Penrite Honda Racing press release:
Penrite Honda Racing will enter the mid-stages of the 2019 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) in a positive frame of mind as defending champion Troy Herfoss and teammate Mark Chiodo aim to capitalise on this portion of the season.
Round four will be held at Morgan Park Raceway, Queensland, this weekend between 5-7 July, which was a pivotal round for Herfoss on his way to the crown one year ago when he took pole position and both race wins for a commanding overall victory aboard the ER Motorsport-prepared CBR1000RR SP Fireblade.
Herfoss managed to finish in fifth position back in April at The Bend Motorsport Park, now fourth in the point standings. He is currently 18 points from the series lead following three of seven rounds.
A recent trip to Japan for Suzuka 8 Hours testing has secured the 32-year-old a seat with Moriwaki Racing in the annual endurance classic, which comes as a further boost at this point of the year. He also experienced a positive shakedown at Morgan Park late last month.
“It’s been a long break between rounds and I’ve been off the bike for a long time, but I’m hoping it will be business as usual,” Herfoss said. “The bike is set-up well and we were competitive in race three at Tailem Bend, so although I haven’t ridden a lot, I feel good heading into this weekend.
“This stage of the year is when you will start to see the guys who are going to potentially win the championship will establish themselves further. It’s definitely a really important time and I’m happy that I am within striking distance. If I was to come out of this weekend like last year, it’d only take my main opponents to have a couple of third or fourth-place finishes and I would almost be in the lead – it’s so close that it is almost anybody’s at the moment.
“We did a track day at Morgan Park, which was really brief, and then I got a last-minute invite to go and test the Moriwaki Racing bike at Suzuka. I didn’t get a lot of time riding in Japan either – about 17 laps over two days – but it went well and I was able to secure the ride over there. I’m looking forward to getting back over there straight after Morgan Park.”
For teammate Chiodo, after finishing an inspiring seventh overall last time out in South Australia, highlighted by scoring fourth in race one, he is carrying added confidence into round four. The young Victorian is currently ranked 10th in the championship standings and will be aiming to climb the order during the season’s middle stages.
“We had a good round at The Bend in terms of speed and also a good race result, but I still want to deliver a full weekend of strong finishes,” Chiodo commented. “The test that we did at Morgan Park a week or two ago was good, so hopefully that will translate into a strong qualifying result and race results as well.
“The start of the year was tough since it was a new bike and team for me, so it was nice at round three to show what I can do. This track is one that I’ve been kind of quick at in the past, although last year was a struggle aside from achieving my best qualifying result – it’s a really physical layout.
“This year, following that good test we had where I went quicker than last year straight away, I feel confident and it’s positive to make a step forward. If we can keep improving together we will be in a good position to get strong results on Sunday.”
The Superbike class will be on track for three 30-minute free practice sessions on Friday, followed by timed practice and qualifying to determine the grid across Saturday. Sunday’s action will feature a pair of 16-lap premier class races.