ASBK

Success And Heart Break For Honda At ASBK Opener

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Team Honda Racing tasted both success and heartbreak at the World Superbike Event over the weekend as Troy Herfoss took overall honours in the Superbike support category on equal points with team mate Josh Hook.

It was a race apiece for the Honda duo and no lack of thrilling battles for spectators at the Phillip Island Circuit.

Unfortunately, it was not all podiums and smiles for Team Honda Racing with Jamie Stauffer coming off in a nasty crash in Race 1 on Saturday, breaking his pelvis. Stauffer had in fact begun the event on top, taking Pole position on the grid and looking strong for battle the following day.

Due to Race 1 on Saturday being red flagged twice for crashes, including Stauffer‰Ûªs crash, officials made the decision to run an 8 lap Race 1 in Sunday‰Ûªs schedule.

Herfoss started both races from P2 on the grid; a solitary figure on the front row with both Stauffer and Condon injured and unable to race. With Herfoss in P2 and Hook in P4 on the grid, Team Honda Racing remained in a strong position to take the race win.

Race 1 saw both Honda CBR1000RR SPs get a good start off the line with Herfoss taking the lead. The pair battled hard in the early stages of the race and by mid-race Hook had the lead and no intention of relinquishing it. Hook took the Race 1 win with the fastest lap of the race, a 1:33.170 sec just .99 sec ahead of Herfoss whose fastest lap of Race 1 was a 1:33.286 sec.

Race 2 was even more exciting with the Team Honda Racing riders out in front once more. It was Herfoss leading the field and appearing very comfortable onboard his Honda, but Hook had other ideas and the two put on a thrilling display as they pulled out all the stops to take the win. It was Herfoss in the lead on the final lap with Hook right on his tail.

Hook inevitably pulled out from the slipstream down the straight and it was down to the wire. Herfoss looked to box Hook at the pit wall as he headed for the checkered flag and the bold move worked. In a photo finish it was Herfoss over the line first by just .018 sec ahead of Hook who still recorded the fastest lap of the race, 1:33.876 sec.

Herfoss was all smiles on the podium, taking overall honours.

‰ÛÏI finished the weekend off really happy with my results." Herfoss said. "The conditions for Race 2 were really difficult so both Josh and I struggled for lap times and found it hard to maintain a lead in the race.

"I‰Ûªm really happy to get my first win on a Superbike at Phillip Island and leave here with the championship lead as well as being able to showcase the CBR1000RR SP. It was really disappointing to lose Jamie to injury. He is an extremely tough guy so I know he will recover well.

"A massive thanks to Team Honda Racing and Bell helmets, also to Pirelli for providing a tyre that has worked in both cool and difficult hot conditions. Thanks to everyone involved, it was a great weekend for Team Honda Racing.‰Û
Hook was pleased with his weekend back onboard the CBR1000RR SP - Credit: Keith Muir
Hook was pleased with his weekend back onboard the CBR1000RR SP for the team before heading to Japan to compete in the Japanese Superbike Championship.

‰ÛÏAll in all it was a very positive weekend for us with a 1st in the first race and a 2nd in Race 2." Hook commented. "I would like to say a massive thanks to Team Honda Racing for bringing me onboard for this round.

"The team has been working very hard in testing to get the bike just right and I was struggling a bit to keep up with my team mates early on, but in the races we seemed to be setting the pace so it was good to see the hard work pay off.

"That second race was a tough one and well done to Troy on the win. I am really stoked to come away with the result I did so a huge thank you to everyone involved. Overall it was a great weekend."

Team Principal Paul Free was of course very pleased with his riders‰Ûª results.

‰ÛÏThe team did a fantastic job this weekend and the racing was really exciting." Free reflected. "It was difficult to see Jamie go down so hard on Saturday and his injury will take some time to heal. We are in contact with Jamie and Emma and just have to support them as Jamie recovers.

"The racing continued of course and Troy and Josh excelled themselves in the 2 races on Sunday. Well done to both riders on a fantastic effort. The conditions were fairly ordinary with the heat in the track, but they handled it well and to get 1-2 in both races is great.

"Well done to Troy on the overall win and to Josh, we wish him all the best as he heads to Japan to begin testing for the FCC TSR Honda Team. I would like to thank our team partners for their support, particularly Honda Australia, Motul and Pirelli. The product supplied by Pirelli and their level of support was first class.‰Û

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