The dominant performance of championship leader Josh Waters (McMartin Racing with K-Tech Suspension) in the opening race of the Alpinestars Superbike category that is on the card with the betr Darwin Triple Crown this weekend, confirmed that his results at the last round of the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championships, presented by Motul at Queensland Raceway back in April was an aberration.
From the nine races contested in this year’s championship chase, Waters has won seven and broken the lap record at three tracks from the four venues the championship has visited.
The opposition will be extremely worried for the two, 16-lap races tomorrow, and for that matter the remaining three rounds. The dominance commenced in the morning’s qualifying session when Waters went within one-thousandth of a second of equalling the fastest-ever recorded lap by a motorcycle of the Hidden Valley circuit set by Wayne Maxwell last year. He was the only rider in the 15-minute session to record a sub-65 second lap with defending champion Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team) second fastest and Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda) rounding out the front row.
Josh Waters scored his second pole of the season and scoop up the AMX Superstores Gift Card
Hidden Valley provides a massive 440-metre drag to the first turn from the front row of the grid so it was vitally important for his rivals to attempt to beat Waters to the turn but it was not to be. Herfoss and Glenn Allerton (GT Racing BMW) managed to be side-by-side, but Waters on the outside managed to hold the corner entry to take the lead from Allerton, Herfoss in third, and defending champion Mike Jones in fourth.
Waters was never headed on his way to a scintillating win to make it eight victories in his career at the Darwin venue.
The quartet quickly gapped the rest of the field but after five laps Waters had carved out nearly a second lead as Allerton muscled him trying to force the “Mildura Missile” into a mistake, but Waters responded by breaking the lap record (also held by Maxwell) twice in two laps to set the bar at 1:05.307 and demoralise the opposition.
Glenn Allerton and Troy Herfoss were inseparable
Waters set up an unassailable lead to establish a race-winning buffer of 2.435 seconds after 13 laps, as Herfoss, Jones and Allerton fought over the scraps.
Allerton tried everything to stay in touch with Waters and held onto second spot until the start of the sixth lap when Herfoss overtook him charging into turn one. Jones followed soon after with a very brave, ballsy and committed move on the BMW rider going through the daunting Turn 3.
Bryan Staring and the MotoGo Yamaha team continue to make progress
Behind the leading four, an entertaining battle ensued between Bryan Staring (MotoGo Yamaha), Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) who will rue another shocker of a start, with Anthony West, (Addicted To Track). Halliday after being eighth early in the race muscled his way to the front of the trio but no sooner had he succeeded that he ran off at turn one and dropped back to an extremely disappointing eighth place. It was undoubtedly not the result he was after and Cru cut a dejected figure after the race.
All smiles at the race one podium
Waters has now increased his championship lead 24 points over Herfoss with Allerton now in a clear third position 29 points adrift of Herfoss with Halliday’s lackluster result putting him a further five points behind with his teammate, Mike Jones clambering his way up the points table to be in sixth, seven points behind his team-mate.
Sunday will consist of races two and three at 08:30 ACST and 13:10 ACST respectively.
Saturday report by Mark Bracks, imagery by Endorphin Media and Russell Colvin.
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