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Suzuki’s Josh Waters In Championship Contention After Double SMSP Victory | Sport | WSBK

Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, GSXR-1000R) took commanding wins for Race One and Two of the 2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship

The wins bring the Suzuki rider right into championship contention after Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1) failed to score points in Race Two.

Race One

In the first 16-lap affair, Waters led the field from Turn One followed closley by Bryan Staring (Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team, CBR1000SP2) and Glenn Allerton (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1). Staring was having an impressive run in the opening laps, but retired after smoke poured out of his exhaust and engine started loosing power, signalling another retirement after a strong weekend.


This allowed Allerton to secure second. However, Troy Herfoss (Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team, CBR1000SP2) and Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1) were charging through the field at an incredible rate, catching up to Allerton in no time.


Eventually, Herfoss and Maxwell passed Allerton on lap five, when Allerton appeared to be dropping back through the field. In the mean time, Waters was checking out in the front and was the only riders to consistently race in the 1:30’s.


Maxwell and Herfoss were overtaking each other multiple times, particularly at Turn Two (Motul Hairpin). Josh Hook (Bell Helmets, Ducati Panigale R) was having a storming race behind, overtaking both YRT supported riders Daniel Falzon (JD Racing, YZF-R1) and Cru Halliday (Yamaha Finance, YZF-R1). Waters finally droped back into the 1:31’s on lap 11, a testament to Pirelli durability.


The battle for the two remaining podium positions came down to Herfoss, Maxwell, Allerton and Hook. Hook managed to overtake Allerton on the last lap and looked set to make his move on Maxwell. Hook selected Suzuki corner as his last chance to overtake, but Maxwell was wise to it and was able to regain the ascendency.


Waters took the checkered flag followed by Herfoss and Maxwell. Hook almost managing to out drag Maxwell down YMI straight at SMSP, but falling just short to finish in fourth. Fifth was Allerton after an impressive race, followed by Falzon and Halliday in sixth and seventh.

Provisional Race One Results

1 Josh WATERS (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, GSX-R1000R)

2 Troy HERFOSS (Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team, CBR1000SP2)

3 Wayne MAXWELL (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1)

4 Josh HOOK (Bell Helmets, Ducati Panigale R)

5 Glenn ALLERTON (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1)

6 Daniel FALZON (JD Racing, YZF-R1)

7 Cru HALLIDAY (Yamaha Finance, YZF-R1)

8 Robert BUGDEN (Kawasaki BCperformance, ZX-10R)

9 Michael BLAIR (Yamaha YRT, YZF-R1)

10 Corey TURNER (Desmosport Ducati, 1299 Panigale)


Race Two

In the final YMI Superbike race of the day, Waters maintained first position around the opening corner as Staring positioned himself in second, the following laps would be a frantic affair.


It didn’t take long for Maxwell, Allerton, Herfoss and Falzon to engage in a scrap for the final place on the podium. Unfortunately, the championship leader Maxwell, crashed early on in the race at Shark corner (Rider Ok), once again blowing the title fight wide open. Privateer racer, Falzon also went down at YMI Corner (Rider Ok), likely bringing an end to his championship hopes.


In the final laps Herfoss, Allerton, Bugden, Halliday and Michael Blair all fought hard for that final podium place, with Hook and Corey Tuner (Desmosport Ducati, 1299 Panigale) not far behind.


Waters would go on to take an incredible win. Followed by Staring and Herfoss on the podium. Allerton concluded the race just on the tail of the lead pack, ahead of Bugden. The top 10 was completed by Halliday, Blair, Turner, Hook and Alex Phillis (Apex Civil, Yamaha YZF-R1).


The win to Waters made it a double victory to go along with his pole position, a perfect weekend from the Mildura rider.


The ASBK heads to Round 7 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for a thrilling concluding round of the championship (6-8 October), with the Championship likely down to a three horse race between Herfoss, Maxwell and Waters.

Herfoss now leads 2017 ASBK, with 226 points, ahead of Josh Waters’s 220 and Wayne Maxwell with 211.



Provisional Race Two Results

1 Josh WATERS (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, GSX-R1000R)

2 Bryan STARING (Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team, CBR1000SP2)

3 Troy HERFOSS (Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team, CBR1000SP2)

4 Glenn ALLERTON (Yamaha Racing Team, YZF-R1)

5 Robert BUGDEN (Kawasaki BCperformance, ZX-10R)

6 Cru HALLIDAY (Yamaha Finance, YZF-R1)

7 Michael BLAIR (Yamaha YRT, YZF-R1)

8 Corey TURNER (Desmosport Ducati, 1299 Panigale)

9 Josh HOOK (Bell Helmets, Ducati Panigale R)

10 Alex PHILLIS (Apex Civil, Yamaha YZF-R1)

Quotes from the Riders 

Josh Waters: “The second race was definitely a lot harder. Bryan just wouldn’t give up chasing me down for the win! Congratulations to Bryan and Troy on the podium. It’s been an awesome race and credit to Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia for all their hard work. Phillip Island is one of my favourite tracks, so I can’t wait for the last race of the season.”


Bryan Staring: “Big thanks to Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team, I feel we have been due a result like this for a while now. I can only hope this will trigger momentum for us. Big credit to the team for fixing the bike in time for the Round, and hopefully we can collect wins before the year is over.”


Troy Herfoss: “It’s hard to believe that we are now leading the Championship after we have struggled for pace this weekend. When I did pass Glenn for fourth, I thought I might be able to try and catch the leaders, but I soon ran wide and unfortunately got caught in that battle and couldn’t escape it. Once Wayne (Maxwell) went down, I knew I had to play it conservatively and score points. With Josh Waters taking two wins, its likely going down to the wire between us three at Phillip Island.”

Photos Courtesy of Andrew Gosling TBG Photography