Canterbury’s Dennis Charlett is back where he feels he belongs, on top of the Suzuki Series Formula One class standings.
The defending champion from 2012 found himself third overall after the first of three rounds at Hampton Downs a week ago, but, after round two at Manfeild at the weekend, he is now on top of the rankings.
Christchurch’s Charlett finished first and third at Manfeild on Sunday, keeping his head as all around him were losing theirs.
“It was certainly a fantastic day for me,” said the 45-year-old father-of-five and grandfather-of-three.
“My Suzuki GSX-R1000 performed brilliantly. To win this series for a second year in a row would be great, and I’m not taking anything for granted because there’s still a round to go.
“But, regardless of how it all works out for the Suzuki Series, it has still been great in terms for getting myself set up for the national championships (due to kick off in Christchurch in January). I feel like I’m in a good position.”
It was a drama-filled day at every turn, the action considered both delightful and disastrous, depending upon your point of view.
First of all series leader after round one, Hamilton’s Nick Cole (Kawasaki ZX10R) suffered engine problems during F1 qualifying and was forced to the sidelines. He lined up for racing proper with his back-up bike and his results suffered because of this, managing just sixth and fifth in his two outings on Sunday and dropping back to second in the series standings, now three points behind Charlett, with the third and final round coming up at Wanganui’s famous Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day.
Next up was Australian Linden Magee (BMW 1000RR), crashing spectacularly soon after the start of the opening F1 race, forcing the race to be stopped. He was not seriously injured but his bike was a mess. Then the rider who was second in the F1 standings after round one, Wellington Suzuki rider Sloan Frost, crashed just a handful of laps into the re-started F1 race.
The man who took the lead in re-started F1 race, Feilding Suzuki ace Craig Shirriffs, was the next rider to experience drama as he was forced to give up his lead and pull out of the race when the bracket holding his brakes in place came loose.
Drama hit Taupo’s Scott Moir (Suzuki GSX-R1000) when he had to withdraw when his bike suffered a malfunction as he sat on the start line for race two. Moir had finished fourth in the opening F1 race but his race two tragedy dropped him back to fifth in the series standings.
Disaster truck for New Plymouth’s Hayden Fitzgerald (Suzuki GSX-R1000) in the F1 class when he suffered electrical problems and was forced to pull out of race two, leaving him seventh in the class standings.
Frost bounced back from his disappointment to win the day’s second F1 race, with Shirriffs finishing second, but this was merely consolation for these two riders since their non-finish in race one probably cost both of them any chance of winning the three-round, six-race series.
“It was a consolation to win race two after crashing out of race one … I went too hard, too early on cold tyres .. and it has me thinking I might not race the final round now,” said Frost.
“There’s not a lot of point in me risking myself for a series I can’t now win. I’ve got to think about the nationals coming up.
“It has been a mixed day for me, a DNF and a win. It’s frustrating because, if you drop one out of six races, you really haven’t got a chance.”
Frost is now third in the F1 standings, eight points behind Cole and 11 behind Charlett with just the two Boxing Day races to go.
Other class leaders after Manfeild are Auckland’s Toby Summers (Yamaha R6, 600cc F2 class); New Plymouth’s Hayden Fitzgerald (Suzuki SV650, F3 Superlite); Australia’s Craig Trinder (Aprilia RSV4, Bears, non-Japanese bikes); Wanganui’s Richard Dibben (Honda CRF450, Super Moto); Whangarei’s Duncan Coutts (Suzuki GSX-R1100, pre-89 Post Classics); Auckland’s Adam Unsworth and Stu Dawe (Windle, Sidecars).
More to follow …
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Results from round two of the 2013 Suzuki Series at Manfeild on Sunday:
Formula 1, race 1: Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Suzuki GSXR1000), 1; Chris Seaton (Australia, Aprilia RSV4), 2; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki GSXR1000), 3; Scott Moir (Taupo, Suzuki GSXR1000), 4; Ray Clee (Kumeu Auckland, GSXR1000), 5; Nick Cole (Hamilton, Kawasaki ZX-10R), 6.
F1 Series points after round 2: Dennis Charlett, 82; Nick Cole, 79; Sloan Frost, 71; Ray Clee, 52; Scott Moir, 50; David Hall, 50; Hayden Fitzgerald, 49.
Formula 2, race 1: Toby Summers (Auckland, Yamaha R6), 1; Daniel Mettam ( Auckland, CBR600RR), 2; John Ross (Christchurch, GSXR600), 3; Adam Chambers (Clive, Honda CBR600RR), 3; Rhys Holmes (Tauranga, Yamaha R6), 5; Thomas Kreutz (Germany, Yamaha R6), 6.
Formula 2, race 2: Thomas Kreutz, 1; Toby Summers, 2; Avalon Biddle (Orewa, GSXR600), 3; Daniel Mettam, 4; Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch, Suzuki NZ GSXR600), 5; Adam Chambers, 6.
Formula 2 series points after round 2: Toby Summers, 94; Daniel Mettam, 76; Adam Chambers, 73; Thomas Kreutz, 71; Jayden Carrick, 46; John Ross, 34.
Formula 3, race 1: Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki NZ SV650), 1; Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland, Suzuki SV650), 2; Royd Walker-Holt (Kawakawa, Suzuki SV650), 3; Dean Bentley (Lower Hutt, Suzuki SV650), 4; Gavin McKay (Lower Hutt, Kaprilliam GCM), 5, Sarah Elliot (Otaki Beach, SV650), 6.
Formula 3, race 2: Hayden Fitzgerald, 1; Gavin Veltmeyer 2; Royd Walker-Hoult, 3; Dean Bentley, 4; Gavin McKay, 5, Sarah Elliot, 6.
Formula 3 series points after round 2: Hayden Fitzgerald, 94; Gavin Veltmeyer, 86; Royd Walker-Holt, 82; Dean Bentley, 76; Gavin McKay, 60; Gavin Oxtoby, 45.
Supermoto race 1: Richard Dibben (Wanganui, Honda CRF450), 1; Malachi Mitchell-Thomas (Great Britain, TM450), 2; Casey Bullock (Reporoa, KTM 450SMR), 3; Aden Brown (Wanganui, Yamaha YZF450), 4; Ben Dowman (Wanganui, CRF 450), 5; Simon Dibben (Wanganui, CRF450), 6.
Supermoto race 2: Richard Dibben, 1; Toby Summers (Auckland, Yamaha YZF450), 2; Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, 3; Casey Bullock, 4; Lewis Waho (Taupo, YZ450F), 5; Aden Brown, 6.
Supermoto series points after round 2: Richard Dibben, 87; Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, 84; Casey Bullock, 74; Toby Summers, 73; Aden Brown, 61; Ben Dowman, 56.
Post Classic Pre ’89, race 1: Eddie Kattenberg (Te Awanga, Yamaha FZR1000), 1; Jay Lawrence (Ohaupo, GSX1100), 2; Duncan Coutts (Whangarei, GSXR1100), 3; Sean Donnelly (Paraparaumu, Kawasaki Z1000R), 4; Paul Wootton (Waikanae, Suzuki GSXR1100), 5; Malcolm McDonald (Kawasaki KR1 250), 6.
Post Classic Pre ’89, race 2: Duncan Coutts, 1; Eddie Kattenberg, 2; Jay Lawrence, 3; Sean Donnelly, 4; Paul Wootton, 5; Vince Burrell (Hastings, Moto Guzzi V7 Sport), 6.
Post Classic Pre ’89 series points after round 2: Duncan Coutts, 95; Jay Lawrence, 87; Sean Donnelly, 70; Paul Wooton, 66; Nigel Lennox, 60; Vince Burrell, 58.
F1 Sidecars, race1: Barry Smith/Robbie Shorter (Te Puke, Windle Suzuki), 1; Spike Taylor/Astrid Hartnell (Masterton, LCR Suzuki), 2; Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance (Auckland, Anderson R1), 3; Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe (Auckland, Windle F1), 4; Peter Goodwin/Darren Prentis (Albany, LCR/Windle), 5; Michael (Burt) Wolland/Neville Mickleson (Masterton, Derbyshire 1000), 6.
F1 Sidecars, race 2: Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe, 1; Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance, 2; Spike Taylor/Astrid Hartnell (Masterton, LCR Suzuki), 3; Michael Wolland/Neville Mickleson, 4; Tracey Bryan/Tina McKeown (Tauranga, Motorcycles DMR600), 5; Des James/Warren Miller (Papakura, LCR Yamaha R1), 6.
F1 Sidecars series points after round 2: Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe, 87; Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance, 80; Barry Smith/Robbie Shorter, 63; Spike Taylor/Astrid Hartnell 58; Peter Goodwin/Darren Prentis, 57; Corey Winter/Tim Shepherd (RMR600), 53.
BEARS, race 1: Linden Magee (Brisbane, BMW S1000RR), 1; Craig Trinder (Gold Coast, Aprilia RSV4), 2; Steve Mizera (Germany, BMW S1000RR), 3; John Oliver (Feilding, BMW S1000RR), 4; Mike King (New Plymouth, Ducati 1098), 5; Dwayne Bishop (Wanganui, Aprilia RSV4), 6.
BEARS, race 2: Steve Mizera, 1; Craig Trinder, 2; John Oliver, 3; Dwayne Bishop, 4; Mike King, 5; Kevin Waugh (Wellington, Triumph Daytona), 6.
BEARS series points after round 2: Craig Trinder, 91; Dwayne Bishop, 71; Gavin McKay, 60; John Oliver, 56; Roger Crowley, 53; Linden Magee, 52.