Waikato’s Nick Cole was dealt a rough hand at round two of motorcycling’s popular Suzuki Series at Manfeild on Sunday.
A minor engine glitch forced him to the sidelines during the qualifying session early on Sunday, although, thankfully, he’d already done enough to earn fourth spot on the starting grid for the afternoon’s points races.
He was forced to resort to his No.2 bike, his stock standard spare Kawasaki KX-10R, for the rest of the weekend and managed sixth and fifth placings in his two races, glad to have been able to “salvage something” from the setback.
The Red Devil racing Kawasaki rider led the series after the first of three rounds at Hampton Downs a week ago, but, after his setback at round two at Manfeild at the weekend, he has now slipped down the Suzuki Series standings to second spot.
However, he is still within an ace of clinching the trophy with the notorious Cemetery Circuit typically a happy hunting ground for the 27-year-old Hamilton fitter and turner.
Cole is only three points behind Canterbury’s defending Suzuki Tri Series champion Dennis Charlett (Underground Brown Suzuki GSX-R1000) and so the series is still wide open.
Christchurch’s Charlett finished 1-3 in the two F1 races on Sunday.
“It is still a pretty close competition. I’m just glad that the back-up bike, straight out of the crate from the factory, is a very good machine. Remember, a Kawasaki ZX-10R like this is what Britain’s Tom Sykes rode to win the World Superbike Championships this year.
“Bring it on at Wanganui I say. I have a very good chance of winning the series there, looking at my past results on the Cemetery Circuit, and I’m feeling confident.”
More to follow …
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com