Penrite Honda Racing press release:
Penrite Honda Racing’s first competitive appearance in the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) resulted in a race win and third overall for Troy Herfoss in Phillip Island’s 2018 opening round between 22-25 February.
A gruelling week of action, which saw the ER Motorsport organisation operating Honda Motorcycles Australia’s factory team for the first time, featured Herfoss and the team in both the ASBK and Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) categories.
In the ASBK, after qualifying fifth on the grid in mixed conditions during Friday’s single session, Herfoss charged to a maiden victory in the opening 12-lap encounter on Saturday, which was stopped and restarted due to changeable weather in the area. Still, there was no denying the 2016 champion the first race honours of the year.
Sunday saw two more action-packed ASBK affairs on the schedule and, again, 31-year-old Herfoss was right in the mix, ultimately claiming fourth in both races to clinch the final place on the overall podium – just one point away from the round win and championship lead.
“It’s the best first round I’ve ever had at Phillip Island on the Superbike, being just one point out of the points lead,” Herfoss explained. “It wasn’t what we expected, but what we’d hoped for. The CBR1000RR is really strong in areas that will suit Wakefield in the next round, so we’re in a really good position.
“Racing both series this weekend was good for us, even though we were unable to finish the weekend in WorldSBK. For us we enjoyed it, understand what it takes a little more and I feel as though it lifted my level by being out there with the best Superbike riders in the world championship.”
Penrite Honda Racing and Herfoss also gained valuable milage in WorldSBK, putting in 100 percent in search of a strong result, however a DNF in the closing laps of Saturday’s first 22-lap encounter ruled him out of the weekend altogether. It was deemed a positive excursion though, with plans for a 2019 attempt already being considered.
“It couldn’t have been a better start for Penrite Honda Racing as a brand new team,” stated team manager Shaun Clarke. “We’ve put it together from scratch basically and everybody involved has done a great job, so the result that we’ve got comes from a few months of research and decisions that we’ve made along the way, including using K-Tech Suspension.
“Now we can get to work heading into Wakefield Park and push forward in the championship. Doing both series was a good thing for us, it was good for Troy and has helped him get up to speed quite quickly around Phillip Island. In the end we were possibly a little bit under-prepared, but we will learn from it and potentially do both classes next year.”
With Herfoss positioned third in the ASBK championship, one point from the lead in the standings, Penrite Honda Racing next travels to Wakefield Park, New South Wales, for round two of the series on 16-18 March. Originally from Goulburn, it’s a round that Herfoss has taken victory at during the past two seasons.