Luke Mitchell took his maiden race and round win at Morgan Park over the weekend
The Yamaha boys on the podium

Milestone Supersport Round for Mitchell, while Guenther closes in on Championship leader

8 Aug 2016

YRD supported riders Luke Mitchell and Troy Guenther took out the top two overall spots in the fifth round of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship in Supersport class at Morgan Park.

For Mitchell, the weekend started off well, but went horribly pear-shaped after he stepped off his JNL Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 machine in practice three on Friday, resulting in major damage to his machine.

Mitchell's parents drove all way home to Yamba, NSW, to pick up their spare bike and drove back into Warwick midnight Saturday night. Mitchell’s mechanic, Marty Dowd, then rebuilt the bike on Saturday morning before qualifying got underway.

In what was a turn of fate, Mitchell went on to claim his very first pole position by stopping the clock with a 1min16.493 around the 2.967km circuit.

“It sure is a nice way to repay back the hard work which was done overnight and this morning,” Mitchell said after qualifying. “I think we are in good shape for the two races tomorrow.”

Mitchell managed to convert his pole position into a race win in the opening fifteen lap race. For the entire race, Mitchell ran around in second place until the last lap where he got by Sam Clarke to take his first ever Supersport race win by .600 second.

“On the last few laps in race one I didn’t hear a bike behind me, so I knew no one was going to out drag me. I thought to myself – you’re joking right… I have finally done it, I have finally won a Supersport race. That race win was a big relief,” beamed Mitchell.

Race two however Mitchell settled for fourth place, as his left elbow which he hurt on Friday was the worst pain ever that he had ridden with started to affect him lap five.

The New South Welshman did was riding in a strong third place at one stage during the race, but by lap ten he fell back to fourth place. This was still good enough to hand him his very first ever round win, beating Guenther by one slender point.

“I definitely didn’t expect to take out the round win this weekend,” said Mitchell after race two. “As a racer you always have a goal to get pole position and of course two race wins. After the get off I had on Friday and the work which was involved to repair the bike, it’s a nice feeling to be able to deliver the JNL Racing team a round win.

“From we’re we bounced back from on Friday, I’m really happy with the weekend as a whole. Onwards and upwards from here,” concluded Mitchell, who now climbs up to third place in the championship, fourteen points behind Guenther.

Guenther guided his Graffiti Alley Racing Yamaha R6 machine to a 4-1 result. The young seventeen-year-old admitted that he started off a little bit slow on the weekend. However come race time he was right where he needed to be, which was up in the front leading group.

Guenther’s target on the weekend was to win some races, which he managed to do in race two after he took it out by 2.874 seconds, leading from flag to flag.

“I’m very happy to be able to have won a race here at home,” said an excited Guenther after race two. “I can’t thank my team enough. They have made the bike work so well on the Pirelli tyres. On top of that I have to say a big thanks to all my friends and family who have come out this weekend to support me.”

With just two races remaining in this year’s Australian Supersport Championship, Guenther is now just eight points behind the championship leader, which sets the final round up to be an absolute bell ringer.

Next best YRD supported rider in the Supersport class was Victorian’s Ben Blyth aboard the Race Center backed Yamaha R6 machine. Blyth finished one point ahead of his South Australian teammate, Nic Liminton.

Completing the top ten was Anthony Quinn on the Coopers Pale Ale Yamaha, who was just one point behind Liminton.

For a full list of results –

Round five results – Morgan Park
ASBK –  600cc Supersport
1st Luke Mitchell – 43 (Yamaha R6)
2nd Troy Guenther – 42 (Yamaha R6)
3rd Sam Clarke – 40
4th Lachlan Epis – 34
5th Ted Collins – 31
6th Robbie Menzies – 28
7th Mark Chiodo – 28
8th Ben Blyth – 24 (Yamaha R6)
9th Nic Liminton – 23 (Yamaha R6)
10th Anthony Quinn  - 22 (Yamaha R6)

Championship standings – After round five
1st Sam Clarke – 202
2nd Troy Guenther – 194
3rd Luke Mitchell – 180
4th Callum Spriggs - 152.5
5th Ben Blyth - 138.5
6th Ted Collins - 114.5
7th Nic Liminton - 112.5
8th Chris Quinn – 110
9th Robbie Menzies – 98
10th Mark Chiodo - 81.5


Russell Colvin
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