Penrite Honda rider, Troy Herfoss, picked up where he left off on day one, as he claimed AMX Superstores pole position for the two, 16-lap races on Sunday afternoon. Herfoss had already reset the ASBK Superbike lap record once during Free Practice Four, however on his way to pole position he lowered the benchmark again, laying down a blistering 1:07.655.
After the challenges of the past two years, it’s a welcome return to the number one grid slot for Herfoss – Today’s pole position is his twelfth in his ASBK career and his first since round two 2021. Herfoss is back, proving that his win at the 2022 season finale was no fluke. His rivals should be worried. Herfoss has been the pace-setter in three of the four practice sessions as well as the major qualifying session, and been the most consistent of any rider on the grid as he has gone about the task of getting back to the top. His qualifying performance was a huge warning shot that he his back to his most determined mood – a scary thought for his opponents.
“It’s been an extremely long road back for me with many challenges along the way”, explained Herfoss. “I feel that I am back to 100% as the team has really been working hard for me to get back to this point. We are all working very well together. I am hoping that this weekend is not a one-off, but I am feeling extremely fit and confident about the rest of the season ahead. I know it’s a long shot but this weekend, I have the opportunity to shrink the points gap to Josh [Waters]. It’s been a long road back to get to this point, but I am confident that I am back to where I have been working towards.”
Defending champion, Mike Jones found a little extra to be second on the grid just 0.104 secs adrift of the Penrite Honda man. The corresponding round at the same venue, last year, was where Jones set the foundations for his title challenge. Come race day there is another mindset to the three-time Aussie champion and he will be a major threat as he is a major “race day” rider.
Fellow Yamaha Racing Team rider, Cru Halliday even with two off-track excursions at the final turn in his efforts to grab the top spot and the all-important championship point – claimed the last spot on the front row. 2023 has been a turnaround for Halliday. Apart from a crash in the opening race of the year at Phillip Island where he had to take evasive action to avoid a major incident, his worst result in the other four races has been third place. Halliday is a true title threat in 2023.
Three-time ASBK champion Josh Waters has had a challenging weekend that was compounded with a crash in Q1 but he bounced back to be fourth overall. The important equation for Waters and the McMartin Racing Team is to leave the round with as many points as possible in preparation for the next round at Darwin in mid-June.
Besides Herfoss’ impressive performance, the stand-out of the session was Max Stauffer who scored his best qualifying result in the fifth spot in the Alpinestars Superbike class as he will be in the middle of the second row for tomorrow’s two races.
The remainder of the Top Ten are Glenn Allerton (GT Racing BMW) in sixth from fellow BMW rider, Ted Collins (Livson Racing), Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati) in eighth spot, Bryan Staring (MotoGo Yamaha) in ninth and Anthony West (Addicted To Track Yamaha) in tenth.
Race report by Mark Bracks, Photography by Jeffrey Smith & Russell Colvin.
WATCH ASBK THIS SUNDAY
Sunday Broadcast 1.00pm – 4.00pm AEST
- SBS Sport
- Stan Sport
- Sky Sports NZ
Sunday Broadcast 9.30am – 12.30pm AEST
INTERNATIONAL (Check your local guides)
- MotorVision Europe
- FMI TV
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)