Waikato motorcycle ace Sloan Frost is on an uphill curve to success.
The Suzuki rider they call “Choppa” earned himself a national ranking of No.6 in last season’s New Zealand Superbike Championships, an incredible achievement considering he has only been competing on the track for less than two years and, when it comes to racing the powerful 1000cc superbikes, he has only one season under his belt.
It has been a steep learning curve for the Hamilton racer, but, thankfully he is an attentive student and the 27-year-old relative rookie is already nipping at the rear wheels of the sport’s established stars.
He headed across the Tasman recently to race at round four of the Australian nationals, at Eastern Creek, just outside Sydney, and while he was impressive against the factory-backed teams, Frost still demands even more of himself.
“I rode well and finished eighth overall for the day but I was still a little disappointed. I know I was at the pace that should have seen me finish top five. I had managed to finish fourth overall at the previous round in Australia.
“Trouble was, it was a low-budget trip and I didn’t have all the gear I needed. The Aussie riders wouldn’t lend me any tools and I couldn’t even get a hand to put air in my tyres. I ended up skipping one of the qualifying sessions to go down to the nearest hardware store and buy some tools.
“The track was a tough one for me too. I’d never raced there before and there were lost of crests (on hills) and blind corners. It took a while to get used to. I even shot off the track at one point but I didn’t hurt myself.”
This season’s New Zealand Superbike Championships kick off in January and, with plenty of testing and practice still to come, Frost is convinced he can improve upon his national ranking.
But first of all, Frost (and his LG-sponsored Suzuki GSX-R1000) has a lot of work mapped out in the coming months, including a couple more trips across the Tasman.
Frost will race his stock bike against the factory superbikes in support class action during the MotoGP weekend at Phillip Island on October 17-18.
He says it’s all just part of his build-up for the New Zealand Superbike Championships.
“It is all a great learning experience for me. I’m a newcomer to the sport so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do. It’s just as well I have some great support from Shoei Helmets and LG Electronics.”
The way things are going, though, it could be his championship rivals who will have to do all the catching up.
Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com