2015 ASBK - Round 3

Barbagallo Raceway

With the success of Round 2 still fairly fresh, we went into Round 3 a little more relaxed, being able to secure a second motorbike from Yamaha has been a huge bonus to the team as it did not seem likely at the start of the season. So with spare parts also becoming more accessible we were in a far better position and keen for the competition. Our research showed that the local WA riders are some of the fastest club riders in the country and can put down close to lap record times. Not having raced in WA previously we went in keen for the new experience, and this is what we got. A massive thanks to all who supported us during the weekend, and there were many.

The whole weekend began with the long drive across the Nullarbor from Adelaide to Perth. Luckily for Daniel and Jon, the parents took this one for the team!

Somewhere over the Great Australian Bight we came across these fellow Cat's!

On arrival into Perth, we stopped by Energy Power Systems - Caterpillar for a presenation of the team and bikes. Special thanks to Steve, Tim and Vanessa for hosting the event, and to all the Cat employees and customers who came out for a look and made us feel very welcome.

Having two bikes at the track was a big step forward from Round 2. Unfortunately, some aftermarket performance parts we ordered, which were due to arrive before the round, were held in Customs, so we weren't as prepared as we would have liked.

Friday was the first day on track, and proved to be a steep learning curve for Daniel at the new circuit. Practice 1 saw him spend most of his time chasing the local riders on the leaderboard and was really used to learn which way the track went.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

In Practice 2, Daniel had to retire after just one lap when an electrical fault restricted power and electronic aids on the Yamaha R1. This was especially unfortunate as the 3 practice sessions were all we had to learn the new track and set up the bike in preparation for qualifying. With no solution immediately available for Bike 1, we switched to Bike 2 for the remainder of the weekend.

Daniel made the most of Practice 3 by dropping his fastest time by over a second to 57.539 which put him 4th on the leaderboard. Although it was a little off the front competitors, it showed us that we were heading in the right direction for qualifying.

We continued set up changes through Qualifying 1 and Daniel found a new line through Turn 1 which helped lower his 1st sector time. At the end of the session, he had dropped 0.5 seconds from his previous best lap to secure a provisional 2nd grid placing with a 56.950s.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

Improvements continued into Qualifying 2 when Daniel dropped a further 0.5 seconds to top the session with a 56.456.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

Going into Superpole, Daniel and Mike Jones were separated by just three-hundredths of a second (0.03s). It then became a battle for pole position as Daniel and Mike stole first place from each other each time they came across the line.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

As the rain began to roll in, Daniel came across for a 56.139... a time we thought would secure the pole position. Unfortunately, Mike was mid-way through his lap which came in seven-hudredths of a second faster, pushing Daniel to 2nd place.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

As if the God's had waited for us, the rain began to fall very heavily the moment Superpole finished. The photo below helps to illustrate the team heirachy ;) (Daniel was escorted back to the pits under several umbrellas).

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

JD Racing rookie, Nic Liminton, was holding his own in the incredibly competitive Supersport class with 10th place in qualifying... just 0.6 seconds from 1st place!

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

When race day came around, it was great to see the amount of spectators rolling through the gates. The images really don't do it justice. The grandstand on the final corner didn't have a seat spare!

Daniel and Jon talk tactics prior to Race 1. With such close competition, having the right strategy can make or break the race.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

In Race 1, Daniel's superb take-off gave him the hole-shot into first corner which he managed to hold until Lap 4 when Mike made a move into 1st place. In an effort to pass back, Daniel set what would be the fastest time of any rider for the entire weekend with a 55.941.

Photo Credit - Andrew Gosling / TBG Sport

Daniel finished 2nd in Race 1, just 1.5 seconds behind Mike.

With Race 2 a few hours away, there was time to talk about strategies, and as usual, let the spectators try the bikes out for size.

Even Phil from Energy Power Systems gave it a go, although, as a racer himself, he looked more interested in taking it out onto the circuit.

In Race 2, the temperature had dropped from Race 1 which meant our selection of a soft Dunlop tyre was no longer ideal. Although Mike got the hole-shot into Turn 1, Daniel was able to make a pass on the first lap through Turn 6. After leading for 6 laps, Mike made the move into 1st place as Daniel's tyres began to give way on the cold track.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

Nevertheless, Daniel was still able to hold onto 2nd place to take an overall 2nd for the round and secure another 40 valuable points in the championship standings.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

Nic Liminton finished in 10th and 7th place giving him a further 25 points taking him to 9th in the Supersport championship, despite missing the first round.

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images

The JD Racing Team gave themselves an extra days rest in Perth after the event, and took the time to explore the city and Kings Park

Overall, it was another successful weekend. Bring on Symmons Plains!...

Photo Credit - Russel Colvin / Deus Images