News 16 Nov 2010

ASBK: Suzuki’s Tainton believes Herfoss can go all the way

Team Suzuki manager Phil Tainton believes that new Australian Supersport Champion Troy Herfoss has what it takes to go all the way after claiming the 2010 title in just his second season of road racing.

Team Suzuki's Phil Tainton is proud of the team's new Supersport champion Troy Herfoss. Image: TBG Sport/Andrew Gosling.

Team Suzuki's Phil Tainton is proud of the team's new Supersport champion Troy Herfoss. Image: TBG Sport/Andrew Gosling.

Team Suzuki manager Phil Tainton believes that new Australian Supersport Champion Troy Herfoss has what it takes to go all the way after claiming the 2010 title in just his second season of road racing.

Tainton has been a mainstay in Australian road racing and has won championships in the Superbike ranks with the likes of Peter Goddard, Shawn Giles, Craig Coxhell and Josh Waters in the past, and he says that Herfoss is talented enough to make his mark on the premier class too – potentially as soon as 2011.

“It’s certainly been impressive the way that he’s learnt the bike, learnt the tracks and learnt the discipline so fast, and I believe that he’ll pick up the Superbike very fast,” Tainton commented on the ex-Supermoto star’s rapid rise to the top.

“I think the first quarter of the year will be a bit of a learning curve for him, but the way that he learns so fast, I’d say he’ll be on the pace.”

After clinching the Supersport crown in dominant fashion at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on Saturday with a race victory in the dry, Herfoss then proved his metal in the wet on Sunday to snatch his seventh win in 12 championship races contested this season.

Tainton says his race victory in the wet was impressive considering his minimal experience in the wet conditions on a GSX-R600, crediting his Supermoto background.

“He learns incredibly fast and I think that comes from his Supermoto background that he had previously won over in the States,” Tainton continued. “He’s got good balance and that really helps, in all conditions.”

Herfoss, who is a 23-year-old former Australian and American AMA Supermoto Champion, has aspirations to eventually go overseas in road racing, and Tainton says it’s a definite possibility for him in the future.

“At team Suzuki our goal is to ultimately make a career path for these guys,” he explained. “With the younger guys we want to put them on the 600 for a couple of years, then give them a couple of years on the Superbike and then work to try and get them an international ride overseas.

“The same program applies for both Troy and also Josh, trying to get them overseas, and I’ve spoken to Troy about that. I have that much confidence in them to say that one of those riders – possibly both – will be a world champion one day.”

With Herfoss getting permission to run the number one plate on Sunday, the weekend marked the first time in 14 years that Suzuki has had the number one plate on both its Superbike and Supersport bikes at the same time thanks to Herfoss and 2009 ASBK Champion Waters.

Suzuki Australia general manager Perry Morrison acknowledged the feat of both Herfoss and the Phil Tainton Racing-operated team.

“Congratulations to Troy. He is a champion rider and it’s a pleasure to see him take the Suzuki GSX-R600 to Team Suzuki’s first ever Supersport title,” Morrison commented.

“I’d like to pay tribute to Phil, who runs the most professional road racing squad in the country. He has mentored many riders over the years and he and Lynne thoroughly deserve this championship.”

It’s expected Herfoss will climb up to the Superbike ranks for 2011, with Josh Waters’ brother Brodie in line for the championship-winning Supersport seat.

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