The Michelin Supersport championship in 2023 is quite possibly the most intense and competitive title chase it has been in many years. This year there are so many competitors that are capable of winning a race – and the championship – but there is one rider that is gaining a massive amount of attention as he battles in his rookie year in the class. Fifteen-year-old Cameron Dunker is a revelation.
The way he has adapted so quickly is simply astonishing. In only his fifth race in the class (at Sydney Motorsport Park in March) Cam’ broke through to become the youngest-ever winner of a race in the class. In that race, he conquered the changing wet conditions to put on a master class of controlled yet rapid riding to streak the field. To prove it was no fluke, at QR this weekend he claimed another piece of history to be the youngest rider to grab Pole Position in the class. He certainly sets some challenges for himself, but he converts them into reality as he did on the weekend. Equally impressive is his race craft and riding maturity for one so young but with a successful career in dirt track that saw him win five national titles it is understandable that he is a rising star and has an innate talent for racing either on the black, or the brown, stuff.
While Dunker has set tongues waxing lyrical since his arrival in the class, there are a number of more experienced rivals like series leader, Ty Lynch, dual Australian Champion Tom Bramich, South Australian Ollie Simpson, and others who are aiming to deny the youngster any further glory.
Simpson was like an exocet missile off the line as he charged into the lead, endeavoring to break the spirit of the opposition early. Easier said than done with this year’s pack of hard chargers as they gave chase like a bunch of greyhounds stalking a rabbit on a Friday evening but Simpson had a lead of over two seconds after five laps as Dunker and Lynch duked it out until Dunker grabbed second and set about closing downs Simpson’s lead with Lynch riding shotgun. Dunker hunted down the leader and the pair had some dramatic passing moves as the lead changed numerous over the remaining laps but it was Dunker who held on to win his second win on the trot by just 0.011 sec from Simpson with Lynch right on their tails.
In the second race, Simpson again scythed his way from the second row, and Bramich tagged onto his rear wheel as Dunker was off to an uncustomary slow start to be fourth after the first lap. Simpson looked like he was going to disappear into the distance but Bramich sure had the race face on as he pulled back the gap with some impressively fierce late braking to keep Simpson just in front as he searched for a way past.
It appeared to be a two-bike race as the pair had a lead of over 2.5 seconds over third-place Dunker after eight of the 14 laps but Dunker had other ideas. He hunted down the pair overtaking Bramich on the twelft lap and was 1.55 seconds behind Simspon with two laps to go. It didn’t seem possible but Dunker went within 0.232 of a second of pulling off a remarkable win with Bramich scoring his best result in a long time to finish third.
Supersport 300 and Yamaha Finance R3 Cup
The Production 300cc and Yamaha Finance R3 Cup were their usual races comprised of mayhem and outrageous passing moves with one to up to a dozen riders fighting for the lead.
For Sunday’s races, Hamod continued his stellar performance from the day before as he added another victory to his resume taking out the third and final Production 300cc race. Each of the four races featured conga lines of up to fourteen bikes battling for the lead and the relegation and promotion of positions was astounding as a rider could be in the lead in one corner and in eighth – or worse – at the very next.
The four races were decided by a total of 0.074 seconds. The closest gap between first and second was 0.003 sec between Hamod and Henry Snell in the final 300cc race with Brandon Demmery a “massive” 0.179 sec away on third. The largest gap was 0.034 in the final R3 Cup race between Cameron Swain and Brandon Demmery with the top six covered by half a second.
Swain finally managed to claim another victory after going so close during the weekend but after leading races many times he was in the wrong spot at the wrong time, being shuffled back rias he was swamped and relegated at critical times of the races.
Supersport 300 Race Two: View Full Results
Supersport 300 Race Three: View Full Results
Yamaha Finance R3 Cup Race Two: View Full Results
Yamaha Finance R3 Cup Race Three: View Full Results
Next time out for Michelin Supersport, Supersport 300 and Yamaha Finance R3 Cup will be at Round 5, Morgan Park Raceway on the 14th to 16th of July.
Race report by Mark Bracks, Photography by Jeffrey Smith and Russell Colvin.
For more information on the 2023 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship Presented by Motul season, stay tuned to the ASBK website and social pages:
Official Calendar for the 2023 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK)