News 1 Feb 2010

NZ SBK: Bugden and Stroud split victories again at Levels

The race for the 2010 New Zealand Superbike Championship continues to heat up, with Andrew Stroud maintaining his series lead ahead of Australia’s three-time champion Robbie Budgen at Levels, near Timaru, on Sunday.

A determined Bugden qualified his Triple R Mack Truck Suzuki GSXR1000 on pole, before the defending NZ Superbike Champion lead most of the opening race until lapped traffic handed Stroud the advantage, which the Suzuki rider held until the finish. Bugden was second with Craig Shirriffs third on a Honda.

Stroud’s win stretched his series lead ahead of Bugden slightly, but it was Bugden who came out with guns blazing for the second race to cement his third series win from six races – but only after a final lap challenge from Stroud, who smashed the lap outright record. Both Suzuki riders finished almost ten seconds ahead of Shirriffs.

“It was a tough day with pretty fierce racing. In both races I’d be surprised if there was a spectator there that didn’t enjoy it,” said Queenslander Bugden. “In the first race I was out in front trying to control things, a couple of things didn’t go my way with the lapped traffic and that left a dogfight between myself, Andrew and Craig. I led all of the race but Andrew got the better of me in that one, I went up the inside of a lapped rider and he went around the outside of both of us, right at the end of the race.

“In the second race I got out front from the start and led most of the race. Andrew went past me on the second last lap, so I made a pass back on the last lap going down the back straight and into the fast left-hander. I think Andrew is turning out to be one of the biggest rivals I’ve ever had! He’s probably one of the most underestimated riders in the world. He’s a good guy but once we get on the track it’s all business, and it’s time I need to start beating him, we really need to get those points back.”

James Smith retained his narrow 600 Supersport lead following a hectic days racing during the weekend. Smith took his Triple R Mack Truck Suzuki GSXR600 to win race two of the ultra-competitive Supersport 600 class. Kawasakis Nick Cole set a new lap record but ran off the track on the final lap yet stayed on to finish second.

Smith was second behind Cole in the opening heat after an intense battle at the front. John Ross was third in each race for Yamaha. Smith, of Christchurch, rode double duty for the Triple R Mack Truck Suzuki Team but couldn’t repeat his Superbike class podium finishes from earlier rounds, posting a fourth and a fifth at Levels.

The championship takes a four week break and resumes at Manfeild on 27-28 January.

In the support races Alistair Hoozenboezem won the first two 125cc races while Eric Oliver-Maxwell took his first 125 win in the series. Jason Easton also won two of the three F3 races, as series leader Glen Williams earned victory in race two.


1. Andrew Stroud 128
2. Robbie Budgen 115
3. James Smith 86
4. Craig Shirriffs 77
5. Hayden Fitzgerald 64

600 Supersport
1. James Smith 126
2. Nick Cole 120
3. John Ross 97
4. Karl Morgan 75
5. Jamie Galway 62

2010 Castrol Power 1 NZ Superbike Championship schedule;

Rnd 4: Manfeild, February 27-28

Rnd 5: Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, March 27-28