News 20 Sep 2023

'It didn't feel like I'd had an injury at Phillip Island' - Herfoss

Positive feelings for Penrite Honda Racing rider at VRRC outing.

Image: Foremost Media.

Following damage sustained directly after the Morgan Park Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) round, it was a positive outing for Troy Herfoss at the recent Victorian Road Race Championship (VRRC) event and he didn’t feel the effects of the injuries from July.

While preparing for a Penrite ProMX Championship cameo, Herfoss fell the Tuesday after ASBK round five, breaking his collarbone, plus suffering several broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Like a number of national Superbike contenders, Herfoss competed in round three of the VRRC last weekend at Phillip Island, and it was a positive outing in terms of his condition physically, and how he felt with the set-up of the bike.

“A bit went on since Morgan Park, we are coming off of a faultless few rounds and then had a crash Tuesday after Morgan Park, so the break was sort of needed really,” Herfoss said to CycleOnline. “I got healthy there and probably felt okay after six or seven weeks really, like a 100 percent again, yeah now it’s just about getting that base fitness back.

“I’ve been back on the motocross bike a little bit, and yeah, to be honest, it didn’t feel like I’d had an injury at Phillip Island. It was just sort of back to business, and the main thing was we went there with a completely different bike set-up to what we started the year at Phillip Island, so really interesting to feel what the bike…It was a real nice surprise to get out there and feel pretty comfortable at ‘the island’. So yeah, body is all good.”

The weekend also saw the coveted Harvey Wiltshire Trophy feature race, where Herfoss missed victory by a slim 0.016s to GT Racing’s Glenn Allerton in the 10-lap outing.

“Over the last few rounds, the set-up has changed a lot, and we’ve realised we are limited to what tyre we could use based on the set-up I was riding,” Herfoss added. “The last few tracks we’ve been to, we’ve been able to ride any tyre we like and then make it work.

“That was probably the most interesting thing, going to Phillip Island and having a few different tyres to potentially use for the races. Aside from that, it was just a lot of fun. We had really short races, Glenn [Allerton] obviously rode really well, like he always does. He was a lot of fun to race with, and just pipped me in the final.

“It was just fun to be out there in the race and just feeling like I had options. With the way the bike is handling now, I can sort of maneuver the bike a bit. Still a long way to go, as far as like closing in on the gap to Josh [Waters, who set a blistering pace at ASBK round one], but we are definitely making steps forward. Really looking forward to getting down there, to be honest.”

Three shorter races were also contested across the weekend, and the Penrite Honda Racing rider went 4-DNF-4 across the encounters. The non-finish in race two came after he put his hand up while leading after seeing oil on the track, and he pulled out of the race thinking it would be stopped.

“I can’t even make up that I was trying to hold something back, you always want to win,” he continued. “In the second race there, Mike [Jones] crashed and then I just seen a heap of oil on the track going up into Lukey Heights. Being the leader of the race, I just put my hand up and I pulled out of the race thinking they would stop the race, but they actually let it keep going. That’s the reason I had a DNF there.

“We started each race hoping to get a result, but I guess you are not going out there with the bike you are definitely most comfortable on. You are always, at those kind of events, trying something new no matter what. I think, for me, the five lappers were a bit hit-and-miss, as far as how deep you would dig, like take nothing away from the feature race I rode that race wanting to win it and I just got pipped on the post with Glenn.

“It’s fun to race like that, it’s funny, we are all there for a Victorian title, again, it doesn’t seem like it should be that important but like Mike, Glenn and I are all experienced riders yet we are out there riding for sheep stations, so it was fun.”

Two rounds remain in this year’s ASBK Championship, with round six of the 2023 season taking place at Phillip Island between  27-29 October. Herfoss currently leads the title-race by 14 points ahead of McMartin Racing’s Josh Waters.