Additional three races a ‘clean advantage’ according to ASBK champion.
Reigning Australian Superbike champion Troy Herfoss has been granted a wildcard to contest the opening round of the 2019 FIM Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Phillip Island on 22-24 February, which is also set to feature round one of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).
Herfoss scored a wildcard for the Yamaha Motor Finance-backed event in 2018, however with Penrite Honda Racing then in its infant stages and a WorldSBK-spec CBR1000RR SP2 prepared at the last minute, the Gold Coast-based rider was prevented from showcasing his full potential on the world stage.
With the added experience and an ASBK championship-winning season behind himself and the team, Herfoss has lifted expectations for his campaign this year with an improved performance in sight.
“We’ve been lucky enough to be accepted for the wildcard spot for the second running, so the team’s been working really hard over the christmas break to put together a bike in hope that we’d get the chance,” Herfoss explained to CycleOnline.com.au.
“I expect a lot more out of myself this year – I wasn’t happy with how I went last year, but that wasn’t anyone’s fault really. We were a new team and we tried to build a bike in a short amount of time.
“This year I know how things work in WorldSBK based off last year, so I expect more out of myself, but also, Deon and the team expect a lot more out of me this year because they’ve put in a hell of a lot of effort in over the off-season. The bike is going to be a lot more competitive, so there’s an expectation to be a lot better.”
Despite the WorldSBK transferring to a three-race format in 2019, Herfoss believes the additional track time will only benefit his cause in the ASBK, where he’ll also challenge in three 12-lap encounters across the weekend.
“It’s clean advantage,” he added. “The extra bike time can only help. It’s early in the season – we don’t get to do a lot of pre-season testing in Australia, so extra time on the bike is going to help. Obviously the bikes are a lot different, but I believe it will be an advantage for me.”
Herfoss was joined by Wayne Maxwell and Daniel Falzon as wildcards in the WorldSBK opener last year, however no additional opportunities have surfaced for the 2019 edition.