News 30 Nov 2022

Return to the top step sets Herfoss up for 2023 challenge

Race one at The Bend 'like old times' for former ASBK champion.

Image: Foremost Media.

A hard-fought return to the top step in race one at The Bend provides a foundation for former champion Troy Herfoss to launch a challenge on the 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

This year in many respects was a season of rebuilding for Herfoss following serious injuries sustained at Hidden Valley in 2021.

The Penrite Honda Racing rider made switch back to Pirelli rubber at Phillip Island’s round one of the 2022 season, notching an 11-13 scorecard at the event. Improvement across the following rounds was highlighted at round four in Darwin, returning to the podium one year after his near career-ending crash at the venue.

Herfoss showed promise at the final round of the 2022 season, leading FP1 and timed practice before a tyre choice in Q2 left him to start from the third row of the grid.

That didn’t stop the charge of the CBR rider, with the number 17 storming to victory in the re-started race one, ultimately overcoming longtime on-track rival Wayne Maxwell (Boost Mobile Ducati with K-Tech).

“It was a big day for us wasn’t it, we started off well and had a good warm-up,” Herfoss recalled. “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.

“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, tough to start from the 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 [Jones] 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 2 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.”

The final lap crash in race two ultimately ruled Herfoss out of overall contention at round seven, but nonetheless, South Australia demonstrated that he still has what it takes to win, a positive result ahead of next season which is set open on 24-26 February at Phillip Island.