Competition heats up for final round of the NZ Superbike Championship
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A close premier class battle headlines the final round of the New Zealand Superbike Championship at Taupo this weekend.
Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park has been the venue for high quality motorcycle racing in recent years with more in prospect as the 2019 national championships are decided.
Most attention will be on the Superbike class where the series lead changed last weekend as Aucklander Daniel Mettam (Suzuki GSX-R1000) scored an impressive hat-trick of wins at the Manfeild round.
Mettam has won five of the last six races and now holds a five-point lead with three races remaining.
But his nearest rival is Taupo’s Scott Moir (Suzuki) who has an impressive record of home track success. Mettam leads with 203 points from Moir on 198.
One rider yet to win in 2019 is defending Superbike champion Sloan Frost (Wellington). But he produced a strong performance at Manfeild taking pole position with two second placings and a third. Frost remains in the title hunt on 167 points but has Christchurch rider Alastair Hoegenboezem (Yamaha R1) close behind on 158 points.
In the 600cc Supersport class Avalon Biddle (Rangiora) is well-placed to clinch the title. She posted two more wins at Manfeild on her Kawasaki ZX-6R and leads the series by 29 points from Toby Summers (Kawasaki).
Among the other classes still closely contested is the second season of Suzuki 150 Gixxer Cup competition. Jesse Stroud (Hamilton) currently holds a 27 point lead over Zak Fuller (Taupiri).
Dennis Charlett and Will Climo (Christchurch) gained an early lead in the Sidecar championship but have been chased down in the recent events and now have a 12-point lead over Taupo’s Andy Scrivener and Tina McKeown. Peter Goodwin and Louise Blythe (Auckland) were unbeaten at Manfeild and are only nine points further back.
There’s a close duel in the 650cc Pro Twins class where Suzuki SV650 machines dominate the action with Whangamata’s Ben Rosendaal taking three wins at Manfeild to gain the series lead by a 10 point margin from Nick Cain (Christchurch).
Australian rider Yanni Shaw riding a Kalex KTM Moto3 machine has built an unassailable lead in the 125cc Grand Prix class while a 250cc Production class dominated by Kawasaki Ninja machines sees Tauranga’s Leon Jacobs in front by 22 points over Angus Boyd (Kaiapoi).
Qualifying and the first race for each class is on Saturday at Taupo with two races to complete the championship on Sunday.