The New Zealand Superbike Championship took on a new complexion as Nick Cole crashed out of today’s race at Taupo.
The Hamilton racer started the third round of the championship 20 points behind Dennis Charlett from Christchurch, but when his Kawasaki went down on the first lap Charlett was happy to finish fifth and increase his lead by another 11 points.
Cole explained that his front wheel had accidentally been fitted back to front, which meant the sensors there did not work properly. He walked away from the crash and expects to have his bike ready to race again tomorrow.
Wellington’s Sloan Frost, who had been hindered by injuries in the first two rounds, showed the difference that full fitness makes as he qualified his Suzuki on pole and led all the way, though under great pressure from local man Scott Moir on another Suzuki.
“I’m feeling 100 percent again,” Frost said. “I made sure I was fast on the parts of the track where I had to be, and saved my tyres on other parts.”
Australian Linden Magee took third on his BMW, followed by rising star Jaden Hassan from Auckland and Charlett, these two both on Suzukis.
“Taupo’s my bogey track so I just wanted to finish as high as I could and collect the points,” Charlett, who is a very fit 45, said.
“We’ve been struggling with the bike but we’re going to change some things on it and we should be faster tomorrow.”
Taupo’s Toby Summers won a highly entertaining 600cc Supersport race in which the top four battled wheel-to-wheel the whole way and placings changed frequently.
Summers was only fourth on his Yamaha early on but late in the race he charged forward and took the lead with a spectacular outside pass on the fast turn nine, past Christchurch Suzuki rider Alastair Hoogenboezem.
Series leader John Ross from Christchurch took second on his Suzuki, just ahead of Adam chambers (Clive, Honda) and Hoogenboezem.
Each class has two races tomorrow, with the final race in each class carrying the TT (Tourist Trophy) title for that class.
New Zealand Superbike Championships, round three, Taupo, day one provisional results
Superbikes: Sloan Frost (Wellington) Suzuki 1; Scott Moir (Taupo) Suzuki 2; Linden Magee (Australia) BMW 3; Jaden Hassan (Auckland) Suzuki 4; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki 5. Championship points: Charlett 144, Cole 113, Moir 85, Fost 78, James Smith (Christchurch, Honda) 77.
Supersport: Toby Summers (Taupo) Yamaha 1; John Ross (Christchurch) Suzuki 2; Adam Chambers (Clive) Honda 3; Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Suzuki 4; Daniel Mettam (Auckland) Honda 5. Points: Ross 162, Summers 128, Hoogenboezem 105, Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill, Honda) 79, Chambers, Rhys Holmes (Whakatane, Yamaha) and James Hoogenboezem (Christchurch, Suzuki) all 57.
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