BRYAN Staring’s return to the grand prix circuit resulted in a top 10 finish in round one of the Australian Superbike Championship.
Held at Phillip Island from February 23 to 26, the event kicked off with two practice sessions before the qualifier, where Staring finished second and just 0.392 seconds from pole position, which was nabbed by Daniel Falzon.
Before getting in to the main races, Staring said it had been “an interesting lead-up into the first round”.
“My boys did such a fantastic job with the preparation on the bike and I’m really glad that I could do what I’ve been trying to do in testing,” he said.
Again, it was a close first race with only 0.868 seconds separating the top four across the finish line, with Staring crossing third behind Falzon and three-time title-winner Glenn Allerton.
However, the second race did not go so well, with the former Padbury resident going down on the fourth lap, leaving Falzon, Wayne Maxwell and Robbie Bugden on the podium.
Another incident in the third race saw a red flag just three laps in and the race was restarted.
This meant the times for the two parts of the race would be combined.
Despite Falzon finishing third, his time from the first part of the race was enough to give him the third and final win for the event, with Staring in third place behind Bugden.
Falzon finished on a perfect 76 points, with Bugden on 54, defending champion Troy Herfoss on 47 and Staring seventh on 36.
In the supersport, Victorian Mason Coote won the round on 60 points ahead of Ted Collins on 47 and Mark Chiodo on 44.5, while Zac Levy won the over 300 division and Tom Edwards won the up to 300.
Round two heads to NSW on March 17 to 19.