|||Penrite Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss has opened his account in the 2020 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) with a fifth-place result at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit between 27 February-1 March. |
Two-time ASBK champion Herfoss put forward a consistent effort at the season-opener, which was contested alongside the Australian round of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).
Still aboard last year’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP race bike as the ER Motorsport team awaits the arrival of the all-new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP due mid-season, Herfoss qualified in fifth on the grid at 1m33.270s.
The first of three 12-lap races on Saturday also saw him finish fifth after leading momentarily, lowering his lap-time to 1m32.475s in the process. In race two he was P5 as well, less than a tenth of a second from the podium.
Sunday morning’s third and final encounter again resulted in position five, Herfoss this time posting his fastest lap of the entire race weekend at 1m32.394s. Those finishes eventuated in fifth overall for round one of seven.
“It was a similar opening round to always for us,” Herfoss reflected. “Everybody’s always really pumped up and the pace was really fast from the beginning – it was a busy start to the year with a lot of stuff to get through.
“As the weekend went on, we couldn’t really get going to challenge for the win, but as far as the bike and everything goes, I’m really happy. The goal is to always get through round one as cleanly as possible, which we did.
“The Michelin tyres were great and working with Paul Free in the team again was really good, so it’s all coming together. It would have been nice to give Deon [Coote] and the Penrite Honda Racing team a podium on WorldSBK weekend, but it just wasn’t to be.
“I’ve come out of round one in previous years worse off, so fifth was okay and we’ll now get back down to work heading into Wakefield Park. I’m really looking forward to getting into the upcoming rounds of the season.”
Phillip Island marked the team’s first formal outing since transitioning to Michelin tyres during the pre-season, competing aboard the homologated Michelin Power Performance Slick tyres with significant early success.
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Image credit: Russell Colvin/Foremost Media.