Matt Barton (CB Racing) and Drew Sells (Race Centre) have claimed opening race wins in the Honda Moto 3 / 125GP and Production classes at the fifth round of the 2015 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli on Saturday.
It was a tale of two totally different races, with Barton going from strength-to-strength throughout the day to easily win race one of the Honda Moto 3 / 125GP class, while the Production class delivered one of the more enthralling races seen in some time.
Honda Moto 3 / 125GP
Barton blitzed the opening qualifying session of the day with a 1:43.343, finishing over two seconds ahead of series leader Brian Houghton (Latters Conshift) who registered a 1:45.561.
Tom Bramich (Ron Angel Classic Racing), Ted Collins (Arai Helmets) and Lachlan Kavney (Honda) rounded out the top five.
The story was much the same in the second session, with the same five riders occupying the top positions, although Kavney‰Ûªs effort in taking out the third fastest time in Q2 was enough to see him start in fourth on the grid.
From the beginning, it was Barton who stamped his authority on the 10-lap race and never let go of the advantage.
By the end of the second lap, Barton had already opened up a 2.8 second lead and was in complete control.
Kavney managed to work himself up into second position in the early part of the race and was then engaged in an entertaining duel with Houghton from then on in.
Houghton (17:40.135) reclaimed second position on lap seven, and managed to hold out Kavney (17:40.173) in the final dash to the line, but they were still a long way behind Barton who circuited the Island in 17:34.496.
Collins (17:46.881) and Bramich (17:47.348) finished in fourth and fifth respectively.
In the Production class Drew Sells (Race Centre) continued his good form from Friday‰Ûªs Practice sessions ‰ÛÒ recording the fastest time of the morning with a 1:55.492.
Zackary Johnson (RTR by Moto Obsesssion) was the next fastest rider with a time of 1:56.846, while Production Class series leader Justin Hall (The Boltbarn, 1:56.976) finished the session in third place.
Hall's closest rival in the overall standings Michelle Marais (Jaguar Steel Fabrications) left herself with some work to do as she ended the session in sixth.
The second qualifying session saw Hall take out the fastest time (1:55.949) to elevate himself into second on the grid behind Sells, while Robbie Menzies recovered from being disqualified in Q1 for machine examination irregularity to land himself in third for the start race 1.
What transpired over the following eight laps was an exhilarating brand of racing that saw all of the top four riders have chances at different stages to snatch the race.
Making things even more exciting was a race restart, after riders were called back to the starting line after a lap and a half of racing due to issues with the starting lights.
Upon resumption, Hall assumed an early lead, but he had Sells and Menzies for company as the trio crossed the line to finish lap one three-abreast.
From there, the lead changed on numerous occasions, with lap records for the class being broken seemingly on every lap.
Coming into the final lap, all four of Sells, Menzies, Johnson and Hall were within striking distance, but it came right down to the line with Sells taking out the win from Johnson by four one-thousandths of a second.
Extraordinarily, the top three riders (Sells, Johnson and Menzies) were separated by just eight one-thousandths of a second, while Hall (fourth) broke the lap record (1:54.159) for the class on the final lap.
Honda Moto 3 / 125GP Race 1 Result:
1. Matt BARTON (CB Racing) - 17:34.496
2. Brian HOUGHTON (Latters Conshift) - 17:40.135
3. Lachlan KAVNEY (Honda) - 17:40.173
4. Ted COLLINS (Arai Helmets) - 17:46.881
5. Tom BRAMICH (Ron Angel Classic Racing) - 17:47.348
6. Locky TAYLOR (TAS Earthmoving) - 18:02.255
7. Lachlan KEOGH -18:41.660
8. Luke VAN LIEROP -18:47.739
9. Daniel WILSON (Racetrix) - DNF
Production Class Top 10
1. Drew SELLS (Race Centre) - 15:30.737
2. Zackary JOHNSON (RTR by Moto Obsesssion) - 15:30.741
3. Robbie MENZIES (Australian Outdoor Living) - 15:30.745
4. Justin HALL (The Boltbarn) - 15:30.783
5. Riki LANYON (Cube Racing) - 15:45.437
6. Josh McHENRY (Peter Stevens - Geelong) - 15:45.774
7. Hayden SPINKS (Complete HR Solutions) - 15:45.894
8. Iilish ROSS (Chas Hern Racing) - 15:45.972
9. Michelle MARAIS (Jaguar Steel Fabrications) - 15:52.790
10. Lachlan KEOGH - 16:24.168
Top Image Credit: TBGSPORT