Maxwell wins as Miller crashes out in ASBK opener
By Mat Coch
Sunday 5th December, 2021 - 1:57pm
Wayne Maxwell has romped to victory in an interrupted opening Australian Superbike Championship race of the weekend at The Bend as Jack Miller crashed out.
Maxwell dominated the early part of the race from Miller before Aiden Wagner lost the front end to take he and the MotoGP star out of the race with two laps remaining.
Maxwell won comfortably from Glenn Allerton, while Cru Halliday hung on to third.
A poor start from Miller saw him drop from second to fourth at the start, Arthur Sissis jumping well to lead into the first corner.
He was soon overhauled by Maxwell and Oli Bayliss as the front five skipped clear at the head of the pack.
Daniel Falzon was a faller on the opening lap, dropping his Yamaha at Turn 6.
Maxwell extended a 1.1s advantage after three laps over Miller as Bayliss’ was forced to sit up.
The Ducati rider had experienced issues getting away on the warm-up lap, only for those to have seemingly reappeared.
The pace was fast, with the top six all lapping under Mike Jones’ previous lap record – Maxwell and Miller some 1.6s under the old marker.
Having inched clear of Sissis, Miller fell back into the Yamaha rider’s clutches by mid-distance.
The race was red flagged after six laps when Evan Byles fell at the penultimate corner, pausing the race with three laps remaining.
Miller led into the first corner at the restart, losing out to Maxwell at Turn 3 and being mugged by Allerton on corner exit.
Lachlan Epis also found a way through on Miller on the first lap after the restart, while Sissis fell to 16th after taking the restart from the front row.
Miller then found himself battling with Wagner, who lost the front end at Turn 14 to slide into the MotoGP race winner, eliminating both from the race.
Maxwell saw the flag first at the end of the three-lap sprint following the red flag, winning from Allerton and Halliday.
In doing so, Maxwell became the champion-elect with one race remaining.
Race 2 for the Australian Superbike Championship is scheduled to get underway at 14:50 AEDT.