Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team) will start from pole position in Saturday’s Australian FX-Superbike round at Winton Motor Raceway, after the 33-year-old stormed to a record-breaking 1min21.920sec around the 3.0km circuit.
Maxwell, who had a had a productive test at Winton just a few days after round five at Wakefield Park said, “Today has been a really solid result. We have come off racing last weekend at Phillip Island at the MotoGP support event, so my confidence is coming up. I know the Yamaha R1M is really good. We just have to make sure we are consistent that’s all.”
Maxwell is hoping for his race times to be around the low mid 22’s for three fourteen lap races.
The reigning Australian FX-Superbike and Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike champion was .556sec ahead of his teammate, Glenn Allerton, which marked the fourth time in a row that Yamaha Racing Team have locked out the top two positions in qualifying.
Allerton was struggling throughout the day with setup, but managed to get the bike sorted in time for qualifying. On top of that, thanks to the third of the Yamaha riders in Cru Halliday for giving him a tow around the circuit, Allerton was able to lock down a 1min22.476.
“I have to thank Cru for the tow in qualifying,” said the three times Australian Superbike Champion. “I was struggling earlier in the day and Cru offered to let me tag on the back of him which helped.”
Completing the front row of the grid will be Team Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss, who was just .135sec behind Allerton.
Herfoss, who heads into this weekend with a sixteen point lead in both championships admitted that he stuffed up both of his flying laps by making mistakes, however he is pretty confident that I could have gone faster.
“I could have gone faster, but definitely not as fast as what Wayne went,” said Herfoss. “Wayne did a great lap, so hats off to him.”
“At the moment, the ball is in his court really as he has good pace, so we need to catch up. I’m pretty confident my pace in the race can be in the low 22 bracket. I’m just interested to see what Wayne’s race pace is.”
Rounding off the front row of the grid will be Halliday who was second fastest in all four practice sessions to Maxwell, and while qualifying didn’t go to plan, the 27-year-old from Camden confident that his is pace is fast enough and consistent to run at the point end of the field.
Jamie Stauffer (Team Honda Racing) will head the second row of the grid after he posted a 1min 22.875sec on his eighth lap in the sixteen minute session.
Starting alongside Stauffer will be Matt Walters (KMF Finance/Kawasaki Australia), Cube Racing Team;s Mike Jones and Ben Burke (SA Kawasaki Bcperformance).
LMR Honda’s Linden Magee will start from ninth as he still gets his head around and finds a setup for the Honda CBR1000RR SP machine. Magee was 1.502sec faster than Evan Byles on his SA Kawasaki Bcperformance ZX10R machine.
20-year-old Kyle Buckley (SA Kawasaki Bcperformance) raced to his first pole position in the YRD Supersport class, posting a 1min25.242 which was .405sec faster than South Australian’s Jay Presepio on the Race Center Yamaha R6.
Finson Motorsport’s Michael Blair ended up in third who made improvements to the bike in every session.
“I know the boys are all so competitive this weekend so we just have to be smart and keep moving forward,” said Blair. “However I'm feeling confident coming into tomorrow’s races.”
.084sec behind in fourth was ACR’s Cambridge Olivier, while Callum Spriggs completed the top five on his Allsite Concrete Cutting/Hydro Construction Yamaha R6.
Championship leader Brayden Elliott (Hankook Tyres/Royan Truck Repairs) came off in qualifying which left him all the way down in sixteenth position.
“I felt strong in all four practice sessions, consistently being within the top three fastest times working hard to achieve a good set up on the Hankook Tyres Suzuki GSX-R 600,” Elliott posted on social media.
“Unfortunately after pushing too hard early in the qualifying session I crashed out in the first laps and was unable to restart due to bike damage.”
Elliott and his team have repaired the bike and will be ready for action for tomorrow.
Other riders to qualify on top today included Beau Beaton in the Race Tech Formula Oz and AMCN Pro-Twins, Brendan McIntyre Formula Xtreme C & D class. Adrian Pierpoint took pole in the Nakedbike class, former 500cc and BSB star Paul Young snared pole in the Kawasaki Insurances FX300 Ninja Cup. Jason Morris will start from pole in the eFXC.