Troy Herfoss recently won the 2023 Australian Superbike Championship after a perfect score in the seventh and final round of the series last weekend at The Bend. We caught up with him to look back on that success, and what might be in future for the 36-year-old.
So Troy, a perfect result for you on the weekend in South Australia. You looked confident from the off at The Bend,it was a very different-looking and sounding Troy Herfoss compared to Phillip Island, from the outside looking in it was a different mindset completely, what flicked the switch?
“I think it had a lot to do with where I was at in regards to the plans for my future really, after making the decision to pursue a new path and getting that settled. That no doubt played a part, but also the reality is that we had bad luck at Philip Island. We had some small shifting issues, in the races which didn’t help us. You know, you want to be perfect all the time really and I guess that got to me that it wasn’t working out that way when we were at Phillip Island. I’m just glad that we were able to get to Tailem Bend and make it right.”
A great way to sign off from Penrite Honda, good to end that relationship with success and smiles.I understand there have been approaches from Honda to try and lure you back into the fold for 2024.
However, as we spoke about then when you told us you were not going to renew a contract with Penrite Honda, you told me though that while your kids are still so young and not yet at school, this could be your final window of opportunity to pursue a new challenge overseas, while you feel that you are fit and fast enough to have a red hot crack at something new. Any developments on that front?
“Yeah, there has, however, nothing is official as yet, but there’s, there are possibilities of competitive rides in both England and in America. I just really want to invest all my time into that at the moment. And, see if I can get myself on something competitive, and try and see what I’m capable of, before I’m too old and slow (laughs).”
Which one of those championships would be your preference? BSB is probably recognised as the pinnacle of Superbike championships around the world. It’s also very different to what we run here. A control MoTeC ECU, no wheelie control, no traction control, control tyre etc.
Going back to your Supermoto days and all the disciplines I have seen you excel at, we know that no wheelie or traction control is not going to be an issue for you. However, is there a distinct preference you have for one over the other at this stage? Or is it just going to be whichever is the best opportunity that presents itself?
“You’re right about the championship. England is ranked as the highest level of domestic championships. For that reason, I want to be there and see how I stack up against the rest of the guys.
“I’ve got such a soft spot for America. I had so much fun there racing Supermoto [Troy won the AMA Supermoto Championship when it was at its zenith, and was also an X Games Silver Medallist].
“Honestly, I’m torn between which direction I want to go. I just know I want to put myself out of my comfort zone and race against some new people, on different equipment.
“Both those championships are going to offer that.
“Honestly, I don’t really have a preference at the moment.
“As far as being in the most competitive championship in the world, I do think England’s certainly got the most depth.
“That said, I’m sure the top riders in either of those championships are all at a really high level.
“However, in America, you’re pretty much racing on a full-blown World Superbike, so that’s very interesting to me as well. Just to see what that would be like.
“Long story I’ve given you there, but I don’t have a preference really.”
Let’s say that unfortunately both those doors eventually close for you, the options for BSB and Moto America disappear. Do you think there is a chance you will race here next year.
There are, of course, teams that would love to have you on their motorcycle for the 2024 ASBK Championship, but the money to make that happen in the current economy is the hurdle for most of them. What would it take to keep you happy and hungry enough to want to stay here and race?
“To stay here and race… It’s probably not what you think would motivate me. I wouldn’t just go and knock on the door of the best team and ask for the fastest motorcycle.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Honda and the success I’ve had. I don’t think it would be easy to top what just happened in the last week.
“Money is always an issue in Australia when it comes to teams. I would have loved to have been in a team with a young team-mate, full of ambition, and be able to be competitive and help a young guy move forward.
“I would love the idea of racing with a team that maybe is missing the final piece of the puzzle and hasn’t had the most success in recent years.
“To race in Australia from this point on from me, is not purely about just going out and winning, like it has been. Obviously I want to be competitive, but if it was about winning championships in Australia I wouldn’t be leaving what I’ve got.”
How do you think ASBK is currently travelling as a whole? In your opinion, in a perfect world what do you think, if anything, needs to change?
“We need to condense the calendar. It’s run over far too long a period. For me personally, as a professional athlete, there’s no off-season, as it is just spread over far too long with big breaks in between.
“As far as a privateer goes, I’m sure it’s almost impossible to be able to make enough money to do it properly because you don’t get enough time to put all your package together. It just doesn’t make sense that we have two seasons, we have like an early season season, and then a late season, season. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, especially now, I’m looking to try the championships. They’re both run over six to seven months, and there’s twice as much riding.
“For me to go overseas next year I’ve got to forfeit the idea of racing in Australia if I really want to find the best ride possible, because the season doesn’t start until April in BSB or MotoAmerica Superbike.
“I don’t understand why next year’s ASBK schedule is the same as this year’s calendar. We don’t have Jack Miller coming back now, previously we did need to run the series in this way to get him back, because that was worthwhile doing. But if we can’t get the international riders, which we didn’t this year, I don’t understand why we’re finishing so late in the year.
“That said, as far as racing in the series here I have absolutely loved it. Enjoy every little bit of it, love going to the races and the people involved in it. So don’t want to finish on a negative note there, that’s just my opinion on the calendar, as I do think the calendar needs looking at. But as far as the racing goes and the people in it, I absolutely love it.”
Away from racing, what are the Herfoss family plans for Christmas?
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.