The 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) commenced at Phillip Island, Victoria, over the weekend between 22-25 February with Kawasaki BCperformance's Bryan Staring capturing a stellar overall victory aboard the Ninja ZX-10R.

Staring delivered Kawasaki BCperformance's first-ever ASBK round win alongside the opening round of the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) despite starting from 13th on the grid following qualifying held in mixed conditions on Friday.

That factor made the 2010 champion's victory even more special, claiming 4-3-1 results in the trio of awe-inspiring ASBK races across the round. It's a result that bodes well for a strong season ahead, leading the point-standings by one marker following round one of seven.

"I'm exceptionally happy, just so relieved and satisfied to win with Kawasaki BCperformance," said Staring. "I can't thank the team enough - they gave me a bike that was so lightning fast and, to be honest, I really had no excuse not to win! We didn't think it'd be possible following Friday's qualifying, but it happened and we're so happy to achieve this result at round one."

Teammate Kyle Buckley qualified strongly in 11th position, before claiming 17-15-20 finishes. Constantly improving his lap-speed and gaining confidence following an injury-affected last season, he is focused on climbing up the order in coming rounds.

"We achieved three consistent finishes this weekend and, although they weren't as high as I'd aimed, I can take a lot of things out of round one," Buckley recalled. "The Kawasaki BCperformance team was great all weekend, they put in a big effort and now I'm excited to get back on the bike and keep progressing from here."

Kawasaki BCperformance team owner Kelvin Reilly was ecstatic with the result in Staring's first race weekend together, also confident that Buckley will continue to improve as his confidence grows into the season. It was a memorable result for everybody involved.

"Firstly, I just want to thank Bryan for giving BCperformance our first-ever ASBK win and to be leading the championship is obviously a great result," explained Reilly. "The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R has really come into it's own now, plus Dunlop has worked really, really hard and I believe we've got a strong season ahead of us.

"Kyle struggled a little bit in the test, so he started on the back-foot, but he hasn't ridden a lot recently. He was injured a lot last year, but we know what he can do and we just have to get him there. We know what he needs to do, he knows what he needs to do and I'm confident we will see a different Kyle from round two."

In addition to the Kawasaki BCperformance Superbike class duo, the BCperformance Junior Team of Giuseppe Scarcella and Benjamin Baker were also on track in the Kawasaki Supersport and Supersport 300 classes respectively. Scarcella qualified fourth, then rode his Ninja ZX-6R to ninth overall, while debutant Baker was P16 on his Ninja 300.

Swann Insurance Kawasaki's Matt Walters got his 2018 campaign off to a flying start as well, a fixture inside the top 10 throughout the entire opening round by qualifying 10th on the grid and then lodging 9-8-9 finishes for a well-deserved eighth overall. Brad Swallow also took a point home by taking 20th in race one.

"For us it's been a really solid weekend and I can't say enough about my Swann Insurance Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R," Walters said. "We were hoping to have a consistent start to the year and that's exactly what we've done, so we couldn't be happier. Now it's on to round two and my confidence is definitely increasing with each race."

The Kawasaki Supersport overall was taken out by Cube Racing ZX-6R rider Tom Toparis, winning all three races to lead the series, while teammate Oli Bayliss put forward a number of impressive rides in Supersport 300 to claim the round win.

Round two of the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) will be hosted at Wakefield Park in New South Wales between 16-18 March. Visit www.asbk.com.au for further information on the series.



2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) Superbike class leader board - Rnd 1:

1Bryan STARING (WA)Kawasaki017182560
2Josh WATERS (VIC)Suzuki118202059
3Troy HERFOSS (QLD)Honda025171759
4Troy BAYLISS (QLD)Ducati020161551
5Daniel FALZON (SA)Yamaha016151647
6Wayne MAXWELL (VIC)Yamaha00251843
7Michael BLAIR (NSW)Yamaha013141441
8Matt WALTERS (NSW)Kawasaki012131237
9Aaron MORRIS (NSW)Yamaha015111137
10Alex PHILLIS (VIC)Suzuki01410731
11Glenn ALLERTON (NSW)BMW00121325
12Mark CHIODO (VIC)Suzuki01101021
13Mitchell REES (NZ)Honda078520
14Aaiden COOTE (VIC)Kawasaki0105318
15Corey TURNER (QLD)Suzuki090817
16Ted COLLINS (VIC)BMW069015
17Mitchell LEVY (NSW)Yamaha007411
18Kyle BUCKLEY (QLD)Kawasaki046111
19Michael JONES (QLD)Kawasaki00099
20Callum SPRIGGS (QLD)Kawasaki00268
21William STRUGNELL (SA)Kawasaki05128
22Arthur SISSIS (SA)Suzuki08008
23Mason COOTE (VIC)Kawasaki03407
24Lucas VITALE (NSW)Kawasaki02305
25Bradley SWALLOW (NSW)Kawasaki01001


2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) Supersport class leader board - Rnd 1:

1Tom TOPARIS (QLD)025252575
2Cru HALLIDAY (NSW)020202060
3Broc PEARSON (QLD)116171650
4Damon REES (NZ)013161544
5Zackary JOHNSON (VIC)010151742
6Rhys BELLING (VIC)011141338
7Nic LIMINTON (SA)00181836
8Aidan HAYES (QLD)01281232
9Giuseppe SCARCELLA (NSW)01701431
10Scott NICHOLSON (VIC)01412531
11Dallas SKEER (SA)08111029
12Brendan CLARKE (QLD)01513028
13Luke MITCHELL (NSW)0710825
14Matt BARTON (VIC)069924
15Thomas BRYDEN (NSW)057618
16Max CROKER (NSW)0180018
17Jack PASSFIELD (NSW)090716
18Ryan TAYLOR (VIC)0401115
19Scott CHAPMAN (NSW)006410
20Steve HASLAM (NSW)03003


2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) Supersport 300 class leader board - Rnd 1:

1Oliver BAYLISS (QLD)Kawasaki025202570
2Tom BRAMICH (VIC)Yamaha017251860
3Locky TAYLOR (QLD)Yamaha018172055
4Harry KHOURI (NSW)Yamaha120181554
5Zac LEVY (QLD)Yamaha015161647
6Jarred BROOK (QLD)KTM013151442
7Hunter FORD (NSW)Yamaha01671740
8Ben BRAMICH (VIC)KTM012141339
9Corey BRIFFA (NSW)KTM07131232
10Max STAUFFER (NSW)Yamaha0861125
11Luke POWER (VIC)Kawasaki0109625
12Laura BROWN (NSW)Yamaha01110223
13Callum O'BRIEN (WA)Yamaha0012921
14Seth CRUMP (QLD)KTM0140519
15Dylan WHITESIDE (VIC)Kawasaki0611017
16Benjamin BAKER (NSW)Kawasaki098017
17Tayla RELPH (QLD)Yamaha053816
18John LYTRAS (QLD)Yamaha0201012
19Troy RYAN (NSW)Yamaha005712
20Travis HALL (QLD)Kawasaki04037
21Ross BEAMES (QLD)Yamaha03216
22Mitch KUHNE (QLD)Yamaha00044
23Peter NERLICH (VIC)Kawasaki00404
24Boyd HOCKING (VIC)KTM00101
25Andrew EDSER (NSW)Kawasaki01001
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