ASBK Round 5 Morgan Park – What a weekend!

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Image Motopix Steve Thibou

After a strong showing at the previous round at Barbagallo WA I was hoping to keep the momentum going and grab back points in the over 300 Production Championship after a DNF in the first race at round 4.

The first few sessions on Friday where used to re learn the 2.1km circuit and test the new Akrapovic exhaust. As the day progressed and the temperature rose, the times slowly started making their way down, I was happy with the days progression as I was able to sort out my lines and get the gearing dialled in.

Qualifying on Saturday morning was going to be no easy feat as riders in both Production and R3 cup where putting in solid times. After a session with Glenn Allerton from GASD, we had a good idea on the direction we needed to head with suspension setup.

Production Qualifying was fair, 4th on the grid with a reasonably clear run to the first corner. The R3 cup qualifying though was what I wanted. I managed clear track almost all of both qualifying sessions. Couple that with fresh Pirelli Diablo Corsa Rubber and I was able to take pole position .7 clear of 2nd position. I was stoked!

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Image Motopix Steve Thibou

Over 300 Production

Race 1, a lap record and a win! – Moving into 3rd place in the first lap I was able to tag onto Sam Condon and Tom Toparis and lay out the fastest lap for the weekend with a 25.9 and take the race win, giving me valuable championship points!

Race 2 red flags and another win – 2 red flags meant the race was declared, thankfully though there was enough completed laps for me to claim another dominant win over 2nd place!

Race 3 was a tough one – Hard fought right to the end with myself and Brandon Demmery battling hard all race, I used every millimetre of that Mupo suspension in that race and rode on the sidewalls of the Pirelli rubber, braking late and hard, helping me secure another win!

Championship down to the wire – After the disappointment of the Production results in Barbagallo with a DNF. It’s great to fight back to within 13 points of the lead and be in contention again for the championship. With only 3 races left in the Production series, this one is going down to the wire at Winton. Expect some exciting racing when we head there late September!

Yamaha Finance R3 Cup

Race 1, win and a lap record – With Zac Levy out early due to a mechanical failure. The race came down to myself and Hunter Ford. I was super stoked to push out 2 final fast laps. Setting another Lap Record for the weekend finishing with a 2 second lead over second place and picking up 25 points for the championship.

Race 2, tough for sure – I kept making moves on Zac under brakes and taking the lead but didn’t have the straight line speed to match his. Coming into the 3rd last corner Zac was able to come underneath, I then missed a gear and couldn’t get the run onto the main straight. Zac rode a smart race, no doubt about it.

Race 3, early mistakes costly – A few silly little mistakes on the opening laps enabled Zac to make an early break with the lead. Then Hunter came into the mix just as I started to close up on Zac at about .7 a lap. Hunter fought hard the whole race but thankfully I had the front end confidence to have the bike on max lean with full brake power still on and managed to hang on and take another valuable 20 points for the championship.

Stretching the championship lead – Coming into the round I was in front by just 3 points. With a little luck and a lot of hard work that lead has now stretched to 18 points leading into the final two rounds of the Yamaha Finance R3 Cup.

With a home ground advantage for the final two rounds at Phillip Island and Winton, two tracks I’ve done a lot of racing at, I’m confident of a strong finish. I’m under no illusion though, the competition is tough and should not be underestimated. It’s on like donkey kong!

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Image Motopix Steve Thibou

A huge thanks to team at Yamaha having the foresight and commitment to make this series happen. It’s been an amazing year of racing so far and it’s certainly not over yet. The Yamaha Finance R3 Cup package is amazing value for money and provides an affordable alternative for anyone wanting to compete at a national level, earn some skills and get some great exposure!

A massive thanks of course my personal sponsors! Yamaha, YRD, Yamalube, Pirelli, Link International, JobBox, BlueGorilla, SignPro, MJL Spray painting, Cassons, Dainese, Arai, MotoTrackAccessories, JDS Moto, and Mum and Dad. These results are as much about you as me!

A special shoutout to MJL Spray Painting and Greggy and the Crew at SignPro for the last minute job on the fairings and Steve Thibou Motopix for the awesome photos you guys rock!