An action packed first day of racing greeted the fans here at Morgan Park Raceway for Round 4 of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (July 5-7). As the morning’s qualifying sessions finished, the competition got underway in earnest with Race 1 for YMI Supersport 300, The YMF R3 Cup, and Superbike Masters. Senna Agius (Schuberth, Kawasaki Ninja 400) steered his green machine to a commanding victory in YMI Supersport 300, a thrilling finishing margin of just over one hundredth of a second saw Zac Levy (Puma RVs, Yamaha YZF R3) win in the YMF R3 Cup, and John Allen (Custom Coating & Maintenance, Yamaha TZ750) take victory in Superbike Masters.
YMI Supersport 300
After receiving the AGV Veloce Award in qualifying, Agius began Race 1 on pole position, with John Lytras (Caboolture Yamaha, Yamaha YZF R3) and Levy completing the front row. Agius led the field off the start, pulling out a two-tenth lead ahead of Lytras in the opening two laps, with Hunter Ford (YRD, Yamaha YZF R3) almost two seconds back. Championship leader Max Stauffer (YRD, Yamaha YZF R3) sat almost three seconds off the lead in fourth. Uncharacteristically for a YMI Supersport 300 race, the field spread itself out, with Agius maintaining control of the race at the front over Lytras and Ford. Harry Khouri (Excite M-sports, Yamaha YZF R3) was fourth, with Levy fifth and Stauffer sixth. Brandon Demmery (Rustic Flooring, Yamaha YZF R3) passed Stauffer to make his way back into the top six after starting the race fourth.
As the laps wound down it was Agius in front, followed by Lytras and Ford four and seven seconds back respectively. A gaggle of other bikes followed, with the next five riders starting to close in on each other as they battled for the minor placings.
Crossing the line more than five seconds up on the field was Agius, followed by Lytras, Khouri, Ford, Stauffer and Levy.
YMF R3 Cup
Lytras started from the front row beside Ford and Stauffer, and as the field got away that ‘s how they stayed with Khouri and Levy following close behind. Locky Taylor (Yamaha Australia, Yamaha YZF R3) passed Levy for fifth before the end of the first lap, and as the field sorted themselves out it was Lytras, Ford, Stauffer, Khouri, Taylor, and Demmery the top six.
By half distance you could throw a blanket over the top five competitors, who were less than a second apart. Demmery had forced Taylor out of the top five and Harrison Voight (Waltec Motorsport, Yamaha YZF R3) was coming to join the party at the front of the field in sixth.
The top six then expanded to a top eight, and with two laps to go it was Ford, Khouri, Lytras, Demmery, Levy, Stauffer, Voight and Taylor making up the lead train, the rest eight seconds further back. As they crossed the line to take the chequered flag, Levy pulled out of Lytras’ slipstream at the last nanosecond to steal victory by 0.014sec, ahead of Ford, Demmery, Khouri and Voight.
Allen led every lap of Race 1 of the Superbike Masters on his Yamaha TZ750, claiming the win ahead of Alexander Pickett (Pickos Woody Racing, Yamaha FZR1000). Queensland local Murray Clark (Suzuki GSXR) rounded out the podium in third position.
Round 4 of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) continues from Morgan Park, Queensland until July 7. For updates, information, and to purchase tickets, visit ASBK.com.au
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Images courtesy of Andrew Gosling – tbg sport