Herfoss with one hand on ASBK Trophy after R1 victory
YMI Superbike Race One
A lot was on the line here at Winton today as the Superbike gridded up for their opening 16-lap bout. A few years ago here at Winton, one of the most heated rounds I can remember in Australian Road Racing unfolded between Wayne Maxwell and Troy Herfoss. The pair almost came to blows as the pressure felt by Herfoss exploded into visible anger.
Two years ago here at Winton Herfoss also celebrated his first ASBK Championship win, off the back of winning the rival FX Championship Title the year before. Josh Waters took the ASBK Title last year but heading into this weekend at Winton Troy Herfoss was on track to likely lift the silverware a round early.
Away we go!
Troy Bayliss got a phenomenal run off the line to slide underneath his rivals at turn one, moments later though the red flag was out as Staring had gone down at turn one and it looked unlikely that he and his machine might be out of danger by the time the field came around again.
Let’s go again…
Wayne Maxwell led the field through turn one at the re-start while series leader Herfoss again started poorly and was down in fifth place as they negotiated the first turns. Ahead of him it was Maxwell, Waters, Sissis and Bayliss.
Bayliss and Herfoss made their way past Sissis later on that opening lap but the South Australian was trying to hang on to the back of them while keeping sixth placed Daniel Falzon at bay along with Mark Chiodo and Alex Phillis.
Herfoss passed Bayliss for third position early on lap three but Maxwell had his head down and was already circulating below the lap record to eke away from Waters and his pursuers. It was clear Herfoss would have his work cut out for him in chasing down Waters let alone Maxwell but the Honda man proved he was up to the job after dropping in a new 1m20.500 lap record on lap three but the gap to race leader Maxwell was already over a second.
Maxwell then returned fire with a 1m20.437 to extend his lead further. Herfoss had closed right up on Waters but the Suzuki man upped his pace in response to stretch away a little again, as Bayliss started to close on Herfoss from behind. The gaps between those second, third and fourth place riders then ebbed and flowed over the next few laps, but Maxwell still looked in command up front.
Then Maxwell went down! The YRT man looked in command but just as they broached halfway distance Maxwell bit the dust at turn one. He was up and okay but that YZF-R1M was going nowhere fast….
Waters inherited the race lead but had Herfoss right on his tail. Maxwell’s demise almost guarantees Herfoss the 2018 ASBK Championship this weekend, he won’t be able to confirm it in this race, but in this afternoon’s second race any reasonable result will give him enough of a points buffer to head to the Phillip Island ASBK finale with the #1 plate on the front of that Penrite Honda.
Herfoss hit the lead at the penultimate turn with five laps to run and immediately managed to gain a small buffer over Waters. Closing in on them from behind was Troy Bayliss, his challenge for victory not over, but then it was…
Adam Senior ran off the track and the West Australian privateer’s R1 burst into flames, causing officials to put the red flag out.
Critically for Herfoss, he had overtaken Waters a lap earlier, and they had done enough laps for officials to declare the race, and for full points to be awarded.
Troy Herfoss now leads the ASBK Championship by 70.5-points and thus is on course to be crowned 2018 ASBK Champion here this afternoon, unless something untowards happens to the Penrite Honda man in race two…
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