Carter Thompson claimed the first ever round of the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup (March 22-24) with two wins from the two Sunday races, together with his win in Saturday's race, run during Round 2 of the Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship at Wakefield Park, Goulburn NSW.
Francis set the early pace in the Qualifying 1, clearly comfortable with the Wakefield Park layout as he continued on from where he left off in Free Practice yesterday. He set a blistering 1:15.869 to end the session half a second clear of Thompson in second (1:16.378) and Glenn Nelson in third (1:16.521).
In the second qualifying session Francis fell at turn two with three minutes to go but managed to continue, and still went on to claim pole position by more than six tenths of a second (1:15.747). He finished the session ahead of Thompson and Nelson, neither of whom could improve on their times from Qualifying 1.
Fans were left to wait for a little while longer to see the Oceania Junior Cup go racing, with a red flag on the initial start due to crashed riders including Max Gibbons and Patrick Bognar. At the restart it was Jacob Roulstone across the line to lead the first competitive lap of the Oceania Junior Cup. Nelson and Francis were in hot pursuit, and when the field crossed the line for a second time, less than a second covered the first six riders. Thompson found his way to the front, and with three laps to go he still held the advantage.
As the field began the last of their six laps, Thompson led from Roulstone, Nelson, and Francis. In the drafting battle to the finish line, Thompson took the win from Nelson, Francis, Roulstone, Marianos Nikolis, and Angus Grenfell.
Thompson led the field away from the line, but his initial lead was short lived as Cros Francis made a huge move stick on the first lap to take the lead. Glenn Nelson took a tumble on the first lap and didn’t resume, and as the field began the second lap Thompson had managed to find his way back in front ahead of Francis. Marianos ‘Nos’ Nikolis was looking good in third place on lap three ahead of Jacob Roulstone and Angus Grenfell.
A fantastic scrap further down the field saw Zac Pettendy, Max Gibbons and Jacob Hatch arguing over eighth place in a brilliant display of close-quarters riding. Things were starting to settle down at the front, Thompson pulling a half-second lead from Francis and Grenfell. Roulstone ran wide at turn four, keeping the bike upright but losing a stack of positions to eventually finish 10th.
Francis found his way past Thompson on the final lap, and as they came to the last corner Thompson dived up the inside, hoping to gain the run out of the final corner. Francis got the drive out of the turn, but on the run to the line it was Thompson who took the win from Francis, Grenfell, Nikolis, and Tom Drane.
Thompson established an early lead with Francis chasing, and then a second group of Roulstone, Nelson and Grenfell following. Glenn Nelson then went down at Turn 11 and was out of the running. And Roulstone managed to bridge the gap to the leader taking up second position behind Thompson, with Angus Grenfell also trying to do the same.
As the riders entered the final lap it was Thompson from Roulstone and Francis, heading two, then three-wide on the run to turn three. Thompson had pulled out a gap by the last corner and it was enough to secure him the win, ahead of Roulstone, Francis, Grenfell, and Drane
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Overall Round Points, Round 1:
1 Carter THOMPSON (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 75)
2 Cros FRANCIS (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 56)
3 Angus GRENFELL (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 50)
4 Jacob ROULSTONE (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 48)
5 Marianos NIKOLIS (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 48)
6 Tom DRANE (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 46)
7 Reece OUGHTRED (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 34)
8 Cormac BUCHANAN (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 33)
9 Zak PETTENDY (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 31)
10 Jai RUSSO (bLU cRU, Yamaha YZF-R15, 29)