Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing, Honda CBR RR SP) has had a great start to Round 2 of the Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK, March 22-24), taking out fastest time of a rain-shortened Free Practice for the Kawasaki Superbike class here at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park Raceway in Southern NSW.
Herfoss’s time of 57.455 put him almost three tenths clear of Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, Suzuki GSX-R EL R, 57.754) and the Yamaha Racing Team pair of Daniel Falzon (Yamaha YZF-R1M, 57.757) and Cru Halliday (Yamaha YZF-R1M, 57.916). The day was mostly cloudy with some sunny patches, however a sudden downpour and lightning just after 3pm led to the last session being cancelled, leaving Herfoss’s time from Free Practice 2 (FP2) as the fastest of the day.
Despite the cancelled session, Herfoss was happy to perform well in front of his home crowd. “I really enjoy riding here” he said. “Even if it wasn’t my home track I’d still enjoy the track, but it is pretty cool coming back and visiting all my friends and family.
“The track been good for me in the past, results-wise. I haven’t always been the fastest guy but I’ve had a lot of good luck here, and I think part of that’s been being at the front of the race at the start, so it’s really important to qualify well. We had a good session in FP2, made a few little improvements with the bike and I got a clear run midway through the session and got a good lap in. It was nice to be able to repeat the laptime in the dry and now we’ve jut got to hope it doesn’t rain or hope we can go as well if it rains tomorrow.”
The day saw two spectacular crashes, the first of which came when championship leader Aiden Wagner (Landbridge Racing, Yamaha YZF-R1M, 58.677) tumbled through the gravel trap at turn two with two minutes to go during FP1. After a short delay, he was up and OK but the bike was subsequently carried off the recovery trailer in a series of bits and pieces. Wagner returned to contest the second session and finished the day in eighth. Free Practice 2 was red flagged after Ted Collins (NextGen Motorsports, BMW S RR) crashed heavily at the pitlane entry. Collins luckily managed to get up and walk away, and he finished the day in 14th (59.417).
Injured Troy Bayliss’s Desmosport Ducati ride appears to be in safe hands this weekend with replacement Mike Jones (Desmosport Ducati, Ducati 1299 Final Ed., 58.116) consistently running near the top of the table throughout the day. The 2015 ASBK Champion was one of the first riders into the 58 second bracket, and ended the day fifth fastest behind Halliday. Maxwell’s Team Suzuki ECSTAR Australia teammate Josh Waters (Team Suzuki ECSTAR, Suzuki GSX-R EL R) was sixth fastest with a 58.193.