Interviews 26 Mar 2019

Debrief: Troy Herfoss

Wakefield Park ASBK winner on his performance at round two.

Following an uncharacteristic showing at Phillip Island’s opener, reigning champion Troy Herfoss returned to fine form at Wakefield Park’s second round of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), taking out race wins both encounters to secure the overall, and most importantly, promote himself the points rankings. CycleOnline.com.au tracked down the Penrite Honda Racing talent to gather his thoughts on a triumphant weekend.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Four round wins in a row here at Wakefield Park – you did the double this weekend, clawed back points in the championship and got the overall. It’s an awesome result…

Today was so, so much fun. It was a really competitive lead-up to this round – there was a bit of unofficial testing happening and a lot of shots fired between riders of who’s doing what – it made it really exciting leading into the weekend, and then everything was confirmed on Friday when there were five, six, seven guys going really quick. The new qualifying format this weekend with Q2 being really short made it quite intense and I really enjoyed it doing a PB lap of 57.1s for third on the grid. I knew it was going to be a tough two races, but I knew I was the only one who had done a long-run on the race tyre. It was a really solid pace at the start of race one, but thankfully I was able to make a few passes throughout race and pulled a bit of gap towards the end. I’m sorry to see a rider go down in race two and see the race stopped halfway, but for me it was so much fun to get out front, get a hole-shot and put my head down. It was cool to see that lap-record pace one lap after the other – I was in for a tight battle with Cru because it was 2-3 tenths between us all race long, and I know he’s a fighter, so I was keen for the battle at the end.

It looked like once you got that opening race win, you almost took some extra belief into that second one and ended up controlling it…

Yeah, definitely. I hunted the hole-shot in race two – in race one I didn’t want to lead – if I got the lead, I would’ve taken it, but I really wanted to see where I was faster or slower than the guys that I’ve been competing with. In qualifying, you’re obviously not showing your competitors where you’re going fast or slow. In race two I knew I had pace, and I felt my pace was good enough to keep my competitors on their limit. Cru’s a bit of an unknown – I feel he would’ve passed me if he had the chance, but then again, he was there, so we’ll have to wait and see. He’s definitely showed that he’s matured after a year on the 600, and he’s a definite title threat – you can’t count him out. I need to make sure we’re on the top of our game at The Bend.

Image: Foremost Media.

They say winning a title is hard, but defending it is possibly harder. Is it relief of sorts after Phillip Island to come out, grab the double-victory and a win a round with the number one plate?

Yeah, it’s a massive relief. I’m glad no one picked up that I hadn’t led a session since qualifying at Winton last year – I won a race in race one – but I hadn’t led a session, won a race or even score a podium since. That was starting to play on my mind a little bit, so it was good to win here today with the number one plate and put in not a dominating race weekend, but I definitely earned both victories and feel I deserve them. I’ve had some bad-luck with the number one plate in the past.

Coming up next is The Bend, one of many rounds that you won last year. What are your thoughts going into that one?

Tailem Bend is tough – you can lose the race from bike set-up and tyre wear. It’s really important there to have a good bike over race distance, and I feel as though Cru especially and Wayne too, that they have really good one-lap speed – Wayne has always had that, and this weekend was very hard to not look at their one-lap speed and stay on my sort of focus, which was race runs. I think at Tailem Bend, that’s going to favour me I hope. Our bike is better over a race run, and maybe better over a race distance than in qualifying. But, you need to qualify on the front row, so it will be tough.

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