It was a complete fairy tale ending for the Crankt Protein Honda Racing team at round two of the Australian Superbike Championship at Wakefield Park, with Troy Herfoss taking the round win on home soil, while Jamie Stauffer’s replacement Anthony West finished in second position on the Superbike podium, in what was only his first ASBK outing since 1998.
There was no doubt that the second round of this year’s ASBK championship dished out plenty of thrills and spills across the entire three days, but it was Goulburn local Herfoss on his Honda machine who was the man of the moment this weekend.
From the minute Herfoss hit the track at Wakefield Park, the local proved he was a force to be reckoned with, putting down a record lap time of 57.350 during the Superbike qualifying session on Saturday, which provided himself and the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team with pole position when racing kicked off today.
And when race one eventually got underway this afternoon, despite three race restarts due to red flags, Herfoss showed his consistency and patience, taking the opening race win ahead of his teammate West who put in an outstanding effort to finish in second, at his very first event with the Honda racing team.
In race two, Herfoss hoped to remain undefeated at Wakefield, however in the later stages of the race, at turn ten on the tight technical Wakefield Park circuit, Herfoss hit false neutral and was forced back two positions, seeing him slide from second to fourth.
However, at the conclusion of race two, both Herfoss and West had plenty of reason to celebrate – the pair wrapping up the final outing for the day with West snatching up second position once again, and Herfoss finishing in fourth, handing the team positions one and two on the round two overall Superbike podium.
Round two winner Herfoss shared that despite a tough final race, he has added confidence, now having the Superbike Championship points lead, as the series heads to round three.
“It was a bit of a stressful morning, I’m not sure what was going on – it was as if everyone was too eager and there were bikes going down everywhere. It was a bit odd with the tyre allocation, because with so many restarts we still had to use the same tyre, and I was a bit nervous about pushing hard – but the Pirelli’s really proved themselves this weekend and I was able to bring it home in the first race. In race two I was a bit disappointed, because I was struggling to get through the traffic, and I managed to get in to second, but I hit false neutral in turn ten and I hit the kitty litter which pushed me back a few positions. All in all though, I’m that excited with the package we have. We’ve gone a lot faster and we just keep improving on what we’ve got. Now we’re going to Eastern Creek where you really need a bike that can go the whole race distance, and fast, and I’m absolutely confident that we have the opportunity to do that with the Honda CBR1000RR SP.”
Fill in rider Ant West was also happy at the conclusion of round two, sharing that the ASBK Superbike class is more competitive than he first anticipated.
“I jumped straight on this bike and to be honest I’m pretty happy with what we achieved this weekend. I’ve never raced a Honda before, so it’s been a challenge getting comfortable on the bike and really we haven’t had a lot of time to get the bike set up for me. I still didn’t feel 100 per cent during the race and I still think there’s a lot more that we can get out of the bike, and also a lot more that we can get out of myself. I’ve had fun though, and I’d definitely consider racing at the ASBK again. I’ve never really thought about racing in Australia, but after racing here I’ve realised it is competitive, and it’s not an easy championship – these top guys are fast. Wakefield Park is a track that I’m not used to, it’s tight and bumpy and it’s a lot different to what I’m used to riding, so I’d love the opportunity to come back and see what I can do on a different circuit.”
Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team Manager Paul Free shared that he couldn’t be happier after both Herfoss and West finishing on the podium at Wakefield Park today.
“For any team, this really is a fairy tale result, and on behalf of the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team, a big congratulations to both Troy and Anthony. We knew that Troy would be fast here, but to set a new lap record and take the round two win, it really is a great result for the entire team. Anthony was asked to step in at the last minute, and he has proven today that we made the right choice. To finish with both boys in the two top spots on the podium, we really couldn’t be happier.”
The Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team will now begin preparation for Round three of the ASBK, being held at Sydney Motorsport Park on April 16 – 17.