41st Westernationals Report
Meeting report from the 41st Westernationals held at the Kwinana Motorplex in Perth February 2012.
Ross Smith – Quickest Street Bike in the Country
41st Westernationals – 2012.
The Westernationals are held each year at the Motorplex complex in Kwinana, Perth. The popularity of this event, and the way the facility is run is highlighted by the usual influx of Easterners who make the long trek across the barren wastelands each year, including 10 from Queensland for 2012.
This means the field sizes are massive, and the 41st running of the Westernationals had a healthy 60 odd motorcycles front for a shot at Modified and Competition Bike glory.
After the qualifying smoke cleared, Greg Durack stood well clear at the top of Comp Bike, a massive .762 under the 8.03 index, in front of the flying A/SB Hayabusa of Ross Smith, with an 8.69 second run and a fastest ever 166mph top end speed. The highest ranked interstate raider was Blair Pennington, with a 9.04 second run on his Powerhouse/MCSales GSX-R1000 putting him in 5th place.
Durack went a mile under the index, but failed to make eliminations
Over in Mod Bike, fellow pink Powerhouse member Alby Marques topped the sheets, his 8.42 second PB claiming the Top Qualifier medallion ahead of veteran Perth racer Paul Nieuwhof, who has won around 35 of the 41 events. (something approaching that anyway) Behind them was a queue of 38 other bikes, with Alan Mark’s spectacular Triumph Rocket rounding out the field.
Fast forward to the end of the Modified Bike eliminations war, and Marques was still standing, ready to face Perth’s Justin Townson. Nieuwhof fell short of adding another trophy against the 2010 event winner Andy Roberts with a staging mishap.
Townson had rowed his way through the field with a string of high 8s, and squared off against Marques on an 8.83 dial-in to the Queenslanders 8.51 prediction.
Unfortunately for Marques his dream run ended with a sleepy light, and Townson made no mistake with a .03 over 8.86 to earn him Westernats Gold.
Powerhouse Dyno/MCSales.com.au Sponsored GSXR1000 of Blair Pennington
Competition Bike started the first round with a few bikes missing, Top Qualifier Durack didn’t front with mechanical issues, and Sean Arthur suffered a similar fate after a great AA/CB 7.27 in qualifying. Rob Cassar had a nasty accident in qualifying.
Eight bikes made it through to round 2, with Smith taking an easy bye run. The second round went mainly as expected, apart from Kev Williamson taking a holeshot win over Kev Gummow.
Down to the final four, Williamson red lit, as did Rob Wasley, leaving the two street-class bikes of Smith and Pennington to battle out the final.
Blair Pennington needed a good run to beat Smith after chopping a tenth off his index during the night, while Smith had left his clean. A good run was what he produced, a razor sharp .019 light and a 4 tenth under index Australian Record setting 9.029 nearly winning the event.
Nearly, of course, is not good enough, with Ross Smith’s 1441cc Hayabusa reaching further under his index, and claiming his own National Record as he powered by the smaller Suzuki for a well earned 8.72 second win.
COMPETITION BIKE Results
Winner: Ross Smith (WA)
R/up: Blair Pennington (QLD)
PERTH QUAD BIKES MODIFIED BIKE Results
Winner: Justin Townson (WA)
R/up: Alberto Marques (QLD)
Australian Records: Competition Bike
Kevin Gummow (WA) CC/CB 7.676
Ross Smith (WA) A/SB 8.693
Blair Pennington (QLD) B/SB 9.029
Australian Records: Modified Bike
Justin Townson B/MB 8.835
Daniel Natalotto B/MB 150.50
Wiseguy Racing – Ryan Learmonth
Rob Cassar – Pre crash
Kev Gummow – FME
All images courtesy Andy Roberts.
All meeting information courtesy Kwinana Motorplex results page.