There was a golden Suzuki streak running through proceedings at round two of the 2019 New Zealand Superbike Championships, near Timaru, at the weekend.
Suzuki stars Scotty Moir and Sloan Frost came on strong at this second round of five in the 2019 superbike nationals at the two-day event at Timaru's Levels International Raceway, dominating the weekend in the glamour 1000cc superbike class.
Racing virtually identical Suzuki GSX-R1000 bikes, Taupo’s Moir and Wellington’s Frost finished respectively first and second in each of the three superbike races at Timaru.
Whakatane's Damon Rees had dominated the 1000cc superbike class at the opening round of the series at Ruapuna, on the outskirts of Christchurch, a week ago, but at Timaru it was Moir all the way.
It was enough for Moir to rise up from fifth in the standings to snatch the top spot.
Rees crashed out of the first of three superbike races at Timaru on Saturday and, after repairing his bike, he did return to the race track on Sunday, but managed only two fourth-place finishes.
The riders now have seven weeks to regroup before for the three North Island rounds that will follow, starting with Hampton Downs, near Huntly, on March 2-3.
Christchurch's Alastair Hoogenboezem remains second in the superbike class standings, 17 points behind Moir, with defending national superbike champion Frost improving at Timaru from eighth in the table after round one to now settle in at third in the rankings.
Rees has slipped back from first to fourth in the standings and he is just three points behind Frost.
"What can I say? Three wins ... haven't done that before. Sloan Frost was pushing me all the way though," said Moir.
"I like this track (at Levels). This is where I had my first superbike race win about four or five years ago. This track has always been good to me.
"I was tied for first place in the championship after my first race win here on Saturday, but obviously extended my advantage after that with two more race wins.
"It feels good to be pushing on from the (outright series victory in the) Suzuki Series (in December). I'll put in a bit more fitness training now before the North Island rounds coming up. Hopefully I can pick up where I left off here today."
Other class leaders after the weekend's event are Manukau’s Toby Summers (Supersport 600 class); Palmerston Nortgh’s Jacob Stroud (Supersport 300 class); Papamoa's Leon Jacobs (250 Production class); Jacob Stroud and Chris Huddleston first equal (in Superlites); Christchurch's Andrew McLaughlin (650 Pro Twins, provisional only); Australia's Yanni Shaw (125 GP); Hamilton's Jesse Stroud (GIXXER Cup, provisional only); Christchurch's Dennis Charlett and Will Clim (sidecars).
After round three at Hampton Downs in March, the nationals continue on in the Manawatu on March 30-31, before wrapping up at Taupo on April 5-7.
2019 NZ Superbike Championships calendar:
Round 1 – January 5-6, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch;
Round 2 – January 12-13, Levels International Raceway, Timaru;
Round 3 – March 2-3, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato, Mike Pero MotoFest;
Round 4 – March 30-31, Circuit Chris Amon, Manfeild;
Round 5 – April 5-7, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com