Maiden victories elate two Superbike racers

Two Superbike racers have scored breakthrough victories in Timaru during the second round of the national road-race championships.

Scott Moir from Taupo won Saturday’s opening heat and this morning Christchurch rider James Smith took race two. For both it was their first wins at the top level of New Zealand racing.

However neither could stop another Christchurch rider, Dennis Charlett, from winning the round overall and increasing his lead in the championship.

Smith led into the final lap of the first race but Moir passed him on the back straight.

“I got a good drive out of the previous corner,” Moir said. “He had a go at me at the hairpin but I kept him out.”

That was a high point in a very varied career for the 29-year-old.

“I raced motocross for 15 years and I’ve also raced Supermoto and Formula 3 with a four-stroke single,” he said. He had also had an earlier go at Superbikes on a Honda, with mixed success.

“The Suzuki I’m riding now seems easy to ride; it suits me better. With the Honda I was probably newer to it but now I’ve got more experience.

“At the start of the season I was aiming for top five in the championship but now it’s top three.”

Smith’s frustration at being pipped so late in the race was eased this morning as he won a good race, and gave Honda its first Superbike victory for some years.

“I was behind Nick Cole and Scotty Moir but Scotty fell off and I passed Nick in the esses after the Dipper,” Smith, 34, said.

“I’ve been quietly sneaking under the radar but we’ve had good speed – I was leading one race at Ruapuna [in the first round] when the bike stopped.

“I was 11th on the points but now I’m third so it’s upwards from here,” Smith¸ who is in his fifth season of Superbikes, said.

Charlett had dominated at Ruapuna but this time he was handicapped by qualifying down in ninth and in each race he had to fight his way through the highly competitive field.

In the final race he came right to first on his Suzuki and he now leads Kawasaki’s Nick Cole by 20 points. Cole scored two thirds and a second.

Auckland teenager Jaden Hassan, riding an older Yamaha in his debut Superbike season, impressed by finishing fourth in race two.

In 600cc Supersport reigning champion John Ross of Christchurch increased his championship lead as he scored two wins and a second on his Suzuki. Taupo rider Toby Summers, who has been in hot form this season, won the other heat for Yamaha.

Ashburton rider Baillie Perriton seized the lead in the 250cc Production championship as he won all three races while European Junior Cup winner Jake Lewis of Christchurch posted two seconds and a third, both riding Kawasakis.

The championship resumes in March with a meeting at Taupo and then a double-header at Manfeild.

Dennis Charlett leading Nick Cole and Scott Moir at Timaru today. Photo by Andrew Bright.

Dennis Charlett leading Nick Cole and Scott Moir at Timaru today. Photo by Andrew Bright.

The attached photograph shows Dennis Charlett leading Nick Cole and Scott Moir at Timaru today. It is free to use but please credit Andrew Bright.

Round two of 2014 NZ Superbike championships, Timaru

SuperbikesRace one: Scott Moir (Taupo) Suzuki 1; James Smith (Christchurch) Honda 2; Nick Cole (Hamilton) Kawasaki 3; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki 4; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Suzuki 5; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding) Suzuki 6.
Race two: Smith 1; Charlett 2; Cole 3; Jaden Hassan (Auckland) Yamaha 4; Linden Magee (Australia) BMW 5; Shirriffs 6.
Race three: Charlett 1; Cole 2; Fitzgerald 3; Moir 4; Sloan Frost (Wellington) Suzuki 5; Smith 6.
Championship points: Charlett 133, Cole 113, Smith 68, Moir 65, Magee 60, Frost 52.

600cc SupersportRace one: Toby Summers (Taupo) Yamaha 1; John Ross (Christchurch) Suzuki 2; Jayden Carrick (Wanganui) Suzuki 3; Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Suzuki 4; Adam Chambers (Clive) Honda 5. Race two: Ross 1; Summers 2; Hoogenboezem 3; Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill) Honda 4; Daniel Mettam (Auckland) Honda 5. Race three: Ross 1; Hoogenboezem 2; Summers 3; Carrick 4; Chambers 5. Points: Ross 141, Summers 103, Hoogenboezem 92, Holmes 69, Carrick 54.

SuperliteRace one: Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Suzuki SV650, 1; Zane Agate (Oamaru) Kawasaki ZXR400 2; Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland) Suzuki SV650 3. Race two: Fitzgerald 1; Agate 2; Jason Nairn (New Plymouth) Suzuki SV650 3. Race three: Fitzgerald 1; Agate 2; Nairn 3. Points: Fitzgerald 139.5, Agate 102.5, Veltmeyer 85.5.

125 GPRace one: James Jarman (Whangarei) Honda 1; Matthew Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Honda 2; Tyler Lincoln (Hastings) Honda 3. Race two: M Hoogenboezem 1; Jarman 2; Rogan Chandle, Honda 3. Race three: Jarman 1; Hoogenboezem 2; Lincoln 3. Points: Hoogenboezem 121.5, Lincoln 106.5, Jarman 99.5.

Pro TwinsRace one: Royd Walker-Holt (Kawakawa) Suzuki SV650 1; Doug Stockwell (Auckland) Suzuki SV650, 2;Nick Southerwood (Auckland) Suzuki SV650 3. Race two: c 1; Stockwell 2; Jordan Knowles, Suzuki SV650 3. Race three: Walker-Holt 1; Stockwell 2; Southerwood 3. Points: Walker-Holt 152, Stockwell 102, Knowles 86.

250 ProductionRace one: Baillie Perriton (Ashburton) Kawasaki 1; Jake Lewis (Rangiora) Kawasaki 2; Luke Burgess (Australia) Kawasaki 3. Race two: Perriton 1; Lewis 2; Burgess 3. Race three: Perriton 1; Burgess 2; Lewis 3. Points: Perriton 137, Lewis 131, Burgess 97.

SidecarsRace one: Aaron Lovell-Dennis Simonson (Hamilton) LCR1000, 1; AJ MacDonald-Glen MacDonald (Kaiapoi) Dunoon Suzuki 1000, 2; Barry Smith-Robbie Shorter (Te Puke) Windle Suzuki 3. Race two: Lovell-Simonson 1; MacDonald-Macdonald 2; Spike Taylor-Astrid Hartnell (Masterton) LCR Suzuki 3. Race three: Lovell-Simonson 1; Smith-Shorter 2; Taylor-Hartnell 3. Points: Lovell-Simonson 152, MacDonald-Macdonald 107, Smith-Shorter 85.