Team Honda rider Josh Hook is one step closer to winning his maiden superbike race at Phillip Island after qualifying on pole position for the opening round of the inaugural 2014 Phillip Island Championship, with two 12-lap races to be held over the weekend.
Hook (1:33.234) just edged out his team-mate Jamie Stauffer (1:33.351) to post the pole-sitting time, the duo aboard Honda’s new souped-up CBR1000RR SP.
New Honda recruit, lap record holder and reigning Australian superbike champion Wayne Maxwell qualified third ahead of veteran Phil Lovett (1:35.176) and Sean Condon (1:35.531) , both Kawasaki mounted. Condon was also the fastest prostock rider, the sub-class competing against the full-blown superbikes.
New Zealander Sloan Frost (1:35.964) will start from sixth in the 34-strong pack, riding the BMW S 1000 RR that was originally intended for Glenn Allerton before he was commandeered for world superbike duties as a replacement for injured Frenchman Sylvain Barrier.
Phillip Island Motor Sports and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation have joined forces to launch the Phillip Island Championship at the world superbike round, which caters for national-level superbike, prostock and supersport classes. The championship will conclude at the MotoGP round from October 17-19 – a total of four races for each category across the two meetings.
In supersport, Yamaha made up eight of the top 10 qualifiers, with reigning Australian champion Daniel Falzon (1:37.366) leading the way from Aaron Morris (1:38.011) and Queenslander Callum Spriggs (1:38.503).
Samuel Lambert (Triumph, 1:38.375) briefly snapped the Yamaha domination in fourth, before it returned with Hudson Pitt (1:38.910) and former world supersport rider Matthew Davies (1:38.941) completing the top six.
The 10-lap supersport races will be held at 1:25pm and 10:10am over the next two days, and the superbike/prostock battles at 1:55pm and 3:50pm on Saturday