29th March 2015 – Team Honda Racing now leads the Australasian Superbike Championship claiming the overall victory at Round 1 in Sydney this weekend in a thrilling display of the Honda CBR1000RR SP at its best.
The championship leader after Round 1 is #3 Troy Herfoss with 48 points and in 2nd place on the leaderboard with 47 points is #41 Aiden Wagner whose debut weekend on a Superbike was nothing short of spectacular.
Wagner teamed up with Herfoss for Round 1 in place of #2 Jamie Stauffer who had to make do with an advisory role on the side-lines whilst he awaits clearance to race. With a Supersport championship under his belt in 2014, Wagner’s first opportunity on a Superbike was on Friday when he joined Team Honda Racing at Sydney Motorsport Park. His practice and Qualifying session went extremely well, placing him in P5 on the grid for Saturday’s races. He didn’t look back.
The more seasoned Troy Herfoss who is running the #3 plate after his success in 2014 proved that experience does count and heads into Round 2 as the early championship leader. Herfoss also qualified well on Friday to start from P4 on the grid in Saturday’s races.
The Team Honda Racing riders won a race apiece on Saturday with Wagner taking the initial win and recording a Superbike lap record in the process with a lap time of 1:30.666 sec much to the amazement of all and sundry. The lap record stands at the end of Round 1. Herfoss took the Race 2 win and therefore the overall for the FX-Superbike championship yesterday. This gave Herfoss Pole position for today’s Swann Insurance Superbike races and placed Wagner in P2 on the grid. Honda was off to a terrific start.
Today’s two 15 lap Swann Insurance Superbike races were equally as thrilling if not more so with the two Team Honda Racing riders dominating the track and taking 1st and 2nd in both races.
Race 1 belonged to Wagner who battled at the front confidently and took the race win just .098 sec ahead of team mate Troy Herfoss in 2nd place and 3.4 sec ahead of 3rd place.
Not to be outfoxed by the young gun, Herfoss took every opportunity in Race 2 to make it his own and the two Honda riders battled the entire race distance for the win. Herfoss claimed the victory with a lap time of 1:31.122 sec, just .056 sec ahead of Wagner. The win gave Herfoss the Round honours and the championship lead heading into Round 2 in May.
Herfoss was thrilled at such a strong start to the season. “What an awesome weekend after a long off season. We proved again that the Honda CBR1000RR SP is a winning package. I am so happy to leave Sydney with both championship leads and a Pole position. Aiden was a pleasure to race with and pushed me hard all weekend. I am excited for Round 2 already, we have to keep pushing forward while we are strong.”
Wagner could not be more excited about his weekend. “I would like to thank Team Honda Racing for the opportunity firstly because without their help and great support it would not have been possible. Also, thanks to Troy and Jamie for their help over the weekend. It was such a great weekend and I am loving the CBR1000RR SP! I look forward to the future.”
Most pleased with the team’s success is of course Team Principal, Paul Free. “This was an awesome beginning to the season for Team Honda Racing although not having Jamie race is going to make Round 2 all the more important. Well done to Troy for taking the championship lead and having such a strong start to the year. I have to say that Aiden Wagner’s effort on the Superbike for the first time was just incredible. His speed and sheer determination is something you don’t see in many individuals up front. Clearly the small changes we’ve made technically to improve the CBR1000RR SP in testing over the off season have made it an even better package than where we finished 2014. To watch Troy and Aiden today racing against each other in a battle for the lead was just incredible. They made pass after pass on each other and all without even a touch. They showed each other ultimate respect. I look forward to the team’s next outing and getting Jamie back on the bike and continuing on with this already great start. ”
Team Honda Racing now focuses on Round 2 at Mallala Raceway where Jamie Stauffer will rejoin the team with what is a clear intent to be immediately competitive.