With the New Zealand Superbike Championships now at the halfway stage – with the second of four rounds being completed at Invercargill last weekend – the riders head to Levels Raceway, near Timaru, for the last of the South Island fixtures this weekend and there Frost is determined to further strengthen his grip on the premier superbike class.
Thanks to his superb unbeaten run at the series opener at Christchurch’s Ruapuna Park circuit a fortnight ago, the 34-year-old Frost (MC2 Racing Fujitsu TSS Red Baron Suzuki GSX-R1000) enjoyed a 16-point advantage as he arrived at the Invercargill circuit for the start of round two last weekend.
But then his campaign was given a jolt when Taupo’s Scott Moir (Penny Homes Suzuki GSX-R1000) and Hamilton’s Andrew Stroud (Pirelli Suzuki GSX-R1000) signalled their own ambitions in finishing 1-2 in the superbike class at Invercargill. Fortunately for Frost, his finishing third overall on the day meant he had done enough to protect his lead and actually extended it to 31 points as the rider who was his main threat early on, Christchurch’s John Ross (Hollands Collision Centre Suzuki GSX-R1000), dropped back.
Nine-time former national superbike champion Stroud, who returned to the racetrack this season after a two-year hiatus, is now in the No.2 spot and it may still be possible for him to overturn that 31-point deficit in the two rounds that remain.
“It was a good weekend for me at Teretonga. I didn’t finish quite how I’d have liked to, but I still extended my championship lead,” said Frost.
“I always feel strong at Levels and, if all goes to plan, I’ll be okay there. I always knew Scotty (Moir) would be on the pace and, to be honest, I was pleased that it was him doing the winning and not the rider (Ross) who had been second to me at Ruapuna.
“Andrew (Stroud) is always a threat too. But I think I’ve got what it takes to beat them. That’s just what I have to do this weekend.”
The racing has also been fierce in the supersport 600cc class where Glen Eden’s Daniel Mettam (Suzuki GSX-R600) topped the class at Teretonga, although Christchurch’s Cameron Hudson (Yamaha R6) did enough to keep himself top of the series standings.
Hudson’s advantage has been shaved back by four points and Mettam can now perhaps sniff a chance to repeat the overall victory in the class that he enjoyed in the pre-nationals Suzuki Series that wrapped up just after Christmas.
Following racing at Levels Raceway on Sunday, the riders have more than a month to re-gather their thoughts and re-tune their motorcycles as they prepare for the fourth and final round at Hampton Downs, near Meremere, on March 6.
The class leaders after two of four rounds are Wellington’s Frost (superbike class); Christchurch’s Hudson (supersport 600); Manukau’s Toby Summers (superstock 1000, Kawasaki); Christchurch’s Dennis Charlett (pro twins, Suzuki); Upper Hutt’s Rogan Chandler (125GP, Honda); New Plymouth’s Shaun Harris (superlites, Suzuki); Charlett (lightweights, KTM); Ashburton’s Lewis Dray (250cc production, Kawasaki); Auckland’s Colin Buckley and Tauranga’s Robbie Shorter (sidecars, Kawasaki).
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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