Superbike championship battles come to Queensland Raceway
The fourth round of the Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship saw brilliant blue skies greet the Superbike and Formula Xtreme C&D riders, with this being the second visit to Sydney Motor Sport Park during the 2106 season and with only 11 points separating the top 2 in the Ipone Superbike class, the pressure was on.
Robbie Bugden (QLD - SA Kawasaki BCperformance/Kawasaki Australia/Kawasaki Motors Finance) continued his winning streak winning the two ‘Hip Pocket Workwear and Safety’ AFX-SBK races. With the Matthew Walters (NSW – Kawasaki Connection/Kawasaki Australia/Kawasaki Motors Finance/Repsol) and team mate Ben Burke (NSW – SA Kawasaki BCperformance/Kawasaki Australia/Kawasaki Motors Finance) finishing second and third respectively.
Saturday’s races for the Swann Insurance Series would see a flawless performance from Bugden winning all three races aboard his SA Kawasaki BCperformance Ninja ZX-10R, extending his championship lead by 32 points.
Michael Blair (NSW – YRT/Ipone/Blairbuild/Campbells Home Hardware), Beau Beaton (NSW - Racer’s Edge Performance, Craig McMartin Racing, North Coast V-Twins), Burke and Walters all fiercly battled for a podium finish in race 1. Walters unfortunately crashed out in the last lap resulted in Blair and Burke second and third place respectively.
Walters team were able to repair the bike enabling him contest race 2. However it was Beaton, Burke and Blair again continued their battle in race 2 with Beaton coming in second place ahead of Burke.
Again the quartet of Beaton, Blair, Burke and Walters continued to fight for Championship points, with Walters and Beaton going down to the wire. Walters secured second place with just over .5 second from Beaton.
Eventually finishing second overall to Bugden was Beau Beaton and third was Michael Blair. Despite finishing third in two of three races, Bugden’s teammate Ben Burke had to settle for fourth overall, while Liam Wikinson (SA – Hip Pocket Workwear and Safety) rounded out the top five.
The round’s results sees Bugden extending his championship lead by a 31 point margin. With two rounds still to contest, spectators will be trated to some fierce and exciting racing.
Series point leader Dominic De Leon (NSW – At-1 Pro Race Suits/Kawasaki Newcastle) was the fastest qualifier of the Formula Xtreme C & D group ahead of Hamish McMurray (ACT - Bloodlust Racing/Redback Racepaint/Ram Engineering). All two race victories for the AFX-SBK would go to De Leon with McMurray finishing second.
Again all three race victories in Saturday’s Swann Insurance series would go by the way of Dominic De Leon ahead of Dane Purcell (QLD - Ballina Motorcycles/Blake Sign Co) taking second, and McMurray finishing with third overall.
De Leon enters the next round with an impressive lead, however only 1 point separates Daniel McCarthy (NSW - Dan Mac Racing/BNH Motorcycles) and Queensland local Purcell for second and third.
The battle for supremacy continued in the Supersport class with a only 0.6 seconds separating the top 5 riders in qualifying.
Race victories for Friday’s ‘Hip Pocket Workwear and Safety’ AFX-SBK event were alternated with 1 race win each between Kyle Buckley (QLD – SA Kawasaki BCperformance/Kawasaki Australia/Kawasaki Motors Finance) and Mitch Levy (NSW – Levy Racing/ATR/YRD/Warm & Safe Australia). Sam Muldoon (NSW – Proworx Racing/Mick Muldoon Motorcycles), Jordan Carlsson (QLD – Powerhouse/Dave’s Smash/Yamaha/Dynojet/YRD) and new comer to the series Giuseppe Scarcella (NSW - Scarceall & Son/ Ultra Building Works/Held Aust) proved to be the nearest challengers to the top two runners all day.
Saturday’s races for the Swann Series would see Levy dominate all three races. With Scarcella being the first rider in the series to date to separate Levy and Buckley, claiming two seconds and a third. Buckley ended the day third overall with two thirds and second. Sam Muldoon with Michael Knight (NSW - Able DoorService/Landbridge Transport/YRD) featured in the top five for the day. With Levy and Buckley on equal point the test now exists to see whether Buckley can be a standout performer on home soil at Queensland Raceway or whether it will be Levy who will continue his dominace in a state vs. state battle.
Beau Beaton (NSW – Racer’s Edge Performance/Craig McMartin Racing/KH Equipment) completely dominated the practice and qualifying sessions on the Horner Brothers bespoke Irving Vincent 1600.
Unfortunately in the frist race for Friday’s ‘Hip Pocket Workwear and Safety’ AFX-SBK event a broken spark plug resulted in a DNF for Beaton. Heath Griffin (NSW/Russell
Symes & Company/Snap-On Tools) reaped the rewards with a first race win racing. Beaton returned to win race 2 in great fashion with a 3.5 second buffer. Griffin’s fourth place saw him on pole for the Saturday’s races.
In Saturday’s races for the Swann Series Beaton was the dominant performers on the day winnng all three races. Griffin was consistent with second place in the three races, with Darren Jones (SA) - and Adrian Pierpoint (QLD) sharing the final podium places in the races respectively. Adrian Pierpoint (QLD) was the first of the Naked Bikes and came through with two 4th place results and a third in race three overall.
With the absence of Michael McMillan (QLD - McMillan Criminal Law) due to injury, Beaton was able to close the gap in the championship and is in contention going into this weekend’s event at Queensland Raceway, with only 19 points separating them.