To view the YRT ASBK round review: https://youtu.be/94XdcgKC2Os
The Yamaha Racing Team entered the weekend looking to cash in on the speed they had generated at the opening two rounds. Despite not winning a race so far this season, the YRT duo have been regularly at the top of the time sheets but unable to transfer that into a round win on race day.
Things started well during the practice and qualifying sessions with both riders gaining speed and confidence every time on the track. Jones ended up in P2, just a head of Halliday in P3 so both riders starting from the front row of the grid for the two, sixteen lap races.
Race one saw Jones leap into the lead as the field charged into turn one, edging out pole sitter, Troy Herfoss. As the race was beginning to take shape, the five riders at the front began to break away and the intense nature of the QR circuit meant the racing was tight and mistakes were costly.
After a few laps of feeling each other out and the race reaching the halfway stages, Jones and Herfoss engaged in battle. Jones held the lead, but Herfoss drove down the insides of turns three and six, time and again, only for the Yamaha rider to cut back underneath and regain the lead on the corner exit. As the pair traded blows, neither of them was aware that Cru Halliday had broken away from the riders behind him and had began closing in on the lead duo. With two laps to run, the two-rider battle become and three-way battle as Halliday was suddenly on the scene.
With the last lap board out, Herfoss had wrestled the lead from Jones, but the fireworks weren’t over. Jones returned favour and slammed his R1M on the inside of Herfoss as the entered the final turn of the race, but like Herfoss, he ran slightly wide on the corner exit. Herfoss rolled on the gas and the pair touched on the corner exit, while Halliday had lined himself up in the inside of the corner and looked to out drag his rivals to the finish line.
All three riders unleashed full throttle on their Superbikes and the three flashed across the finish line with just .162 separating the trio with Herfoss taking the win, Jones second and Halliday in third.
Just a few hours later and the Superbike stars were gridding up for race two. Again, Jones battled his way to the front in the first two turns and tried to break clear of the pack. Herfoss slotted in behind while Halliday was in fifth before quickly moving to fourth in behind Josh Waters. The lead four then put a small gap over the field as the battle unfolded.
Herfoss snatched back the lead on lap five as Jones stalked him. On lap 12, Jones made a move and took the lead back only for Herfoss to retaliate one lap later. The speed of the duo saw them build a small gap over a similar battle happening between Waters and Halliday for third and fourth.
Halliday got the better of Waters with three laps to go and set off in pursuit of the lead pair. He had over two seconds to make up and not much time to do so but he unleashed some quick ones and closed the gap 1.6 on the leader at race end as he crossed the finish line in third.
Back to the front and Jones was all over Herfoss, looking to snatch a race victory in the shadows of the chequered flag. Herfoss covered his lines but as the pair exited the second last turn, Jones again had the R1M hooked up and drew alongside the Honda rider as they both hit the final turn. Jones pushed in hard, Herfoss slammed on the brakes and crossed behind Jones and the pair again engaged in a drag race to the finish line that saw Herfoss take the win by .056 of a second and the Queensland crowd erupted with respect for two Superbike races they had just witnessed.
The second place on the day lifts Mike Jones to fifth place in the championship as he recovers from a tough round two.
“I gave it everything I had and I’m sure that Troy and Cru will say the same,” Jones said at days end. “Coming here as a rider, you know you are going to be in for some intense racing and that is what today produced. Clearly, I would have loved to have got the win in both races so that’s a little disappointing but I know I left everything I had on the track so I leave the weekend with my head held high.
“ The team did a great job and we turned what was a bit of an average start to the weekend into a positive rebound on race day feel I have got a bit of momentum back in my riding.
“Thanks to all my friends and family who came out over the weekend to watch me race, the support is awesome and I hope they enjoyed their day at ASBK,” Jones ends.
Cru Halliday has moved to third in the ASBK championship and has strung a very consistent line of results together after his DNF in the opening race of the championship. In the past six races, Halliday hasn’t been off the podium with DNF-2-2-2-3-3-3 results to his name so far this season and proving he is a genuine contender in 2023.
“I had never started from the front row or finished on the podium in an ASBK event at QR, so it was good to tick those boxes on the weekend and continue my good run of results,” Halliday offers.
“My start in race one let me down as once I got clear track, I was able to make time on Troy and Mike, but it was just a bit too little, too late. Then in race two, I had to find my way around Josh Waters who was riding well and has been around a long time. Once I got around him, the gap to the front pair was just too big although I gave it a go and trying to hunt them down.
“I have worked hard this year and the team have my back. The DNF in the first race of the championship has hurt me, but I’m going to keep swinging to the very last race of the season as I feel my bike and my riding is as good as it’s ever been and I’m motivated more than ever to get some race and round wins before the year is out,” he signs off.
Round four of the ASBK will see the Superbike class join forces with the Supercars in Darwin on June 17 and 18.
Round Three – QR
1st Troy Herfoss – 51
2nd Mike Jones – 40 (Yamaha Racing Team)
3rd Cru Halliday – 36 (Yamaha Racing Team)
4th Josh Waters – 34
5th Glenn Allerton – 32
6th Max Stauffer -30 (Yamaha)
7th Ted Collins-27
8th Anthony West- 24 (Yamaha)
9th Bryan Staring -22 (Yamaha)
10th Matt Walters-22
ASBK Championship Standings
1st Josh Waters -160
2nd Troy Herfoss – 142
3rd Cru Halliday – 115 (Yamaha)
4th Glenn Allerton – 115
5th Mike Jones - 104 (Yamaha)
6th Ted Collins – 95
7th Bryan Staring – 88 (Yamaha)
8th Broc Pearson - 82
9th Arthur Sissis – 72 (Yamaha)
10th Max Stauffer – 69 (Yamaha)