A thrilling six-rider scrap in the third and final Australian Supersport 300 Championship race at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit this afternoon has resulted in the overall victory for Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing, Kawasaki Ninja 300). The Australian Supersport 300 paddock put on a mega show for onlookers, with nail biting racing all the way to the checkered flag, at Round 1 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK).
Tom Bramich (JLT, Yamaha YZF-R3) got off the line really well and led a group of six riders at the start of the Australian Supersport 300 Race Three, before making a mistake on lap two which saw him run wide and leave the door open for Hunter Ford (South Sydney Commercial, Yamaha YZF-R3), Zac Levy (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3), Bayliss, Locky Taylor (LTR Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3), Jarred Brook (KTM Australia, RC 390) and Harry Khouri (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3) to slip past.
The lead pack only shared a gap of 0.992s from first to sixth, before Bramich made his move and rejoined the pack at lap six. The racing from lap six was a tight affair with Bayliss, Ford, Bramich and Taylor all having the lead at different stages.
The last lap saw Bayliss join the lead group, and make an unbelievable passing move finding space where there really wasn’t any room to snatch the win from Taylor, Bramich and Ford.
Bayliss was thrilled with his weekend; “That was one of the craziest finishes I’ve been involved in, I thought I was to far back to make the move, but I just went for it and it just worked out for me. I was so close to hitting the two bikes next to me but to make the pass I was so happy, it worked out perfectly. I’ve been working on my slip stream and studied it and it just came off.”
After leading at many different stages of the race Ford settled for fourth whilst Levy was just behind him in fifth and Khouri managed sixth with only .306s separated these riders from winner Bayliss.
Brook was solid throughout Race Three to finish in seventh position whilst Ben Bramich (GOWMoto, KTM RC 390) managed eighth and Corey Briffa (KTM RC 390) and Max Stauffer (Chris Watson Motorclycles, Yamaha YZF-R3)
rounded out the top ten.
Bayliss leaves Phillip Island as the points leader in the Australian Supersport 300 class with 70 points, ten points clear of Bramich on 60 points and Taylor is third overall with 55 points.
Australian Supersport 300 Provisional Race Three Results:
1 Oliver BAYLISS (Cube Racing, Kawasaki Ninja 300)
2 Locky TAYLOR (LTR Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
3 Tom BRAMICH (JLT, Yamaha YZF-R3)
4 Hunter FORD (South Sydney Commercial, Yamaha YZF-R3)
5 Zac LEVY (Puma RV’S, Yamaha YZF-R3)
6 Harry KHOURI (Acid Racing, Yamaha YZF-R3)
7 Jarred BROOK (KTM Australia, RC 390)
8 Ben BRAMICH (GOWMoto, KTM RC 390)
9 Corey BRIFFA (KTM RC 390)
10 Max STAUFFER (Chris Watson Motorclycles, Yamaha YZF-R3)
With the stage set for a hard-fought season ahead, boasting a host of emerging rising stars, Round 2 of the Australian Supersport 300 Championship will take place at Wakefield Park Raceway in New South Wales between 16-18, March.
2018 ASBK Calendar
Round 2- Wakefield Park Raceway, Goulburn NSW March 16 – 18
Official ASBK Test, The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 3-4
Round 3- The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, SA April 19 – 22
Round 4- Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin NT June 28 – 1 July
Round 5- Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick QLD August 17 – 19
Round 6- Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, VIC September 7 – 9
Round 7- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, VIC October 12 – 14
Photos courtesy of Andrew Gosling – tbg sport