Cru Halliday PR:
Round 3 of the Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championships presented by Insure My Ride was split into two rounds. Cru Halliday arrived at the Queensland Raceway circuit on Thursday the 28th of May, looking to consolidate his previous championship performances and improve his overall position.
Riding for Chris Watson Motorcycles in a well subscribed AMCN Superstock 600 field. Cru knew he would have to dig deep.
From the start of the four day double header, Cru showed he was going to be competitive. Lapping in the 1.15’s, he was consistently in the top three throughout practice.
With fine weather conditions, times were sure to drop over the weekend.
In the first of Friday’s qualifying sessions both Cru and Rick Olson set times below the lap record. Rick getting the edge over Cru on the last lap of the session to take pole. Racing got under way on Friday afternoon with the first of the weekends four races. Cru showed improvement in his starting technique, leading the field into the first turn. Race one was close, with the top three riders lapping below the lap record.
Rick Olson got past Cru on lap two and built a small gap, leaving him in a battle for second place with Mitchell Pirotta. Cru kept his head to lead Mitch to the finish line by 0.71 of a second. Race two of Round 3a finishing in the same order, Rick, Cru then Mitch.
Qualifying for round 3b proved to be just as fast and close as 3a. The riders only had a 10 minute session to bed in a fresh set of Dunlop 209 GP Racer control tyres and record a fast lap.
With such a large field it was hard to find clear track so timing was critical. Cru took to the track and was immediately on the pace. On lap five Rick Olson set a flying lap of 1.14.324 and returned to the pits confident that this would be fast enough. In the dying seconds of the session Cru got some clear track. He completed his final lap of the 3.12km circuit to set his fastest time of the weekend with a 1.14.351 narrowly missing Rick’s time by .027 of a second.
Over the weekend Cru was not going to let the YRD rider off easily. In two hard fought but clean battles, Cru and Rick left the field in their wake by up to five seconds. Cru stuck to Rick’s back wheel after he passed him on lap four of the first of Sunday’s two races. After trading place’s back and forth, Rick eventually led the pair across the line.
Sunday’s final race was about tyre tactics after a brief shower before the Superbike race leaving the track wet. With a large number of riders choosing wet weather tyres for the eight lap race, the team made the decision to leave their dry weather tyre’s on.
When the lights went out Rick got a good start with Cru slotting into second place as they rounded turn one. Although having never ridden on a wet circuit in his short road racing career, Cru showed experience beyond his years. Staying on the tail piece of the ex-dirt trackers YZF-R6, Cru watched his every move looking for a passing opportunity. With a couple of good attempts by Cru to pass, Rick kept himself well covered. The two Yamaha riders crossed the finish line separated by .745 of a second with a large gap back to third.
“It was like riding on ice in that last race. I have never ridden on such a slippery surface at the pace we were going before. I rode very well this weekend, but Rick got the better of me. My goal coming into the double header round was to keep it in one piece and improve my position in the championship. I did exactly that, so I am very happy.
“We are off to Eastern Creek for the next round, so I am hoping to regain some points at my home race.”
Cru would like to thank his team Bob, Geoff, Allan, Graeme and Sandy and his sponsors Go Boating, Race Logic, Pitstop Motorcycles, Belray Oils, Shark Helmets, Berik Leathers, Dragon Tyre Warmers, Xsportz.com.au and Chris Watson Motorcycles-Yamaha.