Goulburn’s Troy Herfoss heads into his ‘home round’ in a bit over two weeks’ time at Wakefield Park with an eleven point lead in the Australian FX-IPONE Superbike Championship (AFX) and slender a three point lead in the Swann Insurance Australasian IPONE Superbike Championship (ASC).
We caught up with the 28-year-old to find out how his season has gone thus far.
ASC: Troy, well done on a great season so far in the 2015 ASC season. You head into your home round with a three point lead in the ASC title fight. Can you give us a run down on your season thus on how this year has gone for your.
TH: The 2015 season has gone exactly to plan so far. We started the year off really strong, like we knew we needed to. We got ourselves a small point’s buffer to get through some difficult tracks. Obviously Queensland Raceway was difficult for us. However I can come away from Queensland Raceway saying it has been a successful year so far, because we still have the championship lead with two really good tracks ahead – Wakefield Park being one of them and Winton the other, then back to Sydney Motorsport Park where we know I have been strong at the first two times. I think as a team we can be confident that we have the right package to win the championship; it’s just a matter of getting the job done and getting some more race wins at these tracks that we are strong at.
ASC: Of course race wins are important, which will hopefully lead into round wins. But as a championship, it seems you and Wayne [Maxwell] are the two major players who are gunning for this year’s title. From your point your view, do you feel as if it’s important just to finish in front of Wayne for the rest of the year?
TH: No, it’s not even about Wayne and I. I have never said it’s about Wayne and I. Definitely after Queensland Raceway, Glenn has shown he can win races, which we all knew. Both Glenn and Yamaha are getting stronger every time. I just have to focus on myself and trying to make sure I’m good enough to win. I don’t really care who is second or third or whoever I have to beat. I just want to be at the front and winning. That is my attitude all the time. So going into Wakefield and Winton, I just want to win races and I don’t care who I am racing with, as long as I’m winning.
ASC: In terms Team Honda Racing this year, you have gone from a four rider team to a three rider team with yourself and Jamie Stauffer and Linden Magee. Is it easier having two teammates rather than three?
TH: It was quite easy last year. I was in a bit different setup to the other three guys. I was late into the team. We were all on the same equipment, but I feel like that I got looked after very well last year, and I got along very well with the other guys. Of course that hasn’t changed, but last year was a lot fun. Between Jamie, Josh [Hook] and Wayne, there was four of us that could win each time, but equally as much fun was had in the pits. We got along great and it was really just a fun year and made me so much happier that I decided to go racing again. I was very lucky that I went into such a good team. This year is definitely easier sometimes. When you’re trying to get the bike sorted out, with fewer riders, the more time you get spent with Paul [Free] and Shawn [Clark], who are the two main guys from Team Honda Racing. It hasn’t changed a lot but. Jamie, Linden and I get along great and the whole team is working really well. There are different points where I enjoyed last year more than this year and vice versa. In general we are all having a good time. We are just excited that we are up the front and looking to hopefully getting another title for Honda.
ASC: Let’s do a bit of ‘crystal balling. IF you do win this year’s championship, will it mean more to you than your 2008 AMA supermotard and your Australian Supersport Championship that you won in 2010, just because how tough this year has been, in regards to the level of competition.
TH: I’m not sure where it would go down. When I won the supermotard championship that was really hard, as I wasn’t the favourite to win. We won it, and that was really exciting. I worked for a few years to do it, so there was a lot of pressure to win that as I planned on going road racing and wanted to finish on a good note. Then the 2010 Australian Championship, in ways it didn’t mean as much as there wasn’t that much of a fight if you compare to the supermotard championship. I had a pretty good year in my first year. To be fair, I was on the best bike and with the best team and it was sort of an expectation that we would win. In saying that, I always dreamt of going road racing, so it was a big thing in that regards. I always watched guys racing around, hoping one day I could do it. There are different ways that I enjoyed both championships. This year however, it has been such a hard battle each time I go out on the track. I have won a couple of races, but I have not won a race more than a second. So every time I go out on the track, I’m getting the most out of myself and the bike I feel. I think if I were to win the championship this year, it would definitely be at the top there in par on what I have done so far. But it’s a long way to go yet, and I don’t like talking about the championship.
ASC: In regards to Wakefield Park. You have done a million laps around there. You currently hold the lap record, so tell us, what’s the trick to getting a handsome lap time around the 2.2km circuit?
TH: Wakefield Park is a really tough track. When your there on your own practicing, it’s quite frustrating. It’s just a hard place to get a lap time I think, as there is so much use on the track. With both bikes and cars running around there, they are laying so much rubber around there. The track always has an unpredictable surface. Then on top of that the track is so tight and twisty. So to ride a superbike around here makes it feel like you’re riding two superbikes. It really makes a superbike feel really powerful around here. The trick to getting around Wakefield is patience. That goes with a lot of tracks. You have to be really patience on the entry into the turns and make sure you link the corners together. From turn two up the hill to the last right hand corner that leads back onto the main straight they all link together. If you’re wide through the first left, you’re wide into the next right, you’re wide out of the right, you have a bad entry down the hill and then you’re over shooting the hairpin. You have to be really patience and have a bike that turns really well.
ASC: And is that why the Honda’s should suit Wakefield Park and the next round at Winton Motor Raceway.
TH: Yeah, the Honda’s are going to suit those tracks. Horsepower is not an issue, especially at Wakefield. And our bike turns well. To be fair, our bike has good mid-range power. The Honda CBR1000RR SP gets off the corners with the best of the bikes. That’s what’s it’s all about at Wakefield and Winton. That’s why we can be confident at these two tracks. If I don’t manage to win races at Wakefield and Winton, then I’m 100% to blame.
ASC: So tell us, if you do manage to win the overall round at Wakefield, what will it mean to you personally?
TH: It would mean a lot to win at home, because I love racing at home as all my friends and family are there. All my friends know a bit about my racing and support it. Winning is good everywhere, but winning at home is such a nice feeling to have your friends and family there and supporting you.
ASC: Well, Troy thankyou very much for your time. All the very best of luck in a few weeks time!
TH: Thank you very much.