Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing, Kawasaki Ninja) set the bar high in the Spokes.com.au presents Round 7 Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK) during Friday’s practice day for Australian Supersport 300. Coming in with the fastest overall lap time for the day, Bayliss is well in contention for victory in this weekend’s deciding round.
Although hailing from Queensland, Bayliss is well known for his skill on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and his Kawasaki Ninja could not agree more, with both loving the long straight and undulating corners of this famous track. Bayliss clocked the best lap time for Friday with a 1:49.558.
Coming in hot behind Bayliss with a fastest lap time of 1:49.941 was Locky Taylor (Shark Leathers, Yamaha YZF-R3), who will be aiming to progress from his current fifth position in the Championship.
Callum O’Brien (Banhams WA, Yamaha YZF-R3) clocked in after Locky Taylor, with a best time of 1:50.273. O’Brien’s performance today on the Yamaha YZF-R3 will make many of his competitors nervous, as he begins to put the heat on and move up from his current 16th position in the championship.
Achieving the fourth best lap time in Friday’s practice day was ‘Mighty Max’ Stauffer (Rock Oil, Yamaha YZF-R3), who scored a best time of 1:50.403. Following close behind O’Brien, Stauffer will be one to watch out for over the weekend for the final round of the 2018 season, as he puts his bike to the test across Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit’s tight hairpins and fast flowing sweepers.
Currently leading the Australian Supersport 300 Championship leaderboard is Tom Bramich (JLT, Yamaha YZF-R3), who clocked in at the fifth best lap time of 1:50.544 in Friday’s practice. Leading the charge in the 2018 season, Bramich flew under the radar, but is anticipated to dominate tomorrow in Q1 and Q2.
Arriving close at the heels of Bramich was John Lytras (Caboolture Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3), achieving a fastest lap time of 1:50.617. Currently placed in 11th position overall in the Championship, Lytras will no doubt continue to put on the heat throughout the weekend as he fights to claim a position in the top 10 for the 2018 Australian Supersport 300 season.
Seated in third position in the 2018 Supersport 300 Championship is Hunter Ford (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3), whose performance today remained more low key. With a best lap time of 1:50.675, Ford came in hot on the heels of Lytras but should amp up the pressure on his rivals in qualifying tomorrow morning.
Scoring the eight fastest lap time for Friday’s practice day with a 1:50.687 was Harry Khouri (Excite M-sports, Yamaha YZF-R3). In seventh position overall on the leader board, Khouri’s performance today remained subdued however encourages a promising performance over the weekend as he fights to clinch a position in the top five for the 2018 season.
Rounding out the top 10 fastest lap times for Friday’s practice day was Zac Levy (Puma RV’s, Yamaha YZF-R3) and Tayla Relph (Baldivis Forklifts, Yamaha YZF-R3), with a 1:50.691 and a 1:50.968 respectively.
Stay tuned to see who steals Pole Position in tomorrow’s Qualifying One at 9:05am and Qualifying Two at 11:25am. With the Australian Supersport 300 Championship being the last 2018 Championship up for grabs, tomorrow will be a thriller from start to finish!
Australian Supersport 300 Friday Practice Top Ten Provisional Results
1. Oli BAYLISS (Cube Racing, Kawasaki Ninja) 1:49.558
2. Locky TAYLOR (Shark Leathers, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:49.941
3. Callum O’BRIEN (Banhams WA, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:50.273
4. Max STAUFFER (Rock Oil, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:50.403
5. Tom BRAMICH (JLT, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:50.544
6. John LYTRAS (Caboolture Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:50.617
7. Hunter FORD (Yamaha, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:50.675
8. Harry KHOURI (Excite M-sports, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:50.687
9. Zac LEVY (Puma RV’s, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:50.691
10. Tayla RELPH (Baldivis Forklifts, Yamaha YZF-R3) 1:50.968
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Remaining 2018 ASBK Calendar Rounds
Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14
Photos courtesy of Andrew Gosling – tbg sport