Taupo rider Scott Moir has enjoyed a perfect start to the 2017 Suzuki Series.
New Zealand's richest motorcycle series got under way at Taupo's Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on Sunday and Moir won both F1 Superbike races on two different Suzuki GSXR1000s.
Large crowds flocked to Taupo for what turned out to be a sizzling opening round of the series where few things went to plan for the top riders, with many still adjusting to their new machines.
Starting from Pole position Moir shot into the front, however rising star Mitch Rees quickly snatched his first race lead at premier level. The Whakatane-based rider's lead didn't last long as he almost fell several corners later which allowed Moir into the front, and he held that position to the finish.
It was all high-speed action behind him though as defending Suzuki Series champion Tony Rees passed Mitch Rees early in the race and carried on to take second place ahead of his 24-year-old son, with Sloan Frost in fourth.
Race two began with a huge crash at turn one involving several riders, with four falling including front-runners Moir, Rees and Christchurch rider Alastair Hoogenboezem. Fortunately, no one suffered injury and the restart got under way shortly afterwards with Rees on his spare bike and Moir on Sloan Frost's spare GSXR1000.
Despite the odds, and some bruising, Tony Rees rocketed into the lead until an under-charged battery failed, allowing Mitch Rees to lead the flying pack. Moir held second by the third lap but had some catching up to do as he became used to someone else's Suzuki. Not an easy task to deal with and the consequences of changing gear the wrong way are massive - especially when you are topping 300kmh down the back straight.
As the race progressed Moir caught, then passed Mitch Rees on the last lap when Mitch ran wide at turn one, gifting Moir a well deserved second F1 Superbike win for the day.
"I was lucky to get where I got in the last race, I didn't expect that win," Moir said.
"Thanks to Sloan [Frost] for giving me his spare bike to use, it shows you how good the new GSXRs are. I'm over the moon really, that last race was one of the best wins of my career, on a bike I had never ridden - to win. And I did good times, I went faster in the second race [on the borrowed bike] than I did in the first race."
With Frost starting slow as he worked to understand some bike issues, he kept his cool and crept up to fourth when the chequered flag came out. But the attention was on the battle for third place which was more often than not led by New Plymouth's Hayden Fitzgerald, who was scrapping with Daniel Mettam, Hoogenboezem and a lively Connor London.
That battle was won by Mettam who neatly slotted his 2017 Suzuki NZ GSXR1000 into third on the last lap. Defending Suzuki Series champion Tony Rees dropped out of contention and eventually retired near race end.
Shane Richardson of Wainuiomata easily won both F2 600 races on his Wainui Joinery Kawasaki ZX-6R. The 23-year-old took the hole shot in each heat and was never challenged, he takes a handsome points lead heading to Manfeild on Sunday.
Nathanael Diprose earned respect in the F3 category with some silky smooth riding to take victory in both races on his Suzuki GSXR450. Ashley Payne and Gavin Veltmeyer were second and third on each occasion.
Round two of the series is being held at Feilding's Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon this weekend.