News 30 Dec 2009

NZ RR: Stroud wraps up Suzuki International Tri-Series

Andrew Stroud rode his Brother Suzuki GSX-R1000 to victory in both F1 Superbike races to lift the premier class title in the New Zealand Suzuki International Tri-Series for the second successive year at Taupo on Tuesday.

Entering the final round at Taupo four riders were within just two points, however inclement weather conditions decided the outcomes. The F1 Superbike riders went out for the opening race to a quickly drying track, crucially leaving several machines fitted with wet weather tyres.

Castrol Hondas Hayden Fitzgerald passed Stroud for the lead at turn one, although Stroud pounced back almost straight away and was never headed until crossing the line first.

High drama followed Stroud however as Fitzgerald and Glen Skachill began dropping back on the by now almost dry track as their wet tyres quickly wore out on the abrasive Taupo track surface.

A slow starting Craig Shirriffs withdrew his wet weather tyred Honda Superbike on the second lap knowing he cannot fight for the lead. His DNF opened up the title chase with one race remaining.

A fast-starting Sloan Frost rode his Suzuki GSXR1000 Superbike to threaten Stroud’s lead. Further back, Ray Clee took third by flag-fall on his first visit to the track to complete podium positions.

In the fully dry second heat Stroud immediately put a large gap between himself and the rest of the field to wrap up Suzuki International Tri-Series number two by race end.

Shirriffs came back from a slow start to move into second position mid-race, but couldn’t gain any significant ground as the leading riders circulated well under the lap record.

Behind Shirriffs a three-way battle developed for third position between Frost, Fitzgerald and Clee. On the final lap Fitzgerald moved past Frost to hold on to third, while Clee followed suit after Frost’s Suzuki began to slide with four corners to go.

The final Suzuki International Tri-Series F1 Superbike standings were Stroud, Frost, Fitzgerald, Clee and Shirriffs.

Glen Skachill won the 600 Supers series by one point, although he was lucky to do so. During the opening (wet) race a competitor collided with the Wellingtonian while exiting turn one, which pulled the front brake on – sending a slightly injured but lucky Skachill sliding along the track surrounded by speeding race bikes.

Race two turned up a different challenge for the 19-year-old as his rear tyre began deflating during the dry race causing full-lock steering wobbles along the straights as Skachill maintained control of his Museum Hotel Suzuki GSX-R600. Skachill held on to finish sixth by just a quarter of a second – earning the hard way the single point required to clinch the title from a consistent Karl Morgan.

Slippery conditions also affected the opening wet Supermoto race with Taupo’s Scott Moir showing Davide Gozzini the way home on his local track, followed by Scott Birch and Duncan Hart. Many riders were caught out with a wet front tyre and a slick rear, including Ivan Lazzarini, who was sixth.

A dry race two brought yet another great Italian battle. Moir diced for the lead with ‘Speedy’ Gozzini until falling on the second lap, leaving Lazzarini to pip Gozzini for his first NZ win. Toby Summers brought his Aprilia SXV550 home in third position, ahead of Birch.

Terry Fitzgerald won both F3 races to win that title, while Sean Donnelly won the Post Classic series. Donnelly won the opening wet race. German rider Patric Nussbaum finished second in the dry second race, behind race winner Michael Webster, with Donnelly third.

Of the large international contingent, Joel Reed was the most successful. He won the BEARS category (not run at Taupo) and was seventh overall in the F1 Superbike class on his Aprilia RSV4.

Joe Carpenter put in some strong performances on his Suzuki RM-Z450 to close his NZ Supermoto campaign eighth in the series. 16-year-old Benny Endicott-Davies improved during the series and finished race one in twelfth position at Taupo.

Suzuki International Tri-Series overall positions, round three, Taupo:

F1 Superbikes: 1, Andrew Stroud (Hamilton, Suzuki GSXR1000); 2 equal, 38 Sloan Frost (Cambridge, Suzuki GSXR1000) and Ray Clee (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR1000); 4, Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Honda CBR1000RR); 5, Paul Dobbs (Tuakau, Ducati 999); 6, Rhys Holmes (Katikati, Yamaha R1).

Final series points; Andrew Stroud, 122; Sloan Frost,108; Hayden Fitzgerald, 105; Ray Clee, 100; Craig Shirriffs, (Fielding, Honda CBR1000RR), 94; Glen Skachill (Wellington, Suzuki GSXR600).

600 Supers: 1, Jamie Galway (Masterton, Honda CBR600RR); 2, Sam Love (Tauranga, Yamaha R6); 3, Paul Dobbs (Tuakau, Ducati 749R); 4, Karl Morgan (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR600); 5, Craig Freethy (Wellington, Honda CBR600RR); 6, Glen Skachill (Wellington, Suzuki GSXR600).

Final series points; Glen Skachill, 105; Karl Morgan, 104; Jamie Galway, 100; Sam Love, 81; Craig Freethy, 75; Paul Dobbs, 69.
Supermoto: 1, Davide Gozzini (Italy, TM SMX450F); 2, Ivan Lazzarini (Italy, Honda CRF450); 3, Scott Birch (Rotorua, KTM 505SXF); 4, Duncan Hart (Tauranga, Yamaha YZ450F); 5, Toby Summers (Auckland, Aprilia SXV550); 6, Scott Moir (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550).

Final series points; Davide Gozzini, 136; Ivan Lazzarini, 126; Toby Summers, 114; Scott Moir, 113; Scott Birch, 93; Duncan Hart, 92.

Formula 3: 1, Terry Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki SV650); 2, Jason Easton (Palmerston North, Tigcraft Aprilia 550); 3, Russell Josiah (Taumarunui, Suzuki SV650), 4 equal, Jette Josiah (Taumarunui, Suzuki SV650), Scott Moir (Taupo, Honda RSV450) and Neil Chappell (Bulls, Kawasaki ZXR400).

Final series points; Terry Fitzgerald, 147; Glen Williams, (Palmerston North, Suzuki SV650), 113; Scott Moir, 106; Ashley Payne, 82; Jason Easton, 80; Trevor Delany (Wellington, Suzuki SV650), 67.

Post Classics: 1, Sean Donnelly (Paraparaumu, Kawasaki GPZ1100); 2, Patric Nussbaum (Germany, Kawasaki ZX10); 3, Michael Webster (Wellington, Kawasaki ZXR750); 4, Brandon Reade (Rotorua, Honda XL500); 5, Ben Keller (Tauranga, Honda NC30).

Final series points; Sean Donnelly, 137; Michael Webster, 91; Murray Cross (Fielding, Yamaha FZR1000), 83; Paul Wooton (Waikane, Suzuki GSXR1100), 50; Steve Bridge (Hamilton, Ducati TT2900), 44.