Bryan Staring has won Round 1 of the Australia Superbike Championship at Phillip Island after winning the final race from 13th on the grid.
Staring and Wayne Maxwell shared race wins on the day, the former prevailing over Josh Waters by virtually nothing in Race 3, while Troy Bayliss was again in the mix as he finished the weekend fourth overall.
Staring gained seven places on the opening lap alone, allowing him to join an entertaining battle also featuring Waters (Suzuki), Maxwell (Yamaha), Bayliss (Ducati), Daniel Falzon (Yamaha), and Troy Herfoss (Honda).
Armed with a Kawasaki ZX-10R which was a weapon in a straight line, Staring then made gradual progress until he took the lead on Lap 9.
The race came down to a drag to the finish line and Staring pipped Waters by just 0.019s after 12 laps.
Maxwell, Herfoss, and Falzon rounded out the top five, with Bayliss a position further back.
Bayliss did, however, set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 2.
Earlier in Race 2, Waters was the initial front-runner from Bayliss and Maxwell.
Maxwell passed Bayliss on Lap 2 and then Waters on Lap 5, and just had enough to keep the 2017 champion behind for the remainder of the race.
The win came despite ankle pain arising from a crash in the WorldSBK race the day before, which saw Maxwell only run in the national championship today.
The fight for third was on between Bayliss, Falzon, Herfoss, and Staring, and it was the latter who scythed his way through the pack to move into third around the halfway mark.
Falzon briefly got back in front of Staring but couldn’t stay there and instead finished sixth having been passed by Bayliss on the final lap.
Staring leaves Phillip Island with the championship lead by a single point over the tied Waters and Race 1 winner Herfoss.
Oli Bayliss won Supersport 300 Race 3, and with it the round, despite starting the final lap in fourth position
Round 2 of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australia Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli will be held at Wakefield Park on March 16-18.
Results: Race 2, Phillip Island (Top 10)
|1||47||Wayne MAXWELL||Yamaha Racing Team||Yamaha YZF-R1||12||18:49.212||288|
|2||1||Josh WATERS||Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia||Suzuki GSX-R||12||+0:00.935||290|
|3||67||Bryan STARING||Kawasaki / BC Performance||Kawasaki ZX10R||12||+0:04.356||297|
|4||17||Troy HERFOSS||Penrite Honda||Honda CBR RR SP||12||+0:04.479||288|
|5||21||Troy BAYLISS||Desmosport Ducati||Ducati Panigale FE||12||+0:04.509||293|
|6||25||Daniel FALZON||Yamaha Racing Team||Yamaha YZF-R1||12||+0:05.013||292|
|7||178||Michael BLAIR||Yamaha / Gosford Classic Car Museum||Yamaha YZF-R1||12||+0:16.070||288|
|8||12||Matt WALTERS||Swann Insurance Superbike||Kawasaki ZX10||12||+0:16.757||286|
|9||14||Glenn ALLERTON||NextGen Motorsports||BMW S RR||12||+0:17.639||291|
|10||64||Aaron MORRIS||Maxima Yamaha||Yamaha YZF-R1||12||+0:27.229||292|
Results: Race 3, Phillip Island (Top 10)
|1||67||Bryan STARING||Kawasaki / BC Performance||Kawasaki ZX10R||12||18:50.375||297|
|2||1||Josh WATERS||Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia||Suzuki GSX-R||12||+0:00.019||289|
|3||47||Wayne MAXWELL||Yamaha Racing Team||Yamaha YZF-R1||12||+0:00.421||294|
|4||17||Troy HERFOSS||Penrite Honda||Honda CBR RR SP||12||+0:00.904||290|
|5||25||Daniel FALZON||Yamaha Racing Team||Yamaha YZF-R1||12||+0:00.972||291|
|6||21||Troy BAYLISS||Desmosport Ducati||Ducati Panigale FE||12||+0:08.516||290|
|7||178||Michael BLAIR||Yamaha / Gosford Classic Car Museum||Yamaha YZF-R1||12||+0:10.932||288|
|8||14||Glenn ALLERTON||NextGen Motorsports||BMW S RR||12||+0:11.295||292|
|9||12||Matt WALTERS||Swann Insurance Superbike||Kawasaki ZX10||12||+0:15.272||290|
|10||64||Aaron MORRIS||Maxima Yamaha||Yamaha YZF-R1||12||+0:20.491||292|
Championship points (Top 10)