Round 2 of the Australian Superbike Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park proved to be an action-packed weekend of racing for Penrite Honda, taking 3rd place overall and enjoying the championships’ first-ever night race festivities.
The usual three-day ASBK schedule was crammed into two very long days/nights. Friday consisted of five track outings incorporating both day and night sessions for free practice and qualifying.
The team navigated through an issue with the shock during free practice sessions, quickly resolving the problem in time for qualifying. With a best time of 1:29.710, Troy Herfoss placed himself in P4 and on the second row for the race.
Herfoss got a solid start in race 1 and kept pace at the front of the pack, where he looked to settle in for the long haul before an unfortunate mistake bumped him four positions backwards. Fighting hard to get back up front for podium contention, he moved into fourth, hunting down Mike Jones. With 10 laps completed, the race was declared by a red flag after Jones dramatically lost speed and his bike caught fire. With smoke billowing over the track, Herfoss finished in 3rd for the race.
After the drama of race 1, race 2 under lights was sure to deliver more excitement to fans, as the weather threatened to add more complexity to the mix.
The team hit the grid promoting a new sponsor, BASSI Workwear and team owner Deon Coote’s line of work – Road Construction – with a ‘night whites’ outfit making its debut on grid. Steel cap boots and a carbon fibre hard hat completed the look.
Night works were certainly underway in race 2, as Herfoss shot to the front with a blistering start. Three laps in and the heavens opened, and rain poured onto a track full of bikes on slick tyres. The red flag came out yet again but called the race to restart.
The team got their CBR1000RR-R SP Fireblade ready for a wet race. It was another strong start for Herfoss as he rocketed to the front. Slippery conditions and a wide run into turn six forced him to relinquish the lead. He battled hard and after an epic comeback through the field, made his way into 2nd position where he finished the race, giving the team 3rd overall for the weekend.
Deon Coote, Penrite Honda Racing team owner and Director of Elite Roads:“Overall, it was a good weekend and we had a fantastic finish in that second race, Troy recovered well after a small mistake, he had a strong finish in 2nd and it made a pretty exciting race to watch as he made his way back through the field. Super positive for the team and looking forward to seeing what we can do with our good pace heading into Queensland Raceway at the end of April.”
Troy Herfoss:“Our first night race went really well. It was a big weekend, there’s a lot to talk about! The whole team worked well together, considering we were missing 2 of our regular guys - Charlie and Ian. Thanks to Dan who filled in for us, I started my time at Honda with him on the team, so it was cool to have him back working with us for a weekend. I’m of course really happy with the results, to get another podium and 2nd in race 2 was a highlight. We are looking to push on and bridge that gap to the front now. As far as the Championship goes, it’s great to be 2nd, really happy about that but we are wanting more so I’m looking forward to the next race and what’s to come.”