The exciting series final of the 2014 SWANN Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship Series ( ASC ) and the YMF Loan Australian FX-Superbike Championship series ( AFX-SBK ) was held in sweltering conditions on November 22 – 23 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Terry O’Neill, event director, stated that “..this year’s Championship series has been huge with some of the most exciting racing ever seen in this country. Every Championship category is up for grabs this weekend, and it will be hard fought, that’s for sure. We’ll see very close racing this weekend.”
Both the weather and the racing was fierce and hot. Ambient air temperatures on Friday qualifying and Sunday racing hit the 40 degree mark, and racers had to contend with track temps nudging 70 degrees. It was a true test of man and machine in these extreme conditions. Many teams had blow up kiddies pools in and around their garages, in order to keep their racers cool between races. Others used the showers for a cool respite.
Qld based Mark Carlsson, team boss for Jordan Carlsson Racing commented “…on Friday the track temp was 69.4 degrees. We had to deal with trying to set the bikes telemetry to allow for this. At these temperatures the bikes handling feels like riding on marshmallows. We’ve got plenty of straight line power, but the handling into corners is where you pick up places or lose them.”
In the Ninja 300 class, Brandon Demmery and Kyle Buckley have been the hottest riders all year. Coming into this weekend, Buckley only had a two point lead on Demmery. The round and overall championship was eventually won by Demmery who was just too strong for Buckley and showed incredible consistency with a race win and two second places to win the Championship and a brand new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.
Sophie Lovett won the womens class in the FX 300 Ninja Cup with a clean sweep of the series and won the Championship by 58 points. She was so strong all year that she came fourth outright in the Championship.
In the Pro Twin/Naked class KTM’s two-wheeled testosterone machine, the 1290 Super Duke R, now has an Australian Road Race Championship title under its belt.%u2028In the hands of master blaster Angus Reekie, the Super Duke R came from behind to claim the Australasian Superbike Championships Naked Bike category, while Reekie was also awarded the winner’s trophy for Pro Twins combined classification.%u2028
For Reekie, who crashed out during practice for the penultimate round in September, it was a resumption of regular service as he and his V-twin streetfighter performed yet another clean sweep of three wins for the weekend – in the process achieving the very enviable record of having won every naked bike race he has started in 2014.%u2028
The title is the ninth national championship for Reekie, whose cabinet already holds six Australian Supermoto, one Supermono, and one FX Pro Thunder trophies. Adrian Pierpoint and Darren Wilbow claimed second and third respectively.
Congratulations to Richard Draper’s Sugar Plum Racing team. This small but close knit privateer team from western NSW contested the Naked Bike F2 class and this year also had an entry in the Ninja 300 class.
Raschelle Sherwood’s first year in competition and she finished with third place in the womens category in the Kawasaki Ninja 300’s. Richard fought mechanical issues all year ranging from brakes to fuel to overheating but his gritty tenacity and with Lisa and Linda pit crewing for him they overcame these obstacles and Richard honoured their incredible commitment with trophies in both series over the weekend as well as the taking out the Naked Bike F2 class championship.
FX Pro Twins was a hotly contested class. In all three races, it appeared to be the Craig McMartin and Kevin Curtain show. McMartin shot off the line in both race one and two, but Curtain reeled him in on both occasions, partly due to some fuel issues suffered in race one by McMartin and in the second race the veteran Curtain relentlessly took back seconds on each lap to eventully overhaul McMartin closing out the first two races by over 8 seconds in front of McMartin on both occasions. Race three again McMartin shot of the line and grabbed the early lead, this time he feverishly held on like a man possessed and refused to relinquish the lead eventually holding Curtain at bay to take the race win by only five-tenths. The championship series was won by Simon Galloway, who had already wrapped up the series after Round Five at Wakefield.
Maxima Yamaha rider Aaron Morris claimed the coveted Supersport championship by the narrowest of margins. Morris went into the final race of the day in Sydney holding a three-point lead over closest rival Aiden Wagner (Yamaha), with a brand new R1 up for grabs to the championship winner. In the final race, Wagner claimed victory making it three race wins from three on the day, however Morris’ second place had the championship tied on points overall. Third overall for the round was Callum Spriggs (Yamaha). On a countback, Morris took the outright championship honours with his season tally of 11 race wins compared to Wagner’s seven, enough to clinch the title.
New champion Matthew Harding swept the Formula Oz ranks in a Kawasaki trifecta, winning all three races to take the overall from Brayden Carr and Phil Lovett. There was only a 3-point gap in the championship between Harding and Lovett leading into the final round and Hardings clean sweep saw him finishing with a well deserved 20–point lead. British Superbike regular David Johnson also made his way on track riding a ZX-10R, finishing sixth overall.
Four riders competed in the e-FXC category. The title races in the eFXC class was a battle between two; Danny Pottage (O’Hanlon Electric Motorsports) and Daniel Ripperton ( Ripperton Racing) . Pottage finished more than ten seconds ahead of Ripperton in both races. So dominant was Pottage that he also posted a new lap record for the category of 1:46.568. He clinched the championship victory with a race to spare.
Team Honda Racing pilot Wayne Maxwell has comfortably taken out the 2014 YMF Loan Yamaha Australian FX Superbike Championship at Eastern Creek. Maxwell wrapped up the title after two of the scheduled three races for the day – his sixth and fourth place finishes enough to secure the title heading into the final race. Teammate Troy Herfoss would have been disappointed with his day on the track, and despite some issues throughout the day (he claimed fifth, 10th and fourth from his three races) managed to finish the championship in second. An inspired day of racing from Mike Jones (Crazy Dog Kawasaki) handed him third place in the overall championship. Robert Bugden (YRT) and Glenn Scott (Insure My Ride) rounded out the top-five in the overall standings.
Words and pictures by Rob Annesley