Suzuki's Moir Celebrates Superbike Breakthrough
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It was probably just a matter of time before Taupo's Scotty Moir won a major superbike trophy.
And that moment came at the Thames Valley town of Paeroa on Sunday, at the 25th annual Battle of the Streets race meeting.
Moir (Suzuki GSX-R1000) finished a solid third in the first of two Formula One races on Sunday, the top three riders – Whakatane's Tony Rees, Manukau's Toby Summers and Moir – crossing the finish line just a few bike lengths apart.
Moir then snatched the lead at the start of race two, surprising even himself, and then shot away from the chasing bunch.
When race one winner Rees pulled out with muscle cramps, Moir was left to battle it out with Summers for the overall win and, when he overshot a corner, Moir thought he'd blown it.
But Summers also overshot that same corner and so Moir's position at the front was safe and he held on to win the race and take the class win overall, by just one point from Summers.
"This is the first time I've raced a superbike here, so to win today is pretty remarkable," said Suzuki rider Moir, a 31-year-old parts and workshop manager at Pro Moto in Taupo.
"I didn't come here with any expectations. It was close racing and I guess I picked up on it fairly quickly.
"I didn't know I'd won the day overall until I returned to the pits at the end of the race. I was totally buzzed out by the news. It's pretty cool to win here."
The boldly underline his performance on Sunday, Moir also won the super motard class, where riders race on the streets on modified dirt bikes.
"I've won the super motard class here before in the past and won the Formula three class too, but the superbike win was most special."
Meanwhile, American visitor Don Canet, a bike test editor at well-regarded bike magazine Cycle World, enjoyed his first visit to New Zealand.
From San Diego in Southern California, the 54-year-old Canet said had heard about the street racing at Paeroa from a friend in America and had been intrigued.
"I goggled it and watched a few YouTube videos of Paeroa. I talked to my boss at Cycle World and so here I am on a working holiday."
He raced a 2016-model Suzuki GSX-S1000 to an impressive fourth overall in the Formula One class, behind Moir, Summers and Auckland Suzuki rider Ray Clee, and he also finished ninth in the all-in King of the Streets feature race.
"I'd love to come back and do this race again, or perhaps the Cemetery Circuit street race at Whanganui," he enthused.