Motorsport: Kiwi polesitter Matt Payne crashes out of Melbourne SuperSprint amid angry words

Kiwi Supercars ace Matt Payne and rival Cam Waters have exchanged angry words, after crashing out of the Melbourne SuperSprint.

After earning the maiden pole of his career, as fastest in qualifying for the season's fifth race, Payne, 21, was well placed for his second victory, after winning at Adelaide to end the 2023 championship.

He got off to a slow start and lost his advantage to second qualifier Waters, but drove aggressively to retake the lead on the second lap, before the pair came together two turns later.

Matt Payne in action at Melbourne.
Matt Payne in action at Melbourne. Photo credit: Getty Images

"He had a pretty cool pass on me at [Turn] 11, and I was going to try and get him back at 12," reflected Waters. "It didn't happen and, at 13, he just checked it up, and I got in the back of him and got under him.

"I was just trying to set him up for the last corner, and he's just come across and I was beside him.

"I don't know if he didn't see I was there, but if he didn't know I was there, it's pretty bad spatial awareness... really, really bad."

Driving a brand-new car, Waters was clearly not impressed with having it nudged off course and walked across the track to make his feelings known to Payne.

"Just was trying to open up the last corner to give myself the best opportunity to get a good run onto the straight and he was there," insisted Payne. "I didn't even know he was there, so it's unfortunate.

"We were in a really good position to win the race, so it's disappointing, but that's what it is. You're always going to have races like this, where it's unfortunate you have an incident."

After two podium finishes over previous days, this result drops Payne from third to seventh in championship standings. Broc Feeney won the race, ahead of Red Bull Ampol teammate and championship leader Will Brown.

Payne and Waters will resume their rivalry on Sunday, when Waters starts at two on the grid and Payne three.