Defending champion Josh Waters will begin the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) from pole position after coming up trumps in a damp 20-minute qualifying session at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit this afternoon.
The three-time ASBK champion took his Suzuki to the top spot ahead of Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha) and Troy Bayliss (Ducati) – the 48-year-old continuing to make good on his celebrated return to road racing.
Bayliss’ storied three title-winning career in the world superbike ranks is well known, but there’s one title which has eluded him: that of Australian superbike champion.
Daniel Falzon (Yamaha) will lead row two away in race one, with Troy Herfoss (Honda) and privateer Michael Blair (Yamaha) alongside him.
Glenn Allerton (BMW) and New Zealander Mitchell Rees (Honda) were seventh and eighth.
Meanwhile, there’s some work ahead for former Aussie champions Mike Jones (Kawasaki) and Bryan Staring (Kawasaki), who will start from grid positions 12 and 13.
A maximum grid of 40 riders will line up in race one at 4:40pm tomorrow, followed by two more hitouts on Sunday.
Australian Superbike is the premier national support class backing the world superbike riders, who launch their 2018 season at Australia’s Phillip Island this weekend.
1. Josh Waters (Suzuki) 1m43.676s
2. Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha) 1m44.604s
3. Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1m45.093s
4. Daniel Falzon (Yamaha) 1m45.411
5. Troy Herfoss (Honda) 1m45.987
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