News 2 Jun 2022

Reunion with Free fits long-term Herfoss hopes

Honda rider showing promising pace at recent QR test.

Image: Foremost Media.

Penrite Honda’s Troy Herfoss will reunite with former crew chief Paul Free following his recent availability, the duo achieving a multitude of championship success together and a great fit longer-term and logistically.

Free was originally contracted to the newly formed 727 Moto team but was released from his duties as crew chief to Broc Pearson and team manager following the third round of the 2022 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship at Wakefield.

Meanwhile, multi-time Australian championship-winning team owner and crew chief Phil Tainton stepped in at the start of the season to help a struggling Troy Herfoss, greatly assisting the number 17 to make notable steps forward as each round progressed.

However, Tainton had limited time available with priorities and a business outside of a full-time racing commitment. Herfoss spoke very highly of Tainton and the impact he had not only with his feeling on the bike, but mentally, and was clear that he was not being booted or traded in.

“Honestly it had nothing to do with my performance, and trying to find a gain in my performance, the decision was based off how good Paul and I have got on in the previous seasons together,” Herfoss told

“The main reason was… Phil Tainton was doing me a huge favour by joining us at the start of the year, he really had limited time, but based on what he could see from me, he knew I needed a lot of help. So basically he was doing a huge favour, and he was taking away a lot from what he was doing with his business.

“When Paul became available, obviously looking more long term, I’ve worked with Paul a lot in the past and he’s still going to the races full time whereas Phil in the previous years has sort of stepped back a little bit.

“Like I said, he [Phil] was doing me a massive favour by joining this year, and I’m so happy with where he got me to. Not just with the bike, but Phil being such a well-rounded crew chief just mentally helping me get to where I need to be as well.”

Free and Herfoss experienced Australasian/FX Superbikes title success together in 2015 before backing that up with the ASBK crown in 2016, also achieving success in 2020 and 2021 in Penrite Honda before the 727 opportunity beckoned.

The duo joining forces once again also works well from a logistical standpoint, both based in Queensland which opens up further testing opportunities.

At a recent private outing at Queensland Raceway, Herfoss by all accounts was on the money and lapping very competitive compared to ASBK rivals in attendance, including Yamaha Racing Team and Desmosport Ducati.

“It was such a good test out there, it was just a day that Ben Henry had organised and we were lucky enough to have the track open for the day,” Herfoss added. “It was good for me to go and confirm that I didn’t have a result at Wakefield based on my knowledge of the track, everyone knows it’s a track that I do well at.

“It was just good to go to Queensland Raceway and see the improvement that I have made from round two at QR to round three at Wakefield, and another step forward at that test day we had. It felt really good to be competitive at being as fast as the top guys was really cool.”

Queensland Raceway has been often used as a testing ground for Hidden Valley, with some similarities drawn from the surface and set-up. Based on his recent testing form Herfoss could be right in contention when 2022 ASBK resumes in Darwin on 17-19 June 2022.