News 27 Dec 2009

NZ RR: Gozzini and Stroud victorious at Cemetery Circuit

Italian Supermoto World Championship stars Davide Gozzini and Ivan Lazzarini stunned a massive Wanganui crowd with an incredible display of riding skill during Wanganui’s annual Boxing Day motorcycle races at the Cemetery Circuit in New Zealand yesterday, round two of the Suzuki Tri-Series.

The crowd held their breath as the Italian Supermoto riders zoomed past each lap, mostly sideways and often locked together, as Gozzini and Lazzarini slid their bikes into each turn at remarkable lean angles. Lazzarini rode a Blue Wing Honda supported Honda CRF450 while Gozzini was riding a TM SMX450F.

But it was ‘Speedy’ Gozzini who took three wins from as many starts, each time just ahead of his countryman, during their first NZ street race, and first visit to the Cemetery Circuit. As they came to grips with the railway lines, painted white lines, manhole covers and bumps, the pair cleared away to show their true class.

Of the New Zealanders, Manfeild winners Toby Summers enjoyed a pair of third placings, while Scott Moir filled the podium in race two. The best of the large Australian contingent was 23-year-old Joe Carpenter, of Brisbane, who crossed the line in eighth, sixth and seventh on his Suzuki.

Andrew Stroud won a competitive ‘Superpole’ on his Brother Suzuki GSXR1000, a new feature to the Cemetery Circuit, while Nick Cole secured an incredible second position on his 600cc Kawasaki, less than 0.2 seconds behind Stroud. Third quickest was Craig Shirriffs on his Honda CBR1000RR Superbike.

If the Supermoto action wasn’t enough, the close racing in the premier F1 Superbike class left the crowd spellbound. Stroud earned two hard-fought wins for Suzuki against Shirriffs, and fellow Hamiltonians Nick Cole and Jared Love on smaller 600cc machines. Shirriffs won the opening race but crashed in the second, missing valuable points which allowed Stroud to catch up following poor results at Manfield.

In an exhilarating Robert Holden Memorial race, Stroud made a desperate but successful last lap pass on Shirriffs for the win. Jared Love was third.

Heading into the final round at Taupo on Monday, defending series champion Stroud, and Shirriffs are now equal on 72 points each, while third and fourth equal are Hayden Fitzgerald and Sloan Frost, setting up a dream finale in the chase for the title.

Enjoying the rides of his life Nick Cole was unbeaten in all three 600 Supers races on his Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-600RR, but not without race-long fights with Jared Love. Cole went on to cross the line ahead of Love and Glen Skachill on each occasion.

Sidecars are always a crowd favourite around the Cemetery Circuit and this year was no different. The Steve Bron/Denis Simonsen combination won races one and three on their new LCR1000 outfit, while Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe took line honours in race two. Chris and Richard Lawrance were never far behind in each closely fought contest.

The race winner in the two ultra-competitive F3 class events was Terry Fitzgerald, while Sean Donnelly won all three of the Post Classic races. Australian Joel Reed rode very well during his second visit to the Cemetery Circuit, clocking up a BEARS win and a second placing to Paul Dobbs.

The final round of the action-packed 2009 Suzuki International Tri-Series will be staged on Monday December 28 at the Taupo Motorsport Park.

Suzuki International Tri-Series round two, Wanganui overall positions (the first two races count for points):

F1 Superbikes: 1, Andrew Stroud (Hamilton, Suzuki GSXR1000); 2 Nick Cole (Hamilton, Kawasaki ZX-6RR; 3, Jared Love (Hamilton, Honda CBR600RR); 4, Sloan Frost (Cambridge, Suzuki GSXR1000); 5, Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Honda CBR1000RR); 6, Craig Shirriffs (Fielding, Honda CBR1000RR).

Series points; Andrew Stroud and Craig Shirriffs, 72 equal; Hayden Fitzgerald and Sloan Frost, 70 equal; Ray Clee (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR1000), 62; Karl Morgan (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR600), 50.

600 Supers: 1, Nick Cole (Hamilton, Kawasaki ZX-600RR; 2, Jared Love (Hamilton, Honda CBR600RR); 3, Glen Skachill (Wellington, Suzuki GSXR600); 4, Karl Morgan (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR600); 5, Adam Chambers (Hawkes Bay, Kawasaki ZX-6RR; 6, Paul Dobbs (Tuakau, Ducati 749R).

Series points; Glen Skachill, 90; Jared Love, 75; Karl Morgan, 69; Jamie Galway (Masterton, Honda CBR600RR), 53; Nick Cole, 50; Craig Freethy (Wellington, Honda CBR600RR), 45.

Supermoto: 1, Davide Gozzini (Italy, TM SMX450F); 4, Ivan Lazzarini (Italy, Honda CRF450); 3 equal, Scott Moir (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550); 3, Toby Summers (Auckland, Aprilia SXV550); 5, Jayden Carrick (Wanganui, Suzuki RMZ450); 6, Duncan Hart (Tauranga, Yamaha YZ450F).

Series points; Davide Gozzini, 92; Ivan Lazzarini, 86; Scott Moir and Toby Summers 81 equal; 5, Duncan Hart, 58; Scott Birch (Rotorua, KTM 505SXF), 55.

F1 Sidecars: 1, Steve Bron/Denis Simonsen (Wanganui, Suzuki LCR1000); 2, Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe (Wanganui, Windle Honda 1000); 3, Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance (Auckland, Yamaha R1); 4, Dave Annan/Warrick Demmocks (Christchurch, LCR1000), 5, Peter Goodwin/Dion Weedon (LCR Suzuki GSXR1000); 6, Des James/Darren Prentis (Suzuki Blaymires GSXR1000).

Series points; Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe, 92; Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance, 89; Peter Goodwin/Dion Weedon, 67; Stu Prentis/Chris Meads (Taranaki, Suzuki GSXR1000), 66; Des James/Darren Prentis, 65; Darryl Dowman/Ben Dowman (Wanganui, Yamaha R1 DML Special), 55.

Formula 3: 1, Terry Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki SV650); 2, Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Suzuki SV650; 3, Scott Moir (Honda RSV450); 4, Bill van der Hoven (Tauranga, Yamaha FZR450); 5, Ashley Payne (Wanganui, Suzuki SV650); 6, Neil Chappell (Bulls, Kawasaki ZXR400).

Series points; Terry Fitzgerald, 97; Glen Williams, 91; Scott Moir, 74; Ashley Payne, 70; Trevor Delany (Wellington, Suzuki SV650), 53; Jason Easton (Palmerston North, Tigcraft Aprilia 550), 38.

BEARS: 1, Paul Dobbs (Tuakau, Ducati 999); 2, Joel Reed (Australia, Aprilia RSV4); 3, Mark Perry (Palmerston North, Aprilia RSV1000); 4, Jason Easton (Palmerston North, Tigcraft Aprilia 550); 5, Dwayne Bishop (Wanganui, Aprilia RSV1000); 6, Steve Bridge (Hamilton, Ducati TT2900).

Series points; Joel Reed, 91; Jason Easton, 76; Dwayne Bishop, 67; Peter Tanner (Palmerston North, Aprilia RSVR1000), 50; Paul Dobbs, 47; Mark Perry, 40.

Post Classics: 1, Sean Donnelly (Paraparaumu, Kawasaki GPZ1100); 2, Steve Bridge (Hamilton, Ducati TT2900); 3, Neil Chappell (Bulls, Kawasaki ZXR400); 4, Chris Bridge (Hamilton, Ducati TT2600); 5, Jay Lawrence (Wellington, BMW R75/5); 6, Chris Meads (Hawera, Suzuki GSX1100).

Series points; Murray Cross (Fielding, Yamaha FZR1000), 59; Michael Webster (Wellington, Kawasaki ZXR750), 52; Sean Donnelly, 50; Stephen Mossman (Yamaha FZR1000), 50; Steve Bridge, 44; Paul Wooton (Waikane, Suzuki GSXR1100), 42.