ASBK Round 4 – A great finish to a wild weekend

Callum Alderson Yamaha YZF-R3 Barbagallo ASBK

Image credit MotoPix Steve Thibou

Friday morning I got my first glimpse of the Barbagallo circuit. I’d heard so much about it and was super keen to get out on track and have a crack. We had a huge field, with great support from the local production riders taking the grid to 31 riders. So I knew the track was going to be busy. The day was spent just getting to grips with the track and finding my groove so I could lay down consistently fast laps. During practice I was the first and only production rider to get into the 66 second bracket. No easy job after only 3 sessions, making a few mistakes but learning and using the experience I gained throughout the weekend! 

There’d been a lot of talk about the KTM’s being a threat to the domination of Yamaha R3’s on the weekend, practice though proved while potentially more powerful, the slower revving single was struggling to compete with the standard R3 package.

Saturday was always looking to be wet! The weeks leading up where showing showers overnight and into the morning, for once the weather predictions where actually correct! It was raining, thankfully not for long!

Callum Alderson Yamaha YZF-R3 Barbagallo ASBK

Q1 was a wet affair, with 7 minutes to go in the session I was on pole by .9 seconds, I came into pit lane to make some changes to suit the drying track but was unfortunately exited to parc ferme as the marshall believed the session was over. A costly error as I ended up losing 3 positions and was left sitting in 4th heading into qualifying 2.

Thankfully track conditions for Q2 were much better. I went out first to make sure I got a clear run and punch out some fast laps. Giving it a red hot go turned out to be the best strategy. Securing pole position by .7 ahead of 2nd place dipping even further into the 66 second bracket with a 66.5. The confidence and edge grip from the Pirelli Diablo Corsa’s was phenomenal, allowing me to brake right on the edge of the tyre, backed up with amazing stability from the standard Yamaha YZF-R3 Cup GASD Mupo suspension kit!

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Race 1 was touch and go to see how the other riders would attack the race, some obviously more than others. I rode straight out to the front and tried to break away from the pack but unfortunately they kept getting the slip stream down the hill into turn 7 every lap until lap 5 where another rider went underneath and started to drift wide, taking my front tyre out. A DNF for this race was 100% not what we needed, but it happens, we learn, we move on.

Sunday was meant to be warm, Instead I was sitting in the pits Sunday morning freezing, trying not to get frost bite! Morning warm up was only 5 minutes so I just went out and had a go. The track was 11 degrees but with advice from the tyre master Dave we made some minor adjustments to pressures in the Pirelli Diablo Corsa’s, went out and smacked down a screaming 66.8 in chilly conditions.

Callum Alderson Yamaha YZF-R3 Barbagallo ASBK

Image credit MotoPix Steve Thibou

After Saturday’s DNF I was determined to comeback in race 2 even stronger and push for the win and lead in every lap. With a healthy 1 second lead majority of the race until back markers chopped my line through the bowl and boxed me in on the straight. Allowing the following group the chance to catch up, which they took full advantage of and did. On the last lap I held the inside line into the last corner with Reid on the outside, unfortunately I tagged Reid with my leg and we came together. Sending Reid wide and into the sand where the poor fella did some damage to his leg. After the day before, that definitely  wasn’t the way I wanted to win and I felt terrible, but pocketed the points and looked ahead to race 3.

Race 3 with a few words of encouragement from Reid in hospital, I was determined to smash this one. I got off the line and had Brando take the inside line. I held my line and put my head down and started the drive to break away. Taking .5 out of the tagging group on every lap, I crossed the line with a 5.5 second gap, I was stoked to say the least. The cream was setting a new production lap record of 66.1. Gott be happy with that!

Callum Alderson Yamaha YZF-R3 Barbagallo ASBK

Image credit MotoPix Steve Thibou

Wrap up was 1 DNF, two first places which saw me finish unfortunately in 4th place for the weekend. Missing the podium by just 3 points. We live and learn, we now know how it’s going to be for the remainder of the season and will play it the way it’s played.

13322057_10154258351199532_184389031293995420_nThanks as always to the businesses and individuals who give me so much support. YRD, Yamaha, Pirelli & Link International, Yamalube, Signpro, JDS Moto, Jobbox, Arai, Dainese & Cassons, SpeedAngle, Mototrack Accessories, MotoPix. Your support is what makes this happen and I’m proud to have your ongoing support.  

Special thanks to Trevor Manley for making the trip across the Nullabor with our bike and gear on board, and to the local support from the WA fans. Great to see you out there and know you’re cheering me on!

Looking forward to making the trip again to smash that Production Lap record, I want a 65!

Fair to say I had a red hot go!

Cal #58