Sunday’s racing at the opening round of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) got underway bright and early today with Race 3 of the Supersport class, held during the FIM World Superbike Championship (WSBK) weekend here at Phillip Island. It was Tom Toparis’ (Landbridge Transport Yamaha YZF-R6) chance to make it a clean sweep of the weekend and he delivered, putting on an absolutely clinical performance to finish the race more than six seconds ahead of the rest of the field. This performance meant that he took the honour of being the ASBK’s first round winner for 2019.
Second place for the round belonged to Nic Liminton (Yamaha Motor Aust. Yamaha YZF-R6), who had a trio of second places but had to work for the final one- bumping Callum Spriggs (Allsite Concrete Cutting Yamaha YZF-R6) down to third in the last-minute dash for the finish line after Spriggs had spent nearly the whole race in second spot.
Toparis once again started on pole ahead of Liminton and Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing Yamaha YZF-R6). Liminton, battling a shoulder injury picked up earlier in the weekend but had been putting in good performances nonetheless.
Ty Lynch (Russell Phillips Motorsports, Yamaha YZF-R6) couldn’t replicate the performances in the previous races and was down in ninth by lap four and ten seconds off the leaders.
At half distance and Toparis was four seconds up. Spriggs was at the head of the chasing train of riders, having a good day way up from his finishing position of eighth in Race 2 yesterday.
With three laps to go it was, Toparis, Spriggs, Liminton, Broc Pearson (Yamaha YZF-R6), and Bayliss, and it looked like it would stay that way until Liminton pulled off the move of the race to pip Spriggs on the line by a miniscule 0.04 seconds to secure second.
Toparis was once again thrilled with the victory. “It’s been an awesome weekend; pole and three wins is exactly what we wanted to do for this round. Leading into Wakefield Park we’ve got a 16 point advantage now so pretty happy with that.”
Liminton was thrilled to finish second in the round standings. “It’s been such a good start getting second overall on the new Yamaha R6” he said. “That last race was hard though, Callum was in a solid second position but on the last lap I just managed to get in his slipstream on the line and get second overall.”
Bayliss finished in third overall in his first round as a Supersport rider. “I was hoping at the start of the weekend that I could get a top three and that’s exactly what I did in the last race” said Bayliss. “We struggled a bit off the start and managed to lose Nic and Cal but other than that had a really good race.”
Overall Classification: Race 3
1 Tom TOPARIS (Landbridge Transport Yamaha YZF-R6)
2 Nicholas LIMINTON (Yamaha Motor Aust. Yamaha YZF-R6)
3 Callum SPRIGGS (Allsite Concrete Cutting Yamaha YZF-R6)
4 Oli BAYLISS (Cube Racing Yamaha YZF-R6)
5 Broc PEARSON (Yamaha YZF-R6)
6 Aidan HAYES (Hayes Johnston Pty. Ltd. Yamaha YZF-R6)
7 Reid BATTYE (Suzuki Ecstar Australia, Suzuki GSX-R)
8 Jack PASSFIELD (Stay Upright Rider Training, Yamaha YZF-R6)
9 Ty LYNCH (Russell Phillips Motorsports, Yamaha YZF-R6)
10 Dylan WHITESIDE (YRD Yamaha YZF-R6)
Championship Standings After Round 1
1 Tom TOPARIS (Landbridge Transport Yamaha YZF-R6) 76
2 Nicholas LIMINTON (Yamaha Motor Aust. Yamaha YZF-R6) 60
3 Oli BAYLISS (Cube Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) 52
4 Callum SPRIGGS (Allsite Concrete Cutting Yamaha YZF-R6) 49
5 Broc PEARSON (Yamaha YZF-R6) 49
6 Aidan HAYES (Hayes Johnston Pty. Ltd. Yamaha YZF-R6) 44
7 Ty LYNCH (Russell Phillips Motorsports, Yamaha YZF-R6) 43
8 Reid BATTYE (Suzuki Ecstar Australia, Suzuki GSX-R) 39
9 Scott NICHOLSON (Traction Control Motorsport, Suzuki GSX-R) 31
10 Jack PASSFIELD (Stay Upright Rider Training, Yamaha YZF-R6) 29
Photos Andrew Gosling – TBG sport and Cori Mitchell