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Championship Leaders Consolidate In Timaru


CAPTION: Wainuiomata's Shane Richardson (bike No.28) leads Christchurch's Cameron Hudson (No.61) at the start of one of the 600cc supersport races at Levels Raceway, near Timaru, on Sunday. Photo by JDAS

JANUARY 24, 2016: Consolidation was the buzz word at the third round of four in this season's New Zealand Superbike Championships near Timaru at the weekend.

A serious crash during practice at Levels Raceway on Saturday meant racing would not go ahead for the day and so the weekend's programme was reduced to just two races for each class, both of them being run on Sunday, and that did not prevent several of the various class leaders from extending their respective championship leads.

Wellington's Sloan Frost captured two race wins in the glamour superbike class at Levels Raceway and now leads the series by 43 points over Christchurch John Ross, who is locked in a see-saw battle with nine-time former superbike champion Andrew Stroud, of Hamilton.

"Just a small change in temperature can make such a big difference with regards to tyre choice and it was really just a matter of getting that right," said Frost.

"After that it was just a matter of riding my own race, checking my pit board each lap and staying in front.

"There are four races to go at the final round (at Hampton Downs on March 5-6) and I'm feeling confident. That's my strongest track but there is still 100 points up for grabs, so it's not done and dusted yet. I need to ride smart."

Christchurch's Cameron Hudson was similarly dominant in the 600cc supersport  class at Levels Raceway, winning both races on Sunday and stretching his advantage to 37.5 points over Glen Eden's Daniel Mettam.

Christchurch's Dennis Charlett bagged two more race wins in the lightweight class to pad his series lead out to 11 points over Rolleston's Tim McArthur, while dual-class campaigner Charlett also scored two wins in the 650cc Pro Twin class, stretching his series lead there to 19 points over Ashburton's Bailie Perriton.

Charlett also won the Alan Ramage Memorial competition, finishing the three-race event that was exclusive to Levels ahead of Timaru's Richard Willetts and Timaru's Grant Ramage, a younger brother of the late Alan.

In the sidecars class, it was another double win for Auckland's Colin Buckley and Tauranga's Robbie Shorter, who grew their championship lead to 64 points over Wairarapa pair Spike Taylor and Astrid Hartnell.

Hamilton's Jacob Stroud scored two wins in the 250cc production class, although Ashburton's Lewis Dray did enough in finishing the day in runner-up spot to keep his series lead.

With New Plymouth's Shaun Harris crashing out of the superlites class on Saturday and a non-starter on Sunday, dual-class rider Jacob Stroud was free to rule and he won both races in the class on Sunday. Stroud is now second in the standings, just one point adrift of Harris.

The riders now have more than a month to re-gather their thoughts and re-tune their motorcycles as they prepare for the fourth and final round of the New Zealand Superbike Championships at Hampton Downs, near Meremere, on March 5-6.

Leading points standings after the third of four rounds of the New Zealand Superbike Championships at the weekend:

Superbikes: 1. Sloan Frost (Wellington, Suzuki) 185 pts; 2. John Ross (Christchurch, Suzuki) 142; 3. Andrew Stroud (Hamilton, Suzuki) 129.

Superstock 1000: 1. Toby Summers (Manukau, Kawasaki) 190; 2. Dillon Telford (Tirau, Aprilia) 166; 3 Dan Ornsby (Oxford, Nth Canterbury, Yamaha) 48.

Supersport 600: 1. Cameron Hudson (Christchurch, Yamaha) 173.5 pts; 2. Daniel Mettam (Glen Eden, Suzuki) 136; 3. Shane Richardson (Wainuiomata, Kawasaki) 101.5.

Pro Twins: 1. Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Suzuki) 190 pts; 2. Bailie Perriton (Ashburton, Suzuki) 171; 3. Ben Rosendaal (Whangamata, Suzuki) 125.

125GP: 1. Rogan Chandler (Upper Hutt, Honda) 203 pts; 2. Ashley Weller (Christchurch, Honda) 145; 3. Chris Cain (Auckland, Honda) 117.

Superlites: 1. Shaun Harris (New Plymouth, Suzuki) 146 pts; 2. Jacob Stroud (Hamilton, Yamaha) 145; 3. Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland, Suzuki) 126.

Lightweights: 1. Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, KTM) 177 pts; 2. Tim McArthur (Rolleston, Kawasaki) 166; 3. Richard Willetts (Timaru, Yamaha) 112.

250cc production: 1. Lewis Dray (Ashburton, Kawasaki) 166 pts; 2. Jacob Stroud (Hamilton, Kawasaki) 152; 3. Alex Bowers (Christchurch, Kawasaki) 112.

Sidecars: 1. Colin Buckley (Auckland) and Robbie Shorter (Tauranga, Kawasaki) 203 pts; 2. Spike Taylor and Astrid Hartnell (Masterton, Suzuki) 139; 3. A J MacDonald and David Gorst (Kaiapoi, Suzuki) 118.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,