Saiger Secures 2014 NZ Suzuki SBK Series – By Terry Stevenson
Whakatane’s Tony Rees and Wanganui’s Scott Moir won the main races at the Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day, but Horst Saiger did enough to take the 2014 Suzuki Series trophy home to Liechenstein.
Pole sitter Rees won the opening F1 Superbike leg on his Tony Rees Honda CBR1000RR after passing a fast starting Jayden Carrick racing a Wanganui Toyota GSXR1000, who was second, ahead of Saiger on his Red Devils Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Taupo’s Scott Moir (Penny Homes GSXR1000) and Hayden Fitzgerald, who raced three classes at Wanganui, completed the top five at rapid pace.
The second leg was even more frenetic when Rees shot straight to the front – until Moir made a difficult mid-race pass at the esses to take the lead, which he held until the chequered flag. Rees crossed the line almost beside Moir for second, while an improving Fitzgerald, of New Plymouth, completed the podium on his Team RGM Suzuki GSXR1000.
Rees almost had three wins for the day. “I was second by an inch I think? I was leading that race then Scotty Moir came past and we had a good ding-dong battle! I nearly had him on the line, when we came over the bridge and down to the finish line I thought I had him, but it wasn’t to be, so good on him,” Rees said after the event.
Wanganui rider Carrick was fourth, while Saiger finished fifth to secure the 2014 edition of the Suzuki Series during his first visit to New Zealand. Scott Moir was second in the series while Tony Rees’ Cemetery Circuit success pushed him up to third in the points chase.
Horst Saiger says, “I counted before the second race that it’s no problem if I get eighth I still win the championship, so I cruised this race and I saved everything for the Robert Holden. But I had a very bad start in the Robert Holden by making a wheelie and I went back to eighth position or something, and then I pushed a little bit. I did a 49.1 second lap, which is just one hundredth of a second off the lap record (held by Andrew Stroud), but I was on the limit and I couldn’t do that for many laps.
“My first time here in NZ, I started great then I had some little problems because at Manfeild and here at Wanganui you need to know where all the bumps are so you can go fast. If I can come back again this will be a big advantage for next time!
“New Zealand is a great country, it’s 20 degrees warmer than at home at this time! I was really impressed with the South Island and Abel Tasman National Park, it is just beautiful. You can walk and stand there for hours and it’s never getting boring!”
Moir finished second in the Suzuki Series, “I was consistent every time. I was in the top five every race so I was the first Kiwi home, and the first Suzuki. Winning the series was the goal but second is cool!
“For race one I had a real good start but Jayden came in pretty hot and gave me a push out wide, but it is so hard to pass here. In race two I got a good start in second behind Tony, I was lining him up as I knew I had a little bit more speed as he was holding me up a bit, and I made a mean pass going into the esses. Then he was on my tail the whole time!”
Tony Rees also won the prestigious Robert Holden Memorial feature race which he lead from start to finish. Moir and Carrick trailed Rees the entire race as a slow starting Saiger made his way through the field at near record pace to catch the trio, however his charge came too late and he couldn’t find a way past.
Victory in the Robert Holden Memorial has a special meaning for Rees, “It is fantastic, I am wrapped! I was going as hard as I felt comfortable. I knew they were there, but there’s only so hard I want to push around here as well. We went faster in that race.
“It has been a while and it means a lot. Robert got all my rides in Europe for me. It was a year after he died the team rang me, so it was because of him I got those rides. I have to say the field is so good now – there are some pretty fast guys out there. I had a fantastic bike today, everything worked well and we didn’t shred any tyres.”
Rees has now won the Robert Holden Memorial four times spanning 24 years, his first in 1990 on a Yamaha FZR750 and most recent back in 2001 on a Yamaha YZF-R1!
TV personality Guy Martin struggled with the ultra-fast fast pace on his Suzuki NZ GSXR1000 superbike and recorded 10th, 9th and 10th positions in his three F1 Superbike races. Although he did enjoy two victories in the Classic class on a John Marsh prepared Manx Norton.
Martin hadn’t ridden a road race since September, “I’m a bit rusty so there’s no excuse as the lads here are flying! I love it! The meeting is amazing. I’m not 100% struck on the track but it’s worth coming from England and missing Christmas (at home), just for what New Zealand is – I get to ride interesting bikes, the people are so friendly, the weather is great, it’s a great country. So it is definitely worth coming out.”
Martin is a truck mechanic in the UK. “I’d love to come back but I’m always very busy with work. I fly back tomorrow, I’m back to work on Monday, and I do a lot of filming work but I’ve had to knock that on the head next year because work has to come first because it pays for everything else. It pays for all the racing.”
Martin has advice to any other top riders thinking of coming to NZ to race during a southern hemisphere summer, “The world is such a small place now, and there’s loads of people out here willing to lend you a motorbike – what better thing is there to be doing on Boxing Day, come and race your bike! The easiest is to make an excuse up – just get your finger out and get over. It’s great.”
Toby Summers won the F2 series on his R&R Power Sports Yamaha R6, however the Aucklander didn’t win any races at the Cemetery Circuit. Adam Chambers took the opening F2 win on his Wolf Pack Racing Honda CBR600RR, but only after hauling in a fast-starting Shane Richardson, of Wainuiomata, riding a similar machine. Summers filled out the top three riders in the first leg, although Daniel Mettam was a very close fourth.
Race two of the F2 class was stopped due to a red flag while Mettam was leading on his RCM Suzuki NZ GSXR600, and two heats were declared with half points awarded for each heat. Chambers crossed the line first in the second stanza followed by Summers and Mettam. Tapanui’s Seth Devereux and Steve Bridge of Ngaruawahia also had very good races.
Mettam ended the 2014 F2 Suzuki Series second, and Katikati rider Rhys Holmes was third on a Yamaha R6.
Summers has now won the F2 Suzuki Series two years running, “It feels good to win the series again. I didn’t have the best of days today. I just wasn’t feeling the love on the bike today so I didn’t want to push it as it would have been far too easy to end up in the hay bales than winning the series. In the first race I didn’t feel like I was pushing, and in the second race it was a bit better, but I had the points lead so that was all I had to do really.”
The F3 Suzuki Series could not have ended closer! A small mistake in race two cost top New Plymouth racer Hayden Fitzgerald the F3 title by a single point! Fitzgerald enjoyed a solid leg-one win on his Suzuki NZ SV650 over Leigh Tidman, of Taumarunui, who races a machine with a Honda RS125 frame with a powerful 450 motor. Fast Japanese Kawasaki Ninja 650 racer Yoshi Kishimoto was third during his one-off NZ visit
Tidman’s race two win took him to series victory after Kishimoto also got by Fitzgerald – after his error while leading, which took two valuable points off Fitzgerald.
The final F3 standings were Tidman, Fitzgerald and Gavin Veltmeyer.
In the F1 Sidecar races Adam Unsworth and Stu Dawe raced their Eni Windle F1 ‘chair’ to an easy victory in the opening leg after early race leader Aaron Lovell and Tracey Bryan (Hamilton & Tauranga) spun their Barfoot & Thompson LCR at turn one, allowing the Aucklanders through. Lovell and Bryan recovered for second position, while Aucklander brothers Chris and Richard Lawrance were third on their FFM Helmets Anderson R1 outfit.
Lovell and Bryan made amends in race two to win by half a second from worthy series opponents Unsworth and Dawe. NZ sidecar champions Spike Taylor and Astrid Hartnell (Masterton & Wanganui) finished third on their LCR sidecar.
Lovell, who won five of the six F1 Sidecar races in the Suzuki Series, said after the second race, “Race two was very hard work! We knew we had to win it, but we wanted to win it and leave the series with a win so we rode as hard as we possibly could. Our Barfoot & Thompson sidecar went absolutely fantastic, it was strong so it’s now ready for the nationals.
“It feels fantastic to win the series, so this is a good start for the nationals coming up, and it’s been a fantastic start with Tracey being on the side.”
John Oliver, of Feilding, convincingly won both BEARS races on his BMW S1000RR, each time ahead of Rhys Holmes (BMW S1000RR), who rode well in three classes on the day, and Jamie Galway, of Masterton, on his Triumph Dayton 675.
Oliver won the and the BEARS series from Auckland’s Travis Moan and Dwayne Bishop, of Wanganui.
Wellingtonian Jay Lawrence made the most of his Wanganui-only appearance by taking the Steve Bryan prepared Suzuki GSX1100 to a pair of popular Post Classic Pre ’89 wins. Paraparaumu legend Sean Donnelly (Kawasaki Z1000R) held off Te Awanga rider Eddie Kattenburg (Bimota YB8) on each occasion to complete the podiums in that order.
Kattenburg won the Pre ’89 class ahead of Paul Wootton and Donnelly.
A super-fast riding Jason Hulme was fourth overall in the Pre ’89 class on his 400cc Honda NC30, which also put him in the front of the Pre ’89 Junior category. Hulme won the Pre ’89 Junior Suzuki Series from Shayne Lawrey and Steven Gregg.
Tauranga racer Duncan Hart won the Supermoto section of the Suzuki Series by four points, ahead of the fastest rider of the series Richard Dibben, of Wanganui, on his Tyresheild 450.
Hart’s regular high placings throughout the series typify the consistency required to win the championship, which cost Dibben dearly after a rare fall at Manfeild.
Dibben raced to a pair of Supermoto wins on Boxing Day around the Cemetery Circuit, followed across the line by Reporoa rider Casey Bullock on a KTM 450 and Hart on his Mimico Yamaha YZF450. Aden Brown came second in race two on his Harvey Round Motors RMZ450, while Hart scored another third position to wrap up the Supermoto Suzuki Series.
Dibben was second in the series with Brown five points adrift in third.
John Baymires and Charles Bilby from Pahiatua won both Classic Pre ’82 sidecar races on their ever popular 1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans ‘outfit’.
Final 2014 Suzuki Series results from Wanganui on Boxing Day, December 26
- Robert Holden Memorial Feature: : Tony Rees (Whakatane, Tony Rees Motorcycles Honda CBR1000RR), 1; Jayden Carrick (Wanganui, Suzuki GSXR1000), 2; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Team RGM Suzuki GSXR1000), 3; Scott Moir (Taupo, Penny Homes Suzuki GSXR1000), 4; Horst Saiger (Liechenstein, Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R), 5.
- Formula 1, race 1: Tony Rees (Whakatane, Tony Rees Motorcycles Honda CBR1000RR), 1; Jayden Carrick (Wanganui, Suzuki GSXR1000), 2; Horst Saiger (Liechenstein, Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R), 3; Scott Moir (Taupo, Penny Homes Suzuki GSXR1000), 4; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Team RGM Suzuki GSXR1000), 5.
- Formula 1, race 2: Moir, 1; Rees, 2; Fitzgerald, 3; Carrick, 4; Saiger, 5.
- Formula1, final series points: Saiger, 124; Moir, 121; Rees, 115; Frost, 101; Charlett, 92.
- Formula 2, race 1: Adam Chambers (Hawkes Bay, Honda CBR600RR), 1; Shane Richardson (Wainuiomata, Honda CBR600RR), 2; Toby Summers (Auckland, R&R Power Sports Yamaha R6), 3; Daniel Mettam (Auckland, RCM Suzuki NZ GSXR600), 4; Rhys Holmes (Tauranga, Yamaha R6), 5.
- Formula 2, race 2: Chambers, 1; Summers, 2; Mettam, 3; Seth Devereux (Tapanui, Kawasaki ZX6R), 4; Steve Bridge (Ngaruawahia, Kawasaki ZX6R), 5.
- Formula 2, final series points: Summers, 129; Mettam, 115.5; Holmes, 98.5; Chambers, 94.5; Richardson, 89, 5.
- Formula 3, race 1: Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki NZ SV650), 1; Leigh Tidman (Taumarunui, RS450), 2; Yoshi Kishimoto (Japan, Kawasaki Ninja 650), 3; Dean Bentley (Lower Hutt, Suzuki SV 650), 4; Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland, Coleman’s Suzuki GVR645), 5.
- Formula 3, race 2: Tidman, 1; Kishimoto, 2; Fitzgerald, 3; Royd Walker-Holt (Auckland, Kawasaki ER650), 4; Bentley, 5.
- Formula 3; final series points: Tidman, 133; Fitzgerald, 132; Veltmeyer, 97; Biddle, 96; Walker-Holt, 94.
- Supermoto race 1: Richard Dibben (Wanganui, Tyresheild 450), 1; Casey Bullock (Reporoa, KTM450), 2; Duncan Hart (Tauranga, Mimico Yamaha YZF450), 3; Aden Brown (Wanganui, Harvey Round Motors RMZ450), 4; Ben Dowman (Wanganui, Dowman Bobcats CRF450), 5.
- Supermoto race 2: Dibben, 1; Brown, 2; Hart, 3; Richard Swain (Wanganui, CRF450), 4; Simon Dibben (Wanganui, CRF450), 5.
- Supermoto, final series points: Hart, 129; Richard Dibben, 125; Brown, 120; Anthony Gerring (Waihi, Suzuki RMZ450), 92; Swain, 90.
- F1 Sidecars, race 1: Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe (Auckland, Eni Windle F1), 1; Aaron Lovell/Tracey Bryan (Hamilton/Tauranga, Barfoot & Thompson LCR Suzuki), 2; Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance (Auckland, FFM Helmets Anderson R1), 3; Spike Taylor/Astrid Hartnell (Masterton/Wanganui, LCR), 4; Gary Macefield/Darren Prentis (Hamilton, Matchless), 5.
- F1 Sidecars, race 2: Lovell/Bryan, 1; Unsworth/Dawe, 2; Taylor/Hartnell, 3; Lawrance/Lawrance, 4; Macefield/Prentis, 5.
- F1 Sidecars, final series points: Lovell/Bryan, 150; Unsworth/Dawe, 135; Lawrance/Lawrance, 96; Taylor/Hartnell, 78; Winter/Shepherd, 70.
- Post Classic Pre ’89 Senior, race 1: Jay Lawrence (Lower Hutt, Suzuki GSXR1100), 1; Sean Donnelly (Paraparaumu, Precise Print Kawasaki Z1000R), 2; Eddie Kattenberg (Te Awanga, Bimota YB8), 3; Paul Wootton (Waikanae, Suzuki GSXR1100), 4; Paul Russell (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR1100), 5.
- Post Classic Pre ’89 Senior, race 2: Lawrence, 1; Donnelly, 2, Kattenberg, 3; Wootton, 4; Russell, 5.
- Post Classic Senior, final series points: Kattenberg, 141; Wootton, 118; Donnelly, 115; Russell, 100; Duxbury, 95.
- Post Classic Junior, race 1: Jason Hulme (Marton, Honda NC30), 1; Steven Gregg (Masterton, Honda CBR600), 2; Terry Moran (Kawasaki ZZR600), 3; Shayne Lawrey (Hamilton, Yamaha FZR600), 4; Nigel Lennox (Auckland, Kawasaki ZXR400), 5
- Post Classic Junior, race 2: Hulme, 1; Gregg, 2; Moran, 3; Lawrey, 4; Lennox, 5.
- Post Classic Junior, final series points: Hulme, 153; Lawrey 124; Gregg, 122; Terry Moran, 81; Lennox, 63.
- BEARS, race 1: John Oliver (Feilding, BMW S1000RR), 1; Rhys Holmes (Katikati, BMW S1000RR), 2; Jamie Galway (Masterton, Triumph 675 ), 3; Dwayne Bishop (Wanganui, Aprilia RSV4), 4; Travis Moan (Auckland, BMW S1000RR), 5.
- BEARS, race 2: Oliver, 1; Holmes, 2; Galway, 3; Jonny Lewis, 4; Gavin McKay (Lower Hutt, Kaprilliam GCM2), 5.
- BEARS, final series points: Oliver, 152; Moan, 119; Bishop 94; Jason Bardell (Wanganui, BMW HP4), 88; Robert Groves (Lower Hutt, Triumph Daytona 675), 86.