NEED FOR SPEED: Maclean superbike rider Luke Mitchell competes at Winton. Photo: Ray Oxford
NEED FOR SPEED: Maclean superbike rider Luke Mitchell competes at Winton. Photo: Ray Oxford

Mitchell makes move in Superbike Championship

MACLEAN Super Sport 600 rider Luke Mitchell has extended his lead in his class of the 2014 Australasian Superbike Championship.

The 17-year-old rider leads the way in the D-grade championship after a consistent showing in the fourth round of the YMI Formula Extreme Superbike Championship and the Australasian Superbike Championship in Victoria last week.

The Yamaha Racing Development team rider finished fifth overall at the Winton layout to increase his lead in the D-grade championship race and to be ninth in the overall standings.

Mitchell was among the most consistent performers at the weekend despite the challenging conditions.

Practice and qualifying on the Friday proved a real test for the riders with a maximum temperatures of around five degrees combined with some wild storms.

When Mitchell lined up for qualifying the temperature had dropped to one degree, the track was already partly wet and rain clouds were threatening.

Mitchell opted to run wet tyres for the session but several other riders chose dry tyres and posted good times before the deluge hit. Despite his choice of tyres Mitchell managed to qualify in seventh place for the opening race on Saturday.

Mitchell finished with two fifth-place finishes and a seventh on the Saturday to finish first in D Grade and fifth overall.

Mitchell continued his solid showing on Sunday, avoiding the carnage on the first turn in the opening race to finish fifth. He backed that up with a sixth-place finish in race two.

The quick turnaround between races took a toll in the third race.

Although aware his tyres were fading, Mitchell was unable to change them in time for the start and had to nurse his machine around the track but held on to finish seventh.

Yamaha rider Aaron Morris claimed the overall win at Winton to lead the Supersport championship rankings from Aiden Wagner.

There are just two rounds of the championship remaining.

Round Five of the series will be held at Wakefield Park, Goulburn on September 12-14.

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