News / Media
  • Home

Alpinestars Superbike: Herfoss and Jones Bring the House Down at Queensland Raceway

By MA Media 0

The two, 16-lap Alpinestars Superbike races were absolute showstoppers as the best of Australia went head-to-head at the third round of the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship Presented by Motul (ASBK) at Queensland raceway this weekend.

As the smell of burning rubber subsided around the circuit it was two-time Australian Superbike Champion, Troy Herfoss and his Penrite Honda team who rose above the rest scoring a perfect weekend of pole position and two intensely fought race wins to walk away with a perfect score of 51 points. The stellar weekend has consolidated his second place in the title chase in emphatic fashion as Herfoss took a huge chunk of points out of the series pacesetter, Josh Waters (McMartin Racing Ducati).

Waters who had won the previous five races in dominant fashion and set lap records at Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park, could only manage a run of two fourth place finishes behind defending champion Mike Jones’ two-second places, while his Yamaha Racing team-mate Cru Halliday continued his impressive run of six podiums after his two third place results.

While the top four places may have been the same for the two races the action was at another level, particularly at the front in the contests between Herfoss and Jones. After claiming his first pole position in over two years on Saturday afternoon, to say it was a welcome return to the winner’s dais for Herfoss is a massive understatement.

Race One

When the lights went out to start the first race Jones won the drag race to turn one to lead the field from Herfoss as Halliday again blew the start for Waters to move into third.

Jones and Herfoss broke away from the rest as they became embroiled in a titanic struggle that saw the lead change between the pair at least a dozen times.  Herfoss stalked his blue prey relentlessly looking for that opening. Jones looked like he had enough up his sleeve, but Herfoss wasn’t playing the game of the defending champion.

Behind them, Waters was in third for the opening lap before Glenn Allerton, (GT Racing BMW) grabbed third on the second lap to hold onto a possible podium until the seventh lap as Halliday steadily made up for his poor start to relegate Allerton to fourth as Waters cleared Allerton for fourth.

But most eyes were firmly focused on the leading pair. Herfoss launched his initial assault at about half-race distance with an aggressive move into the turn three hairpin. He ran wide, allowing Jones up the inside to retake the lead. Herfoss tried again at the first of two left-handers on the track and again at the final turn. Herfoss appeared to be trying too hard as his late braking moves were upsetting his mid-corner attack and he ran wide which allowed Jones back in front.

With little more than millimetres separating the pair it was anyone’s guess with two laps to go. Herfoss made his move on the fifteenth lap to finally take the lead and fended off the #1 Yamaha to take the chequered flag.

It was an enthralling duel as the passing maneuvers were astonishing as both riders threw everything at each other – reminiscent of their last round duel at Sydney Motorsport Park in December 2019 when Jones won his second title.

As they battled, Halliday was encroaching closer to the leading duo but once again rued his getaway off the line. The gap between the leading pair was just 0.115 of a second with Halliday chasing the pair of them down to be just 0.047 behind at the flag.

It was ASBK at it’s very best, on a beautiful sunny Queensland day in front of packed stands.

View Full Results

Race Two

Jones launched into the lead off the line to make the rest give chase in what Jones has become renowned for as he settles into a rhythm out in front. The McMartin Racing Team and Josh Waters had made a setup change between races, allowing the #21 to run with the leaders in the early stages as the group clicked off the laps. Waters tried valiantly to run with the leading duo but as the wind changed and the track became more greasy with an increased temperature, the Ducati man struggled to hold on and started to drift into a distant third.

The action was hotter than the track as Herfoss took the lead on the fifth lap. Jones was more willing to give up the lead this time as he elected to stay behind the Fireblade and study its weaknesses. A calm and methodical Jones played the patient game, drifting back to allow his front tyre to cool ahead of a renewed attack with three laps to go. Jones pounced on lap thirteen with a move that Herfoss had tried on him in race one, but the lead immediately changed back as Herfoss had his elbows out and muscled his way back into the lead the very next lap.

The pair traded the lead as the last lap board was shown and the fight was on. Side-by-side into turn three as Jones defended the inside line and held Herfoss at bay for now. Fans around Queensland Raceway were on the edge of their seat as Herfoss dived up the inside into turn four to surprise an unsuspecting Jones who had left the door open. The Yamaha rider running wide in avoidance, gathered himself up and adjusted his line for turn five to line up Herfoss into the final corner for one final attack. The pair grabbed the brakes alongside one another, with Jones running up the inside and in turn opening a gap for Herfoss to squeeze the power on and cut back underneath the R1 M. It still wasn’t over as Jones was able to get the Yamaha onto the fat part of the tyre and blast up the inside of Herfoss in a drag race to the line – The Penrite Honda man winning by just 0.056 of a second in his one hundredth start for the manufacturer in ASBK competition.

Jones’ Yamaha Racing Team teammate Halliday rides across the line to score a podium and continue his impressive 2023 form, while third is not the result he is after, it is only a matter of time before the #65 wins a race this season.

View Full Results

The ASBK championship now looks ahead to Darwin as the Alpinestars Superbike class joins the Repco Supercars Championship at the BETR Darwin Triple Crown.

Race report by Mark Bracks, Photography by Jeffrey Smith and Russell Colvin.

For more information on the 2023 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship Presented by Motul season, stay tuned to the ASBK website and social pages:

Official Calendar for the 2023 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK)

Tags for this post