Australian Supersports Championship Morgan Park

 

Tom Toparis clean sweeps Morgan Park

 

Tom Toparis resumed his position at the top of the Supersport class with a clean sweep at Round 4 of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship at Morgan Park Raceway, to solidify his championship lead ahead of Nic Liminton and Broc Pearson

Race 1
Off the start polesitter Liminton got away the best, with third-placed Reid Battye jumping Toparis for second spot. Toparis lost a little ground to the front two trying to hold off Callum Spriggs for third, but soon enough the front four were setting up for an epic battle at the head of the field. Corey Turner and Oli Bayliss made up the next two spots.

Toparis chases down Reid Battye

 

Battye struggled to hold on to it after a huge wobble on lap three into the fast Turn 8 but managed to get a hold on it  and somehow emerge ahead of Liminton and take the lead, with Toparis also getting past the pole sitter and sending him back to third, with Turner behind threatening. Toparis and Battye were battling hard at the front, while Liminton continued his decline dropping down to fifth.

Battye was working hard to keep Toparis behind him, but Toparis used all his bag of tricks to pile on the pressure, eventually edging  past at Turn 6 on lap six. Battye, wasn’t done yet and looked for a way back, but Toparis headed him off and extended his lead. The battle raged further down the pack with Liminton, Turner and Bayliss duelling it out  for the last podium spot. As I t does with all battles someone has to lose, and this time it was Bayliss’s turn ending up in the gravel after he and Turner made contact. Turner ended up in sixth behind Liminton.

It all went pear shaped on Lap 12 when Battye crashed at turn 2 and went off into the gravel putting Liminton into second, Spriggs to third and Pearson applying the fires of hell to Spriggs for the final podium spot.

Spriggs and Pearson do battle for the final podium spot

 

As the chequered flag came out, Toparis crossed the line seven and a half seconds clear of Spriggs and Pearson.

Race 2
Battye led the pack into Turn 1 ahead of Toparis and Liminton in a uneventful start, and that’s how they stayed for the opening laps of the race with Turner, Bayliss and Spriggs a few tenths further back. Battye and Toparis started to dice, with Battye forced into defensive manoeuvres as he tried to contain the southerner. Toparis slithered up the inside of Turn 6 on lap three. Again, Battye tried to hang onto his rear wheel, but he slipped further into the reaches of the pursuing Liminton.

Battye leads but not for long

 

The field began to settle into a groove as they moved into the middle part of the race, and with half the race to go it was Toparis out in front by eight tenths ahead of Battye, Liminton, Spriggs and Bayliss. Battye, Liminton and Spriggs, who was on a charge setting fastest laps to join the back of the lead pack.

The gap to Toparis closed to as little as half a second, but as the pursuing pack battled amongst themselves, he could get clear to claim the victory ahead of Spriggs, Bayliss, Pearson and Turner. It was a disappointing finish for Battye, who fell back through the field to sixth, and for Liminton who ran wide into the gravel at Turn 1 in the closing laps, rejoining to finish eighth.

 

 

Words & Images by Lorne Close