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Herfoss steals the ASBK show to make it title No. 3

By MA Media 0

A superb final round clean sweep from Troy Herfoss in the 2023 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul, at The Bend has secured the Queenslander a stunning third Australian Superbike title.The 36-year-old was peerless in round seven Alpinestars Superbike action on the South Australian circuit, with his maximum points haul on the immaculately prepared Penrite Honda CBR1000RR-R keeping the door firmly shut on his main championship rival, Josh Waters (McMartin Racing with K-Tech Ducati V4R).Herfoss defeated Waters in a tight race one finish, before a mid-race crash from Waters in the decider took all the pressure off the new 2023 champion, who signed off from his career with Honda in fairytale fashion. After the anguish of losing previous ASBK Championships by slim margins, today’s victory was all about pure adulation.Herfoss completed the seven-round championship on 344pts, ahead of Waters (324) and Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1, 260), the latter nabbing third from Glenn Allerton (GT Racing BMW M 1000 RR, 259) at the death knell.

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Sensational Schmidt wraps up Oceania Junior Cup at The BendAs well as the two race wins and the championship spoils, Herfoss now owns the fastest Superbike lap around the 4.95km circuit – icing on the cake for what was a brutally efficient campaign from first practice on Friday until today’s heroics. Herfoss methodically piled on the pressure bit by bit, which ultimately proved too much for the opposition – even Waters.THE BEND SUPERBIKE RESULTS AND STANDINGS

Herfoss’ previous ASBK titles came in 2016 and 2018, while it’s now a dominant 12 championships for Honda in the 35-year history of Australia’s premier road racing category.“It doesn’t get any better than this, as the riders I compete against are so hard to beat,” said Herfoss. “To be able to finish up with Honda with a championship is just incredible. We have grown a lot as a team this year and just got better and better. And this is the best I have ever ridden a motorbike.“But I want to pay credit to my opposition, and particularly Josh who I also battled with in the 2017 championship. He’s such a tough competitor and literally rode his bike into the ground to try and beat me. And I know he’s in a lot of pain with his injuries: I’ve got a of respect for him and his team.“I just love racing and it’s not going to get better than this.”

Mission accomplished: Herfoss wins the 2023 championship

Waters, who was chasing a fourth ASBK title, was philosophical in defeat.“It started to hurt us yesterday when Troy got pole position and the bonus point,” said Waters.“Race one was good and I looked at the positives, and then in race two I wanted to lead from the start and pull away from the others. When I crashed I wasn’t pushing that hard, but the bike had been risky into turn six all weekend.“I am disappointed in the outcome but at least I know I gave it everything. Congratulations to Troy on winning the championship.”

Herfoss and Waters flash over the line in race one

The opening 11-lap race saw Herfoss lead from start to finish, with Waters running line astern for the majority of the journey save for a brief period when defending ASBK champion Mile Jones (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1) slotted into second.Waters’ move back into second coincided with Herfoss setting a new race lap record (1m50.529s), which saw him stretch his lead to just under one second.Waters dug in his heels, though, and he was running with Herfoss by the final lap. However, Herfoss was impregnable and held on by 0.253sec and increased his championship lead to 6pts, with the slow-starting Halliday third ahead of Jones, Allerton, Max Stauffer (GTR Moto Stars YZF-R1), Bryan Staring (MotoGo YZF-R1) and Anthony West (Addicted to Track YZF-R1).Race two saw Stauffer and Staring both crash out within the first two laps, but the most telling departure was Waters after losing the front end on his V4R at turn six while in second place.He remounted and finished 10th, but Herfoss only had to keep his powder dry over the final four laps to guarantee championship success. He was duly untroubled, and could even acknowledge the crowd on the final lap – an early reward for a stellar season that yielded eight wins and 12 podiums.Halliday passed Jones on the final lap in the battle for second, while Allerton was fourth from West, Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati V4R), Marcus Chiodo (CBR100RR-R) and Ted Collins (Livson Racing M 1000 RR).The 2024 ASBK Championship will begin from February 23-25 in conjunction with the FIM Motul Superbike World Championship.

Halliday’s rich vein of season-ending form saw him finish third in the championship