Suzuki won four of six championship classes at this year’s New Zealand superbike series, which wrapped up at the new Hampton Downs circuit, near Meremere, on Sunday.
What’s more it was another Suzuki 1-2 in the premier Superbike class with Waikato’s Andrew Stroud and Australian Robbie Bugden simply swapping places as No.1 and No.2 respectively this year.
Stroud convincingly won both the premier superbike races at the fifth and final round of this year’s Castrol Power 1 New Zealand Superbike Championships at the new Hampton Downs circuit on Sunday, giving him a record eighth national title, and his first since 2006.
Stroud seemed untroubled in winning the day’s first 15-lap superbike race – leading it from start to finish -- but it was a different story in the second leg, the 20-lapper that also counted as the national TT title race.
In the second outing Stroud had to power his Brother Suzuki GSX-R1000 through the field after a bad start, eventually snatching the lead from defending champion Robbie Bugden (Triple R Suzuki GSX-R 1000) at about the midway point.
Brisbane rider Budgen had no answer for Stroud, although he kept the Kiwi hero honest and harried him to the end, finishing less than a second behind Stroud and making it another Suzuki 1-2 in a championship that has been dominated by these two Suzuki riders for the past four seasons.
“I didn’t get a great start (in the second race) and got pushed around a bit at the beginning,” said Stroud. “But I didn’t panic and when I saw the gap widening, I just put my head down a bit.
“I beat Australian Shawn Giles (Suzuki) to take the New Zealand superbike title in 2006 but, for the past three years, it’s belonged to Robbie (Bugden). It’s good to have it back … to take it back for New Zealand,” said Stroud.
It was double the glory for the Waikato region with Nick Cole, another Hamilton rider, wrapping up the 600cc sports production class, finishing 1-2 in his two outings on Sunday and ending the series a solid 40 points ahead of Christchurch’s James Smith (Suzuki).
The battle for formula three honours was another Glen Williams (Suzuki) whitewash, the defending champion claiming the title with a race to spare on Sunday.
Dannevirke’s Geoff Booth (Suzuki) won two of three 650 Pro Twins races at the weekend, finishing the series 53 points ahead of Christchurch’s James Hoogenboezem (Suzuki).
In the sidecars class, Wanganui men Stephen Bron and Dennis Simonsen (Suzuki) bagged another hat-trick of wins and easily wrapped up the class ahead of Canterbury pair Dave Annan and Warwicks Demmocks.
Leading standings after the fifth and final round of the Castrol Power 1 New Zealand Superbike Championships at Hampton Downs at the weekend:
Andrew Stroud (Hamilton, Suzuki) 228 points;
Robbie Bugden (Australia, Suzuki) 175;
Craig Shirriffs (Feilding, Honda) 139.
600cc Sports Production:
Nick Cole (Hamilton, Kawasaki) 187.5 points;
James Smith (Christchurch, Suzuki) 147;
John Ross (Christchurch, Yamaha) 140.
Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch, Honda) 341 points;
Avalon Biddle (Auckland, Honda) 225;
Jaden Hassan (Auckland, Yamaha) 212.
Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Suzuki) 324 points;
Jason Easton (Palmerston North, Aprilia) 273;
Terry Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki) 251.
650 Pro Twins:
Geoff Booth (Dannevirke, Suzuki) 326 points;
James Hoogenboezem (Christchurch, Suzuki) 273;
Jason Cameron (Kaiapoi, Suzuki) 235.
Stephen Bron and Dennis Simonsen (Wanganui, Masterton) 295 points;
Dave Annan and Warwicks Demmocks (West Melton, Rangiora) 188;
Peter Goodwin and Dion Weedon (Bay of Islands, Papakura) 176.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Simon Meade, Motorcycle Sales Manager