Paul Free returns to Honda for ASBK 2020
Only a couple of years after shutting up his Team Honda Racing operation in Campbellfied and handing the reigns of team ownership over to Deon Coote, and the Team Manager role to Shaun Clarke, Paul Free will be back in Honda apparel for ASBK season 2020.
In recent seasons Free has been crew chief for DesmoSport Ducati, and has worked with both Troy Bayliss and Mike Jones in that time. That combination worked well, with Mike Jones taking out the 2019 Australian Superbike Championship.
Season 2020 will see the now 48-year-old rekindle a successful partnership after signing a deal to crew chief for Troy Herfoss this season.
“When I was packing up Motologic at the end of 2017 I thought it was all done. I thought the racing scene was in my past.
“Then I got that call from Troy Bayliss asking if I would work with he and Ben in 2018. We had a good year, then working with Mike in 2019 was an exceptional year. These last two years focusing on the role of tech, I have realised that it is the challenge of bringing together the rider and the motorcycle on that quest to go faster that really gets me up in the morning.
“After essentially mentoring Shaun for many years I am exceptionally proud of the job he has done over the last two years working with the team which led them to Troy winning the ASBK Championship in 2018, and coming so very close in 2019.
“I am really happy to be working with Troy Herfoss again as I feel we have a great connection from our successes in the past. He is a fierce competitor and will stop at nothing to get the job done.
“Deon has formed a great team around Troy Herfoss and I think for 2020 the Honda CBR1000RR, combined with the Michelin tyre, will be an exceptionally strong package from the get go. I can’t wait to go testing to learn more about the Michelin tyres and the package that Deon has put together. It will be a really exciting season.”
We broke that news here a few days ago about Michelin and also hinted that none other than Jeremy Burgess might be in Michelin’s corner for ASBK 2020, working with Penrite Honda.
Deon Coote – Penrite Honda Team Owner
“2020 is full of exciting things for the Penrite Honda Factory SBK team. First of all we have the all new CBR 1000 RR coming. Secondly we have a new tyre partner in Michelin that have been working hard at coming back to the Australian market with an amazing and competitive product for over the last 12 months. And then we have Paul Free coming back to the Honda Family, to Crew Chief for our rider Troy Herfoss. Paul will bring a wealth of knowledge to the team along with great leadership. Everyone is extremely motivated to get our 2020 campaign under way.”
As Deon explained, that is some formidable people to have in your garage and will help Troy Herfoss and Penrite Honda to shake down the all-new 2020 Fireblade SP when it arrives. Although at this stage we believe the team will start the season on the 2019 machine as they have to wait until 20 bikes are in the country for the new generation Fireblade to be homologated and eligible for ASBK competition.