News 6 Feb 2023

All of the boxes 'ticked' for Honda's Herfoss at SMSP test

Fireblade contender confident ahead of Phillip Island's opening round.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Penrite Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss ‘ticked all of the boxes’ at the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship pre-season test and enters the upcoming season confident he can challenge for the title from the onset.

Herfoss commenced the official pre-season proceedings at Sydney Motorsport Park by topping the opening session – the first on the new surface between turns five and six, also nine through to 12.

The number 17 ultimately finished the two-day test fourth quickest with the overall feeling positive ahead of the season-opening round at Phillip Island on 24-26 February.

“We ticked all of the boxes really,” Herfoss explained to CycleOnline. “Out of the top few guys, I was the only one who hadn’t done any of the night racing or anything – I think I had one day there riding in the last three years.

“I was fastest in the first session, and I finished the night… as far as a night program I was really happy, I finished off the last session with a really good pace, and I think I was only a tenth and a half, two-tenths off the lead, really happy. The second day we sort of just played around with a few things and collected a bit of data, it was a perfect test really, perfect start to the year.”

Last year in many respects was a rebuilding year for Herfoss following serious injuries sustained at Hidden Valley in 2021, however, he was able to conclude the season on a high with victory in race one at The Bend. He now feels he is in a position to challenge once more from the onset, eyeing his third premier class ASBK title in season 2023.

“I’d say I am in a very good position to challenge for the championship, as far as positions go it was the best first test that I have ever had,” Herfoss added. “The fastest lap of the test traditionally has no bearing on the year, like we saw last year. If we were going by the first test, then Wayne [Maxwell] probably would have won the first race [last year at Phillip Island] by 20 seconds.

“As far as the racing goes, no one really did anything outstanding over race length, or even on race duration on the tyres, so if we were to go and race on the first night, I would be very confident that we would have been challenging for the win.”