Features 24 Feb 2022

Input: ASBK expectations

Selection of contenders outline thoughts ahead of 2022 opener.

Just one sleep remains until the 2022 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship commences at Phillip Island, where some key contenders have switched colours, new talent can emerge and proven champions aim to add another title to their collection. A group of Superbike hopefuls share their expectations ahead of the season-opening round in this Input feature.

Image: Foremost Media.

Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing):
I want to qualify in the top six and finish in the top five. I think I’m entering in normal [physical] shape really, I’ve gone through testing in a very cautious way to ensure that I get to the first round ready to hit the go button, and now I’m ready to hit the go button. We went down and did another two days [at Phillip Island], I didn’t break any records or anything but I just went through the motions and got more time on the bike. I just wanted to make sure I left there slowly building confidence, and with no setbacks heading into round one. I think I celebrated six months from the second hip operation yesterday, and I’m on the road to recovery.

Lachlan Epis (BMW Alliance Racing): 
The goal is absolutely no mistakes, finish all four races [of the opening two rounds] and hopefully finish them all on the box. I think that is a realistic goal, and once we get deeper into the season we can start worrying about what the championship looks like. For me, the goal is to come out at Phillip Island with podium results then go to Queensland Raceway and if we can transfer the form we had at the test we should be fighting for race wins.

Wayne Maxwell (McMartin Racing Ducati):
Our goals and expectations are that we want to win, that’s what we want to do. We’ve put in so much hard work, I think we are in a good position to try and get some reward from it, but it is racing motorbikes and things change quickly, so we have to be smart, not too cocky, keep putting in the hard work and hopefully we can continue our winning ways.

Image: Foremost Media.

Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team):
My goal going into the weekend is to win, that’s the purpose of me being there. I feel like I’m in a position where I can achieve that. I mean the goal is to always line up and take pole position, two race wins, and the overall round win. Obviously, there are a variety of other circumstances that can affect those results, but at the very least it’s the ability to challenge for the win in every race and whatever the result is after that is what it will be.

Bryan Staring (Desmosport Ducati):
I feel like I have a lot of potential to do well this weekend. I’m excited about being back on the racetrack and I’m looking forward to some serious competition again. Looking forward to hard racing, all the preparation is about racing, being away with the team. I definitely see myself as the underdog going into it, I’m not the one with all the runs on the board recently so I’m not expecting too much spotlight on me. Just take it as it comes.

Arthur Sissis (Unitech Racing Yamaha):
I would like to be first Yamaha, that would be my goal. Maxwell on the Ducati is going to be hard to beat, he was flying, and I think Bryan [Staring] will be fast on the Ducati. To be first Yamaha would be good, and a reasonable target I believe.