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Perfect Start For Hudson In 600cc Title Bid

 

JANUARY 11, 2016: Canterbury's Cameron Hudson has described his start to the 2016 New Zealand Superbike Championships at the weekend as "pretty close to perfection".

A dominant performance in the ferocious 600cc supersport class meant the 20-year-old Christchurch student was able to shake off his many challengers and end the opening weekend of four in the series with a solid 21.5-point lead over his nearest championship threat, Glen Eden's Daniel Mettam.

Without any pre-season clashes with the men who would possibly become his championship rivals, Hudson lined up to race his Yamaha R6 at Christchurch's Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, on Saturday and Sunday with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Hudson had finished national No.4 in the 600cc class in 2015 and the three men who had finished ahead of him - Christchurch bothers Alastair and James Hoogenboezem and Manukau's Toby Summers - were not lining up in the 600cc class this season, so Hudson was realistic to believe he should have high hopes for his 2016 campaign.

And so it proved as the Yamaha ace convincingly won the weekend's first 600cc race, finishing more than four seconds ahead of Mettam.

The next two races were a little more problematic, each of them staged in two parts after different riders crashed, each time forcing a re-start and recalculation of points at the end of the day, half points being awarded for each of the segments.

In the end, Hudson's first race win, 3-2 result in the split race two and 1-1 result in the split race three were enough for him to win the event and give himself an excellent foundation on which to build the rest of his campaign.

"I could not have asked for a better weekend. It was pretty close to perfection, I suppose, "said Hudson. "I won the NZGP title in the streetstock class in about 2009, so I obviously like this track," he laughed.

"The speed these riders was showing surprised me a bit, especially Daniel Mettam. They certainly gave me a good run for my money. Damon Rees, Alex Phillis, Shane Richardson and Aaron Hassan were pretty fast too.

"I know the racing will be close at the other rounds coming up, so I can't afford to rest.

"It was quite nerve-wracking having to do two of the races in two parts ... nerves were jangling a bit when I was sitting on the start line. I try not to think about the crashes ... that's just what happens sometimes in racing and I just had to make sure I stayed focussed on not be part of that."

Other class winners at the weekend were Wellington's Sloan Frost (superbike); Tirau's Dillon Telford (superstock 1000); Christchurch's Dennis Charlett (pro twins); Upper Hutt's Rogan Chandler (125GP); New Plymouth's Shaun Harris (superlites); Rolleston's Tim McArthur (lightweights); Ashburton's Lewis Dray (250cc production); Christchurch's Gordon Wilcock (Bears F1, non-Japanese) Greymouth's Ashton Hughes (Bears F2, non-Japanese bikes); Auckland's Colin Buckley and Tauranga's Robbie Shorter (sidecars).

The four-round championship now heads to Teretonga, on the outskirts of Invercargill, for round two next weekend, with a third South Island round a week later at Levels Raceway, near Timaru, on January 24, and the final round is scheduled for Hampton Downs, near Huntly, on March 5-6.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com