News 26 Feb 2022

'It's easier now to compare directly to our competition' - Herfoss

Current champion Maxwell surprised at rival's Pirelli switch

Image: Foremost Media.

Following a late switch to Pirelli for the 2022 season, Penrite Honda’s Troy Herfoss has cited that ‘it’s easier now to compare directly to our competition’ as a primary reason for the move.

Herfoss was the leading rider for Michelin throughout 2020 and 2021, however, suffered a heavy fall in Darwin last year on the opening lap of race two and has since been looking to claw his way back to the front.

“It was a hard decision and it’s not the answer,” Herfoss conceded on his 11th-hour transfer from Michelin to Pirelli. “All the question marks over my fitness… it’s easier now for us to compare directly to our competition.

“The reality is, a lot of people tried Michelin and I was the only person that was able to succeed on the tyre. We were struggling after the crash, but you know what, I’m struggling today as well [in Friday practice at round one].

“Like I said, the tyre is not the answer, but it is one less variable for us at the moment and I’m really sorry for the way it worked out. I really enjoyed being the Michelin guy, but we have to move on now and do what we can with the tyre that we are on.”

Current Australian Superbike champion Wayne Maxwell – Herfoss’ ‘arch rival’ – was admittedly a little surprised by the switch, referencing Pirelli as the best tyre in the field, which he has led to a pair of ASBK crowns in recent seasons.

“Obviously it’s a big move, I mean Michelin and Doug and the guys at Gas Imports were well invested and well committed to the cause, but Troy’s obviously been successful and led their campaign,” Maxwell told CycleOnline.

“They’ve proved to be able to win, almost every weekend they have been out on the bike they are fast, so its a very funny one. I don’t know what Troy has been through in the background or whether haven’t agreed to what they have done in the contract – there are so many variables.

“It was a bit of a shock as I thought it was all good there, but I guess Michelin can be good at times in different areas. The Pirelli overall is the best tyre and I guess that’s why we have chosen to stick with Pirelli over the years.”

Herfoss finished Friday’s practice at the opening round in 12th position on combined times, with qualifying taking place today at Phillip Island ahead of tomorrow’s two 12-lap season-opening races.