YRD supported Troy Guenther in action at Wakefield Park
Luke Mitchell on his way to the podium.

Mitchell highest placed YRD Supersport rider, but Guenther still leads title charge

29 Mar 2016

YRD supported riders Luke Mitchell (JNL Racing) and Troy Guenther (Graffiti Alley Racing) have both claimed podium finishes with a second and third place respectively at the second round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) in the Supersport class at Wakefield Park.

Nineteen-year-old Mitchell qualified fourth on the grid and managed to turn that into two second placing results in a good day of racing.

In race one, Mitchell hit the lead and looked as if he had the legs to go on to claim the sixteen lap race. However, the red flag was brought out on lap fourteen due to a crash which resulted in the running order to be put back a lap which meant Mitchell was denied the race win by .159sec.

“It’s a bit disappointing to hit the lead, then have the red flag brought out and then get put back to second,” said Mitchell after race one. “That’s racing! We’ll see what we can do for race two.”

In race two he went toe-to-toe Mitchell was involved in a five way dice for the lead which also included fellow YRD supported rider Cambridge Olivier (Road & Circuit). Mitchell just missed out on the race win by .136sec, but did post the fastest lap of the race on lap fourteen with a 1min00.237.

“Overall it was fantastic day and weekend,” expressed Mitchell who wasn’t think much of a result at Wakefield Park as he regards it not one of his favourite tracks on the ASBK calendar.

“The second race I took the lead and tried to pull away, but I had a very big moment during the race. I just thought, I don’t care where I finish I’ll just bring the bike home. To finish second in race two I was really happy about. We’ll have another crack at it at Sydney Motorsport Park which should be a good round for us.”

Mitchell will get a few upgrades for his JNL Racing Yamaha R6 machine before the third round of the championship, which he believes should help him a bit more.

Finishing in third place, four points behind Mitchell was Guenther. Just like Mitchell, Guenther regards Wakefield Park as not his strongest track, so it goes without saying he was happy enough to score two third place finishes and maintain his championship lead.

From here on, Guenther and his team head to a few tracks which he believes he will do quite well at.

“To get a good solid result here this weekend is a big confidence boost for myself and the Graffiti Alley Racing team,” said Guenther.

Guenther regarded race two as his hardest race because not only did he have two riders in front of him, but he also had two riders behind him as well.

“I was doing everything I could to stay in third place and keep the front running two honest. At the same time both Cambridge and Callum [Spriggs] were putting a lot of pressure on me as well,” explained the seventeen-year-old.

Guenther still holds onto the championship lead with a fourteen point lead. So the question is, is feeling any pressure leading the title chase?

“Heading into round two I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect as I didn’t do quite well at Wakefield Park in 2015. So have a good few races today, I feel really, really good heading into Sydney Motorsport Park, so I don’t feel any pressure. It’s still early days anyway.”

The next best places YRD supported rider was Olivier in fifth place scoring a 6-4 result, while Ben Blyth was the next best YRD rider in sixth place aboard the Race Center Yamaha YZF-R6 machine.

In the YMI Superbike class, YRT supported rider South Australian rider Daniel Falzon came home in fourteenth position after an up-and-down day aboard the JD Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.

Race one saw Falzon keeping his nose clean to come home in fourth position behind Yamaha Racing Team’s Cru Halliday.

“Fourth position was a fantastic result in race one,” said the two time Australian Supersport champion. “I knew from the start of the race we just had to stay on the bike because the track was very slippery, all weekend. Riders were coming down all weekend and I knew the front running riders were all pushing really hard and I just felt that they may make mistakes, which they did.”

For race two Falzon had a similar mentality to go out and just try and collect some decent points. However Falzon was taken out on the opening lap which meant zero points.

“It’s no fault of the team which is very disappointing. Collecting no points in race two is definitely not ideal, but we’ll just have push forward to the next round and hopefully pick up some more points there.”

Falzon now sits in sixth place in the championship on fifty-six points.

The sole YRD Superbike supported rider in Adam Senior finished in eighth position with two ninth place finishes.

John Redding, owenr of YRD, was on hand to witness the weekend's racing and offered his congratulations to the riders. 

"Well done to all the YRD supported riders on the weekend at Wakefield Park. I hope the program we offer these riders gives them the assistance they need to reach their goals and we will keep working with them as they climb the Australian road racing ladder," Redding comments. 

Russell Colvin
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