Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Regarded as the biggest Championship threat amongst riders, Troy Herfoss returns to his home town and track, Wakefield Park Raceway, this weekend with one mindset – win the 2020 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul.
The 3-time ASBK Champion – 2010 Supersport, 2016 and 2018 Superbike – will be aboard his new 2020 Penrite Honda Fireblade, which is yet to be fully tested in ASBK race conditions. However, he has raced the new machine against Championship rivals Aiden Wagner and Mike Jones in local Queensland series events and it was impressive.
“I’ve got a clear indication where I am at, so it’s pretty exciting,” said Herfoss.
Herfoss sits in 6th place, 28 points behind Championship leader Wayne Maxwell, who he considers is the only man to beat on the weekend.
His previous record at Wakefield Park is impressive with two wins in 2019, a pole position, a win and second place in 2018 and a first and second place in 2017.
“I’ve not considered anything else other than winning the Championship,” said Herfoss.
“In 2016 I went into the final four races 18 points down on Wayne Maxwell and we won the Championship by 22 points. That was a 40 point swing and we only have 28 points to go on the weekend. I’d be mad to consider anything else other than racing for a Championship win.
“Wayne Maxwell is by far the only competition really. He dominated the first round, arguable on the best bike at that round.
“People say it’s my track at Wakefield, but when you look at the past its pretty much I’ve won the second race every time he’s won the first race. He’s going to a track he is really good at, he has ridden that bike there before and is fast on it. He’s got the bike, the team, tyres and has a massive points lead and there is no one else to consider.
“For me it’s about doing my best to try and stop him.”
What would it mean to Herfoss to win?
“It would mean I’m the best rider in Australia,” he said laughing. “It would obviously mean a lot. We are going to a track I enjoy, but also going there with a new bike I’ve never turned a lap on there.
“The bike is 100 per cent different, there is no part on that bike that is the same as the old one, so we are rolling out Thursday morning blind. But to be honest it hasn’t event crossed my mind that we won’t be competitive.
“I just want to go there and do my best and win the Championship, and if I do it, it will be my third official Australian Superbike Championship and 4th time I’ve won an ASBK Championship.
“There is a chance for some of us guys to set some records this weekend and that’s pretty cool, but mainly I just want to be competitive.”
Herfoss believes having the Grand Finale of the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul, at Wakefield Park Raceway, is a fitting way to end the year.
“Goulburn deserves a Finale, it always puts on good racing, and it has always been a fun weekend.
“It’s a riders track, and you’ve got to be on your game in all aspects at Wakefield and the best rider generally wins.
“It’s physically really hard and impossible to ride a Superbike around Wakefield at 100 per cent all the time, so you’ve got be fit.
“At Wakefield if you make a mistake you will end up off the track, and then there’s the weather, it’s always different and throwing another curve ball at you. It’s got everything and a track I really enjoy.”
COVID-19 has also changed Herfoss’ mindset leading into the Grand Finale.
“My perspective has changed a little over the past few months. You realise that it’s a bit of small family that travels around the country together every year and we all have a lot of things in common and similar interests, so will be great to catch up with likeminded people again.
“It will also be good to get back into that competitive environment again. It should be a fun weekend for everyone. And it will be good to see everyone.”
Like other riders, Herfoss will miss the fan interaction and strong crowds which usually attend Wakefield Park Raceway.
“It’s a massive downer really. Obviously we all understand how the world is at the moment, but when you’ve got the crowd there it makes a difference, it adds a little bit extra pressure and it definitely ways in on the racing on the weekend.”
Herfoss is also encouraging fans to watch the ASBK TV Live Stream and TV broadcasts through SBS, Fox Sports Australia and Fox Sports Asia.
“I wish you guys could be there to see the new Fireblade rip around on the weekend. I hope I can show you what the new bike is capable of and if there are any Honda fans out there, they are going to be super impressed with this bike. It’s a really impressive bit of kit, even to look at. It’s a purebred race bike and I think you will enjoy watching it.”
Herfoss said this year wouldn’t be possible without his team.
“I’ve got a great team. I’m super appreciative of the chance to race a motorbike, Honda and Penrite and Deon Coote, the owner of the team, have bent over backyards to make sure I’m on a bike this year.
“We have been really lucky in Queensland between Deon, Penrite and Honda and all our partners we’ve been able to develop this bike in Queensland together in a difficult time and I look forward to getting the band back together as I haven’t seen a lot of the team for a long time now.”
Each of the five Championships at the Grand Finale – Oceania Junior Cup, YMF R3 Cup, YMI Supersport 300, Motorsports TV Supersport and Kawasaki Superbike class – will be decided at the Grand Finale.
Race fans can catch all the drama and action from the 2020 ASBK Grand Finale at Wakefield Park Raceway, December 3-6, live via ASBK live streaming, and through ASBK TV partners SBSHD, Fox Sports Australia and Fox Sports Asia on both Saturday and Sunday.
Keep up to date with the latest news on the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul, via www.asbk.com.au and following ASBK on Facebook and Instagram.
Pictures by Russell Colvin