ASBK – MAXIMUM EFFORT FROM KAWASAKI BCPERFORMANCE IN QUEENSLAND
Morgan Park’s fifth round of the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) proved to be one of the more challenging encounters for Kawasaki BCperformance duo Bryan Staring and Kyle Buckley in Queensland.
A 1m13.682s lap-time in qualifying granted Western Australian Staring P5 on the grid as he displayed plenty of promise aboard his ZX-10R, however he was unable to convert that pace throughout Sunday's pair of 16-lap races. Staring found difficulty in the first race after an initial restart, battling his way through to seventh position. Looking to make amends in the second outing, Staring improved to sixth position for sixth overall, now placing him sixth in the championship standings.
"Today was definitely a tough one, but we did what we could with the 7-6 results," Staring reflected. "We are all working hard, the team and bike are really good, but we just have to bring it all together and keep moving forward when we get to Winton and then Phillip Island. We'll see what those weekends bring!"
After qualifying in ninth and displaying plenty of pace throughout practice and qualifying, Buckley experienced his own issues during race one as he crashed out of contention in the opening laps. He rebounded in the final race of the day, coming home in 14th position. He's now placed 12th in the standings.
“Overall, if you take away Sunday’s racing, I’m happy with how I rode,” said Buckley. “I ended up in the top 10 for the practice sessions and qualifying, so it ended up being really positive for me. I’ve been told I need to be inside that top 10, so to do it was pretty cool.
“Obviously I lost the front in the first one and got no points, that’s just a mistake of my own. In the second race I cooked my tyre a little early, so I don’t think the races reflected the pace I had for the weekend, but it’s given me a good feeling and I’m pretty keen for the testing at Winton in a couple of weeks.”
BCperformance Junior Team’s Giuseppe Scarcella had a round to forget following a heavy fall in the opening Supersport race. He persisted in lining up for race two, although another crash put an end to his weekend altogether and he's now ninth in the points.
It was an impressive weekend for Swann Insurance Kawasaki rider Matt Walters after lodging a respectable 6-7 scorecard for seventh overall. After one of his best performances of the season, Walters is now ranked ninth in the championship and continues to take confidence out of his mid-season surge of form.
“It was quite a good weekend,” Walters commented. “In practice I had some setbacks with tyre choices that we thought would suit the bike. They kind of did and kind of didn’t work, so we went back to our base setting. It would’ve been nice to be further up the grid, but the races really sorted us out and I'm satisfied.
“It was a bit of a battle for position in the last 10 laps of each race, which was really good. It’s always good to be the first privateer team and up there with the factory guys for our little shop team. That happens every so often, we just have to keep working towards it. This result is great for us, so it’s nice to come away with it.”
The weekend also marked the second appearance of GSR Kawasaki's Glenn Scott, carding a pair of 11th places for 12th overall. Additional Kawasaki-mounted rider Tom Toparis also landed on the podium at Morgan Park in the Kawasaki Supersport class, finishing third overall with 6-2 race results on-board his Cube Racing-prepared ZX-6R.
The Australian Superbike Championship will now head to Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria between 7-9 September for the penultimate round of the series. Visit www.asbk.com.au for further information on the series.