Aussie Bugden reclaims NZ Superbike crown
Australian Superbike star Robbie Bugden regained his New Zealand Superbike Championship with two dominant victories for Suzuki at Taupo today.
Andrew Stroud’s hopes of winning his 10th Superbike title at the final round of the Castrol Power1 series took a knock yesterday when he could qualify only eighth after a crash in practice. Today he was off his usual pace, finishes of sixth and fourth leaving the Hamilton Suzuki rider second in the championship.
“We’ve got it done,” Bugden said. “We’ve had some ups and downs through the season.
“I hadn’t been champion for a couple of years. We set out to win the championship and I’m so happy for the whole team.”
This is his fourth New Zealand title, coming after two years when Stroud took the championships. Racing in New Zealand during the Australian of-season helped keep him focused, Bugden said.“I’m a racer,” he said. “This is what I like to do. My life revolves around racing.”
Feilding rider Craig Shirriffs was delighted with his best performance of the season, clear second in both races on his Suzuki.
“I’m rapt,” he said. “I’ve never liked this track much, but it’s grown on me now.”
Stroud took his defeat with good grace.
“It’s good to let the Australians win sometimes, it’s good for international relations,” he joked.
He had won both races at Hampton Downs the previous weekend but at Taupo he could not find the ideal suspension setup for his bike and it was getting unsettled over the bumps.
Hamilton Kawasaki rider Nick Cole was third overall with a fourth and a third, passing Stroud in race two. However that was not quite enough to gain third in the championship, that place going to Wellington BMW rider Sloan Frost.
Australian Dan Stauffer had tyre problems with his Yamaha, finishing fifth and sixth.
Christchurch rider Dennis Charlett made sure of retaining his 600cc Supersport championship with a careful third in race one and then romped away with the final, although 17-year-old Aucklander Jaden Hassan closed right up at the end with his Yamaha.
The first race in this class, run on a damp track, was sensationally won by 15-year-old Australian Josh McGrath, more than 12 seconds clear of the strong field.
“I love racing in the wet, sliding the bike,” said McGrath, who is too young to race a 600 in Australia. He came third in race two.
Other 2012 champions are: 600cc Superstock, Jake Lewis (Christchurch, Yamaha); Superlite, Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Suzuki); 650 Pro Twins, Robbie Stokes (Christchurch, Suzuki); 125 GP, Seth Devereux (Christchurch, Honda); and Prolite 250, Sam Croft Raumati South, Kawasaki).
For further information please call Bernard Carpinter, 0274-528-744.
Castrol Power1 New Zealand Superbike Championships, final round, Taupo
Superbikes – Race one: Robbie Bugden (Australia) Suzuki 1; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding) Suzuki 2; Sloan Frost (Wellington) BMW 3; Nick Cole (Hamilton) Kawasaki) 4; Dan Stauffer (Australia) Yamaha 5; Andrew Stroud (Hamilton) Suzuki 6.
Race two: Bugden 1; Shirriffs 2; Cole 3; Stroud 4; Frost 5; Stauffer 6.
Final championship points: Bugden 182.5, Stroud 145, Frost 124.5, Cole 120.5, Shirriffs 114, James Smith (Christchurch, Suzuki) 100.
600cc Supersport – Race one: Josh McGrath (Australia) Yamaha 1; Glen Skachill (Wellington) Suzuki 2; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki 3; Jaden Hassan (Auckland) Yamaha 4; Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill) Honda 5. Race two: Charlett 1; Hassan 2; McGrath 3; Skachill 4; Karl Morgan (Auckland) Suzuki 5. Points: Charlett 203, Skachill 165, McGrath 123, John Ross (Christchurch, Suzuki) 116, Hassan 99.
600cc Superstock – Race one: Johnny Small (Timaru) Suzuki 1; Daniel Ormsby (Christchurch) Yamaha 2; Jake Lewis (Christchurch) Yamaha 3. Race two: Lewis 1; Daniel Kempthorne (Palmerston North) Yamaha 2; Small 3. Points: Lewis 217, Small 179, Ormsby 166.
Superlite – Race one: Glen Williams (Palmerston North) Suzuki SVR650, 1; Neil Smith (Blenheim) Yamaha YZF-R450, 2; Marty Wood (Blenheim) Yamaha YZF-R450, 3. Race two: Scott Moir (Taupo) Honda 450, 1; Williams 2; Smith 3. Race three: Williams 1; Smith 2; Wood 3.
650 Pro Twins – Race one: Nick Southerwood (Auckland)) Suzuki 1; Robbie Stokes (Christchurch) Suzuki 2; Zane Brookes (Palmerston North) Suzuki 3. Race two: Bryan Hill (Ashburton) Suzuki 1; Stokes 2; Southerwood 3. Race three: Stokes 1; Hill 2; Southerwood 3.
125cc GP – Race one: Seth Devereux (Christchurch) Honda 1; Daniel Mettam (Auckland) Honda 2; Troy Guenther (Australia) Yamaha 3. Race two: Devereux 1; Mettam 2; James Jarman (Whangarei) Honda 3. Race three part one: Mettam 1; Devereux 2; Guenther 3. Rac three part two: Devereux 1; Kyle Hammond (Wellington) Honda 2; Guenther 3. Points: Devereux 245.5, Mettam 243.5, Hafiq Azmi (Malaysia, Honda) 215.
Prolite 250 – Race one: Seth Devereux (Christchurch) Kawasaki 1; Daniel Mettam (Auckland) Hyosung 2; Aaron Hassan (Auckland) Kawasaki 3. Race two: Devereux 1; Sam Croft (Raumati South) Kawasaki 2; Hassan 3. Race three: Devereux 1; Hassan 2; Mettam 3.
words Bernard Carpinter
Pic Andrew Bright Championship Digital