News 23 Feb 2018

Wildcard Herfoss to 'keep fighting' in WorldSBK appearance

Top local currently 19th on combined times following Friday practice.

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Penrite Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss has vowed to put in maximum effort in a bid to showcase his strengths as a wildcard in the Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) opener.

Riding an CBR1000RR SP2 that’s higher in specification than his usual Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) bike, it’s still far less advanced than the top WorldSBK contenders.

However the gritty 31-year-old and his ER Motorsports-operated factory Honda team are determined to fight-on in qualifying and into the opening race of 2018 tomorrow at Phillip Island, confident he will improve further when the lights go out.

“It was a tough a few sessions,” Herfoss said of Friday’s mixed conditions. “It rained in the first session so we opted to sit it out and save a tyre sticker, but we had good crack in the second and third session. We didn’t quite get the best lap out of the tyre, but I posted some of the best laps four or five laps into the run.

“In the third session we unfortunately had a hose-clamp break and had to stop when I went out with the new tyre, so I definitely feel like I can go a little bit faster. The top 12 to get into Superpole 2 is going to be really hard, however the team and I will keep fighting all the way. I think I’ll be able to race better than what I qualify.”

Herfoss was top of the domestic regulars in 19th on combined times after lodging a 1m32.683s in FP2, but is still near four-tenths from his time set in the test earlier this week. Unlike the Yamaha Racing Team of Wayne Maxwell and Daniel Falzon, Penrite Honda is in search of the best possible result rather than using it as an ASBK test.

The 2016 ASBK champion will start out of fifth in the round’s trio of 12-lap national races, confident he can deliver Penrite Honda a front-running debut under the ownership of ex-racer Deon Coote from this season.