-- Frost wins, Charlett leads Suzuki Tri-Series
Valvoline BMW S1000RR racer Sloan Frost made up for a nasty crash a week ago at Hampton Downs by winning both Formula One legs of the 2012 Suzuki Tri-Series at Manfeild on Sunday.
It wasn’t enough however to capture the series lead, which is now held by Dennis Charlett on his Underground Brown Suzuki GSXR1000 following a pair of third placings.
Charlett says, “My Underground Brown Suzuki team worked hard with Robert Taylor with our Ohlins suspension set up, and we came into the weekend to stay as consistent as possible and finish as high up as I could. I’m happy and surprised with my result!
“I’m going to Wanganui to have fun and enjoy it, and if I manage to get a win that would be awesome, but I’ll take it as it comes.”
Frost lies just seven points behind in the title chase heading into a tantalising final round at Wanganui on December 26. And, with Kumeu’s Ray Clee (RCM Suzuki Superbike) capturing two brilliant second positions to sit one point behind Frost, the series has opened right up and could be won by any one of several keen riders.
Defending champ and fastest qualifier Andrew Stroud had a day to forget. Stroud fell at the last corner of the opening race while in the lead. He was taken to hospital and suffered a broken right collarbone, ending the Suzuki star’s fifth title chances.
Stroud and Frost caught up with a pair of lapped riders, who were having their own battle, while braking from high speed into the final turn before the chequered. As Stroud tipped into the corner, the slower riders ahead suddenly closed the racing line, leaving Stroud to brake even harder and with nowhere to go but take a tighter line.
Which is exactly where Frost was. In fact, while attempting his own overtake up the inside of Stroud, Frost saw it coming and rode onto the inside grass to avoid a collision, letting his brakes off at the same time. Out of options, at high speed, and with nowhere to go, Stroud clipped Frost’s BMW and fell to the ground leaving a long 180kmh dust cloud in an unfortunate racing incident.
Frost somehow managed to stay on his bike and took victory ahead of Clee, who had caught the pair after setting the fastest lap of the race, with Charlett crossing the line in third. A bare tenth of a second ahead of New Plymouth’s Hayden Fitzgerald (Suzuki NZ GSXR1000).
Nick Cole (Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R), of Hamilton, made his way up to third early in the race but faded with suspension issues to finish fifth on a standard ZX-10R with an aftermarket exhaust, ahead of Craig Shirriffs (Suzuki GSXR1000).
Castrol Honda CBR1000RR mounted James Smith (Christchurch) made a great start to follow Frost early in the race, but he too dropped down the order as the race progressed through lack of traction.
Frost lead most of the 12 lap race, “When Andrew came past I thought I’d fight this so we had a tussle, he came past me once then I got him back, and he passed me again! I was determined to pass him again and then going into the last corner it funnelled into nothing [space wise].
“There were a couple of lapped riders on the outside and Andrew went to go up the inside of them. I was going to follow him through – I was trying to make a move on Andrew as well, on the inside. The lapped riders turned in a little bit sooner than both of us expected so he was hard on the brakes, I was carrying more speed and was also hard on the brakes. Andrew pushed me onto the grass and I had to let the brakes off and then when I came back onto the track he was turning in and we came together, and he went down.”
Smith took the holeshot in race two, but was immediately overtaken by Frost. Smith had the pace to run near the front but a few laps later he ‘lost’ the front end at Higgins to spoil a potentially good result for Castrol Honda with a crash.
“I was looking for the win – it was going to be win or crash!” Smith said after the race.
Frost remained at the front the entire race and the refrigeration service manager kept his cool to take his third win from four races, heading into an ultra competitive final round at Wanganui on December 26.
In a repeat performance from race one, Ray Clee slotted into second position early in the race, after Smith decked his Honda Fireblade, and almost caught Frost by race end. He is now eight points off the series leader, and one behind Frost.
“It took me a few laps to get going,” Clee explains. “I was catching Sloan up but I didn’t have enough time – I could see he was having a few dramas with grip, but it was real close on the line, 0.03 of a second!”
Frost says, “I didn’t realise Ray was so close because we weren’t using a pit board. When we came up on a lapper I was baulked a bit, and crossing the finish line he flew past and I didn’t even realise he was there!
“I’m going to Wanganui with a level head and to be smooth and consistent and pluck back a few more points. I have BEARS practice as well so I’ll get more laps in, which is really important at Wanganui.”
Third place remained undecided right till the end with Dennis Charlett and a rising Hayden Fitzgerald fighting it out for the final rostrum position. A battle won by Charlett, which propelled the Christchurch racer into the lead of the Suzuki Tri-Series for his Underground Brown Suzuki team.
Local rider Shirriffs, of Feilding, and Ryan Hampton (Hampton Honda CBR1000RR) from Christchurch, filled out the top six F1 placings.
Jaden Hassan easily won both Formula Two races for up to 600cc machines on his Home Buyers Reports Yamaha NZ R6. Everyone else was in a race for second, a long way behind the sizzling 18 year old Aucklander.
Repsol Suzuki rider John Ross (Christchurch) made the most of a slightly slowing Jeremy Holmes (Castrol Honda CBR600RR) to pass the Invercargill-based racer as they crossed the line, for second and third respectively.
After a crash in the first F1 race, Ross was unable to compete in either F1 or F2 races on his Repsol Suzuki.
A thrilling battle developed in both races behind Hassan which included German rider Thomas Kreutz, Jayden Carrick, Daniel Kempthorne, Avalon Biddle, Rhys Holmes, Travis Merkel (in race 2), Toby Summers, Jamie Galway, and fast learning 21 year old Seth Devereux, of Christchurch.
By race end Hassan enjoyed a 15 second lead when Holmes took second, followed by Carrick and Devereux.
Glen Williams won both F3 races for Suzuki on his hot SV650, ahead of Chris Osborne and Terry Fitzgerald in race one, and Fitzgerald and Jason Nairn in race two. Williams holds a handy 23 point lead over Osborne, and Fitzgerald a further point behind, with only two races at Wanganui remaining, although Osborne is not entered.
Duncan Hart and Richard Dibben took a win each in the Supermoto class with the usual action-packed racing expected from the category. The podium for each race also consisted of Scott Moir on an underpowered machine after earlier engine troubles, and rocket-man Toby Summers.
Dibben enjoys a narrow nine point lead, in a tight battle by five riders for series honours.
Glen Williams took victory in the opening Pre ’89 heat in front of Eddie Kattenburg and Damian Mackie. But a fairing bracket on his Bimota YB8 came loose in race two, letting Kattenburg through for a fine win, followed by Mackie and Paul Wootton.
As expected top F1 racer Sloan Frost, of Wellington, easily won both BEARS races on his Valvoline BMW S1000RR. Rhys Holmes, Travis Moan and Richard Taylor filled the podium slots in each leg.
The final round of the 2012 Suzuki Tri-Series takes place at Wanganui’s Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day, where American legend Pat Hennen makes a special appearance, and all the titles will be decided.
2012 Suzuki Tri-Series results from Feilding, Sunday December 16.
Formula 1, race 1: Sloan Frost (Wellington, Valvoline BMW S1000RR), 1; Ray Clee (Kumeu, RCM Suzuki Superbike), 2; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Underground Brown Suzuki GSXR1000), 3; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki NZ GSXR1000), 4; Nick Cole (Hamilton, Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R), 5; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding, Suzuki GSXR1000), 6.
Formula 1, race 2: Frost, 1; Clee, 2; Charlett, 3; Fitzgerald, 4; Shirriffs, 5; Ryan Hampton, (Christchurch, Hampton Honda CBR1000RR), 6.
Formula 1 series points: Dennis Charlett, 82; Sloan Frost 75; Ray Clee, 74; Hayden Fitzgerald, 69; Craig Shirriffs, 67; Ryan Hampton, 53.
Formula 2, race 1: Jaden Hassan (Auckland, Home Buyers Reports Yamaha NZ R6), 1; John Ross (Christchurch, Repsol Suzuki GSXR600), 2; Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill, Castrol Honda CBR600RR), 3; Jayden Carrick (Wanganui, Suzuki GSXR600), 4; Thomas Kreutz (Germany, Yamaha NZ R6), 5; Daniel Kempthorne (Palmerston North, Yamaha R6), 6.
Formula 2, race 2: Hassan, 1; Holmes, 2; Carrick, 3; Seth Devereux (Christchurch, Kawasaki ZX-6R 2012), 4; Adam Chambers (Hawkes Bay, Honda CBR600RR) 5; Kreutz, 6.
Formula 2 series points: Jaden Hassan, 102; Jeremy Holmes, 84; Jayden Carrick, 72; John Ross, 64; Toby Summers and Daniel Kempthorne, 56.
Formula 3, race 1: Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Suzuki SV650), 1; Chris Osborne (Feilding, Ozzy 450R), 2; Terry Fitzgerald (Waitara, SV650), 3; Jason Nairn (New Plymouth, Suzuki SV 650), 4; Gavin Veltmeyer (New Windsor, Suzuki SV650), 5; Kerry Bates (Upper Hutt, Suzuki SV650), 6.
Formula 3, race 2: Williams, 1; Fitzgerald, 2; Nairn, 3; Osborne, 4; Veltmeyer, 5; Gareth Easter (Lower Hutt, Suzuki GSXR450), 6.
Formula 3 series points: Glen Williams, 97; Chris Osborne, 74; Terry Fitzgerald, 73; Gavin Veltmeyer, 70; Gareth Easter, 52; Scott Moir, 49.
Supermoto race 1: Duncan Hart (Tauranga, Yamaha YZF450), 1; Richard Dibben (Wanganui, Honda CRF450), 2; Scott Moir (Taupo, Honda CRF450), 3; Glen Haden (Wanganui, Honda CRF450), 4; Casey Bullock (Taupo, KTM 450SMR), 5; Toby Summers (Auckland, Yamaha YZF450), 6.
Supermoto race 2: Dibben, 1; Moir, 2; Summers,3; Hart, 4; Bullock, 5; Haden, 6.
Supermoto series points: Richard Dibben, 92; Duncan Hart, 81; Toby Summers, 76; Glenn Haden and Scott Moir, 72; Casey Bullock, 64.
Post Classic Pre ’89 race 1: Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Bimota YB8 1000), 1; Eddie Kattenberg (Hawkes Bay, Yamaha FZR1000), 2; Damian Mackie (Te Puke, Suzuki RG500), 3; Paul Wootton ((Waikane, Suzuki GSXR1100), 4; Sean Donnelly (Paraparaumu, Kawasaki GPZ1170), 5; Ernie Cudby (Upper Hutt, Yamaha FZR600), 6.
Post Classic Pre ’89 race 2: Kattenberg, 1; Mackie, 2; Wootton , 3; Cudby, 4; Mark Hay (Otaki, GSXR1100), 5; Malcolm McDonald (Wanganui, Kawasaki KR 1250), 6.
Post Classic Pre ’89 series points: Eddie Kattenberg, 91; Damian Mackie, 78; Glen Williams, 77; Paul Wootton, 74; Mark Hay, 55; Andrew Skelton and Terry Moran, 46.
BEARS race 1: Sloan Frost (Wellington, Valvoline BMW S1000RR), 1; Rhys Holmes (Katikati, BMW S1000RR), 2; Richard Taylor (Wellington, BMW S1000RR), 3; Travis Moan (Auckland, BMW S1000RR), 4; Jamie Galway (Masterton, Triumph Daytona 675), 5; Nick Prestige (Hawera, Ducati 1098R), 6.
BEARS race 2: Frost, 1; Moan, 2; Holmes, 3; Taylor, 4; David Michael (Palmerston North, Ducati 1098), 5; Galway, 6;
BEARS series points: Travis Moan, 87; Rhys Holmes, 84; Sloan Frost, 77; Richard Taylor, 76; Jamie Galway, 65; Nick Prestidge, 60.
-- Frost Wins
Team Suzuki's Sloan Frost raced to victory at the second round of the New Zealand Suzuki-sponsored Tri Series Superbike Championship in a drama-packed event at Manfield on Sunday that saw four-time Formula One class Champion Andrew Stroud crash and break his collarbone.
Brother Suzuki rider and first race leader Stroud was taken to Palmerston North hospital with a suspected broken right collarbone and dislocated left knee after crashing within sight of the finish line when he collided with a lapped rider.
With Stroud out for the day - and his title hopes dashed - Frost went on to win both F1 races and also elevated himself to second in the series standings, but it was Dennis Charlett (pictured), the reigning 600cc Supersport champion - back on a superbike for the first time in several years - who made the most significant impact: The 44-year-old took over the Suzuki Tri Series lead and the riders now head to Wanganui for the final on December 26th with the series on a knife-edge.
Charlett took his Underground Brown-sponsored Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a pair of third placings on Sunday, both times finishing behind Auckland's Ray Clee (Suzuki GSX-R1000), and now leads the F1 standings, seven points clear of Frost with Clee third overall, just one point further back. Fourth and fifth overall after two rounds are fellow Suzuki stars Hayden Fitzgerald and Craig Shirriffs.
Said Charlett: "It's an exciting series with all the top Superbike riders within a second of one another. It's good to be taking a points lead to Wanganui, but it's a place where anything can happen. I'm really happy with how quickly I've adapted to the Superbike. I just need to stay safe in Wanganui to make sure I can go on and contest the nationals."
In the Formula Three class, Glen Williams was unstoppable, winning both races and finishing ahead of fellow Suzuki SV650 rider Terry Fitzgerald and Chris Osborne. This was easily enough for him to take over the series lead from Scott Moir, who suffered mechanical problems and failed to score points in either race.
Jaden Hassan won both Formula Two races and extended his lead in the class to 18 points over Jeremy Holmes, with Jayden Carrick moving his Suzuki GSX-R600 up to third overall in the class with just his home town event to come.
-- Two out of Two sees “Choppa” slide into Second Place.
In just one short week after a horrific crash at Round One of the Suzuki International Tri-Series - Hampton Downs, M1Motorsport’s Sloan “Choppa” Frost slides into second place, at Round Two, at Manfeild this weekend.
Gaining a significant lead from hole-shot in Race One F1, it all came down to the last few laps with Andrew Stroud under-braking at each turn and slowly reeling the Valvoline BMWS1000RR, in.
Positions were swapped - the pace relentless, as supporters of each camp knew it would be.
A show-down between respected mentor and learned student.
Sadly, Andrew Stroud crashed as Sloan and Andrew flew past the back markers with Sloan Frost sailing on, to win the first race.
With fortunes changed, so too did the dynamics in the second race.
Not quite gaining the lead in the second race, Sloan passed the lead rider after Turn One and settled into a consistent pace - at some points leading for a few seconds, but fortunes again changed when James Smith crashed his Honda while tailing Sloan on the Valvoline BMW.
Ray Clee on the Suzuki GSXR1000 was charging hard - attempting a pass in the dying seconds of race two.
With only a split second, Sloan charged away with the chequered flag, making the day a double shot victory.
"It was quite hard to get around. The track was hot but, I just raced my own race and tried to stay consistent, there's now only 7 points in it between Dennis and I in F1." Sloan added "I'm stoked with how today went but, the win's bittersweet with Andrew Stroud crashing and it's unfortunate that this happened."
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