Stroud dices with danger in Manfeild Superbikes
Andrew Stroud survived some hair-raising moments to claim victory at Manfeild today in round two of the $30,000 Suzuki Tri-Series.
The 43-year-old Hamilton rider, nine times New Zealand Superbike champion, came close to crashing in both his races before claiming the overall round victory with finishes of third and first.
Fellow Suzuki rider Ray Clee from Kumeu, also a veteran, was close behind with a pair of second places.
In race one Stroud had an after-market engine cover come off, leaving oil leaking on to his boot and the left side of his rear tyre.
“The bike came right round on me a couple of times,” Stroud said. Lightning reflexes enabled him to control the sliding bike.
In race two Stroud had a great battle with Clee and at one point ran very wide at the Higgins corner, very nearly going off the track. “I braked too late,” he admitted.
As well, he was fighting to control the bike even on the straights because low tyre pressures had made it unstable in the strong winds.
Clee finished race two clamped to Stroud’s tail and was pleased with his best performance for years. Extra fitness work and more off-season racing had enabled him to reclaim the form he had shown earlier in his career, he said.
Rising star Nick Cole from Hamilton rode an intelligent and skillful race to win the first heat for Kawasaki in trying conditions.
A shower led all riders to fit wet-weather tyres but as the track dried out their tyres shredded and lost their grip.
Cole deliberately rode within himself for the first half of the 12-lap race, conserving his tyres so he would be able to go hard towards the end.
“I could see Ray’s tyres were getting wrecked and he was sliding around, so I thought I’ll make my charge now,” he said. He grabbed the lead on the last lap.
Stroud now leads the series from Clee and Cole heading into the final round, the big street meeting on Wanganui’s Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day.
Wellington’s Glen Skachill scored clear victories in both F2 Supersport races on his Suzuki, after seeing off strong challenges from round-one winner Jaden Hassan (Hamilton) on a Yamaha.
The two young riders are now first equal on points, ahead of national Supersport champion Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Suzuki).
Suzuki Tri-Series round two, Manfeild
F1 Superbike –
Race one: Nick Cole (Hamilton) Kawasaki 1; Ray Clee (Kumeu) 2; Andrew Stroud (Hamilton) Suzuki 3; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Honda 4; Rhys Holmes (Katikati) BMW 5.
Race two: Stroud 1; Clee 2; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding) Suzuki, 3; Sloan Frost (Wellington) BMW, 4; Cole 5.
Series points: Stroud 87, Clee 79, Cole 74, Fitzgerald 54, Frost 52.
F2 Supersport –
Race one: Glen Skachill (Wellington) Suzuki, 1; Jaden Hassan (Auckland) Yamaha, 2; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki, 3; Karl Morgan (Auckland) Suzuki, 4; Josh McGrath (Australia) Yamaha 5.
Race two: Skachill 1; Hassan 2; Charlett 3; McGrath 4; Rhys Holmes (Katikati) Yamaha 5.
Points: Skachill and Hassan both 95, Charlett 80, Morgan 68, McGrath 66.
F3 Sports Bikes –
Race one: Glen Williams (Palmerston North) Suzuki SVR650, 1; Scott Moir (Taupo) Honda 450, 2; Terry Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Suzuki SV650, 3.
Race two: Fitzgerald 1; Williams 2; Moir 3.
Points: Williams 71, Moir 67, Fitzgerald 65.
Post Classics –
Race one: Glen Williams (Palmerston North) Bimota YB8, 1; Eddie Kattenberg (Haumoana) Yamaha FZR1000, 2; Sean Donnelly (Paraparaumu) Kawasaki GPZ1100, 3.
Race two: Williams 1; Kattenberg 2; Donnelly 3. Points: Williams 102, Kattenberg 88, Donnelly 80.
Race one: Rhys Holmes (Katikati) BMW S1000RR, 1; Jamie Galway (Masterton) Triumph 675, 2; Duncan Coutts (Whangarei) Aprilia RSVR1000, 3.
Race two: Holmes 1; Galway 2; Coutts 3.
Points: Holmes 98, Galway 78, Coutts 74.
Supermoto 450 –
Race one: Richard Dibben (Wanganui) Honda 1; Toby Summers (Auckland) Yamaha 2; Glenn Haden (Wanganui) Honda 3.
Race two: Dibben 1; Jaden Carrick (Wanganui) Suzuki, 2; Summers 3.
Points: Summers 94, Haden 79, Dibben 77.
Race one: Graeme Billington (Mt Maunganui)
Race two: Billington 1; Rosacker 2; Croft 3.
Points: Rosacker 86, Billington 80, Croft 74.
F1 Sidecars –
Race two: Unsworth-Dawe 1; Lawrance-Bryan 2; Goodwin-Weedon 3.
Points: Unsworth-Dawe 102, Des James-Warren Miller (Auckland, Suzuki) 76, Darren Pate-Karl Verdellen (Katikati, Kawasaki) 70.