It was all green out front in the 600cc class at the weekend’s 27th running of the Honda Battle of the Streets race meeting in Paeroa.
Kawasaki riders Toby Summers and Shane Richardson shared the wins in the 600cc Formula Two class on Sunday, with Manukau’s Summers declared the overall winner because he had finished highest in the day’s second of two F2 races, but, the count-back rule aside, there was really nothing to separate the two men, both of them on identical ZX-6R Ninja bikes.
Supported by Motorad, Wainuiomata’s Richardson won the first of two F2 race at Paeroa on Sunday, crossing the finish line two seconds ahead of Summers, with Hamilton’s Zurrin Wiki (Triumph Daytona 675) claiming third spot, finishing more than six seconds further back.
But then Carl Cox Motorsports-backed Summers had his revenge, winning race two by 400ths of a second from Richardson, with the third-placed rider, Te Awamutu’s David Hall (Suzuki GSX-R600), crossing the line five seconds later.
“I’m pretty happy with this bike and I think we both went close to lap record times at Paeroa,” said the 45-year-old Summers.
“It is really good to be going that fast and being close to Shane too. Shane is a great 600cc rider and so to be able to battle with him is fantastic.
“I always have good, close battles with him – I feel confident when he gets close beside me on the track because I know he’s not going to do anything silly and we respect one another. We cleared out from the rest of the field in both races.”
The weekend’s result at Paeroa was a good confidence-booster for Summers, who has been blighted with bad luck during the New Zealand Superbike Championships, that series now at the halfway stage with the third round of four coming up at Hampton Downs, north of Huntly, on March 3-4.
“I crashed out of one of my races at (round two of the nationals at) Timaru and the points lost there have cost me dearly, although I’m still fourth overall in the Supersport 600 class.”
Expect to see a few more fireworks between the two friendly Kawasaki rivals, with Richardson planning to also race at Hampton Downs in just over a week’s time, his first and last appearance in the nationals this year before he again heads overseas to race.
“I’m happy with my results today, although I always want to win,” said the 22-year-old Richardson.
“I’m looking forward to racing at Hampton Downs, to be there to wave the flag for Kawasaki. Straight afterwards I head off to the United States and I’ll be racing there from March until September.”
Other class winners at Paeroa on Sunday were Taupo’s Scott Moir (Formula Paeroa); Auckland’s Gavin Veltmeyer (Formula three Superlites); Whanganui’s Dwayne Bishop (Non-Japanese BEARS); Ararimu’s Paul Pavletich (Pre-89 Post Classics); Waitakere’s Neil Martin (Pre-82 Post Classics); Auckland’s Mark Halls (Senior Classics); Rotorua’s Peter Smith (Pre-72 Senior Classics); Tauranga’s Sheldon Reynolds (Pre-72 Junior Classics); Whanganui’s Richard Dibben (Super Motard); Auckland’s Adam Unsworth and Bryce Rose (Sidecars); Carterton’s Mark Smith and Sid Sutherland (Post Classic Sidecars).
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here