News 21 Dec 2009

NZ RR: Shirriffs dominates Superbike at International Tri-Series

The opening round of the 2009 Suzuki International Tri-Series kicked off at Manfield on Saturday, with Castrol Honda’s Craig Shirriffs the dominant rider in the F1 Superbike class.

Shirriffs leads the Suzuki Tri-Series in the big-bore F1 Superbike class after a pair of victorious rides on his Castrol Honda CBR1000RR. His success came despite suffering lingering injuries from a high-speed crash at Teretonga at last month’s Burt Munro Challenge.

During the opening laps race one looked to be an all-Castrol Honda affair as Shirriffs and team-mate Hayden Fitzgerald battled it out at the front. Defending champ Andrew Stroud started from the back of the grid on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 but sliced through the large field to take tenth position by the third corner, and was already into fifth after one lap. The Hamiltonian continued his charge until a technical issue with an aftermarket rear wheel forced an early retirement.

Sloan Frost was the surprise package on his Suzuki GSXR1000 as the Cambridge rider gained a fine third placing to complete the podium. Frost finished ahead of Ray Clee and Glen Skachill, who stunned the Superbike riders on his smaller capacity but slightly modified Suzuki GSXR600.

Stroud came back from a slow start in race two to cross the line first, but not after a great battle with Shirriffs. Clee finished third on his Suzuki GSXR1000, closely followed by Fitzgerald and Frost.

In the 600 Supers races Glen Skachill blitzed the field on his standard-spec Museum Hotel Suzuki GSXR600, breaking the Formula 2 lap record in the process. The 19 year old Wellingtonian has only been racing in this class for one year and was never seriously challenged during his two races.

All eyes were on the Supermoto class – especially world class riders Ivan Lazzarini and Davide Gozzini. The Italians brought their ‘A’ game to Manfeild however Kiwis Toby Summers and Scott Moir prevented the international champions from taking victory.

Summers in the opening points race and then Moir in race two made full use of their bigger and more powerful Aprilias in two exciting races which saw ‘Speedy’ Gozzini and Lazzarini extend themselves around the corners then loose their advantage along the straights. An issue which shouldn’t be a problem on Wanganui’s short Cemetery Circuit at round two on boxing Day.

In the sidecar category Auckland brothers Chris and Richard Lawrance and the Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe pairing enjoyed a win and second placing each in their two points races. The Stu Prentis/Chris Meads combination and Peter Goodwin/Gavin Manstallion completed the podium in each race.

The action continues at the Wanganui’s Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day with round two of the Suzuki International Tri-Series, followed by the final round on Monday, 28 December at the Taupo Motorsport Park.

Suzuki International Tri-Series positions after round one:

F1 Superbikes: 1, Craig Shirriffs (Fielding, Honda CBR1000RR); 2, Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Honda CBR1000RR); 3, Ray Clee (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR1000); 4, Sloan Frost (Cambridge, Suzuki GSXR1000); 5, Glen Skachill (Wellington, Suzuki GSXR600); 6, Joel Reed (Australia, Aprilia RSV4).

600 Supers: 1, Glen Skachill (Wellington, Suzuki GSXR600); 2, John Ross (Yamaha R6); 3, Midge Smart (Britain, Suzuki GSXR600); 4, Sam Love (Yamaha R6) 5, Karl Morgan (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR600); 6, Jared Love (Hamilton, Honda CBR600RR).

Supermoto: 1, Scott Moir (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550); 2, Toby Summers (Auckland, Aprilia SXV550); 3, Davide Gozzini (Italy, TM SMX450F); 4, Ivan Lazzarini (Italy, Honda CRF450); 5, Gavin Vettmeyer (Auckland, KTM 610SMR); 6, Scott Birch (Rotorua, KTM 505SXF).

F1 Sidecars: 1, Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance (Auckland, Yamaha R1); 2, Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe (Wanganui, Windle Honda 1000); 3, Stu Prentis/Chris Meads (Taranaki, Suzuki GSXR1000); 4, Peter Goodwin/Gavin Manstallion (LCR Suzuki GSXR1000); 5, Des James/Darren Prentis (Suzuki Blaymires GSXR1000); 6, Darryl Dowman/Ben Dowman (Wanganui, Yamaha R1 DML Special).

Formula 3: 1, Terry Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki SV650); 2, Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Suzuki SV650; 3, Ashley Payne (Wanganui, Suzuki SV650); 4, Scott Moir (Taupo, Honda RS450); 5, Trevor Delany (Wellington, Suzuki SV650); 6, Paul Buckley (Taupo, Suzuki SV650).

BEARS: 1, Peter Tanner (Palmerston North, Aprilia RSVR1000); 1, Joel Reed (Australia, Aprilia RSV4); 3, Jason Easton (Palmerston North, Tigcraft Aprilia 550); 4, Dwayne Bishop (Wanganui, Aprilia RSV1000); 5, Scott Healey (Triumph Daytona 675); 6, Kevin Waugh (Wellington, Triumph Daytona 675).

Post Classics: 1, Stephen Mossman (Yamaha FZR1000); 2, Paul Wooton (Waikane, Suzuki GSXR1100); 3, Sean Donnelly (Paraparaumu, Kawasaki GPZ1100); 4, Murray Cross (Fielding, Yamaha FZR1000); 5, Michael Webster (Wellington, Kawasaki ZXR750); 6, Ernie Cudby (Lower Hutt, Yamaha FZR460).

Suzuki International Tri-Series Schedule:
Rnd 2: Wanganui Cemetery Circuit, December 26
Rnd 3: Taupo Motorsport Park, December 28