Brayden Elliott has secured a top six finish from the penultimate round of the 2016 Australian Superbike Championship at Morgan Park Raceway in Queensland, further stamping his authority on the premier road racing category in the country in his maiden season in the Championship. Progressively faster lap times and a competitive and ever improving setup package on his Knobby Underwear Suzuki GSX-R 1000 Superbike helped to secure Elliott the successful result.
With three practice sessions across Friday, Brayden’s fastest times tumbled with each session on track, recording his best in the second session with a 1:15.637, placing fifth overall and first privateer rider. In conjunction with a 1:16.315 in practice one and 1:15.970 in practice three, the merged classifications placed Elliott in seventh overall.
Two qualifying sessions on Saturday provided Brayden a pair of opportunities to set a fast time and start as far towards the front as possible for Sunday’s two races. A mere 0.003 seconds would separate the Tumut rider’s best times between the two sessions with his best coming in qualifying two with a 1:15.500. Merged classifications would see Brayden start from eighth in the two races.
Brayden made a leaping start in race one, rising to sixth on the opening lap, slipping back to seventh on lap two before returning to sixth on lap nine. Setting his quickest time of not only the race, but the weekend on lap eight with a 1:15.351, the reigning Australian Supersport Champion went on to claim sixth at the end of 19 laps.
The second race of the weekend proved to be the ultimate definition of consistency for Brayden, moving up into seventh after the opening lap, it would be where he would remain through until the chequered flag. Elliott set his fastest time on lap ten, a 1:15.360, just 0.009 seconds behind his fastest time from race one, on his way, opening up a 20 second gap to the eighth place rider by race end. The round results placed Brayden in sixth on points for the event, with it cementing him seventh in the Championship.
“Overall, I am happy with my efforts at round five of the Australian Superbike Championship. From the start to the finish of the weekend, I instantly felt the most competitive I had been all year which I certainly think showed in our lap times and race pace. As always the team did an amazing job to help improve the Knobby Underwear Suzuki GSX-R 1000 working heavily on the set up, handling and tyre life around the rough and technical Morgan Park circuit.”
“I really feel like I am starting to come to grips with the Superbike and the competition in the premier category. Sixth overall was certainly a positive result, but I think the best thing is after getting myself closer to the front riders, it has only made me more determined to keep pushing harder to get to where I need to be.”
“I am extremely thankful to have the opportunity to surround myself with people that can help me learn and improve and it has been good to not only leave Morgan Park with further experience, but with a good boost of confidence to take into the final round of the year. With some time to prepare, I look forward to keep putting in my 100% best effort to be stronger at the next event.”
The final round of the 2016 Australian Superbike Championship takes place at Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, Victoria from 30 September – 2 October.