Here we go again … after trolling through the BikesportNZ.com archive folders, we decided the time was right to bring these photos out into the daylight.
We hope we don’t upset anyone or ruffle any feathers, because that’s certainly not our intention, but we decided now was as good a time as any – as the New Zealand Superbike Championships are in full swing – to dust off the archive folders and share with our followers a few classic snaps from our vast photo storage locker.
Some of these individuals are no longer with us and perhaps this can also be a tribute to them, a way to remember them and thank them for the powerful contributions they made to the sport we all love.
Commentator Ray Whitham, pictured here at the Paeroa “Battle of the Streets” races in 2010. A popular event commentator, radio broadcaster and archivist for the sport – his words often filling the pages of the Paeroa and Cemetery Circuit street race programmes – Whitham sadly lost his brief battle with cancer and passed away in December 2015. His respected encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport was legendary and he is missed by many. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
The motorcycling community is, when all is said and done, a big (and mostly happy) family and we’re all brothers (and sisters) in arms.
We can all reminisce and recall some of the individuals pictured here and be thankful that we were able to share a few moments with them over the years.
Many of these people are still kicking around in the sport, maybe aged a few years since these photos were taken, lost some hair, grown a little taller (or rounder) or, in perhaps a couple of cases here, have developed from novice and fledgling riders into championship contenders today … but, sadly, a few of them have also moved on to other things, simply retired or even passed away.
We do imagine one or two of these people will likely be at Teretonga Park Raceway this weekend, participating in some way or another at round four of the 2022-23 New Zealand Superbike Championships.
Anyway, hats of to all those pictured here. The great memories you have contributed to will live on forever in our hearts.
MAIN PHOTO ABOVE: Start action from the “Battle of the Streets” racing at Paeroa in 2016. The front row starters here are (from left) Whakatane’s Tony Rees (Honda No.11), Taupo’s Scott Moir (Suzuki No.7) and Manukau’s Toby Summers (Kawasaki No.22).
It was a breakthrough moment for Moir when he ended up winning the coveted Formula One class in the Thames Valley town that weekend, the 25th annual Battle of the Streets race meeting.
Sadly, this event would only be run on one more occasion, the follow season, in February 2017, and that event was won by the then 49-year-old Rees.
After much consideration, the Paeroa Promotions Trust has made the difficult decision in September 2018 to discontinue its Battle of the Streets bike event. The Trust reported that rising costs and decreasing spectator numbers brought about this decision.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
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Palmerston North’s Glen Williams, pictured here at Levels International Motor Raceway near Timaru in 2009. A successful businessman, Williams retired from full-time racing in 2013 with four national titles to his name and, soon afterwards, in December 2014, he became president of Motorcycling New Zealand, the governing body for the sport in this country. He quickly followed that by also becoming president of FIM Oceania, with that role being at the pinnacle of motorcycling activities in this part of the world and globally. He stepped down from the MNZ president role in May 2019, handing over the reins to Otago man Noel May. In 2020 Williams also relinquished his position as president of FIM Oceania, a role that had seen him sitting on the board of the sports global body (FIM) as a director and as a member of both their strategic and governance planning committees. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
Taupiri’s Zak Fuller, pictured here at Taupo in 2017. From virtually nowhere, this young man has gone from being an above-average motocross and cross-country rider to, just six years later, becoming a contender for national superbike class honours. From having never thrown his leg over a road bike, Fuller quickly moved up from merely being one of many young competitors in the GIXXER Cup (150cc) class to being a favourite and winner in that same grade. He then quickly moved on to race for the highly-respected, factory-backed Tony Rees Honda race team in the F2/600 Supersport class. He managed to finish third overall in the nationals in this class in 2021 (behind Dale Finch and Rogan Chandler). He also raced a Kawasaki ZX6R in the United Kingdom with great success in 2022. This season he has stepped up “to keep the seat warm” for injured rider Jaden Hassan in the BMW superbike team in New Zealand and has so far been in podium contention throughout the national championships in 2022-23. He’s racing the 1000cc BMW again today at round four of the nationals at Teretonga, near Invercargill. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
From the BikesportNZ.com archives: Christchurch’s Nick Cain is pictured here in 2008. He was racing in the 125GP class in those days but has since moved up to now be racing in the 600 Supersport class. He finished eighth overall in the 600cc class in 2020 and then sixth overall in the same class in 2021. Cain is battling again once more in the 600cc class in this 2022-23 season. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
Fans of Hamilton’s Nick Cole let their feelings known at the Paeroa street races in 2010. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
The “likely lads” of the 125GP class at Levels International Motor Raceway near Timaru in 2009. They are (from left) Oliver Maxwell, Alastair Hoogenboezem, Nick Cain and Cam Jones. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com