Troy Herfoss Interview – Transcribed from recent Ride Rage Radio Interview

Troy Herfoss set a new Winton lap record of 1m22.778 on the penultimate lap which set him up for the race win by half a second over Maxwell.
Troy Herfoss set a new Winton lap record of 1m22.778 on the penultimate lap which set him up for the Saturday race win by half a second over Maxwell.

RRR: Troy Herfoss, congratulations on a fantastic effort recently at Winton, to get two wins on the Sunday program, your first superbike wins in the Sunday events, on that team Honda machine was an excellent effort on the weekend, but that overtaking manoeuvre on the last corner of the last race on your teammate Wayne Maxwell, that was ‘Maxwellesque’ really, wasn’t it?

Troy: Thanks, Phil, it was an exciting weekend for sure and to get my first win was great, but to do it in that fashion just topped it off really. Obviously Wayne’s a good friend and we both race hard together and yeah, I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time but I’m looking forward to many more battles.

RRR: When we spoke to Wayne he actually openly admitted, and he doesn’t usually do this unless it’s, well if it’s a fair sign of credit where credit is due, he actually openly admitted that you were the better rider on the weekend, that was only because of that small mistake in race two, but as he said, when you’re pushing at the limits, sometimes that sort of thing happens that stops you getting the round win and possibly even three out of three.

Troy: Yeah, it could of been possible I think to win a third race, but the two races I did win were extremely hard so I would never go and say I could have won that race, I crashed for a reason, I was at my limit, but it was good to be fast and the pacesetter for the first time this year really. But yeah, I went to that round with a different mindset, obviously it’s the second half of the season now and I’ve spent the year getting used to the bike and the team, I decided before the weekend that I had no choice, I had to start winning races and, anyway, the crash was a bit of a damper for the championship, but I’m still there and there’s six more races at two tracks that I really like, so I’m excited for that.

RRR: It was a bit of an inspiration too to have your former team boss Phil Tainton there to watch on the weekend as well? Because I know he’s always been a big fan of your riding ability.

Troy: Yeah, it was great having Phil in there. I actually spoke to Lynn yesterday as well, he congratulated me again and I said, ‘I wish I could have won a superbike race while I was with the team,’ but it was kind of fitting that they were both there to see my first win, that was great.

RRR: Now Troy the next round is actually at your home track of Wakefield Park, we saw you bounce out of the box as a fill-in for Josh Hook while he was out injured and scored pole position there for the Saturday races. Along with Wayne, you’re one of the guys that’s actually taken the Saturday racing pretty seriously, and as I said to Wayne, is that a strategy? Because racing hard on Saturday seems to have you guys in a really good frame of mind, and also with great bike set-up for the racing on Sunday as well.

Troy: Yeah, I think for me it’s the best way because you can do one fast lap and qualify well despite finishing in last position on the Saturday, and still head into Sunday with no confidence, but I find racing hard and doing my best on a Saturday gets me fine-tuned, gets my starts dialled, and you can work out a place where you get to pass your opponents and usually find, like you only get one lap in qualifying where you get a fast lap anyway and I usually find in the race there’s always that one lap where you get clear track and you get to go for it. I guess everyone’s different, I noticed Glenn tried something different in the weekend and tried to jump in behind us in the race, but for me it doesn’t work.

RRR: The other thing that was clearly evident at Winton is the fact that you and Wayne were at one stage over a second faster than anybody else out there on track. Wayne actually said it’s a real rider’s track. I’m guessing that you probably haven’t had a lot of experience with Winton before that race weekend.

Troy: No, I haven’t had much experience. That’s the track where Phil and Lynne gave me a test on the Suzuki back in November of ’08 and then we did one test between then and the first round at Phillip Island, so it’s been about five years but like my dad always said, you shouldn’t need to learn a track really if you’re confident and I think after Queensland the bike was feeling good and I didn’t have to think about the bike or my riding, and it just made it easy to get down to business.

RRR: The move that you put on Wayne Maxwell in that last corner of the second race, I actually said it was a Maxwellesque manoeuvre, but to be fair you actually pulled off a very similar manoeuvre at the last lap of Queensland race when it was only the BMW horsepower of Glenn Allerton that got you beaten to the line. When you came out of that last corner ahead of Wayne, and he was on a similar bike or exactly the same bike as you, did that make you think, ‘Well, I’ve got this now?’

Troy: Yeah, well, the difference is that at Queensland I actually got a great run off the turn, whereas when I passed Wayne I really had to basically block pass him and stop the bike, so I was pretty stressed that he was going to get a run up the inside of me, but I squeezed everything as tight as I could and it was a pretty good feeling across the line and winning in a battle like that, it’s not an easy corner to pass on and it’s not a corner that many… you don’t even consider passing people there in the race, so it was sort of Wayne had to defend his line off the back straight, and it gave me an opportunity to square the corner off and have that one last chance.

RRR: I was going to say it actually looked to me like you’d set it up from the entry to the penultimate corner where you did take a bit of a different line.

Troy: Yeah, yeah I had and it was hard… like obviously after crashing in race two I had to get my head around it, like I didn’t have really any warning with the crash I had so I was hoping I could get the holeshot and get some confidence back, but it turned out in the end I had to be pretty desperate into that left I crashed in to get a run, to get in the back straight, so it was good that I overcome that, but yeah, it was a great race.

RRR: I guess too that the first round at Wakefield Park, you went in there with a few question marks that you hadn’t ridden for a while, filling in for Josh Hook, not really sure where the rest of the season was going to take you. If you had of been told at the first round Troy as you were filling there for Team Honda that by the end of the fourth round you’d be in third place in the Championship, a regular member of the dominant Honda Team and in with a serious chance of the Championship, would you have thought that’s possible or would you have thought, ‘That’s probably a little bit away from what I can expect at the moment?’

Troy: Honestly, without trying to sound wrong, I had every expectation from myself to be there. It is nice to be back and competing, I think at this present time I’m riding a bit better than I when I finished with Suzuki even, but at the start of the year I was very rusty and I think at round one it was probably… other than the pole position I probably rode how most people thought I’d ride, I was consistent, I didn’t do anything too special. But yeah, my expectations are to be up the front, I probably am where I would have wanted to be when I started the year, but I guess once I come into Winton with a lot more speed, then I probably raised my expectations to maybe a title chance, but that’s still there. My goal was at the start of the year to be able to finish top three in the championship so I guess I’ve got to be happy with that, but now I just want to fly to Winton and make sure I keep Wayne honest.

RRR: Well, there’s two more rounds to go Troy and way you’re riding that’s certainly not out of the equation and it’s going to be it looks like a pretty good battle between yourself, Jamie Stauffer and Wayne Maxwell for that title.

Troy: Yeah, for sure, and there’s other guys like Sean Condon and Glenn Allerton that were both strong at Wakefield ,and there were 17 guys within one-second, so I’m interested to see how it is next time and also I’m really excited to go there, because it’s my home track and I have found a lot of little things with the bike that’s made it a lot easier to ride and I’m just really enjoying it and hopefully we get a good crowd out there and I can get some awesome results.

RRR: One more question Troy and on a perhaps a little bit lighter note, it was interesting to note that Lynn Tainton commented on the weekend that you and Wayne Maxwell were looking very similar in the haircut department, have you been off to the hairdresser so far this week?

Troy: Yeah, I meant to make a change, a few people have commented that we look like brothers, but he’d pass as my father, wouldn’t you say?

RRR: Well, especially when he started giving you the finger in the chest, you said , ‘Now you’re behaving like my dad.’

Troy: Yeah. I’ve actually got that a lot over the years, so that’s alright. We’re competing together, we can be like brothers I guess.

RRR: Well, you were pretty much the umbilical brothers on the Winton weekend, joined pretty much at the hip, it was a fantastic effort Troy, great to watch, well done on a great round.

Troy: I appreciate it Phil, thanks very much!

RRR: And we’ll see you at Wakefield Park.

Troy Herfoss at the Suzuka 8 Hour
Troy Herfoss at the Suzuka 8 Hour
Troy Herfoss
Troy Herfoss leads Wayne Maxwell at Winton Motor Raceway, round four of the Swann Australasian Superbike Championship
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