Australian Superbike: Race Report From The 2019 Championship Finale At Sydney Motorsport Park

Australian Superbike: Race Report From The 2019 Championship Finale At Sydney Motorsport Park

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Motorcycling Australia:

MIKE JONES TAKES ASBK TITLE IN NAIL-BITING DECIDER

3 November 2019 

Mike Jones has claimed the 2019 Kawasaki Australian Superbike Championship by emerging from today’s two pressure-cooker races with pair of victories at the Motul Pirelli ASBK season finale at Sydney Motorsport Park.

From seventh on the grid, the Desmosport Ducati rider launched himself into the lead pack with blinder starts in both races, before going wheel-to-wheel with his main opponents, Troy Herfoss and Wayne Maxwell.

In Race 1, Maxwell held the ascendancy in the early laps after a battle with Daniel Falzon, before Jones passed the Suzuki rider at Turn 9. Maxwell was also passed by Troy Herfoss, who caught Jones in the closing laps but was unable to find a way past. Maxwell faded late, and was ultimately forced to defend third position from an attacking Bryan Staring on his Kawasaki.

The result saw Jones taking a half-point lead over Herfoss into the very last race of the season.

Another strong start from Maxwell saw the Suzuki rider lead Race 2 initially, before he was passed by both Jones and Herfoss. What followed was an epic battle between Jones and Herfoss; the two riders exploited each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and swapped the lead on numerous occasions, including three changes on the very last lap.

The defining moment happened when Herfoss launched an all-or-nothing attack at Turn 9, ran wide and allowed Jones to pull clear.

An exhausted but elated Jones paid credit to his Ducati team.

“The Desmosport Ducati team worked so hard for this – a big, special thank you to the team, all its supporters and all my supporters,” Jones said.

“It was incredible going into these two races – we knew we had to win both races.

“I came into the weekend with the goal of taking pole and winning both races. We didn’t get pole and that hurt a lot – I blame myself for that.

“Going into the two races, I knew there was a lot of pressure coming from behind, but I did the best I could and we got the job done.”

“In that last race, when I was out in front I was trying my hardest – I wanted to make a gap and get away; I wasn’t looking after the tyre, I was just going as hard as I could.

“When Troy came past me, I thought I was in a bit of trouble and panicked slightly. But I said to myself ‘I’m not going to lose this championship’ and all my focus was on catching and passing him.”

Runner-up Herfoss was philosophical in defeat.

“You always go to the track to win, but I say to myself ‘if I’ve done my best and left everything out there, I’ve done everything possible’ and I did that today.

“Mike rode a very smart race, he used his package to his advantage and I used mine to my advantage – he was just a bit better than me today.

“I’m so proud of my team for how they’ve worked – they kept their cool under pressure. The last five years, I’ve been in the title fight every year, and hopefully it’s the same next year.”

Maxwell ultimately finished Race 2 in fourth position behind Cru Halliday, securing third in the final standings; Staring retired from Race 2, while polesitter Daniel Falzon crashed out of both races.

Jones will be presented with his Australian Superbike Championship trophy at this evening’s Night of Champions function.

Mike Jones and his team and their supporters celebrate winning the 2019 Championship. Photo courtesy of Motorcycling Australia.

 

Kawasaki Superbikes – Points after Round 7
1. Mike Jones – 286.5
2. Troy Herfoss – 281
3. Wayne Maxwell – 273
4. Cru Halliday – 256
5. Josh Waters – 240
6. Bryan Staring – 228.5
7. Matt Walters – 184.5
8. Daniel Falzon – 157
9. Alex Phillis – 146
10. Mark Chiodo – 134Head to ASBK.com.au for more info about the Australian Superbike Championship.

For the latest updates from the ASBK, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Penrite Honda Racing:

ASBK CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP FOR PENRITE HONDA RACING’S HERFOSS

A thrilling end to the 2019 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Sydney Motorsport Park saw Penrite Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss finish just shy of the crown after a spirited effort today, earning runner-up honours following seven rounds.

Defending champion Herfoss displayed strong pace early on at the Eastern Creek-based venue, scoring a pivotal front-row starting position after qualifying in P2 with a time of 1m30.070s. 

The 32-year-old Gold Coast resident put on an incredible display of riding during Sunday’s pair of 13-lap encounters, charging to second in race one to place himself just half a point away from the series lead entering the final race.

In a winner takes all affair, Herfoss laid it on the line in the final outing, with the round win and championship coming down to the final moments of the race. In the end, the multi-time champion was forced to accept second for P2 in the final standings as well.

“It’s not the result we came here to get, but we all did our best and put ourselves in the best position possible to win the championship,” Herfoss reflected. “We were so close in the end – down to the last few corners, really. I tried so hard to win it and I fought so hard in the last few laps, but I just couldn’t stay in front of him. 

“Congratulations to Mike [Jones] and his team, but also to our team as well, because we did a really good job this weekend. We were really competitive throughout the round and I was the only one able to stay with Mike in both races. A big thank you to everybody at Penrite Honda Racing.” 

It was a positive weekend for teammate Mark Chiodo, the Victorian charger qualifying in an impressive fifth before recording a consistent 7-6 scorecard for sixth overall at the finale. In just his second year in the premier class, Chiodo climbed to 10th in the standings.

“It was a good weekend,” said Chiodo. “We’ve shown some speed at some rounds this year, but we haven’t been able to put it together. This weekend was different though, we were quick in every session on Friday and Saturday we were really quick, but I expected the races to be tough. I still went 7-6, which was pretty good, and they’re two decent race results to finish the year.” 

Penrite Honda Racing team owner Deon Coote praised the team’s efforts during the 2019 season, which marked a strong campaign for the outfit’s maiden year as a two-rider squad. It was also another glowing performance for the ER Motorsport-prepared CBR1000RR Fireblades.

“It was super exciting with the title coming down to the last race,” stated Coote. “The whole year was based on one race in the end, so it was definitely a nail-biter. Troy threw everything at it, but it wasn’t quite enough to get there in the end – they both rode amazing. Overall, it was a positive year for the team with Troy finishing second and Mark pushing his way inside the top 10.” 

Follow Team Honda Racing on Facebook, as well as @teamhondaracing on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.

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