Waikato’s Nick Cole has the pace to win and, with just a little luck going his way, that’s exactly what he plans to do this season.
Spectators got the chance to see just how much potential the Kawasaki ace has the weekend when he shocked defending national champion Andrew Stroud (Suzuki GSX-R1000) by ripping past him in the day’s first of two superbike races at round two of the Tri Series at Manfeild.
Though still recovering from injury, Cole (Kawasaki ZX-10R) pounced late in the rain-affected race, just as tyres were starting to “go off” – rubber shredding off the rain tyres on a rapidly drying track – and stole victory off early race leader Ray Clee (Suzuki GSX-R1000), of Auckland, and fellow Waikato man Stroud.
“I was chasing Ray and could see he was having trouble with traction,” said Cole, a 25-year-old father-of-one.
“I backed off and decided not to push it, trying to save wear on my rubber, until there were just five laps to go, and then I put my head down and just went for it.
“It paid off because I still had rubber left and, when I made the move to pass on the last lap, it all held together.”
Cole has now moved up from fifth after round one to be third overall in the superbike class and he is ideally placed to make a strong push at the third and final round, on the public streets of Wanganui on Boxing Day.
Cole is just 13 points off the lead held by Stroud and Clee is within easy strike range, just five points up on Cole.
“I love racing on Wanganui’s Cemetery Circuit. I’ve just got to beat those two guys on Boxing Day now, simple as that.”
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com