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MotoAmerica-bound Herfoss lands surprise Indian deal

Factory opportunity opens for 2024 season in the United States.

Image: Supplied.

Triple Australian Superbike champion Troy Herfoss has landed a surprise deal with Indian Motorcycle Racing in MotoAmerica’s King of the Baggers and Super Hooligan categories with the S&S Cycle-operated factory team.

Herfoss effectively quit his longstanding Honda association in order to pursue an international career at 36 years of age, signing what’s understood to be a lucrative contract in the US.

“To have the opportunity to don Indian Motorcycle red leathers and compete on behalf of such a historic brand is a true honour,” Herfoss commented. “As a motorsports enthusiast in Australia, I’ve been envious of all the bagger racing taking place in the States, and I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to pilot an S&S Indian Challenger and ride for a factory team who has a championship to its name.”

Indian has signed Herfoss to join defending Super Hooligan champion Tyler O’Hara, the pair to be equipped with the Indian Challenger in the King of the Baggers and the Indian FTR in the Super Hooligan ranks.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

ASBK champion team Honda withdraws from the series

Splits with ER Motorsport organisation after title-winning campaign.

Image: Foremost Media.

Honda has sensationally withdrawn from the Australian Superbike Championship after splitting with the ER Motorsport team that operated Penrite Honda, just months after clinching the 2023 crown with Troy Herfoss.

It was no secret at The Bend’s final round of last season that ER was yet to commit beyond that round following Herfoss’ decision to exit the team and Honda has now formally confirmed it’s quitting the series in terms of factory involvement.

“While the decision to step back from the Australian Superbike Championship in a factory capacity this year is a challenging one, it is essential for us to redirect our resources and energy towards initiatives that align more closely with the evolving needs of our customers,” explained Tony Hinton, general manager of powersports and products at Honda Australia.

“We are very grateful for the success we have shared with ER Motorsport over the last six years, they have represented the Honda brand with passion, seamlessly run the team with professionalism and have secured results we are very proud of. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish the partnership than as the reigning champions.”

The announcement went on to state that ‘importantly, Honda Australia wants to assure its fans and partners that this withdrawal does not signal a diminished commitment to motorsports. Honda will be actively supporting select privateer efforts during the 2024 ASBK season, affirming its dedication to nurturing talent and maintaining a positive presence in the racing community’.

Herfoss won two ASBK championships as part of the Penrite Honda team, firstly in 2018 upon debut with the team, before finally repeating again in 2023. He also won the title with Honda in 2016 when Paul Free managed the factory program.

It’s unclear if ER Motorsport – owned by former national level racer Deon Coote – will be involved in the sport next year, while the future of Herfoss also remains up in the air. He has constantly been linked to a deal in the US-based MotoAmerica series during recent weeks.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

McMartin Racing and Waters to race-on together through 2024

Image: Foremost Media.

Triple ASBK champion Josh Waters will race-on with McMartin Racing in the 2024 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) for a second full season with the Ducati-equipped team.

Waters first won the title as a rookie in 2009, before he repeated in 2012 and 2017 – all onboard Suzuki machinery – and is now targeting a record fourth crown.

“It’s a great feeling to be continuing with McMartin Racing for another season,” 36-year-old Waters commented. “We had some great pace last year in what was really our learning year together, so with that, to come so close to an Australian title was a bitter pill to swallow.

“There is no hiding how gutted we were to come so close to the championship, but it just gives us something much bigger to work on as we head into our second season together. There is a wealth of knowledge within the McMartin Racing team and our results throughout the year certainly reflected the strong partnership we have.”

After Waters finished runner-up to fellow three-time champion Troy Herfoss last season, McMartin Racing owner Craig McMartin is determined to go one better. The team previously won the 2021 ASBK championship with Wayne Maxwell.

“We are very fortunate to have Josh continue with McMartin Racing in 2024,” McMartin said. “Last years’ season was one of the most competitive we have seen in recent years and to have the championship come down to the final race of the year was certainly one for the history books. We are looking forward to working with Josh for our second season together.”

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Breakthrough Bezzecchi scores maiden MotoGP win in Argentina

Breakthrough Bezzecchi scores maiden MotoGP win in Argentina

Arbolino on top in Moto2, Suzuki reigns supreme at Termas in Moto3.

Image: Supplied.

It was a breakthrough MotoGP victory for Marco Bezzecchi in the wet conditions at Termas de Rio Hondo, as Tony Arbolino emerged on top in Moto2 and Honda-mounted Tatsuki Suzuki delivered a commanding performance in Moto3.

Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) took the lead in the first corner of the race and delivered a calculated and composed performance on his way to a career-first premier class win, ultimately crossing the line 4.085s ahead of Johann Zarco (Prima Primac Racing).

A spirited charge secured Zarco the runner-up position, showing strong pace as the race progressed to work his way forward from P8 and make a decisive move on Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing) in the closing stages to secure 20 points.

Third marked the first podium for Marquez with Ducati, the number 73 also securing pole position for the weekend to continue what has been an impressive start to his Desmosedici stint. He finished sixth-tenths behind Zarco come race-end.

Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) concluded an improved weekend with a P4 finish in Sunday’s GP, the Italian also finished fourth in Saturday’s sprint race amidst a positive uplift in form.

Completing the top five on Sunday was Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati), ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) who recovered from being pushed off the track by Takaaki Nakagami in the early stages.

Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing) finished P8, as Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) completed the top 10.

Notably, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) charged from 15th to first to win the sprint race, but fell on the opening lap of Sunday’s GP and was classified P17. Reigning MotoGP World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) crashed on lap 17  while running second, later crossing the line in 16th position.

Joan Mir didn’t contest Sunday’s GP following injuries sustained from a fall in Saturday’s sprint. The Repsol Honda rider suffered cranial and survival trauma in the incident.

In terms of the MotoGP World Championship standings, Bezzecchi – who finished second in Saturday’s sprint – leads on 50 points, with Bagnaia second on 41 and Zarco third with 35.

Image: Supplied.

The second round of the 2023 Moto2 World Championship saw Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) emerge on top, besting pole-sitter Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp) by sixth-tenths of a second.

Jake Dixon (Solunion GasGas Aspar Team) also stood on the podium in third, as Aron Canet recovered from a double long-lap penalty for jumping the start to finish fourth ahead of Pons Wegow Los40 teammate Sergio Garcia.

Arbolino now leads the championship by eight points ahead of Canet, with Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – who was P12 at Termas – third and a further four points back.

A commanding performance by Leopard Racing’s Suzuki saw the number 24 achieve a 4.57s second victory in Argentina, with Brazilian Diogo Moreira continuing his podium form in P2.

Image: Supplied.

CIP Green Power fill-in Andrea Migno completed the top three, just over a tenth from Moreira, as Portimao winner Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team) featured in positions four and five.

Notably, pole-sitter Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) crashed out of the race with eight laps remaining.

Holgado remains atop of the Moto3 World Championship standings, two points clear of Moreira as Suzuki elevates to third, 11 points from the top spot.

Round four of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) between 14-16 April.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au