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ASBK Round 1, Phillip Island

Yamaha rider Daniel Falzon (Caterpillar/Mainline Dyno) has shown he will be a genuine ASBK Championship contender in the 2017 series by claiming a thrilling victory in the opening race of the season at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.

Falzon had a point to prove since making his ASBK series debut in 2015 when he claimed second in the championship against a depleted field, void of factory teams.

Any doubts about his ability to run with the best superbike racers in the country were put beyond doubt in race 1 when the 22-year-old South Australian moved to the front of the pack on lap two and held out a determined Glenn Allerton (Yamaha Racing Team), Bryan Staring (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) and Troy Herfoss (Crankt Protein Honda Racing)  for the remaining 10 laps. 

Allerton launched a final attack for the lead as he and Falzon entered the main straight for the last time, where both were forced to negotiate a back marker. With Falzon momentarily balked, it looked as though Allerton would beat him to the line, but Falzon held on to win by just  .013s with Staring in third position .326 behind the winner, and Herfoss fourth just .335s further back.

“You can’t describe the feeling really. It’s a fairy tale come true!,” Falzon said on the podium. “From pole position yesterday to a race win and leading the championship by six points couldn’t get any better really.

There was a lot of pressure because those boys are quite fierce riders. They are strong and they are tactful. All I knew I just had to put my head down and put up some fast laps, because I believed I was faster and not make any mistakes.”

Races 2 & 3 of the three-race opening round will be contested tomorrow.

Thursday’s issue of AMCN will contain a full wrap of the opening ASBK and WSBK rounds.

Wayne Maxwell’s championship aspirations took a hit on the opening lap of the seasons first race when he crashed. The Yamaha rider remounted and finished in 17th position.