Penrite Honda Racing team will form Honda Motorcycles Australia's official team in the 2018 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) under the ownership of ER Motorsports, set to debut at Phillip Island's opening round in Victoria between 23-25 February.
In forming a naming-rights partnership with Penrite Oil, the new-look Honda-factory Superbike team has been established by former national-level racer Deon Coote, who now operates Victorian-based road construction company Elite Roads.
The Penrite Honda Racing team will be operated out of a purpose-built facility in Altona to accommodate the ER Motorsports race team alongside Elite Roads. Honda has signed 2016 ASBK champion Troy Herfoss to line-up aboard the team's sole CBR1000RR SP2 entry, to be joined by team manager Shaun Clarke alongside his crew of Glenn Granger and Ian Collier throughout the season.
"Launching the Penrite Honda Racing team to contest the 2018 ASBK season is a great challenge for us and one that we are excited to begin with our partners," ER Motorsports director Coote commented. "Troy is a truly competitive athlete who will be sure to put in 100 percent and we are also pleased to welcome Shaun as team manager, working with Glenn and Ian.
"Penrite has proven to produce championship and race-winning oils. Their Bathurst win was legendary and their willingness to work with us has already proven invaluable. I am also proud to be backed by an Australian-owned and made oils company that is proven, so we are certainly looking forward to the season ahead."
Honda's history in domestic road racing speaks for itself, remaining committed to achieving success in the ASBK championship this season with its factory Superbike program. Honda Motorcycles Australia motorsports manager Glyn Griffiths welcomed the Penrite Honda Racing road team run by ER Motorsports to its broad roster that will compete nationally in 2018.
"We are really excited about the 2018 ASBK series and seeing Troy Herfoss fight for another championship with the new Honda Superbike team," Griffiths stated. "It is the first year for ER Motorsports running our team and Penrite Oil coming on board as a new major sponsor of the team."
Penrite Oil director of motorsport Jarrod Harding said the expansion of its Honda Racing support to the ASBK program in addition to its existing support of the manufacturer's motocross and supercross programs was a positive one for the brand. It will also back Honda's desert racing endeavours this year.
"The immense growth and popularity among Penrite’s extensive range of motorcycle products has seen the Australian brand add the Penrite Honda road racing team to its stable of top athletes through the Penrite brand ambassadors racing program," Harding explained.
"It’s great to show our Australian-made products pushed to the limits across all demographics of motorcycle racing. Allowing our customers the security in knowing that not only are Penrite making the best range of bike products in the country, but that we are backing up claims across grass-roots motoring events, stadiums and with the best athletes in the country."
Herfoss has a rich history at Honda that saw him clinch the 2015 Australasian and FX championships prior to claiming the elusive ASBK crown the following season, also recognised as an all-round talent on two-wheels with international supermoto success and significant achievements in road cycling. He finished third in the 2017 ASBK championship after taking it down to the wire last year.
"It's exciting to continue with Honda for this year with the new team, plus to have Penrite involved as our naming-rights sponsor is really good for us," Gold Coast-based 31-year-old Herfoss said. "Penrite is heavily involved in Australian motorsport and I'm looking forward to continuing to build that relationship.
"I know the Honda very well, as does Shaun and Glenn, so that is familiar for us and it's great to have Deon come on-board as well. He has experience racing himself and a lot of motivation, so it's a really good environment and I'm definitely looking forward to getting out on track at round one. We're definitely going to make a step forward this year and there's a lot of potential."
The Penrite Honda Racing ASBK team will make its debut at round one on 23-25 February, where it will also field Herfoss as a wildcard entry in the opening round of the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria.
Posted on: 9 Feb, 2018