A determined line-up of Australian Supersport 300 Championship riders did battle on Friday at Phillip Island during round one of the 2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK), with Reid Battye (IPONE Ninja 300) capturing the first pole position of the season.
Battye (Up To 300) stormed to the top of the combined Over and Up To 300 time-sheets with a 1m51.525s, 0.182s ahead of practice pace-setter Tom Edwards (Steelline Ninja 300). Last year’s YMF R3 Cup winner Zac Levy (Puma RV’s YZF-R3) slotted into third overall and was the best of the Over 300 entries with a time of 1m51.862s.
“Qualifying went to plan and we got P1,” Battye said. “The bike felt unbelievable out there. There was a strong headwind, but I managed to get a few slip-streams down the straight and it paid off. So I’m really happy with this.”
Meanwhile, Levy will look to improve further once the lights go out in the races: “It’s definitely good to be first in the Over 300s. We were a bit off the pace in the practices and I was two and a half seconds from my best times here, but we got down to it in qualifying and that’s the main thing. Now I look forward to the races.”
Jack Passfield (Stay Upright YZF-R3) continued his strong run of form in fourth, ahead of Laura Brown (Shelk Ninja 300, 1:52.206), who completed a tight top-five. The top 10 was rounded out by defending Over 300 champion Brandon Demmery (Deborah Motorsports YZF-R3), Up To 300champion Drew Sells (Race Center Ninja 300), Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing Ninja 300), Billy van Eerde (KTM RC 390) and Jack Mahaffy (JDS Moto YZF-R3).
With 42 riders securing their place on the grid ahead of Saturday’s opening eight-lap race at 8:50am local time, three riders will be held as reserves, and the close-knit development category will contest its second race at 4:50pm.
Race three will grid up on Sunday alongside the opening round of the 2017 Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).
Live timing and results can be found here