Features 30 Nov 2022

Quotebook: 2022 ASBK Rd7 The Bend

Assorted racer comments following the seventh round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the seventh round of the 2022 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at The Bend.


Image: Supplied.

Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) – Fourth:
I felt like I was riding good all weekend and the bike was in great shape, but I turned a front-row grid position into a mid-pack start in both races and left to chase for the next 11 laps. With the field as fast as they are now, no one can afford to give anyone a head start, so I just made it too hard on myself. Congratulations to Mike on his championship and a great result for Yamaha. The team deserve that success as they continue to work so hard behind the scenes each and every week.

Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team) – First (champion):
I’m elated. I didn’t want just to win the championship, I wanted to do it the right way so after race one, it was time to send it. The team did a great job on the bike and as the laps went on, the better the bike felt. To see the guys climbing the pit wall as I went over the finish line was awesome as they got the chance to experience what I was feeling. We are a tight team and Dyllan, Joel and Kev work so hard. I didn’t even realise at that stage I had won the day. I knew a 1-6 would put me on the podium but I didn’t think it would get the win until I got back to the podium and the boys told me. So, I didn’t get the pole, 1-1 goal but I was pretty close and it feels amazing to win the championship, not just for myself, but for Yamaha. A huge thank you to everyone in the Yamaha Racing Team and the environment the team has created for me. When you change teams, you ae never sure how it’s going to pan out, but the team have been sensational and I hope they feel they are as much a part of this championship as me. My family who have continued to support and encourage me over the years, my partner Chrissie and so many others behind the scenes. This one just feels good.

Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) – Eighth:
It was a big day for us wasn’t it, we started off well and had a good warm-up. Race one starting from the third row was hard but I could tell at the start of the race that I felt good on the bike and comfortable, it was like old times. I got a bit nervous there at the end as I was coming to the realisation that I was racing for the win. With laps to go, I almost pulled the pin and went for the lead but I thought don’t be impatient, then I hit the front with a lap to go and more of a relief to be honest as it’s been a long year, it was a bit emotional at Hidden Valley with the podium but since then we’ve all been waiting for a podium so it was great to take the win. Race two, was tough to start from third row of the grid but realised in the race that I had the pace to get to the front, and I didn’t give up. When Mike hit the front, with two laps to go, he was as strong as I was and I was still half a second off him and he just stayed in front of me and I didn’t give up and it cost us a podium as I ended up coming down. I wasn’t part of a championship fight, I was here for two race wins so it’s a bit out of character for me but we’ve shown we are strong and now we look forward to 2023.

Senna Agius (Penrite Honda Racing) – 10th:
We had a bit of a technical problem on the race start for race 1, partly my fault and the lights were held on for longer than usual and I had overheated the clutch, obviously that ended our race. We tried to go again after the re-start but I only made it around the next sector, and had to come back in so race 1 was cut short. I’m so happy [following race two]! I had a really great start and I was following Jack Miller for the first few laps. Then Troy [Herfoss], Mike [Jones] and Glenn [Allerton] passed me and I lost them a bit initially so I thought okay I need to try my best to hang on and I found myself staying with them. I ended up doing my fastest lap of the race to catch them and hold onto fifth place. It was unfortunate to see Glenn and Troy crash who were in second and third, it’s never good to see but I am very happy that after that I moved into second and held on to the end of the race. To get second for the team and my first superbike podium is really rewarding.

Glenn Allerton (Next Gen Motorsports BMW) – Seventh:
It was a competitive showing for our team to finish the year, a podium in race one showed our real pace and the bike was improved for race two. Unfortunately a crash on the last lap was a deflating way to end to the weekend. Big thank you to the whole team Shane, Megan, George, Trevor, Scotty, Adrian, Mick and the two fly-in technicians Devis and Robin. Big appreciation to our partners that support our team, thank you.

Sloan Frost (Next Gen Motorsports BMW) – 21-21:
Overall another memorable weekend, in what was most likely my last time that I’ll have the opportunity to race internationally so I was keen to learn as much as I could from the special guests Robin and Devis. My goals for the weekend were as per normal, have a good time, ride as fast as I can and bring the bike back in one piece! It was a little frustrating for me this weekend as we had such changeable conditions. Much like Phillip Island the conditions made it tricky to find a setup with the bike that gives the confidence to ride to my ability. Obviously, Glenn is riding the bike extremely fast so Glenn the bike and tyres are capable, but getting up to his speeds where everything is working together needs to be taken one step at a time for me. As much as I felt a little deflated with my speed, I kept pushing for faster times, setting my best lap at the very end of the final race. It’s been an absolute pleasure being involved, all the crew gave 110% of their efforts regardless of my performance.

Bryan Staring (DesmoSport Ducati) – 18th:
We’ve left something on the table this year that’s for sure, but I’m incredibly proud to walk away with third in the championship. This weekend clearly didn’t go to plan, and although we put ourselves ultimately in a more dangerous position on track being so far back on the grid, I’m disappointed to not get the chance to race for a better finish to the season. I can’t thank Ben [Henry], Troy [Bayliss], the entire DesmoSport Ducati team, our partners and supporters for getting behind us this year and allowing us to compete for the championship amongst some incredible riders. It really has been a privilege for me to join DesmoSport this year and not only race with a group of people that I already considered friends, but to join what can only be described as the Ducati family.

Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati) – 11th (rookie of the year):
I’m happy to take rookie of the year in the ASBK this year, especially when you consider that I wasn’t able to race at all the rounds, but this weekend just wasn’t a great way to finish the season on track. I tested well at The Bend and with the improvements found at Phillip Island, we were set to have a strong weekend but it just wasn’t to be. The team worked hard to turn a corner, but trying to move forward through a fast field was difficult and I spent just as much time trying to avoid trouble as I did making good passes. I know I’m capable of more and I hope I have an opportunity to prove that in 2023.