Houwen well on top in FZ6 Cup
Queenslander Josh Houwen left no stone unturned in his quest for victory at this weekend’s round of the Yamaha FZ6 Cup at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains Raceway, qualifying on pole and heading the pack to take 3 from 3 race wins.
Heading into the round 5 showdown, Houwen was the clear form rider, but wet weather looked set to test the mettle of all riders as they hunted for a setup in cool conditions. The combined qualifying efforts clearly displayed the difference between a wet and dry track, with most of the FZ6 Cup field finding around 10 seconds improvement on Saturday morning.
Houwen’s 1.01.358 lap was just over a second quicker than Chris Knox, with Victorians Joel Stafford and Ewan McClue rounding out the front row of the grid.Race 1 saw a close battle for the lead between Houwen and Knox, with the pair glued together on track until the chequered flag was waved.
Houwen narrowly took the win, by less than three-tenths of a second, and the interesting duel looked set to continue in the second race.
The first FZ6 Cup race for Sunday was equally close, with Ewan McClue buying into the battle for the lead. Unlike the opening race, riders were able to contest the full 7 laps, with yesterday’s race 1 having been reduced to just 5 laps. Once again it was Houwen who crossed the line first, this time four-tenths ahead of Knox with McClue a further two-tenths back.
It was all Houwen again in the decider, making for a perfect weekend for him and his crew. 25 points for each race victory sees Houwen topping the tables on 237.5 points, 71 points clear of McClue.He was understandably elated and was looking forward to continuing the run of results as the series heads to his home track at Queensland Raceway next month.
“This has been a great season and another excellent weekend, you really can’t get much better than pole and winning all three races,” said Houwen.
“I can’t thank the team enough for putting in the big effort to get the bike ready for the weekend and get it out there on track, the support that I have from everyone around me has just been second to none, it’s been great.”
“I can’t wait to head back to Queensland and get in some track time up there, hopefully we’ll be able to do it all again!”
Chris Knox was pleased to take home three second placings for the weekend and said the aim still remains to snatch a race win back off Houwen.
“It’s been really good this weekend, we’ve got to try and chase down Josh, all credit must go to him he’s been riding fantastic, three second placings today is heading in the right direction,” said Knox.
“It’s been a few years since I’ve raced at Queensland Raceway but I quite like it, there’s a few big braking areas and it will be quite bumpy, being Josh’s home track it will be tough but we’ll see how we go.”
The Yamalube FZ6 Cup is contested at each round of the Australian Superbike Championship, backed by dealers providing an affordable racing solution in a fun and competitive class.The next round will be held at Queensland Raceway, June 28-July 1.
1. Josh HOUWEN, 75
2. Chris KNOX, 60
3. Keith GREENTREE, 52
4. Ewan McCLUE, 51
5. Beau McKENZIE, 48
6. Joel STAFFORD, 40
7. Rick OLSON, 38
8. Jeff WARE, 35
9. Rohan FROST, 34
10. Jack FOX, 31
1. Josh HOUWEN, 237.5
2. Ewan McCLUE, 166.5
3. Chris KNOX, 166
4. Keith GREENTREE, 164
5. Jack FOX, 140
6. Beau McKENZIE, 135
7. Joel STAFFORD, 121.5
8. Rick OLSON, 113
9. Jade DURLING, 94
10. Rohan FROST, 85