News 12 Sep 2017

Defending champion Herfoss welcomes ASBK title showdown

Crankt Protein Honda Racing rider leads by six points following Sydney.

Image: Keith Muir.

Defending YMF Australian Superbike champion Troy Herfoss will carry a slim six-point advantage into Phillip Island’s finals next month after salvaging second overall at Sydney Motorsport Park on Sunday.

The supremely-focused multi-time national champion – who is one of very few full-time professionals racing domestically – encountered a troublesome Friday and Saturday in Sydney, but managed to turn things around in time for race one.

With the Motologic-operated Crankt Protein Honda Racing organisation set to close at the end of the season, delivering team principal Paul Free one last title will be paramount for Herfoss, who managed to cross the line with 2-3 results on Sunday following a pair of heated battles for position. Now, he faces a showdown for the crown with ex-Suzuki teammate Josh Waters.

“This season’s been crazy,” Herfoss told “At tracks where you’d assume somebody would do good things have happened to them – to me and other riders – and this weekend for us has been really hard set-up wise. We were way off the pace until race one and even in warm-up I was so slow… I wasn’t just riding around, I was trying to have a go.

“Anyway, we got the job done as good as possible. It would have been nice to get away with the leaders in both races, but aside from that Josh was really strong. He’s a guy I’ve raced against the most from our junior years and it’s kind of good to go to Phillip Island to race against him for a championship – it’d be nice to get one on him if I can!

“It goes down to the old saying that championships are won on your bad days. Morgan Park was a bad day, but it was a mistake on my part whereas this could have been a bad weekend from legitimately being so far off the pace. It’s a credit to the team because they have so much confidence in their decisions and we went out it race one with a completely different bike. I trust them and it’s all going to help at Phillip Island.”

Herfoss has built a reputation for aggression aboard his CBR1000RR, maximising any strengths in agility and charging for every point within reach. It’s been a tactic of his all along to ensure he gives himself the best possible opportunity for the decider at Phillip Island on 6-8 October. Last year he trailed Yamaha’s Maxwell by seven points into Winton’s final round and came out as champion.

“The only championships I’ve won on the Superbike have been pretty tight battles, so I know that every point is valuable,” he continued. “It’s as simple as that and it’s going to be like that to the end. When the bike’s working great, I really feel like I can put it anywhere, so we need to make sure I can go to Phillip Island ready to fight on every lap and every corner.”

With the latest SP2 still in its early stages of development, Honda will take a lot out of what was gained in Sydney and will apply that experience when lining up at Phillip Island. It’s not been the strongest of circuits on the schedule for Herfoss, however he knows he will be in the mix to challenge for victory when it counts.

“I really want to build on what we’ve learned this weekend and we’ve made some changes that are definitely suiting the faster tracks,” explained Herfoss, who is expected to remain Honda-mounted in 2018. “I’m confident we can go to Phillip Island now and actually be pretty fast. If we had of gone to Phillip Island with the bike we started this weekend with, the problems would’ve been the same, if not worse. It’s a lot more stable now.

“We need to make another step at Phillip Island. It’s a track that I have won races there, but it’s not a track that I can go to knowing 100 percent that I’m going to be the dominant rider. I also know that when the flag drops for the races we’ll be there and so will both Josh and Wayne [Maxwell]. I’d like to say I’m getting used to these close battles, but going into the finale with a six-point lead is extremely stressful.”