Teenage duo Tom Toparis and Oli Bayliss are carrying a strong amount of momentum into round two of the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship at Wakefield Park in Goulburn this weekend, set to contest the Supersport and Supersport 300 ranks respectively.
At 16, Cube Racing's local resident Toparis continues to establish himself as one of the country's brightest young stars and will be in the frame for a podium - and a potential victory - in the Australian Supersport Championship at the 2.2-kilometre circuit.
"It's obviously my home round and with Phillip Island not ending the way I wanted it to, I've been keen to get out and try to do well," said Toparis. "Testing has gone well in the dry and also in the wet conditions, so it's good to get the feeling for Wakefield in the wet in case it rains.
"This weekend will be a good one for us at Cube Racing and I feel like we're well-prepared. The bike is good and I hope to see a fair few people from town come out to watch the racing across the weekend - it's always a good one at Goulburn for the Superbikes."
As for Bayliss, who is the son of triple Superbike world champion Troy Bayliss, he has displayed a great amount of outright pace since entering the series full-time this season and impressed at Phillip Island. He could be a surprise factor at Wakefield Park after lapping around record pace during recent tests.
"The test was good at Wakefield and I'm looking forward to racing again now," 13-year-old Bayliss said. "This track is a bit more similar to what I'm used to because it's a lot tighter than Phillip Island, so hopefully that works for me and we can have a good weekend. I just want to keep learning as much as I can with every race."
Cube Racing team owner Ben Henry has been impressed so far with both Toparis and Bayliss. He's been enjoying working with both through their current development phase and says that podium results could come even sooner than initially expected.
"Both of the lads tested well and I was really happy with how they went," Henry commented. "I believe that both of them are closer to winning than they realise and both are a chance to get on the podium at this race - I think it's even possible that they could get a win. Particularly Tommy, because he was pretty quick at the test, and so was Oli as he gains more track time.
"I can't fault either of the boys actually, it's all going really good, they're enjoying it and you can see the confidence in them rising with every outing. That's definitely key and it will be a good weekend at what is Tommy's home round as well."
The Supersport category featuring Goulburn's own Toparis will contest two 16-lap races on Sunday, while Bayliss' Supersport 300 class has one 10-lap race on Saturday followed by two more on Sunday. Visit www.asbk.com.au for further information on the round and series.