Defending champion third overall in drama-packed Winton ASBK encounter.
Reigning champion Troy Herfoss believes race two shouldn’t have been called off yesterday afternoon at Winton’s fifth round of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), the Penrite Honda Racing rider stating the decision to abort the outing that had already been declared wet ‘didn’t make sense’.
Race two was initially reduced to 10 laps after two restarts due incidents at turn two – the first claiming Mark Chiodo (Penrite Honda Racing) in a nasty high-side that also saw Kyle Buckley (Kawasaki BCperformance) crash heavily, while the restart saw Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team) and Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki) crash separately at the same turn.
Officials declared a wet race upon the second restart, although the field of riders remained on slicks. Worsening conditions just four laps in prompted the encounter to be called off completely, just as Herfoss passed both Mike Jones (DesmoSport Ducati) and Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia) for the lead.
However, only positions held on the previous lap counted towards the race result with just half points paying, crediting Jones the win over Maxwell and Herfoss, which added to the New South Welshman’s frustration.
“It was a good race day, although obviously starting from 12th it was difficult to move forward,” Herfoss explained. “The first race I had the pace to run with the front guys, but I think third place was our best result anyway. In race two there was a lot of carnage – they declared the race wet and then it rained and they called it off – it didn’t make sense, so I’m pretty disappointed about that.
“I understand the safety side of things because we’re on slick tyres, but when it’s a wet race, you’ve got a choice to run wet tyres or dry tyres, so to me, there was no reason to stop.
“To be fair, the next race was dry anyway. When the red flag came out I was in the lead and my lap-time before that was almost my fastest of the weekend. I hope the guys that crashed are alright, but now we move on to Phillip Island.
Herfoss suffered two major setbacks on Saturday when he crashed heavily in both free practice and qualifying, forcing him to start from P12 on the grid. He put on a heroic performance to earn a pair of thirds for third overall. He’s currently ranked fourth in the championship standings.