News 27 Nov 2023

'It is a good time for me to step away [from Honda]' – Herfoss

Joint ASBK leader to depart Penrite Honda Racing after 2023 season.

Image: Supplied.

Following a longstanding tenure, Troy Herfoss has outlined his intentions at the conclusion of the 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) to depart Honda, citing that ‘it is a good time for me to step away’, as he considers his options.

Now 36, Herfoss joined Honda Racing in 2014 – which was then operated by Paul Free – and went on to complete the Australasian Superbike Championship that year after being granted an opportunity as a substitute for the injured Josh Hook.

He remained with the team for 2015, winning both the FX-Superbike and Australasian Superbike titles, before a majority of the paddock shifted to the Motorcycling Australia (MA)-operated Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) the following season, where he secured his first ASBK Superbike championship.

In 2018, Penrite Honda Racing was launched under the ownership of former national level racer Deon Coote, with Herfoss remaining in red on his way to a second ASBK premier class crown. The Fireblade rider narrowly missed out on the crown in 2019, and was competitive again in 2020, before sustaining major injuries at Hidden Valley the following year.

The number 17 miraculously returned for the final round of the 2021 season at The Bend, and spent much of 2022 rebuilding and finding form, eventually able to make his return to the top step in race one at the same South Australian venue to conclude that campaign.

An impressive 2023 season has seen Herfoss right in contention, winning the Queensland Raceway, Hidden Valley and Morgan Park rounds to enter what will be his final race with Penrite Honda Racing this weekend at The Bend, currently level on points for the ASBK championship lead with Josh Waters (McMartin Racing Ducati).

“This year is my 10th year with Honda, we went into the whirlwind with lockdown a few years ago and then we came out of that and had a pretty serious injury the year after that, a rough year after, then we have got ourselves to here where myself and the team are back to our absolute best,” Herfoss told CycleOnline.

“I just feel like it is a good time for me to step away from that team and see what else is out there, really. That’s just that stage of my life. I just want to see what might be available, whether it is nationally or internationally, I’ve got a few good years left in me and we have had an amazing run together as a team and I think it is just a good time for that to happen.”

Herfoss’ unexpected announcement opens the door on the domestic silly season leading into December, and he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of racing overseas again if the right opportunity arises. A who’s who of talent could be in line to fill his seat at ER Motorsports.

The Queensland-based racer won the 2008 AMA Supermoto Championship and contested the IDM Superbike Championship in 2012 onboard a BMW, after winning the Australian Supersport title in 2010 with Team Suzuki and finishing third as an ASBK rookie with the team in 2011.

“Nothing is concrete, no rock-solid offers or anything like that, but there is a lot of opportunity out there,” he added. “There’s possibilities both nationally and internationally, all in domestic championships, but there is potential to be riding where probably I didn’t expect to be riding.

“I always believe I deserve to be racing in British Superbike, really, but that doesn’t mean I think I should go there. For whatever reason, we are not plucked out of Australia like we used to be, and I’ve always stayed in Australia for that reason – I don’t have sponsorship dollars behind me to just up and move.

“MotoAmerica, I would have loved to have gone to MotoAmerica straight from Supermoto, it would have been great, so yeah, one of those two championships would be amazing.

“The Asian Road Race Championships are getting bigger and bigger, but in saying that, I love racing in Australia. It’s really competitive, the racing is tough, the bikes are getting at a higher level and it’s quite enjoyable, so it’s not like I am trying to get out of Australia.

“I’m just at a stage in my life where I want to take stock of what is going on, and work out if possibility there is something else out there for me. And hey, there might not be, it might be my time to sort of start easing back on my professional career. I’m not sure yet.”