Goulburn’s very own Tom Toparis scored the ninth fastest overall combined times at Winton Motor Raceway on both days at last week’s official Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) test.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday marked the first time that the 16-year-old has ridden the 3.0km Victorian circuit aboard a Supersport machine. His debut outing at Winton didn’t exactly go to plan as he would have hoped for. The Cube Racing pilot openly admitted that he did struggle on both days as he and his Queensland based team tried to work to find a setup to suit him for the third round of the ASBK series which will take place at the end of April.
On the first day of testing, Toparis posted his fastest lap of the day in the final session, when he stopped the clock with a 1min26.862 on his sixth lap out of a total of sixteen.
"We struggled a little bit today with setup," said Toparis at the conclusion of day one.
"This morning I made a little mistake and ran off into the gravel trap at turn four and fell over, which set us back a little bit for the rest of the day.”
The first day of testing for Toparis was all about getting coming to grips with the circuit, as riding at Winton on a Supersport bike is completely different to the Ninja 300 machine which he raced year at the final round in October.
“With the Supersport bike you just have to work so much harder with to get a lap time. In saying that, I am strong in places around the track," explained Toparis.
On the last day of testing, Toparis managed to improve his overall time by .955sec after he managed to clock a 1min25.907 in the third session.
For round three, Toparis will be ‘reunited’ with his number one Cube Racing ZX6R machine, which he has not raced yet in this year’s championship.
At a pre-season test in late January at Wakefield Park Toparis blew the engine in his number one bike, which meant for round one at Phillip Island and round two at Wakefield Park he was forced to race his spare bike.
“This bike which we will have back for round three should hopefully be better than the bike which I have been racing,” explained Toparis.
This number one bike that Toparis will saddle up on is the same bike that his fellow ‘stable mate’ Callum [Spriggs] guided to pole position and second place overall at Winton last year.
Heading into round three Toparis is not too stressed about his overall lap times which he did at the test. Toparis’ fastest lap time on Wednesday was .033sec faster than Spriggs’ pole position qualifying time which he set last year
The third round of the ASBK presented by Motul Pirelli will take place on 28-30 April.