Bryan Staring’s good weekend just got better, with the Kawasaki BCperformance rider backing up his win in Race 1 of the ASB1000 class in the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) with victory in Race 1 of Round 3 of the Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) for International MotoFest at The Bend Motorsport Park (April 25-28).
Mike Jones (Desmosport Ducati, Ducati Panagale FE) set the early pace in Qualifying 2 with a 1:52.392 in the first half of the session, before local South Australian Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1) became the first person to not just cross the 1:51 barrier all weekend, but smash it with a 1:51.592. That time was good enough to hold pole for most of the session, until after the chequered flag when Jones returned fire with a barnstorming 1:51.220 to snatch pole position out of the local’s grasp. Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, Suzuki GSX-R) would start beside them on the front row, with a 1:51.675.
Off the start Arthur Sissis (SA Demolition, Suzuki GSX-R) got a superb launch to lead them into turn one ahead of Falzon and Jones. A massive crash at turn three saw Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia rider Alex Phillis brought down in a tangle with another rider, and the resultant low-side sending him into the side of Glenn Allerton (NextGen Motorsports, BMW S100RR). Phillis escaped without injury, but Allerton was in visible discomfort and was later taken to hospital after the race was red flagged.
The race was subsequently trimmed to nine laps and it was Falzon who led Jones off the restart and through turn one. Mark Chiodo (Penrite Honda Racing, Honda CBR1000SP) got a superb start to work his way up to second, then passed Falzon before the lap was finished, powering on to the lead. Falzon briefly took the lead back before running wide and dropping to third. By the time the field crossed the line again it was Chiodo ahead of Jones, Falzon, Staring, Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, Suzuki GSX-R) and Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team, Yamaha YZF-R1).
As the field settled down Chiodo looked to set a quick pace early, and only Jones was capable of going with him at the front with the rest of the field dropping a few seconds back. Maxwell crashed out of the race on lap three trying to take Falzon around the outside at turn one, and by half distance Jones was looking for a way past Chiodo as the Honda rider’s rear tyre started to lose its efficacy. Staring was continuing his good form from the Asia Road Racing Championship, holding third ahead of Cru Halliday and Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia, Suzuki GSX-R).
The leading Chiodo and Jones were slowly starting to fall back into the clutches of the pursing Staring and Halliday. Jones ran wide trying to take the lead off Chiodo at turn one on lap six, letting Chiodo back through and Staring seized his opportunity to go into second place. Staring set his sights on Chiodo and the Penrite Honda man made the CBR as wide as possible, before finally relenting when Staring made an easy pass for the lead on lap six. Staring was never headed from there, taking the chequered flag ahead of Jones and a fast-closing Cru Halliday, then Chiodo, Falzon, Waters and Glenn Scott (GSR Kawasaki, Kawasaki ZX-10R).
“I’ve had such a good Saturday” said Staring. “The weekend since we started on Thursday has been all positive, and it’s carrying through to today.”
Visible in their support of Staring on the podium were team members from Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team, for whom Staring had ridden to victory in Race 1 of the ARRC earlier in the day.
“One of the things I enjoy the most about racing is when I see the people around me very happy” Staring said of his new teammates. “I love having their support and I love being able to contribute to putting the smile on their faces.”