Toparis didn’t get the best start, but he quickly made his way back to the front of the pack. He was setting excellent lap times and building a comfortable gap. Behind Toparis, Giuseppe Scarcella (Scarcella Racing, Kawasaki ZX6R) was dicing his way through the pack and exceling in the wet conditions. Scarcella’s wet weather pace was evident in previous sessions and it was no surprise to see him competitive on the wet track. Scarcella eventually made his way into second, getting to business to hunt down Toparis.
Toparis, thinking his gap to the chasing pack was sufficient, started to consolidate and slow down. Scarcella however, was closing in and Toparis was told by his pit crew to increase his pace, to deal with the charging threat.
Scarcella caught Toparis on the last lap and the two riders had a battle for the ages, with Scarcella taking the lead momentarily. Toparis fought back to reclaim the ascendency. The two had a drag race to the finish with Toparis taking his first victory.
Race winner Toparis said; “I do believe its true that once you win your first race it makes it easier to win again. If I can win more after this I would be stoked. There is a lot of races to go and I got a lot of points from this round.”
Scarcella was also thrilled to show off his wet weather skills. “The bike went very well, it has been wet all weekend, and I’ve managed to adapt to the conditions.”
The podium for Race One included Toparis in first, Scarcella in second and Sam Condon (Bikebiz, Yamaha YZF-R6) in third.
Race Two provided more fireworks, with Toparis starting from first on the grid, this time in dry conditions. Toparis had a flying start to maintain the lead, with Ted Collins (Saint Unbreakable, Suzuki GSX-R) also making up places to eventually make his way to first position.
Ted Collins was leading until the race was red flagged due to the track being hammered with rain. The heavy rain caused multiple riders to crash, even during the cool down lap.
The race restart changed the whole complexity of the race, with the sun now shining on the track. Ted Collins then proceeds to lead the restart, followed by Nic Liminton (Race Center, Yamaha YZF-R6), Mason Coote (Aark Racing, Yamaha YZF-R6). Toparis was also charging through the field after being relegated to near the back of the grid, fighting back to fourth place.
Collins took his first win, followed by Liminton and Mason Coote, on the podium.
“I can’t believe it, we took the lead in the first race and I started on pole for the restart, then it was a hole shot to the front. I’m so happy to come out with the win. I’m so stoked to have my first win.” Collins said.
Toparis was originally excluded from the results but has logged a successful protest, giving Toparis the fourth place finish.
Ted Collins now leads the championship by one point, in front of Mason Coote, followed by Sam Condon a further 13.5 points behind.
2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship Presented by Motul Pirelli Calendar:
Round 3 Winton Motor Raceway, VIC 28-30 April
Round 4 Hidden Valley Raceway, NT 7-9 July
Round 5 Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick, QLD 25-27 August
Round 6 SMP Eastern Creek, NSW 8-10 September
Round 7 Phillip Island Circuit, VIC 6-8 October
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Picture: Toparis storms down the straight at Wakefield
Courtesy: TBG Photography