WINNING DEBUT FOR PENRITE HONDA RACING AND CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE SP
Penrite Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss delivered a spectacular victory on debut with the all-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP at Wakefield Park’s final stop of the 2020 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) between 3-6 December, winning three of four races across the double-header event.
Following a lengthy nine-month delay in the series, rounds two and three were staged over a single weekend, where Michelin-equipped Herfoss took pole position for both Saturday and Sunday’s pair of premier class races.
The ER Motorsport-operated Penrite Honda Racing team has been constantly developing the latest Fireblade in ASBK trim since its arrival earlier this year and it quickly became evident that 33-year-old Herfoss had swiftly adapted the factory team’s new machinery. He entered the weekend 28 points down in his quest for a third championship in the category.
Friday afternoon saw Herfoss capture pole position for round two after posting a 57.331s lap-time and he went on to win the opening 18-lap encounter on Saturday morning by 0.728s. Later that afternoon he repeated his success, this time by 0.694s and scoring a remarkable overall win – his fifth in succession at the technical 2.2-kilometre circuit.
Those results enabled Herfoss to close the deficit in the championship to 17 points, which he further reduced to 16 after earning another pole position on Sunday morning by setting a 57.663s in windy conditions. An unfortunate issue while leading race one saw his title chances come to an early end, however, the team rebounded for one more race win by 0.787s in the final outing.
“We knew that it was a long-shot for the title this weekend, but this package that we have with Penrite Honda Racing and the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is so good that we weren’t ruling ourselves out too soon,” explained Herfoss, who originates from the Goulburn region.
“The way it turned out, even if we did win all four races we would have come up a little bit short anyway, but for me, I’m so happy that we’ve got such an impressive bike to ride – I’m going into next year in the best position I’ve ever been in. The Michelin tyres and K-Tech Suspension are great, the new bike’s incredible and the team are really motivated to win.
“It is disappointing to come close to the championship two years in a row now and not win it, but I’ve been in the hunt every year and that’s an achievement in itself. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity with the new Honda for some time, so it’s a credit to the team and everybody involved with Penrite Honda Racing to have such a strong debut.”
Herfoss managed to climb from fifth position to third in the final ASBK standings for 2020, importantly gaining crucial information and data on-board the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP throughout the Wakefield Park weekend. Penrite Honda Racing owner Deon Coote said it was a rewarding debut for the team with the new model, now setting their sights firmly upon next year.
“Every race that we’ve finished with the new bike we’ve won, so it was certainly a great start with the latest Honda,” Coote commented. “Troy was able to take pole position in both rounds, finished first in three of the four races and the package that we have between Honda, Michelin, K-Tech Suspension and Penrite is incredibly strong, so we look forward to 2021.”
Follow Honda Racing Australia on Facebook, as well as @honda_racing_aus on Instagram for the latest updates. To find out more on the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, visit: https://motorcycles.honda.com.au/models/onroad/supersport/cbr1000rr-r-sp