du­cati, 1299 Pani­gale) in tow.

Maxwell was pump­ing in fast laps, but dis­as­ter struck when he crashed on lap eight; end­ing his championship run for 2018 and giv­ing Wa­ters the lead — for a short while.

Her­foss man­aged to hit the front with only five laps to go with a dar­ing over­take, with the vet­eran Bayliss start­ing to charge and con­tend for vic­tory.

As the race reached the con­clud­ing stages, an al­ready crazy af­fair was brought to an end when Adam Se­nior’s (Se­nior En­gi­neer­ing, Yamaha YZF-R1) bike caught fire with the race red-flagged af­ter only two thirds of its laps were com­pleted.

The YMI Su­per­bike race two was once again full of drama.

This time Her­foss would lead, but Maxwell would take the as­cen­dency on lap two.

Un­for­tu­nately crashes by Chiodo and Jamie Stauffer (Craig McMartin Rac­ing, Du­cati 1299 Pani­gale) would cause a red flag.

When the race restarted, Nathan Spi­teri (Liv­son, Suzuki GSXR1000R) also crashed and the red flag came out again.

Af­ter the third restart the race was cut to 12 laps and Bayliss would lead from Maxwell and Wa­ters.

With clear air in front of him it would be in­ter­est­ing to see if he could make a break for it, Her­foss was back in fourth.

Maxwell made his move on lap three and would be look­ing to avenge his crash in race one.

Her­foss, mean­while, was con­tent with a leisurely fourth, hold­ing the points ad­van­tage he needed to se­cure the championship.

‘‘That was too stress­ful,’’ Her­foss de­clared post-race.

‘‘We had a bad start and we ac­tu­ally had a prob­lem with the quick shifter.

‘‘I wouldn’t mind go­ing old school, but it was cut­ting in and out.

‘‘I’m just so happy be­cause we’ve worked so hard and my ri­vals have been strong.

‘‘To win it with a round to go, I wouldn’t have dreamt of it. Con­grat­u­la­tions to the whole team.’’

In the Kawasaki Su­pers­port Championship Cru Hal­l­i­day (Yamaha Fac­tory Rac­ing, Yamaha YZF-R6) showed his style — and his new rac­ing hel­met — as he wrapped up the ti­tle.

Hal­l­i­day also col­lected the over­all round win with a sec­ond in race one and a win in race two.

Hal­l­i­day was speech­less and re­lieved to take out the ti­tle at Win­ton.

‘‘The pres­sure was on and I brought the new hel­met here, so I had to wrap it up,’’ he said.

‘‘That last lap on the track, I’ve never been so cau­tious go­ing around a track on a mo­tor­cy­cle.

‘‘I can’t wait to go out and cel­e­brate this with the team, such a re­lief and thank God it’s over.’’

Max Cro­ker (Mat Mladin Rac­ing, Suzuki GSX-R) took out sec­ond over­all af­ter pick­ing up his first Kawasaki Su­pers­port race win in race one and then third in race two.

The feel-good story of the week- end was def­i­nitely the re­turn to the class of Nic Lim­inton (Yamaha, YZF-R6) who col­lected fourth over­all for the round.

But per­haps the real con­nec­tion be­tween rid­ers and fans went all but un­seen when Troy Bayliss took the cham­pagne bot­tle from the podium, signed it and handed it to a pass­ing young fan.

Then an­other wide-eyed young­ster was handed Bayliss’ third­place tro­phy.

Bayliss then back­tracked, say­ing he should have asked the kids if they wanted pho­tos, but while he had some taken with the cham­pagne bot­tle and its proud new owner, the lad with the tro­phy was nowhere to be found.

Prob­a­bly headed for home in fear Bayliss might change his mind and want it back.

It was a de­light­ful touch by a leg­end of the sport.

Pic­tures: Karl Phillip­son

Above and right: Win­ner Troy Her­foss of Pen­rite Honda Rac­ing at Win­ton Mo­tor Race­way for the YMI Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onships.

Left: Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Josh Wa­ters con­grat­u­lates Yamaha Rac­ing Team’s Wayne Maxwell on his race-two round-six win at Win­ton

Above: Queens­land’s Troy Her­foss the 2018 Aus­tralian Su­per­bike Championship win­ner for Pen­right Honda Rac­ing team stays ahead of South Aus­tralia’s Arthur Sis­sis also rid­ing a Honda CBR1000SP.

Rapt: YMI Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onships race two round six win­ner Wayne Maxwell at Win­ton Mo­tor Race­way on Sun­day.

Tak­ing a break: Queens­land’s Troy Her­foss for Pen­right Honda Rac­ing gets some shade.

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