Troy Herfoss rode the Penrite Honda to a handful of fifth place wins at last weekend’s Phillip Island season opener on the outgoing model Fireblade SP. ASBK heads to his happy hunting ground of Wakefield Park late this month with Herfoss ranked fifth in the championship points standings.
MCNews.com.au caught up with Herfoss immediately after the final race at Phillip Island for a chat about the weekend, his expectations for the new bike and the season ahead.
Troy Herfoss Interview
Trevor Hedge: It probably feel like a mile away for you – but you weren’t that far behind here this weekend, but still a somewhat disappointing start to the season for you? But there is also some promise there as well… With new tyres for this season, it’s been a fair bit of adaption you and the team have had to make ahead of season 2020.
Troy Herfoss: “Compared to previous years Trev, its been my best, the best I’ve ridden around this circuit. That race was like a 12-lap time trial, the fastest I’ve ever been around here on my own, and we just weren’t good enough. Wayne was a class above. Once the slip-stream broke, I lost a few-tenths every lap down the straight, then got swallowed up by Mike. We’ve been having massive issues shifting back gears, we tried to change something then, and I end up having more issues.
“In saying that, when the bike was at its best, I still wasn’t fast enough to win, and that’s pretty disappointing. The disappointing thing is I feel like it’s the best I’m riding ever, and then to only have three to fifth places to show for it… Winning the championship a few years ago I would honestly say I didn’t ride as good as I did today. So you know, that says a lot for the championship I guess. Now we’re moving to Wakefield and Tailem Bend, we’re going to see something a bit different I think.”
Trev: Wayne has been calling for some updates for the Ducati for the first few rounds, I saw you out something on social overnight saying, ‘do you think the Ducati needs more updates’. Whats your position on whats going to unfold in that corner from here on in?
Herfoss: “If what I’m hearing is right, and they did have something approved by M.A. and then taken way, then that’s a little bit of a kick in the guts for them. I don’t know what the truth is around that. Yesterday when I put that up, my opinion was it was a bit laughable, that he’s had his best ever start to the championship and the first thing he thought about when he got off the bike was that he needed updates to his bike. That’s all there was to it. That’s just my opinion. I think you gotta know when you’ve got something good, and I think he should be enjoying his victories.”
Trev: Obviously you’ve seen the top speed of the World Superbike Hondas here this weekend, they’ve been smashing the top speed record, 327 km/h down the shoot, and I know you were all smiles when you got to see that first bike that landed in the country. You’ve generally got a pretty big smile, but that was even bigger than normal. You must be keen to get your hands on that new bike, but a bit frustrated it’ll be a few rounds before we can see it.
Herfoss: “I’m just excited really, we’ve waited a long time, it’s not about the waiting now, its just excitement, and I think the most refreshing thing yesterday was that Bautista and Haslam were not only strong on top speed, but were one of the strongest or Bautista was – at the end of the race. It’s an all round good package and not only that, it’s bloody fast. If we can get a bike that handles even close to what we got now, but with some big power, then its not going to be good for the championship…”
Trev: You won’t know what to do with yourself. You’ll have to learn to ride again.
Herfoss: “Yeah the lines will be different, the race tactic now at this track is just balls to the wall, attack at any given moment, and it’ll be nice to hopefully – you never know, you never know what the bike can do – but if it can handle like the bike does now, but with some more horsepower, it’ll be a refreshing change.”
Trev: With Michelin coming to the party, there’s been a lot of work done by yourself and the team, adapting to the new tyres, with Michelin themselves also, are you happy with their commitment so far?
Herfoss: “So happy, on that aspect I think we’ve had a really good weekend.”
Trev: Better than expected, do you think? Lap times wise – but results not quite perhaps.
Herfoss: “Results no, but the fact I was able to ride the bike the way I did the whole race, you know, as always, tyre manufacturers are always so worried about longevity around this track and we had three races with no issues with the tyre, and I believe this tyre we’re using on the rear is a fairly safe option. I’m unsure of whether I had more or less grip than the Pirelli rear, but I can say the front tyre was unbelievably good. I’m really excited to get onto the normal sort of tyre when we get to these others tracks.”
Trev: Thanks for your time Troy.
ASBK next heads to Wakefield Park later this month, the Goulburn circuit playing host to Round Two of the series over the March 27-29 weekend.
2020 mi-bike Australian Superbike Championship Points
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