FROST DETERMINED TO KEEP UP HIS IMPRESSIVE RACE FORM
A refrigeration engineer by trade, it probably comes as a surprise to nobody that a man named Frost is able to keep cool in even the hottest climates.
Wellington's Sloan "Choppa" Frost was in sizzling form last season, winning his first national superbike crown with an impressive nine race wins out of 12 starts, but he's keen to improve upon that by winning everything this summer.
The 2016 title win was icing on the cake for the 34-year-old Frost, who had earlier in the season wrapped up the overall win in the Suzuki Series as well, an annual competition that always culminates with the hair-raising Cemetery Circuit races on the public streets of Wanganui on Boxing Day. "I see no reason why I can't win every race this summer. That's always the aim anyway," Frost said.
"I'll have my work cut out to beat [visiting Liechtenstein rider] Horst Saiger and [2016 Isle of Man champion] Michael Dunlop in the Suzuki Series, but that will also give me more motivation to push harder. "I've been racing a lot in Australia this year and so my fitness is very good. I've got a new bike from Suzuki with advanced electronics and the new-specification engine is even stronger that last year's model, too."
Frost and fellow Suzuki rider Ryan Hampton, from Christchurch, teamed up to form the Kiwi team for the Oceania Superbike Championship and they're currently leading that with just the final round to come, at Winton in Victoria on October 1-2.
Frost is going from strength to strength and he said he learned plenty from his successful 2016 nationals campaign.
He was certainly the epitome of cool at the final round.
Frost (Fujitsu TSS Red Baron Suzuki GSX-R1000) topped the superbike qualification charts at the 2016 nationals' finale at Hampton Downs in March and then, protecting his 43-point lead over nearest rival John Ross, he settled for a solid third in the first race of the weekend.
That result extended his championship lead to 48 points as fellow Suzuki ace Ross, from Christchurch, finished sixth in that race.
Frost then won the next race the following day, and that meant he was suddenly more than 50 points in front for the championship and his first national title was in the bag.
Even though the title was his, the next race was important because it was also for the separate Tourist Trophy title, but, with the pressure gone, he seemed untroubled in taking that win.
Frost's score-card for the weekend was an impressive 3-1-1-1.
The statistics last season were impressive, but Frost has plans to improve upon them with the 2016-17 season set to kick off again with the popular three-round Suzuki Series in December, and then running through four rounds of the nationals in January, February and March.
Taupo's Scotty Moir took his Suzuki GSX-R1000 to claim the No4 spot in the nationals last season and he won his first major superbike trophy as well, meaning he could again be one of Frost's fiercest rivals. "Scotty [Moir] is always a strong competitor and he's another man I will really have to watch out for," Frost agreed.
Moir dominated the Formula One class at the stand-alone Battle of the Streets race meeting in Paeroa in February.
He finished a solid third in the first of two Formula One races with the top three riders -- Whakatane's Tony Rees, Manukau's Toby Summers and Moir -- crossing the finish line just a few bike lengths apart.
When race one winner Rees pulled out with muscle cramps, Moir was left to battle it out with Summers, with Moir eventually winning the race. If this is the sort of cut-and-thrust action that will be witnessed on the race tracks or closed-off street circuits this summer, bike fans are in for another four months of scorching action, starting at Taupo's Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on December 4.