The YMI Supersport 300 Championship title is there for the taking for riders brave enough to put everything on the line for victory at the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul, Grand Finale at Wakefield Park Raceway, December 3-6.
The ASBK and YMI Supersport 300 class is watched by international teams and competitions who head hunt the ASBK’s best young riders – such is the talent in the class.
Just in the last few years we have seen the likes of Billy Van Earde, Joel Kelso, Senna Agius, Billy Van Earde, Jacob Roulstone, Harrison Voight, Max Gibbons and Carter Thompson, competing in major international championships such as the Red Bull Rookies Cup, FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship, FIM European Talent Cup, and Asia Talent Cup.
Other notable standouts who have come from the ASBK Supersport 300 class and are now taking on the world are current ASBK Supersport Champion Tom Toparis, as well as Tom Edwards and Tom Bramich who were this year part of the WorldSBK.
With 45 points separating the top 10 riders and 127 points on offer over 5 gruelling races for rounds 2 and 3 – the Championship decider – picking a winner is near impossible.
The competition in the Supersport 300 class is fierce as we saw at round 1 with 40 riders dicing, rubbing elbows and fairings for the win in front of the WorldSBK paddock.
NSW Addicted To Track backed Kawasaki rider Harry Khouri, completely dominated round 1 winning all three races in spectacular style and will be the one to beat at Wakefield. While he hasn’t had much track time in Australia this year, Harry did compete in a number of rounds of the German IDM, where he did have podium success.
Hot on his wheels will be a horde of very talented riders including fellow New South Welshman GTR Motostars Team Yamaha rider Archie McDonald, who is in his rookie year in the Supersport 300 class, and currently sits in 2nd place.
In 2019 McDonald was part of Motorcycling Australia’s junior road racing development academy – bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup – and so impressed by the young man’s talent was Motostars Director, former MotoGP rider, Damian Cudlin, who offered him a ride in the GTR Motostars Team.
Sitting in 3rd place in the Championship is Victorian Luke Power aboard the Proworx Kawasaki. A rider to watch having had several sessions on track during COVID-19 with his Supersport 300 and Supersport bike. Power, who turns 16, 4 days before the Grand Finale, raced in the Asia Talent Cup in 2019 and is no stranger to the fierce competition that is the ASBK YMI Supersport 300 class.
In 4th place is New Zealander Caleb Gilmore, aboard the Metcher Motorsports Yamaha. What’s remarkable about this young Kiwi’s performance is he has only been racing for a little over a year, and while he was hopeful of a top ten 10 performance this year, he now finds himself as a Championship title contender.
The young man is hopeful that New Zealand and Australian COVID-19 border restrictions will lift in time so he can make the safe trip across the Tasman to compete in the Grand Finale at Wakefield.
5th placed Luke Jhonston will not finish off the season race in the Supersport 300 class instead stepping up to the Kawasaki Superbike class aboard the MotoGO Yamaha R1.
Jacob Hatch aboard the Motocity/Jekyl & Hyde shod Yamaha is another rider that has moved up from the Oceania Junior Cup class and has quickly adapted to his machine and it’s power and is amongst the front runners sitting in 6th place.
Reece Oughtred aboard the Dynoverks/Carl Cox Motorsport Yamaha is another rider who has stepped up from the Oceania Junior Cup and was part of the Road to MotoGP program 2019 selection event for the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup (IATC). He is no stranger to battling with the front runners having scored a 5th, 9th and 12th at round 1, and sits in 7th place in the Championship and will be keen to leapfrog those in front of him.
Benny Baker aboard the WNR Yamaha sits in 8th place in the Championship after scoring a 2nd, 9th and a DNF at round one. The young New South Welshman is one to watch as he has a good record at Wakefield with two podium finishes last year, is a former Asia Talent Cup competitor and has plenty of talent.
In 9th place is Queenslander John Lytras on the Caboolture Yamaha, who is no stranger to standing on the top step of the podium. At round 1 he unfortunately had a crash in race one scoring a DNF but fought back to score a 4th and 5th placing in races 2 and 3. A former junior Supermoto champion and race winner at Wakefield last year, the talented youngster will be aiming to hold the Championship trophy come Sunday afternoon.
Rounding out the top 10 is Laura Brown aboard the Bare Bird/Bikebiz Yamaha, who scored a 2nd and 8th placing in races 2 and 3, following a dramatic crash in race 1 over the top of Lukey Heights. Laura is no stranger to the podium having had success in the Supersport 300 class previously, and has no fear when it comes to racing the boys. She will be hoping to create history by becoming the first female to win the ASBK YMI Supersport 300 Championship.
Only 2 seconds covered the top 15 riders in qualifying at round 1, and we are sure to see an epic battle over 5 races at the Grand Finale as riders chase the Motorcycling Australia ASBK YMI Supersport 300 Championship title.
Each of the five Championships – Oceania Junior Cup, YMF R3 Cup, YMI Supersport 300, Motorsports TV Supersport and Kawasaki Superbike class – will be decided at the Grand Finale.
Race fans can catch all the drama and action from the 2020 ASBK Grand Finale at Wakefield Park Raceway, December 3-6, live via ASBK live streaming, and through ASBK TV partners SBSHD, Fox Sports Australia and Fox Sports Asia on both Saturday and Sunday.
YMI Supersport 300 Championship Points Ladder
Photos by Andrew Gosling and Russell Colvin