More, from a press release issued by ASBK:
Herfoss Storms to Pole as Dunker Writes His Name Into History Books
Penrite Honda rider, Troy Herfoss, picked up where he left off on day one, as he claimed AMX Superstores pole position for the two, 16-lap races on Sunday afternoon. Herfoss had already reset the ASBK Superbike lap record once during Free Practice Four, however on his way to pole position he lowered the benchmark again, laying down a blistering 1:07.655.
After the challenges of the past two years, it’s a welcome return to the number one grid slot for Herfoss – Today’s pole position is his twelfth in his ASBK career and his first since round two 2021. Herfoss is back, proving that his win at the 2022 season finale was no fluke. His rivals should be worried. Herfoss has been the pace-setter in three of the four practice sessions as well as the major qualifying session, and been the most consistent of any rider on the grid as he has gone about the task of getting back to the top. His qualifying performance was a huge warning shot that he his back to his most determined mood – a scary thought for his opponents.
“It’s been an extremely long road back for me with many challenges along the way”, explained Herfoss. “I feel that I am back to 100% as the team has really been working hard for me to get back to this point. We are all working very well together. I am hoping that this weekend is not a one-off, but I am feeling extremely fit and confident about the rest of the season ahead. I know it’s a long shot but this weekend, I have the opportunity to shrink the points gap to Josh [Waters]. It’s been a long road back to get to this point, but I am confident that I am back to where I have been working towards.”
Defending champion, Mike Jones found a little extra to be second on the grid just 0.104 secs adrift of the Penrite Honda man. The corresponding round at the same venue, last year, was where Jones set the foundations for his title challenge. Come race day there is another mindset to the three-time Aussie champion and he will be a major threat as he is a major “race day” rider.
Fellow Yamaha Racing Team rider, Cru Halliday even with two off-track excursions at the final turn in his efforts to grab the top spot and the all-important championship point – claimed the last spot on the front row. 2023 has been a turnaround for Halliday. Apart from a crash in the opening race of the year at Phillip Island where he had to take evasive action to avoid a major incident, his worst result in the other four races has been third place. Halliday is a true title threat in 2023.
Three-time ASBK champion Josh Waters has had a challenging weekend that was compounded with a crash in Q1 but he bounced back to be fourth overall. The important equation for Waters and the McMartin Racing Team is to leave the round with as many points as possible in preparation for the next round at Darwin in mid-June.
Besides Herfoss’ impressive performance, the stand-out of the session was Max Stauffer who scored his best qualifying result in the fifth spot in the Alpinestars Superbike class as he will be in the middle of the second row for tomorrow’s two races.
The remainder of the Top Ten are Glenn Allerton (GT Racing BMW) in sixth from fellow BMW rider, Ted Collins (Livson Racing), Broc Pearson (DesmoSport Ducati) in eighth spot, Bryan Staring (MotoGo Yamaha) in ninth and Anthony West (Addicted To Track Yamaha) in tenth.
Cameron Dunker – at the ripe old age of 15 – continues to re-write the history books in his first year in the class. There’s no denying the kid’s talent. Since he has turned his talent to road racing after winning five Australian dirt track titles, he has won the Oceania Junior Cup and in 2022 took out the double winning the Supersport 300 Championship as well as the Yamaha Finance R3 Cup.
At the previous round at Sydney Motorsport – in just his fifth race in the class – Cam won the second Michelin Supersport race in wet and challenging conditions, to become the youngest winner of a race in the class and backed it up today by becoming the youngest rider to claim a Michelin Supersport pole position. The diminutive teenager is a class act with an extremely promising future. It would be no surprise if he takes another win tomorrow but there are plenty willing to upset his applecart.
One of those riders is Tom Bramich who qualified second fastest on his Yamaha YZF-R6. Tom has been in the class for a couple of years after tasting international competition but with his best qualifying result in the class has shown that he is not too far from knocking on the door of a race win. Third fastest was championship leader, Ty Lynch who went about his task without any fanfare but continued to chip away in his usual way. While Ty is not one to make any excuses, he is still recovering from injuries he suffered last year. As is the case with all of the gladiators of ASBK, once he is on the bike and on track all the discomfort is erased from his mind as he goes about the job at hand.
Leading the way on the second row of the grid is Olly Simpson from South Australia. Simpson is one of Australia’s most underrated riders as he has entered his local round at the Bend in recent years but for 2023 he – and his two brothers, Mitch and Jordie – are contesting every round. The Simpson trio have regularly featured in the podium positions throughout the opening rounds, look for this trend to continue tomorrow.
Fifth fastest is Jack Passfield from NSW with Jake Farnsworth rounding out the second row of the grid for the two 14-lap races ahead of the field tomorrow.
SUPERSPORT 300 AND YAMAHA FINANCE R3 CUP
The support classes of the Supersport 300 Championship, the Yamaha Finance R3 Cup and the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup each contested one race this afternoon with two races for each class tomorrow.
The Supersport 300 and R3 Cup provide another piece of history in Australian road racing when teenager, Marcus Hamod from Wollongong (NSW) doubled up and broke through for his first victories. The first win in the R3 Cup of eight laps was extremely emotional for the youngster as he held off the attention of his opposition in a typical drag to the line to deny Henry Snell with series leader Brandon Demmery coming home in third. It was a typical, frantic last lap for the class with six riders crossing the line within half a second!
The Supersport 300 class was the last race of the day and it was more of the same – Action aplenty. With the massive boost of confidence from the earlier race win, Hamod again managed to win the slipstream duel to the finish line. Demonstrating his level of cunning aboard a motorcycle, he rode a unique line through the final corner to carry the momentum and negate any threats from his rivals as he set a new lap record on the way to victory. Brandon Demmery and Brodie Gawith rounded out the podium as pole sitter Cameron Swain was an agonising 0.044 of a second away from some silverware.
BLU CRU OCEANIA JUNIOR CUP
A no-holds-barred race to open the account for our juniors. Leading one moment, being shuffled back to outside the top five the next – Welcome to OJC. Fans around Queensland Raceway were treated to an enthralling race, proving the class is a real winner for unearthing talent.
The short, sharp six-lap dash concluded with Bodie Paige taking the opening race of the weekend. Archie Schmidt climbed from the second row to finish second while it was a solid points-scoring day for Riley Nauta, as he looks to build on his current third place in the championship standings.