Tom Toparis (Landbridge Transport Yamaha YZF-R6) has reminded his opponents that he’s still the one to beat in the Supersport class, clocking the fastest time in the opening qualifying session at Round 3 of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship, held as part of International MotoFest at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend (April 25-28). Under grey and threatening skies, Toparis set a 1:55.964 to take fastest time of the day, with one further qualifying session to come tomorrow morning (Sunday).
In the YMI Supersport 300 category, ex-Red Bull Rookie Olly Simpson (Simpson Crash, Yamaha R3 321) showed his international experience, taking fastest time of the day and a new best lap for the Supersport 300 class at The Bend with his 2:10.949 lap landing him in good stead to take pole position tomorrow.
Toparis was done after his one and only flying lap of the session, replicating fellow Yamaha rider Daniel Falzon’s performance in the Kawasaki Superbike class an hour earlier where he also claimed fastest with his only flying lap. He wasn’t alone in limiting his time on track today, with many riders wishing to save their tyres for the coming days. Toparis’ 1:55.964 put him at the top of the timesheets ahead of Broc Pearson (City2Surf Locksmiths, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:56.867) and Reid Battye (Suzuki GSX-R, 1:57.482). Aidan Hayes (Hayes Johnston Chartered Accountants, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:58.184) set a time good enough for fourth before crashing late in the session.
“So good to do it on the first lap, which is obviously important because this track is such high degradation” said Toparis. “Weather conditions aren’t awesome right now so hopefully tomorrow, being on a relatively new tyre we can go out with some sun and possibly improve on that time.”
YMI Supersport 300
In YMI Supersport 300, Simpson claimed fastest time of the day ahead of Hunter Ford (Yamaha R3 321 2:11.010), who was less than a tenth off joining Simpson in the two minute 10 second bracket.
Ben Baker (Jekyl & Hyde, Yamaha R3 321) was third with a 2:11.696, ahead of Queenslander Zac Levy (Puma RVs, Yamaha R3 321, 2:11.702) fourth and Asia Road Racing Championship wildcard Yanni Shaw (WRP Bridgestone, Kawasaki EX400, 2:11.851) who led home the Kawasaki contingent in fifth.
The session was marred by a number of crashes, with John Lytras, Jordan Simpson, Jacob Hatch and Callum O’Brien all coming off as they pushed to find the limit of their machines.