-- Charlett wins NZ SBK TT
Dennis Charlett cemented his reputation as New Zealand’s fastest granddad as he won the New Zealand Superbike TT at Hampton Downs today.
The Christchurch racer, who is 44 but very fit, fired his Suzuki across the finish line four seconds clear of the field in very difficult conditions as the track dried out after a wet day.
“It was hard to judge – it was slippery in some places but really grippy in other places,” Charlett said.
“It’s awesome – like winning my first race all over again.”
Charlett won the 600cc Supersport championship the last two years and this season returned to the top class after a long break. He also finished third in the preliminary race, and stands third in the championship.
Other top riders were less successful in judging the conditions in the TT (Tourist Trophy) race.
Defending champion and current series leader Robbie Bugden from Australia and second-placed Craig Shirriffs of Feilding both crashed their Suzukis at turn three on the third lap, and race-one winner Nick Cole from Hamilton lost control of his Kawasaki on lap six.
Wellington’s Sloan Frost brought his BMW home second in the TT, ahead of Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki), Tony Rees (Whakatane, Honda) and Australian-based Kiwi Karl Morgan (Suzuki).
Seth Devereux reinforced his reputation as a rainmaster by winning the 600cc Supersport TT, his first major trophy and his second win in the rain this season.
The Christchurch rider had crashed his Kawasaki three times in his preliminary race but held it together in the wet TT race, hounded leader David Hall and pounced in the final lap in a move that took four corners to complete.
“It was definitely my plan to wait till the last lap,” he said. “Race two was dryer but the track was actually worse because the rear tyre [a wet-weather tyre] had less grip than it did when it was really wet.”
Hall had scored an upset victory in the rain-soaked race one, riding a seven-year-old Suzuki and pushing it hard while other riders either crashed or were more circumspect. He finished a close second in the TT, ahead of Auckland teenager Jaden Hassan, riding a Yamaha.
John Ross from Christchurch maintained his championship lead in this category with his Suzuki even though he did not finish in the top three in either race.
Christchurch student Scout Fletcher exercised girl power as she ran away with the 125 TT on her Honda. Winners of TT races in other categories were: Superlite, Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Suzuki); Pro Twins, Jason McCamish (Auckland, Suzuki); 250 Production, Luke Burgess (Australia, Kawasaki); Post-Classics, Cameron Donald (Australia, McIntosh-Suzuki); and Sidecars, Spike Taylor (Masterton) and Astrid Hartnell (Wanganui), LCR 1000.
New Zealand Superbike championships, round four, Hampton Downs.
Superbikes – Race one: Nick Cole (Hamilton) Kawasaki 1; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Suzuki 2; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki 3; Sloan Frost (Wellington) BMW 4; Scott Moir (Taupo) Suzuki 5.
Race two, New Zealand TT (Tourist Trophy): Charlett 1; Frost 2; Fitzgerald 3; Tony Rees (Whakatane) Honda 4; Karl Morgan (Auckland) Suzuki 5.
Championship points: Robbie Bugden (Australia, Suzuki) 151, Craig Shirriffs (Feilding, Suzuki) 130, Charlett 123, Frost 101, Cole 100.
600cc Supersport – Race one: David Hall (Te Awamutu) Suzuki 1; David Manuell (Auckland) Suzuki 2; Jaden Hassan (Auckland) Yamaha 3; Jake Lewis (Christchurch) Yamaha 4; John Ross (Christchurch) Suzuki 5.
Race two, TT: Seth Devereux (Christchurch) Kawasaki 1; Hall 2; Hassan 3; Daniel Mettam (Glen Eden) Honda 4; Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Suzuki 5.
Points: Ross 133, Hassan 117, Lewis 104, Rhys Holmes (Katikati, Yamaha) 90, Devereux 83.
Superlite – Race one: Glen Williams (Palmerston North) Suzuki SV650, 1; Gavin Veltmeyer (New Windsor) Suzuki SV650, 2; Richard Newbery (Balclutha) Kawasaki 450, 3. Race two: Williams 1; Veltmeyer 2; Nigel Lennox (Auckland) Suzuki SV650, 3. Race three, TT: Williams 1; Veltmeyer 2; Geoff Batt (Auckland) 3. Points: Newbery 251, Veltmeyer 187.5, Glenn Agate (Oamaru, Kawasaki ZXR400) 139.
Pro Twins – Race one: Nathan Diprose (Huia) Suzuki SV650, 1; Jason McCamish (Auckland) Suzuki SV650, 2; Dean Bentley (Lower Hutt) Suzuki SV650, 3. Race two: McCamish 1; Bentley 2; Hamish Murphy (Dannevirke) Suzuki SV650, 3. Race three, TT: McCamish 1; Nick Southerwood (Kumeu) Suzuki SV650, 2; Diprose 3. Points: Murphy 218, Bentley 199, Southerwood 192.
125 GP – Race one: Troy Guenther (Australia) Honda 1; Matt Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Honda 2; Scout Fletcher (Christchurch) Honda 3. Race two: Fletcher 1; James Jarman (Whangarei) Honda 2; Aaron Hassan (Auckland) Honda 3. Race three, TT: Fletcher 1; Guenther 2; Jarman 3. Points: Guenther 266.5, Fletcher 199.5, Scott Kinder (Geraldine, Honda) 166.
250 Production – Race one: Luke Burgess (Australia) Kawasaki 1; Royd Walker-Holt (Auckland) Kawasaki 2; Sam Davison (Christchurch) Kawasaki 3. Race two: Burgess 1; Walker-Holt 2; Richard Willetts (Timaru) Kawasaki 3. Race three, TT: Burgess 1; Walker-Holt 2; Darcy Prendergast (Ashburton) Kawasaki 3. Points: Burgess275, Willetts 144, Bailie Perriton (Ashburton) Kawasaki 134.
Sidecars – Race one: Aaron Lovell-Dennis Simonsen (Hamilton LCR 1000, 1; Chris Lawrance-Richie Lawrance (Auckland Yamaha 1000, 2; Barry Smith (Te Puke)-Robbie Shorter (Welcome Bay) SSR Carbon 1000, 3. Race two: Lovell-Simonsen 1; Adam Unsworth-Stu Dawe (Auckland) Windle 1000, 2; Grant Waters (Timaru)-Matt Gibbs (Christchurch) Windle 1000, 3. Race three, TT: Spike Taylor (Masterton)-Astrid Hartnell (Wanganui) LCR 1000, 1; Lovell-Simonsen 2; Unsworth-Dawe 3. Points: Taylor-Hartnell 179.5, Waters-Gibbs 141, Peter Goodwin (Bay of Islands)-Darren Prentis (Auckland) 101.
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