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ASBK Championship delicately poised heading into Morgan Park battle

The 2024 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK) makes its annual foray to Morgan Park Raceway in Queensland from July 12-14, on a circuit which always provides brilliant, eye-popping racing across all classes.

The tight and twisty nature of the 12-turn, 2.96km layout means that top speed isn’t a major factor: instead, the genesis of a red-hot lap revolves around savvy bike setup, skill and large doses of daring.

With competition so intense in the ASBK Championship, Morgan Park and wafer-thin winning margins go hand in hand – with 2023 a case-in-point, including the Alpinestars Superbike category where Troy Herfoss and Mike Jones put on two instant classics.

Thanks to continued support from the Southern Downs Regional Council, the Superbike stars will again headline the 2024 Morgan Park ASBK program, joined by the Michelin Supersport, Race and Road Supersport 300, bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup and ShopYamaha R3 Cup classes. It’ll be the first appearance in 2024 for the R3 Cup, which continues an association with the ASBK Championship dating back to 2016.

Thirteen races will be held on Saturday and Sunday, with Morgan Park – round four of seven – arriving at a critical juncture in the season with some riders still looking to make up for lost early-season ground while others are desperate to solidify their positions at the pointy end of the standings.

Morgan Park is also extremely spectator-friendly, with a superb panoramic view of the circuit. This weekend, turn three is also the place to be with a giant screen displaying all the action, joined by a multitude of food trucks.

Other family-friendly activities will include pit walks, ‘Mini Moto come and try’ sessions for the kids, the ASBK Trade Alley and autograph sessions with riders and ASBK ambassadors Garry McCoy, Chris Vermeulen and Steve Martin.

To purchase tickets for Morgan Park Raceway, click hereTickets will also be available at the gate.

Download the official ASBK round four program
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Things to see and do at the Morgan Park ASBK round
2024 ShopYamaha R3 Cup to begin at Morgan Park ASBK round

Alpinestars Superbike
Josh Waters (McMartin Racing Ducati) holds an impressive 29.5pt lead in the Alpinestars Superbike standings over Yamaha Racing Team’s Cru Halliday, who in turn is just 2.5pts ahead of teammate Mike Jones.

Waters has a massive opportunity to put one hand on his fourth ASBK title with a solid result at Morgan Park. In doing so, he would carve more history in the sport by becoming the first rider to achieve the feat.

However, there are plenty of rivals who will be doing their best to make sure Waters’ CV isn’t upsized in 2024 – and they’ll sense that Morgan Park could be a prime opportunity to make a dent in his claims given that the Mildura hard-charger doesn’t have the best record at the venue.

Waters has only been on the podium once – back in 2018 when he was on a Suzuki. In 2023, Waters laboured with a 9-5 scorecard, so this year he will be desperate to shake the ‘bogey circuit’ tag.

Mike Jones ahead of Stauffer and Herfoss

Of the 18 riders in the Superbike field, Halliday and Jones – who’s coming off a clean sweep in the previous round at Queensland Raceway – are the only race winners at Morgan Park.

After claiming the Morgan Park Superbike double in 2022, Jones was pipped by Herfoss in both races last year – but with Herfoss an absentee this weekend while on MotoAmerica duties he’ll fancy his changes to make it to the top step of the podium.

Others to watch out for this weekend include Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati), Penrite Racing Yamaha duo Max Stauffer and Cameron Dunker and Anthony West (Addicted to Track Yamaha). Three-time champion and 2023 podium man Glenn Allerton (GT Racing BMW) should be back to top form after recovering from injuries suffered earlier this year.

Stauffer is currently on a three-podium Superbike streak and full of confidence that he can now mix it consistently with his more experienced rivals. He sits fourth overall, just half-a-point in front of Pearson, who in turn is ahead of Herfoss and Dunker.

A week after Morgan Park, Stauffer, West and Waters will contest the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours world endurance race in Japan.

Rounding out the list of major contenders for the two 16-lap races at Morgan Park are Bryan Staring (MotoGo Yamaha) and Arthur Sissis (Stop and Seal Yamaha).

The Alpinestars Superbike field roars into turn one at Queensland Raceway

Michelin Supersport
The Michelin Supersport races will be doozies as the battle for the crown looks set to boil down to a battle between six Yamaha riders.

After a fire-breathing start to the season – five consecutive podiums for three wins – Jonathan Nahlous has a 27pt buffer at the top over Olly Simpson, and then it’s only a 6pt gap back to sixth-placed Tom Toparis. Jake Farnsworth, Tom Bramich and Archie McDonald fill positions 3-5.

Two-time Supersport champion Toparis and McDonald shared wins at Queensland Raceway, and since then the latter has kept his name in the headlines by winning the European Stock Championship round in Portugal. Archie is a joker off the bike, but once the helmet is done up he’s a machine.

And not forget last year’s runner-up, Simpson. While he hasn’t graced the top step yet in 2024, he’s been accumulating points through sheer consistency.

Jack Mahaffy (Yamaha), Brandon Demmery (Kawasaki), Jack Favelle (Yamaha), Glenn Nelson (Yamaha), Hayden Nelson (Kawasaki) and Marianos Nikolis (Yamaha) will also be in the Morgan Park mix across the two 14-lap races.

Nikolis is returning home between European Talent Cup commitments.













Race and Road Supersport 300/ShopYamaha R3 Cup
The Morgan Park intrigue continues with the Race and Road Supersport 300 Championship, which will be anything but a walk in the park as the next wave of fast and fearless riders get to work on Yamahas and Kawasakis.

All three races will be intense from start to finish – a bonanza for spectators, and where small mistakes will be punished by freefalling down the leaderboard in the blink of an eye.

Josh Newman holds a slender lead over fellow Kawasaki rider Harrison Watts, followed by Yamaha trio Valentino Knezovic and the Simpson brothers, Mitchell and Jordy. Mitchell will be absent from Morgan Park, though, as he’s still recovering from injuries sustained during a cameo in the 2024 Australian ProMX Championship.

Making another appearance all the way from New Zealand is Jesse Stroud (Yamaha). The son of Kiwi legend Andrew, Jesse has proven the fruit hasn’t fallen far from the tree and learns a track very quickly. He crashed out of the opening race at Queensland Raceway but bounced back with two fourth place finishes.

There’s every chance there will be three different race winners at Morgan Park!

Meanwhile, the majority of Yamaha riders in the Supersport 300 title have cross-entered for round one of the ShopYamaha R3 Cup, where the degree of winning difficulty is nearly as high.













bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup
Since its inception in 2019, the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup has proved to be the perfect stepping stone for riders aged between 11 and 16 to learn the circuit racing ropes and strut their stuff in front of large crowds and on national television.

The likes of Watts, Dunker, Cameron Swain and McDonald have all graduated to bigger things from the OJC academy.

No doubt some of the riders this weekend will elicit “I saw them race as a kid” responses from spectators in future years!

Toowoomba’s Hunter Corney currently leads the way after a clean sweep at Queensland Raceway. He holds a commanding 38-point buffer over Rossi McAdam, followed by Ethan Johnson, Nikolas Lazos, Connor Lewis and Hunter Charlett.

Hunter Corney is in fine form, having won five of the six races so far in 2024

Images: RbMotoLens, Russell Colvin and Endorphin Media