Australian Superbike: Herfoss Doing Double Duty In 2024

Australian Superbike: Herfoss Doing Double Duty In 2024

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By ASBK:

Editorial Note: Three-time and reigning Australian Superbike Champion Troy Herfoss is committed to race an Indian in the entire MotoAmerica Mission King Of The Baggers Championship, but he will also race a DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4 R in selected rounds of the 2024 Australian Superbike (ASBK) Championship.

Massive intrigue as 2024 ASBK season begins at Phillip Island

It’s fitting the 35th anniversary of the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul (ASBK) begins at Phillip Island from February 23-25 – a circuit that, more than any other, has produced a magnificent catalogue of extraordinary battles over the last five decades between the titans of local motorcycle racing.

That’s just the ‘official’ version of history, with Superbike racing for all intents and purposes already a de-facto national class well before it was formally inaugurated in 1989. The machines were predominantly ‘open books’: not always the most angelic in the handling and braking departments, but still able to transfer some serious horsepower through skinny rear tyres.

In 1989, Tasmanian hard-charger Malcolm Campbell won the first ASBK Championship on a Honda RC30. Thirty-five years on, today’s generation of Superbikes from Japan and Europe are light years ahead of their forerunners across every performance metric, but the philosophy remains the same: showcasing the latest generation of high-performance, four-stroke production-based machines on racetracks across the country.

In 2024, that all begins at round one, with riders to start the seven-round season across three 12-lap races around the legendary tyre-churning constant-radius curves of the grand prix circuit. The Superbike riders will also be joined by the Michelin Supersport and Race and Road Supersport 300 classes at the ASBK opener.

Round one will be televised on SBS Sport and SBS On Demand on Sunday, February 25 from 1:00-3:00pm AEST.

All practice, qualifying and race results will be available here.

The buzz factor in ASBK has gone through the roof in 2024 with exceptionally fast incumbents such as defending champion Troy Herfoss (DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4 R) joined by a new wave of precocious talent like reigning Australian Supersport champion Cameron Dunker on a Yamaha YZF-R1M.

That wasn’t a ‘typo’, either: 37-year-old Herfoss has made a sensational switch to DesmoSport Ducati alongside incumbent Broc Pearson after winning last year’s ASBK title on a Honda – his third on the Japanese hardware.

Herfoss will now combine an ASBK schedule with King Of The Baggers commitments in America and, after a comprehensive block of testing and competition on the Ducati, he’ll be ready to come out all guns blazing at Phillip Island.

Awaiting him will be a man who already has a year-and-a-bit experience on a Ducati – reigning Superbike No.2 and multiple champion Josh Waters (On Ya Bike Adventures), who not only holds the current Phillip Island lap record but has won five of the last eight ASBK races at the venue with his smooth and error-free riding style.

He swept aside the opposition in the corresponding ASBK Phillip Island round in 2023, and then also proved he could do it the hard way by tenaciously winning again in the penultimate round when clearly nobbled by injury.

Related:

Tickets on sale for ASBK Night Race at Sydney Motorsport Park

Vermeulen to join ASBK TV team in 2024

Mike Jones (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1M) and Glenn Allerton (BMW M 1000 RR) are the other ASBK Superbike champions in this weekend’s field, and both know when it’s time to flick the switch into ruthless race mode. Meanwhile, emerging star Max Stauffer (Penrite Racing YZF-R1M) also has ASBK ‘winning’ links via his father, Jamie, who was a two-time champion in the 2000s.

Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1M) shared wins with Waters at the last Phillip Island ASBK round. It was Halliday’s first ASBK win in several seasons, and he proceeded to finish third in the championship behind Herfoss and Waters and ahead of Allerton, Jones, Pearson, Bryan Staring (MotoGo Yamaha YZF-R1M) and Ted Collins (BMW M 1000 RR).

In 2024, Queenslander Anthony West (Addicted to Track YZF-R1M) also returns to ASBK as well as Arthur Sissis (YZF-R1M), Paris Hardwick (Kawasaki ZX-10RR), Matt Walters (Aprilia RSV4) and a brace of impressive rookies: Michelin Supersport-winning trio Tom Toparis (Stop & Seal YZF-R1M), Dunker and John Lytras (Caboolture Yamaha YZF-R1M).

Toparis’ ASBK Superbike debut will now wait until round two under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park (March 22-23) while he focuses on a World Supersport (WorldSSP) wildcard at Phillip Island this weekend, but Dunker and Lytras will be in action.

Dunker is a wunderkind: he’s won four championships under the ASBK banner over the past three years, as well as dominating a MiniGP title in 2023 and still finding time to return to his roots as a dirt track gun.

His decision to go Superbike racing at such a tender age has an impressive precedence: Chris Vermeulen did the same thing in 1999 before going on to forge a successful career as WorldSSP champion and take victories in World Superbike and MotoGP.

Harrison Voight, a 17-year-old star from Queensland, will also compete at Phillip Island on a Panigale V4 R – prepared by Waters’ suitor, McMartin Racing – before he heads off for another European Moto2 campaign. Voight has already won on the Ducati under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park, so he’s far from a smokey at Phillip Island and has winning Michelin Supersport form at the 4.448km circuit.

This begs the question: will this weekend kickstart a changing of the ASBK guard or will the evergreens reign supreme? It’s going to be fascinating to watch, with a freshly resurfaced Phillip Island also thrown into the mix for good measure.

Superbike practice begins on Friday before qualifying and race one on Saturday and two races on Sunday. To purchase tickets for Phillip Island, click here.

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