News 29 Apr 2023

Jones 'not surprised' by Herfoss Queensland pace

Yamaha Racing Team rider fourth in this morning's practice.

Image: Foremost Media.

Yamaha Racing Team’s Mike Jones is ‘not surprised’ by the record-setting pace of Troy Herfoss at Queensland Raceway, with the reigning Mi-Bike Australian Superbike champion looking to secure a front-row starting position in this afternoon’s qualifying.

Herfoss has been on fire so far this weekend at Queensland Raceway, and after topping Friday’s practice the number 17 went quicker in this morning’s session with a new ASBK best lap of 1m07.587s.

Meanwhile, Jones was fourth fastest in this morning’s practice session with a 1m07.938s, admittedly chasing a few tenths ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying. He set the qualifying record at the circuit last year with a 1m07.673s.

“The thing is, we just work through the normal process,” Jones said to “Leading into this round, we’ve probably had a few little hiccups that have sort of thrown everything out a little bit.

“Overall this weekend, we are just working through a few little set-up changes, trying to extract the most out of the bike that we possibly can. To see [Troy] Herfoss going at the speed that he is going at, I’m not surprised. It sort of just shows what the potential is of the circuit.

“Leading into qualifying, we are still looking for the next few tenths that we can gain, but ultimately you turn up and give every session 100 percent and that’s all you can do, you can’t do anything more than that.”

Jones was dominant last year at the venue and took pole position along with two race wins. He started his title defence with P2 overall at Phillip Island and delivered solid form in Sydney to line up second on the grid, just 0.049s from teammate Cru Halliday on pole.

Disaster struck, however, on lap 10 of race one when a mechanical issue forced him out of the race, with his primary race bike ultimately catching and remaining on fire for an extended period.

In what was looking like a near-certain third-place finish before the issue, Jones was excluded from the results as the cause of the red flag and finished 10th in the tricky race two conditions in Sydney.

Jones is currently eighth in the 2023 Mi-Bike Superbike Championship standings ahead of qualifying this afternoon at Queensland Raceway, set to commence at 2:45 pm local time.