Stauffer wins controversial New Zealand Superbike Grand Prix
Australian Superbike star Dan Stauffer claimed a controversial New Zealand Grand Prix today although he finished the main part of the race in second.
The big race at Powerbuilt Raceway, near Christchurch at Ruapuna, was run in two sections because a crash forced officials to stop it after five laps.
Stauffer finished second in both parts of the race on a borrowed Yamaha, which gave him the overall victory on points.
Nine-times New Zealand Superbike champion Andrew Stroud won the second half of the GP on his David Reid Homes Suzuki after a long, tough battle with Stauffer, but was then disqualified.
Stroud had crashed in the first part – his first crash since 2006, he said – and officials ruled that he should not have raced the second part because he had not completed enough laps in the first part.
Stauffer said he knew he did not have to beat Stroud in order to win the GP title.
“But I still really wanted to win that race,” he said. “It was pretty slippery out there and it was a hard battle — a lot of fun. I’m pretty happy.”
Stroud broke the lap record and said he was pleased to be riding at his best again after struggling a little earlier in the season.
A second Australian, Robbie Bugden, dominated the preliminary race and was in front when the GP was stopped, riding a Suzuki for the Christchurch-based Triple-R team.
But his bike stopped after the restart and Bugden suspected the motor had failed because it had overheated while the bikes were held on the grid as officials tried to decide whether Stroud should be allowed to start.
“It’s cost us an engine, it’s cost us quite a lot,” he said, adding that Stroud should not have been allowed on the track for the restart.
Two more Suzuki riders, Craig Shirriffs of Feilding and James Smith of Christchurch, took second and third respectively in the GP.
Smith had qualified third, first time out on a full-on superbike, but missed the start of the preliminary race after discovering a brake problem at the last minute.
Dennis Charlett won the 600cc Supersport GP after passing fellow Christchurch Suzuki rider John Ross just before the line. Ross had won the first 600cc race and also finished third in the preliminary Superbike race, this time riding a BMW.
Winner of GP titles in other classes included 15-year-old Malaysian Hafik Azmi in the 125cc category, Jake Lewis from Christchurch in 600cc Superstock, Jason Easton from Foxton in Superlite, Bryan Hill from Ashburton in 650 Pro Twin, and Sam Croft from Paraparaumu in Prolite.
The meeting was also the first of five rounds in the Castrol Power1 New Zealand Superbike Championships. Round two is next weekend in Timaru.
New Zealand Grand Prix meeting, Powerbuilt Raceway, Ruapuna, Christchurch.
Race one: Robbie Bugden (Australia) Suzuki 1; Dan Stauffer (Australia) Yamaha 2; John Ross (Christchurch) BMW 3; Andrew Stroud (Hamilton) Suzuki 4; Sloan Frost (Wellington) BMW 5.
Race two, NZ Grand Prix:
Part one: Bugden 1;Stauffer 2; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding) Suzuk 3; James Smith (Christchurch) Suzuki 4; Ross 5.
Part two: Stroud 1; Stauffer 2; Shirriffs 3; Smith 4; Ray Clee (Kumeu) Suzuki 5.
Overall: Stauffer.1; Shirriffs 2; Smith 3.
Championship points: Stauffer 42.5, 1; Bugden 37.5, 2; Ross 26, 3; Clee 21.5, 4; Shirriffs and Ryan Hampton (Christchurch, Honda) both 18, 5 equal.
600cc Supersport –
Race one: John Ross (Christchurch) Suzuki 1; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki 2. Jaden Hassan (Auckland) Yamaha 3; Glen Skachill (Wellington) Suzuki 4; Alastair Hoegenboezem (West Melton) Suzuki 5.
600cc Superstock: Jake Lewis (Christchurch) Yamaha 1; Johnny Small (Timaru) Suzuki 2; Daniel Ormsby (Christchurch) Yamaha 3.
Race 2, NZGP: Charlett 1; Ross 2; Skachill 3; Alastair Hoegenboezem 4; James Hoegenboezem (West Melton) Suzuki 5.
600 Superstock: Lewis 1; Ormsby 2; Small 3.
Points – 600 Supersport: Charlett and Ross both 45, 1 equal; Skachill 29, 3; A Hoegenboezem 24, 4; J Hoegenboezem 21, 5. 600
Superstock points: Lewis 50, 1; Ormsby 36, 2; Rhys Holmes (Katikati) Yamaha 3.
Race one: Jason Easton (Foxton) Tigcraft-Aprilia 550, 1; Glen Williams (Palmerston North) Suzuki SVR650, 2; Neil Smith (Blenheim) Yamaha YZF-R450, 3.
Race two: Easton 1; Williams 2; Smith 3. Race three, NZGP: Easton 1; Williams 2; Smith 3.
Points: Easton 75, 1;Williams 60, 2; Smith 48 3.
Pro Twins –
Race one: Bryan Hill (Ashburton) Suzuki SV6540, 1; Antony Singer (Leeston) Suzuki SV650, 2; Robbie Stokes (Christchurch) Suzuki SV650, 3.
Race two: Hill 1; Singer 2; Dean Bentley (Lower Hutt) Suzuki SV650) 3.
Race three, NZGP: Hill 1; Bentley 2; Nick Southerwood (Auckland) Suzuki SV650, 3.
Points: Hill 75, 1; Singer 53, 2; Bentley 47, 3.
125cc GP –
Race one: Hafiq Azmi (Malaysia) Honda 1; Troy Guenther (Austalia) Yamaha 2; Daniel Mettam (Auckland) Honda 3.
Race two: Azmi 1; Mettam 2; Kyle Hammond (Lower Hutt) Honda 3.
Race three, NZGP: Azmi 1; Tim McArthur (Dunedin) Honda 2; Mettam 3.
Points: Azmi 75, 1; Mettam 52, 2; Hammond 36, 3.