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Mar 20, 2017

Australian Superbike: Troy Herfoss Takes Overall Victory At Round Two, At Wakefield Park

Defending Australian Superbike Champion and Round Two Overall Winner Troy Herfoss. Photo courtesy of Motorcycling Australia.

THE PERFECT WEEKEND FOR HERFOSS… ALMOST

Troy Herfoss (Crankt Protein Honda Racing, CBR-1000SP) almost completed the perfect weekend of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli (ASBK) After two sensational races, winning overall in the Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance (YMI) Superbike Championship, Round Two at Wakefield Park Raceway.

Herfoss performed an absolute masterstroke to switch to slick tyres before the start of the race. The track dried out incredibly quickly, while the majority of the field were on wet tyres. Although Herfoss was sent towards the back of the grid for the tyre change, his gamble paid off handsomely as he made his way from the back of the field.

“During Warm up, I came in early and asked my team if the decision was mine to change from wet to dry tyres and the looks on their faces was amazing! They had no idea what the weather was doing. I just had to back myself on a track I know in and out”, Herfoss said.

The Goulburn local hero made his way towards the front and into first position incredibly quickly and proceeded to create a huge gap between himself and second position. Herfoss and his pit crew can pat themselves on the back for taking such a gamble, as it allowed him to take an easy race victory. Herfoss won by four seconds in front of Robert Bugden (Kawasaki BCperformance, Kawasaki ZX-10R) and Josh Hook (Kawasaki ZX-10R)

Riders who didn’t make the change suffered massively on the dry track, shredding their tyres, giving way to riders on slicks, who passed with ease. Bugden and Hook also chose slicks before the start of the race, giving them a podium placing.

Hook was also delighted with his decision to switch to slicks before the race; “I didn’t know what the weather was going to do. I had a little bit of bad luck in qualifying and had a crash yesterday, so I had to start at the back. That’s when I thought I might as well risk it and change to slicks. Just as well, because the track became dry within a couple of laps!” He added.

Race Two of the YMI Superbikes took place on a completely dry track. Herfoss’s Honda was stuck on the line when the lights went green as his gearbox found a false neutral. Herfoss grabbed second gear and eventually left the start line at the end of mid pack. However, that didn’t stop him from performing one of the rides for the ages.

Despite the terrible start, Herfoss was on the war-path, dicing and weaving through the field like a hot knife through butter. His unparalled strength of his hometown track advantage was evident.

Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, the order was; Maxwell, Cru Haliday (Yamaha Finance, Yamaha, YZF-R1), Daniel Falzon (Caterpiller, Yamaha, YZF-R1) and Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecstar, Suzuki GSXR-1000R) who were duking it out for victory.

Herfoss soon caught up with the lead, eventually catching Maxwell and passing him. However, it was at that exact moment that Haliday crashed hard on lap 16 and caused a red flag period. As a result of the red flag, Maxwell was declared race winner relgating Herfoss second place by default as results reverted to lap 15.

The podium for race two included Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell, Crankt Protein Honda Racing ‘s Troy Herfoss and Caterpiller/JD Racing’s Daniel Falzon.

Maxwell shared his thoughts on the race win; “With the mixed weather all weekend, we really had no idea what was going to be thrown at us. The Yamaha worked really well on the track and we can really take away some positives from the weekend. It’s nice to come away with a race win. I can’t wait to get to Winton for Round Three!”

Herfoss can at least take solace in the fact that he has dramatically cut the overall championship points deficit to Daniel Falzon, (now only 13 points) as he finds himself well into the championship fight.

2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship Presented by Motul Pirelli Calendar:

Round 3 Winton Motor Raceway, VIC 28-30 April

Round 4 Hidden Valley Raceway, NT 7-9 July

Round 5 Morgan Park Raceway, Warwick, QLD 25-27 August

Round 6 SMP Eastern Creek, NSW 8-10 September

Round 7 Phillip Island Circuit, VIC 6-8 October

Stay up to date with all the latest news and updates from the ASBK by liking ASBK on Facebook, following the @asbk on Instagram and checking out the ASBK website here.



More, from a press release issued by DesmoSport Ducati:

SPRIGGS IN THE ASBK POINTS AT WAKEFIELD PARK

DesmoSport Ducati's Australian Superbike Championship newcomer Callum Spriggs scored important championship points in both premier class races at Wakefield Park Raceway in New South Wales this afternoon.

On and off rain in the region across the weekend played havoc at round two of the 2017 season, however Spriggs was able to put in a pair of consistent performances in challenging conditions at the 2.2-kilometre circuit.

In race one the DesmoSport Ducati team opted for the safer option of using Pirelli wet tyres on what was a drying track, with mist still in the air, and Spriggs soldiered on for 11th position across the finish.

The second race was contested in dry conditions, as the 22-year-old brought his 1299 Panigale S home in 15th place to add to his championship tally. That placed him 13th overall for the round.

"The first race wasn't too bad on the wets," Spriggs recalled. "A bit disappointing, but I feel like I rode okay in that one and to finish 11th gave us a decent amount of points. Come race two I had a slow start and I was struggling to make passes, so that was difficult, but I am really thankful for the team's help and I will keep working hard from here. It's not going to be easy, but I would really like to get my first top 10 at Winton and move up the order."

DesmoSport Ducati team co-owner Troy Bayliss commented: "It was a tough day for everybody and certainly one of the most difficult weekends of the year. All in all, we went out on wets in the first race and the field was split in its decision for the most part, so Cal didn't go too bad there, all things considered. We just want to keep moving forward from here and try to improve the results further at the next round, but everybody in the team did great."

The 2017 Australian Superbike Championship will continue with round three to be staged at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria on 28-30 April. Like DesmoSport Ducati on Facebook and visit www.asbk.com.au for further information.





More, from a press release issued by Cube Racing:

HOME HERO TOPARIS WINS, BAYLISS PODIUMS IN GOULBURN

Cube Racing's local teenager Tom Toparis captured his first-career Australian Supersport Championship race and round wins at Wakefield Park on Sunday, much to the delight of his hometown fans in difficult conditions.

The 16-year-old rookie qualified on pole position during Saturday's proceedings and then backed that form up with a gritty opening race win in slippery, wet conditions on Sunday morning.

A determined Toparis led race one from lap two, coming under attack during the final lap of 16, but remained composed and quickly retaliated to retake the lead and go on to win by 0.851s.

The afternoon's race was even more dramatic, split into two parts due to rain falling in the second half, causing a red flag stoppage and subsequent restart to determine the final results.

In the six-lap sprint, despite being ordered to start from the rear of the field, Toparis rode beyond his years for a thrilling fourth-place to clinch the overall victory for the weekend.

"It was definitely a good weekend and I felt like I did a good job," reflected Toparis. "There were a lot of different conditions this weekend, but we got it right in qualifying two on Saturday with a good strategy and managed to get pole.

"I didn't really think I was going to win in the wet this morning, but I got the job done. On lap one I was third, people were going down everywhere, but I dropped the hammer and broke away to about an eight-second lead. From there I was a bit conservative and got passed on the last lap, but I fought back at the top of the hill and led the rest of the race. That was a really cool feeling to win my first Supersport race at home.

"In race two it was mixed weather conditions again and I led for a while, but I saw rain drops on my visor and some guys went past. I ended up back in the lead and pitted to get my wet bike, but as I was leaving, they called a red flag. They said I had to start from the back of the grid, which was frustrating because I didn't feel I should have been and I could have been able to battle for the win if I was further up the grid.

"Anyway, I rode as fast as I could, dealt with what I had and came home fourth in sketchy conditions. That gave me the overall, which I was happy about, but I was disappointed with some things, that's for sure. It's really rewarding for myself and the Cube Racing team though - I'm glad I could get this result so early in the season and I feel like we are in it for the championship now."

Cube Racing teammate Oli Bayliss also put in an exceptional performance in Goulburn, the 13-year-old finishing second overall in the Up To 300 Supersport ranks after qualifying fourth in class and registering 3-2-2 results.

Bayliss, the son of three-time Superbike world champion Troy Bayliss, has quickly displayed his road racing capabilities in what is his first full season, taking added confidence out of Wakefield Park while his experience builds.

"In the first race on Saturday I struggled a bit with the set-up, but on Sunday morning I was second and pretty happy with that," Bayliss said. "In the third race I was going good and it started raining... about six people went down and I happened to be one of them! Anyway, I still got second in the race because they stopped it and second overall, so I'm really happy. It feels good to be on the podium and big thanks to Cube Racing."

Cube Racing team owner Ben Henry was delighted with the finishes of both Toparis and Bayliss in largely difficult, mixed conditions experienced throughout the second round.

"We're over the moon," Henry explained. "Starting with Tommy, he doesn't really have a home-track advantage because he hasn't raced that much or really even ridden here any more than he's ridden elsewhere - he just did a really good job and I'm really happy. We got drawn a bit of a rough card there in the second race, but it's all panned out and he's won the round. It won't be his last win of the year, that's for sure!

"Young Oli is going good and it was nice to see him on the podium in his class. I think he is a little bit nervous still, understandably, and I believe he has even more pace than he is showing in the races. He's only 13 though and he is gaining so much experience every time out, so it's a matter of putting it all together. There is no doubt that he has the ability to go on and win races, so it's just great for the team to be a part of. I couldn't be prouder of them."

The 2017 Australian Supersport Championship and Australian Supersport 300 Championship will resume with round three at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria on 28-30 April. Like Cube Racing on Facebook and visit www.asbk.com.au for more details.



More, from a press release issued by Swann Insurance Kawasaki:

WALTERS SCORES TOP 10 IN MIXED WAKEFIELD PARK ASBK AFFAIR

Swann Insurance-backed Kawasaki pilot Matt Walters surged to a season-best ninth overall in a challenging second round of the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship at Wakefield Park, New South Wales, over the weekend.

The multiple national champion and current Australasian number three rode his ZX-10R to 11th position in qualifying with a 59.719s lap-time, among a stacked field of the country's top premier class racers.

Mixed conditions were experienced throughout the round at the Goulburn-based 2.2-kilometre circuit, making for one of the most difficult weekends the series will likely see this year.

With mist still in the air and a half-wet, half-dry track experienced at the beginning of the first 20-lap race, Walters opted to start on the safer option of Dunlop wet weather tyres, however a quickly-drying surface made for an eventful outing.

Walters ran as high as eighth before eventually pitting for a bike-swap to his dry set-up at the halfway mark. From there, he powered through to 14th by race's end and claimed seven championship points in the process.

"We had a bit of a struggle in the first race after deciding to start on wets, but we still managed points in that one," Walters recalled. "There was a bit of confusion whether or not we were allowed to swap bikes, so I didn't come in until about lap 10, but we will learn from that and keep moving forward. Every advantage counts when we're racing at this level."

Come race two later in the afternoon, with rain still hovering in the region but a dry race declared, Walters impressed by charging to seventh position in tricky conditions when the race was red flagged due to an incident and declared at the end of lap 15. That progress has given him a significant boost of confidence as a result.

"The second race for us was good and we learned a lot about the bike, so we definitely improved on the position from Phillip Island," he commented. "It has given me a fair bit of confidence to keep pushing on in the longer races, which I'm still getting used to in comparison to shorter races of last year. It's definitely confidence-inspiring for myself and the team, so I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike at Winton."

With ninth overall to his credit at Wakefield Park and now sitting 11th in the points-race, Walters will now turn his attention to Winton Motor Raceway's third round of the season next month. Swann Insurance Kawasaki is also scheduled to test at the Victorian venue pre-race, which will be of great value come the race weekend.

"I feel like consistency is there within the bike and me as well," said Walters. "We just need to find that half a second to go with the front guys, which isn't unachievable, but there's a lot of hard work ahead to be able to do that. We're more than ready to take on the challenge and try to take advantage of an upcoming test at Winton before round three."

Round three of the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship will take place at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria on 28-30 April. Like Matt Walters Racing on Facebook and visit www.asbk.com.au for further information on the series.



More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:

DOMINANT ASBK WEEKEND FOR PIRELLI AT WAKEFIELD PARK

Pirelli-equipped riders claim victory across varying categories in a challenging second round of the 2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli at Wakefield Park, including Troy Herfoss (Superbike), Tom Toparis (Supersport), Jack Mahaffy (Supersport 300/Over 300), Reid Battye (Supersport 300/Up To 300) and Jack Passfield (R3 Cup).

Wakefield Park, 20 March 2017 - Crankt Protein Honda Racing's reigning Australian Superbike Champion Troy Herfoss took the win at home during Wakefield Park's second round of the 2017 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli on 17-19 March.

Pirelli rider Herfoss delighted Goulburn locals by taking pole position with a 58.096s at the 2.2-kilometre circuit on Saturday and 1-2 results on Sunday, despite mixed weather conditions playing havoc across the weekend. On again, off again rain in the region made for one of the most challenging weekends to be encountered by competitors all season.

In the opening 20-lap race Herfoss initially opted for Pirelli Diablo Rain tyres, however with the track surface quickly drying he pitted following the sighting lap and switched to the most common Pirelli selection of Diablo Superbike 120/70R-17 SC1 front and 200/60-R-17 SC0 rear slicks. That decision meant he had to start from the rear of the grid, but it mattered little as he shot to the front on lap three and went on to win by 3.955s after cruising to the finish.

Race two was another spectacular one for Herfoss, recovering from an error off the start that left him well outside of the top 10, before eventually closing on the leaders and seizing first position on lap 16. However a red flag and declared race saw results revert back to lap 15, bumping the number one plate-holder back to second. Still, he won the overall and moved to second in the standings as a result.

"It was a really tough weekend, but this track is a really strong one for me," Herfoss said. "We had all conditions thrown at us - wet, dry or in between - so I'm really happy that we got pole position, a race win and round win. That enabled us to catch a lot of points back, so I couldn't be happier. It was almost a perfect weekend!"

New to Pirelli for Wakefield Park, Wayne Maxwell (Yamaha Racing Team) won race two and claimed second overall, while Bryan Staring (Crankt Protein Honda Racing) and points leader Daniel Falzon (Caterpillar JD Racing Yamaha) were fourth and fifth overall respectively. Falzon was third in the second race and returning international Josh Hook (Kawasaki) impressed for P3 in the opening race, claiming sixth overall. Team Suzuki Ecstar's Josh Waters took seventh.

It was a Pirelli sweep of the podium in Supersport as Tom Toparis (Cube Racing) qualified on pole position and went 1-4 in the races - the first being staged in full wet conditions and the two-part second affair held in mixed conditions. Most common of the Pirellis was the Diablo Supercorsa 120/70ZR-17 SC1 front and 190/60ZR-17 SU1148 rear, as well as the 180/60ZR-17 SC1 rear.

"It was definitely a good weekend and I felt like I did a good job," 16-year-old Toparis said. "It's really rewarding for myself and the Cube Racing team - I'm glad I could get this result so early in the season and I feel like we are in it for the championship now!"

Joining Toparis on the podium for the weekend was race two winner and new championship leader Ted Collins (Next Gen Motorsports Suzuki) and Nic Liminton (Yamaha), while Sam Condon (Yamaha), Jordan Carlsson (Yamaha) filled the top five. Giuseppe Scarcella (Kawasaki) was a standout in finishing race one second, as Phillip Island winner Mason Coote (Yamaha) made a positive debut with AARK Racing for third in race two.

Pirelli's success extended to the talent-packed Supersport 300 category, where Jack Mahaffy (Yamaha, Over 300) and Reid Battye (Kawasaki, Up To 300) used Diablo Supercorsa 110/70ZR-17 SC1 front and 140/70ZR-17 SC2 rear options in the dry and Diablo Rain tyres in the wet for their respective class wins. The opening round of the R3 Cup resulted in Jack Passfield (Yamaha) taking out the overall utilising the same tyre selection.

“We are really pleased with the overall results for Pirelli riders at Wakefield Park," explained Don Nicholas, Link International Pirelli Moto product manager. "Each of the days presented difficult conditions, but allowed us an opportunity to showcase the performance of both our wet and dry tyres with riders across all classes.

"The Diablo Rain tyres proved their performance with impressive qualifying and race times in Superbike, Supersport and the 300 classes on what was a tricky and varied surface for riders to manage. In the dry, the choice of Diablo Superbike and Supercorsa again proved successful. We will now take what we have learned this weekend and build for Winton.”

Round three of the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship will be contested at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria on 28-30 April. Pirelli Motorcycle Tyres are imported and distributed exclusively in Australia by Link International. Visit www.linkint.com.au for additional information.

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