Down in third position after the opening round of the Suzuki International Tri Series at Hampton Downs a week ago, defending champion Andrew Stroud struck back in the most comprehensive fashion at round two on Saturday, scoring back-to-back wins.
By winning both Saturday’s superbike races at Manfeild, in Feilding, the 42-year-old Suzuki star from Hamilton catapulted himself to the top of the series standings with just one round, the famous Cemetery Circuit race meeting on the streets of Wanganui, still to come on Boxing Day.
A smiling Stroud was pleased to report that his wife, Karyn, had just earlier that day given birth to their eighth child, another daughter, Lucia, so it was a huge surprise after that momentous news that he could compose himself enough to race at breakneck speed and beat arch rival Robbie Bugden, from Australia
The two Suzuki men finished 1-2 in both races on Saturday, the pair of them leapfrogging the round one winner, Tauranga’s Sloan Frost (BMW), in the series standings.
Stroud is now three points ahead of Bugden in the standings with Frost another five points further back, Hamilton’s Nick Cole (Kawasaki) in fourth place overall and Whakatane’s Tony Rees (Yamaha) rounding out the top five.
“I was made to work for it today,” said Stroud afterwards. “It helped me a bit that I managed to qualify fastest and Robbie was on the second row. He’s riding as fast as ever, though, and I know I can’t afford to let up. Our Suzuki GSX-R1000 bikes are pretty much identical, so it’s going to come down to tyre choices or whoever makes fewer mistakes.”
Bugden said he was looking forward to racing for the first time at Wanganui’s final round this coming weekend but admitted Stroud was the favourite.
“Stroudy and (Feilding’s) Craig Shirriffs too are very good at Wanganui but I will just see what feeling I get out of the bike and take it from there.
“It will be a bit of an unknown for me … I have driven around the Wanganui circuit this week and I can see it is a very stop-start course and there are some very fast sections and blind corners too. It’s going to be very interesting.
“I have a lot to learn in very little time but I’m going there with an open mind.”
Other riders to produce outstanding performances on Saturday included Wellington’s Glen Skachill (Suzuki), who bagged another two wins in the 600 Supers class. He is now unbeaten in his four races the series thus far.
Behind him, the battling between Christchurch riders Dennis Charlett (Suzuki) and John Ross (Yamaha) had the crowd on their feet.
Ross also raced a BMW to top the Bears (non-Japanese bike) class and in that division he is now 21 points ahead of Australian pair Joel Reed (Aprilia) and John Woodley (Augusta).
New Plymouth’s Terry Fitzgerald (Suzuki) won the F3 Sports Bikes category with 1-2 results, pushing him to 14 points clear of Taupo’s Scott Moir (Honda) and 20 points clear of Dannevirke’s Geoff Booth (Suzuki) in the series standings.
Palmerston North’s Glenn Williams (Yamaha) was unstoppable in the Post Classics class. The 47-year-old Williams won the first race easily and then deliberately handicapped himself to start off the back of the grid in his second outing.
Despite starting last, he was up to fifth by the end of the first lap and had taken the lead a lap later.
However, because Williams missed round one at Hampton Downs a week earlier, he finds himself down in sixth place in the series standings.
Instead, it is Paraparaumu’s Sean Donnelly (Kawasaki) who leads the points. Donnelly finished 3-5 at Manfeild on Saturday.
Taupo’s Scott Moir (Aprilia) and Rotorua’s Scott Birch (Aprilia) shared wins in the over-450cc Super Moto class at Manfeild. Moir leads the standings by six points from Birch, with Wanganui’s Glenn Haden (Honda) 33 points behind in third.
Italian world No.2 Davide Gozzini (TM) was unbeatable in the under-450cc Super Moto class, beating Auckland’s Toby Summers (Yamaha) to the flag in race one and heading Wanganui’s Jayden Carrick (Suzuki) to the finish in race two.
After two rounds, Gozzini leads the class by 11 points from Summers, with Carrick third overall, another four points further back.
Wanganui combinations continue to dominate the sidecars class.
Wanganui’s national champions Steve Bron and Dennis Simonsen won both races at Manfeild and now lead the series by six points from fellow Wanganui pair Adam Unsworth and Stu Dawe, with Auckland pairing Desmond James and Jonathon Shaw another 25 points behind in third.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Full story and more photos in your next issue of KIWI RIDER magazine.
2010 Suzuki International Tri-Series round 2 results from Manfeild:
Race 1: Andrew Stroud (Hamilton, Suzuki GSXR1000), 1; Robbie Bugden (Australia, Suzuki GSXR1000), 2; Sloan Frost (Tauranga, BMW S1000RR), 3; Nick Cole (Hamilton, Kawasaki ZX-10R), 4; Tony Rees (Whakatane, Yamaha YZF-R1), 5; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding, Suzuki GSXR1000), 6.
Race 2: Stroud, 1; Bugden, 2; Cole, 3; Frost, 4; Rees, 5; John Ross (Christchurch, BMW S1000RR), 6.
Series points: Andrew Stroud, 93; Robbie Bugden, 90; Sloan Frost, 85; Nick Cole, 54; Tony Rees, 54; Ryan Hampton (Christchurch, Honda CBR1000RR), 54; Craig Shirriffs, 51; John Ross, 51; Hayden Fitzgerald (Hawera, Honda CBR1000RR), 45.
F2 600 Supers:
Race 1: Glen Skachill (Wellington, Suzuki GSXR600), 1; John Ross (Christchurch, Yamaha YZF-R6), 2; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Suzuki GSXR600), 3; Jaden Hassan (Auckland, Yamaha YZF-R6), 4; Adam Chambers (Clive, Kawasaki ZX600), 5; Karl Morgan (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR600), 6.
Race 2: Skachill, 1; Charlett, 2; Ross, 3; Hassan, 4; Morgan, 5; Chambers, 6.
Series points: Glen Skachill, 101; Dennis Charlett, 86; Jaden Hassan, 76; Karl Morgan, 65; John Ross, 61; Adam Chambers, 60.
Race 1: Terry Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki SV650), 1; Jason Easton (Palmerston North, Tigcraft Aprilia), 2; Scott Moir (Taupo, Honda RSV450), 3; Daniel Kempthorne (Palmerston North, Suzuki SV650), 4; Geoff Booth (Dannevirke, Suzuki SV650), 5; Dean Bentley (Lower Hutt, Suzuki SV650), 6.
Race 2: Easton, 1; Fitzgerald, 2; Moir, 3; Booth, 4; Bentley, 5; Sam Baker, 6.
Series points: Terry Fitzgerald, 94; Scott Moir, 80; Geoff Booth, 74; Daniel Kempthorne, 60; Dean Bentley, 60. Jason Easton, 47.
Race 1: Davide Gozzini (Italy, TM SMX450F), 1; Toby Summers (Auckland, Yamaha YZF450), 2; Andrea Occhini (Italy, Suzuki RMZ450), 3; Jayden Carrick (Wanganui, Suzuki RMZ450), 4; Richard Dibben (Wanganui, Honda CRF450), 5; Duncan Hart (Tauranga, Husqvarna SMRR450), 6.
Race 2: Gozzini, 1; Carrick, 2; Occhini, 3; Summers, 4; Dibben, 5; Steven Croad (Auckland, Honda CRF450), 6.
Series points: Davide Gozzini, 97; Toby Summers, 86; Jayden Carrick, 82; Andrea Occhini, 72; Richard Dibben, 68; Duncan Hart, 59.
Race 1: Scott Birch (Rotorua, Aprilia SXV550), 1; Scott Moir (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550), 2; Lewis Waho (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550), 3; Chris Sales (Feilding, Honda XR500), 4; Craig Flood (New Plymouth, Aprilia SXV550), 5. Casey Bullock (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550), 6.
Race 2: Moir, 1; Birch, 2; Doug Stockwell (Auckland, Aprilia SXV550), 3; Flood, 4; Glen Haden Wanganui, Honda CRF490), 5; Sales, 6.
Series points: Scott Moir, 98; Scott Birch, 92; Glen Haden, 65; Craig Flood, 64; Doug Stockwell, 61; Lewis Waho, 60; Chris Sales, 60.
Race 1: Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Yamaha FZR1000), 1; Paul Wootton (Waikane, Suzuki GSXR1100), 2; Sean Donnelly, (Paraparaumu, Kawasaki GPZ1100), 3; Mike Webster (Wellington, Kawasaki ZXR H1 750), 4; Chris Sales (Feilding, Honda XR500), 5; Peter Smith (Rotorua, Suzuki GSXR1100), 6.
Race 2: Williams, 1; Smith, 2; Wootton, 3; Webster, 4; Donnelly, 5; Sales, 6.
Series points: Sean Donnelly, 78; Paul Wootton, 73; Mike Webster, 67; Jason Hulme (Marton, Honda NC30 400), 61; Chris Sales, 60; Glen Williams, 51; Graham Moorhead (Takapuna, Suzuki GS1000), 51.
Race 1: John Ross (Christchurch, BMW S1000RR), 1; Peter Tanner (Feilding, Aprilia RSVR1000), 2; John Woodley (Australia, MV Agusta R312), 3; Joel Reed (Australia, Aprilia RSV4), 4; Damian Mackie (Te Puke, Ducati 998S), 5; Jarrod Wintle, 6.
Race 2: Tanner, 1; Ross, 2; Woodley, 3; Mackie, 4; Reed, 5; Wintle, 6.
Series points: John Ross, 97; John Woodley, 76; Joel Reed, 76; Peter Tanner, 69; Damian Mackie, 68; Duncan Coutts, 57.
Race 1: Steve Bron/Dennis Simonsen (Wanganui/Masterton, Suzuki LCR1000), 1; Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe (Wanganui, Windle F1 1000), 2; Stu Prentis/Louise Blythe (Hawera, Yamaha 1000), 3; Darryl Dowman/Scott Dowman (Wanganui, Yamaha R1 1000), 4; Darren Pate/Karl Verdell (Katikati, Kawasaki 1000), 5; Tracey Anderson/Jo Mickleson (Tauranga, Yamaha DMR 600), 6.
Race 2: Bron/Simonsen, 1; Unsworth/Dawe, 2; Dowman/Dowman, 3; Des James/Jonathan Shaw (Auckland, GSXR1000), 4; Brian Read/Darren Prentis (Auckland, Kawasaki ZX-10R), 5; Anderson/Mickleson, 6.
Series points: Steve Bron/Dennis Simonsen, 95; Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe, 89; Des James/Jonathan Shaw, 64; Brian Read/Darren Prentis, 63; Darren Pate/Karl Verdell, 61; Ash Martin/Charles Bilby, 45.