Brad Swallow proved consistency is key in taking out the 2017 title
Brad Swallow (Kawasaki Connection – Kawasaki ZX-10R) emerged as champion after the concluding fifth and sixth rounds of the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship were held at Sydney Motorsport Park over 3-5 November.
Swallow had to fight until the final race, edging out Brendan McIntyre (Western M/C Sydney, SevenFriday, Ric Pobjoy Racing – Suzuki GSX-R1000) by nine points. McIntyre managed to clinch the overall round victory on both days, recording two race wins on Saturday and another on Sunday.
Championship front-runner Lucus Vitale (At1 Race Suits, 1st Place Building – Kawasaki ZX-10R) had his title aspirations crushed when he crashed out of Race 3 on Saturday and again in the second race on Sunday.
Matt Harding (K&R Hydraulics, Kawasaki Connection – Kawasaki ZX-10R) took pole for the weekend, clocking a slick 1m32.961s and backing it up with three race wins over the weekend.
McIntyre just failed to beat Harding in a drag to the line in Race 2 on Sunday, a result that ultimately left Swallow to lift the trophy.
Swallow was thrilled with his win in the challenging damp conditions, saying, “the track was real sketchy and only fully dry in the last race, but there still wasn’t a whole heap of grip out there. In that last race I
had to finish fifth or above, so I just took it easy and settled for second.”
Sam Lambert (Yamaha YRD, Addicted to Track – Yamaha R6) clinched the 2017 Matris Dampers Supersport AM-Sport title, finishing 36 points clear of his nearest rival in the class, Hayden Spinks (Newcastles Cheapest Cars, My Home Company – Kawasaki ZX-6R).
Rhys Belling (LXI racing, Trilec Services – Yamaha R6) took out both round wins for the weekend, winning a race
on both days.
After qualifying on pole Lambert played it safe, realising he still had to finish well with double points available on the Sunday.
Runner-up to Lambert in the title race was Spinks (351pts), with Callum Barker (346pts) and Simon Rees (343pts) finishing a close third and fourth.
AM-Sport 600 champion was Jamie Aitken (Yamaha R6), who was making a comeback to racing after seven years. “We just came out for some fun, hoping for a top five. To come away with the championship is amazing. Big thanks to my family for all their support”.
Max Croker (Nolan, Bridgestone, Gold N Tint – KTM RC390) has secured The Shock Treatment 400 Supersport class title from close rival Yannis Shaw (BD Performance – Kawasaki 300 Ninja). Croker, who has ridden consistently all year, eventually finished 30 points clear of the BC Performance rider, who left his strongest showing until Sunday’s Round 6 – Shaw took the round win with a 2-1-4 result.
Hunter Ford (Ford Brothers Racing – Yamaha R3) blitzed the field during Round 5 on Saturday, taking pole and three race wins to mount a last-minute title surge.
But Croker showed he was a deserving title winner, his single race win for the weekend coming in dominant fashion on Sunday with a gap of over 30 seconds.
Heath Griffin (Russell Symes & Company – Ducati Panigale) took out the Racers World FX Pro-Twins F1. Pro-Twins winners were Ben de’Bidaph (F2 – Ducati 998) and Ben O’Connor (F3 – Crosbie’s Speed Shop – Triumph 675R). In the Nakedbike class the champions were Adrian Pierpoint (F1 – Aprilia Tuono), Kevin Corcoran (F2 – Yamaha MT-09), Andy Staig (F3) and Brian Bolster (Supertwins 700 – Sugar Plum Racing – Suzuki SV650). Formula Oz B Grade champion was Brett Kitchin (Pedleys Electrical Services – BMW S1000RR), C Grade Mark Nassif (Kawasaki ZX-10R) and D Grade Shane Ryan (Architectural Carpentry Services – Yamaha R1).