Troy Herfoss extends Championship lead with Wakefield Park victory
Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship 2015
Ipone Superbike Round Five – Wakefield Park – Sunday, 27 September
While Saturday at Wakefield Park saw treacherous and changing conditions all day, competitors woke Sunday morning to almost perfect conditions at the 2.2km circuit, near Goulburn, in southern NSW.
Local star, and current Swann Australasian FX Superbike Championship leader, Troy Herfoss, had an almost perfect day on Saturday, and the trend continued through to Sunday, albeit with, again, a hiccup along the way.
Troy Herfoss looked to do it easy in the opening bout, getting to the front early before pulling away. The gap to Glenn Allerton at the flag was just under a second, but in reality, Herfoss had slowed markedly on the last lap and gave away more than a second to Allerton, just bringing the Team Honda Fireblade SP home safely and acknowledging the many fans lining the circuit.
Wayne Maxwell took third place in the opening bout, half-a-second behind Allerton, but with a clear buffer over fourth place Jamie Stauffer.
The first Kawasaki home was newly crowned ASBK Champion Mike Jones, fifth place to the Queensland on the ZX-10R ahead of Sean Condon, who was bravely riding through pain after doing extensive damage to his shoulder on Saturday.
Another rider limping home to salvage points was Cru Halliday, another victim of yesterday’s treacherous conditions, the Yamaha Racing Team rider limped home to an 11th place finish.
Most onlookers expected Herfoss to again do it easier in race two but Glenn Allerton had other ideas.
Herfoss and Allerton traded places up front and it was the Yamaha man in front as they got the last lap board.
Herfoss made an attempt to pass at turn eight, but Allerton had anticipated just such a move, and positioned himself on the circuit as to make it almost impossible for Herfoss to successfully pull off a passing maneuver. Herfoss still made the attempt, but ran wide, and off the circuit, before rejoining in third place. Handing Mike Jones second place and allowing Allerton to cruise home to the chequered flag for the race win.
Wayne Maxwell took fourth place ahead of Jamie Stauffer and Matt Walters.
The third and final 12-lap bout of the day saw a new challenger emerge. Matt Walters came out on fresh rubber with a whole lot of aggression, the Kawasaki Connection rider was all over Herfoss from the get-go.
Herfoss held off the advances of the Cessnock based Walters to take the win but he certainly had to work for it.
Wayne Maxwell got the better of Allerton for the final spot on the podium while Jamie Stauffer finished fifth once again.
Wakefield Park was a weekend that saw one chief winner, and one main loser.
To the victor goes the spoils and celebrating that victory tonight is Troy Herfoss. The 28-year-old put in excellent performances all weekend, and was only bested once on the circuit all weekend, and that was by Glenn Allerton in race two today.
The overall round victory went to Herfoss and he extended his series lead over chief season 2015 rival Wayne Maxwell by a further 13-points, the gap between the pair now out to 16-points. That still doesn’t sound like much, but this season things have been so tight throughout the five rounds held thus far, that this is the biggest buffer enjoyed yet this season. Herfoss has led from the Eastern Creek season opener, but Maxwell has successfully chipped that lead away as the series travelled to South Australia, back to Eastern Creek, then to Queensland. Herfoss put a stop to that slide here today at Wakefield Park.
Troy Herfoss – “I am really happy to get Wakefield Park out of the way with a bag of wins and a much healthier championship lead. Now we can look forward to Winton, Round 6 and try to build on our lead going into the finale at Sydney Motorsport Park.”
The chief tale of woe for the weekend belonged to Cru Halliday, the 27-year-old Yamaha rider had, “the worst weekend of his career”. Halliday fell on the opening lap of race one on Saturday, and again in race three. He struggled through the Sunday programme with injuries to his knee and ankle, salvaging an important 36-points. That result due to the small number of riders in the Superbike field, as Cru was not fit to make any sort of challenge today.
Cru Halliday – “It’s again another day I would rather forget about. I didn’t even go a slight way that I wanted the day to go. I just wasn’t on the pace. The two crashes I had yesterday knocked a little bit of confidence out of me, but these things happen. The test at Winton this week is going to be pretty important for me. I don’t go too bad there. It’s a track that has been good to me in the past years. However, as I said the test will be important because I have not been to the track on the new Yamaha R1M. It’s like starting from scratch again. The R1M is a completely different machine. The old R1 used to go well around Winton, but this new bike is so much better! My only downfall for today was my qualifying result from yesterday. I knew I was fast enough to run with the boys up front. I’ll turn my attention now toward the next round and hopefully we can get a better result next time out. I have to say a massive thanks to the Yamaha Racing Team as they have worked so hard this weekend. I can’t thank them enough.”
Glenn Allerton was the only man to truly beat Troy Herfoss on the track this weekend, with that race two victory. The pieces in the set-up puzzle for the new YZF-R1M fell into place for Allerton at the recent Queensland Raceway round, and that return to form continued at Wakefield Park. Allerton took second place for the round, seven-points ahead of teammate Wayne Maxwell, and six-points adrift of round winner Herfoss. Overall, that has moved Allerton to within ten points of Maxwell in the championship standings.
Glenn Allerton – “All in all, it was a good weekend for me. Having a good result in race one, then the race win in the second race was just awesome! In the last race I didn’t get the start that I needed and got stuck behind Matt Walters. Then I had a bit of a battle with Wayne. I was just unable to make headway. At one point of the race it got close and I thought I was going to be in for a bit of a battle for the lead. However it never eventuated. I did try and have a go at Wayne into the final turn and we made contact and I lost ground on him. Fourth place was the best I could do in the last race, unfortunately. To get second place overall is pretty good. The Honda’s were always going to be strong here. So to be able to beat the Honda here was awesome, so I’m happy. Once again thanks heaps to the whole team as they have all worked super hard this weekend!”
Wayne Maxwell looked at this round as damage minimisation as he did not have the package to be competitive with Troy today.
Wayne Maxwell – “Today wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t devastating. Third is still a solid result for myself and the Yamaha Racing Team. It’s great to have two Yamaha’s up the front. Glenn managed to win race two, which took a few points off Troy. There are still six races to go in each of the series, so it’s still going to be a pretty long hard battle. Hopefully today’s result will be enough to take the championship battle all the way down to the wire.”
With the series next heading to Winton, another track that the Honda is sure to be strong, Herfoss is on course to again perhaps take the major points haul, any mistakes notwithstanding.
With 2 events to go in the 2015 season, Team Principal, Paul Free is extremely happy to see the championship lead increased – “Heading into the penultimate event of the season, a lot can happen, but I am really happy to come away with an extended lead in both championships after Round 5 so well done to Troy on a great weekend. Jamie had a frustrating weekend I think it is fair to say, but I have every faith in the team to come out strong at Winton for Round 6. The Honda will be strong at that circuit and I am really looking forward to the event to see what unfolds.”
At the early December Eastern Creek series finale, the Yamaha package is sure to be very strong. And on current form the series will definitely go down to the wire at that twilight meeting, which will be broadcast live on Foxtel for the first time. Herfoss has to go into that final round with the maximum possible points lead, as it is unlikely he will be able to take the battle up to the Yamaha men around the Eastern Creek layout. No matter what, it is sure to be an exciting culmination to the best domestic season of Superbike racing in the 16-years I have been covering domestic racing in this country.
Next stop Winton, October 23-25, the weekend after the Australian MotoGP. Then the series finale at Eastern Creek on the first weekend in December.
2015 Australasian Superbike Championship Calendar
Rnd 6. 23rd – 25th October Winton International Raceway ……….. Vic
Rnd 7. 4th – 6th December Sydney International Raceway ………… NSW (Series Finale)
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