International Entertainment Group PR:
Joint championship leader Josh Waters led a Suzuki blitz of the timesheet after the opening day’s practice for this weekend’s third round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Queensland Raceway.
In a dominant display, Team Joe Rocket Suzuki riders filled the top three positions of today’s timesheet, with three-times Australian Superbike champion Shawn Giles second fastest and hometown favourite Robbie Bugden third, just 0.113sec separating the trio.
Waters best lap of 1:09.719sec came in the third of today’s three 25-minute practice sessions, with just 0.706sec covering the top nine riders.
Waters, who is tied for the championship lead after two rounds with defending champion Glenn Allerton, leap-frogged to the top of the timesheet after languishing in sixth after the morning’s opening 25-minute practice session.
“We made changes to the bike in each of today’s three sessions, and went faster each time,” said Waters. “This circuit is quite bumpy in parts, so getting the rear suspension sorted has been a good help.”
Waters and Team Motologic Honda rider Allerton topped today’s speed trap at 266km/h, 1km/h faster than Giles.
“Top speed down the back straight depends on how fast you can get out of Turn Two, but that’s not easy to do lap after lap as it’s a pretty bumpy corner,” said Giles.
“I ended up putting my weight on the footpegs and letting the bike move around underneath me. It makes for a pretty exciting ride on a 200 horsepower Superbike, that’s for sure.”
Defending champion Allerton was happy to record the fourth fastest time today, and wasn’t concerned by having three Suzukis ahead of him on the time sheet.
“Our team didn’t test here a couple of weeks back when the Suzuki and Yamaha guys did, so they’re really two days ahead of us in set-up,” said Allerton. “I was using old tyres today, so there’s more to come.”
Yamaha Racing Team rider Jamie Stauffer was fifth fastest today on his YZF-R1 Superbike, just 0.285sec adrift of Waters. Stauffer, who is the reigning Australian Supersport Championship, topped the timesheet in that category on his Yamaha YZF-R6.
Official qualifying for this weekend’s double-header round takes place tomorrow, with a further Superpole run-off on Saturday.