Motorsport: Holmes hopes for hat trick

By Andy McGechan

Rhys Holmes has his sights set on winning three major titles this season. Photo / Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
Rhys Holmes has his sights set on winning three major titles this season. Photo / Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

Bay of Plenty's Rhys Holmes is going for a motorcycling hat-trick this season.

The 23-year-old Katikati motorcycle mechanic has his sights set on winning three major titles as the Kiwi road-racing season kicks off with the opening round of the Tri Series at Hampton Downs, near Meremere, on Saturday.

The Yamaha ace, who is entered in three categories at all three rounds of this burgeoning series, realistically expects to shine in each of them.

"I won the Formula One class at the Actrix Winter Series (that wrapped up at Taupo a few weeks ago), so I know I'm riding well at the moment," said Holmes.

"However, I didn't complete enough rounds of that series in the formula two class to get a very high ranking on my Yamaha R6.

"But I am certainly on the pace. I have just finished doing the superbike school at Hampton Downs and that's sharpened me up quite a bit too. I've learned to change my positioning on the bike and to rethink about how I look into corners and I think I'm going faster now than when I raced the winter series.

"I've been training very hard at the gym to get fit for the season ahead and that's pretty important too."

His race fitness, speed and stamina will be put to the test over the coming months because, even though the Tri Series wraps up at the Cemetery Circuit on Wanganui's public streets on Boxing Day, Holmes still has to tackle the five-round New Zealand Superbike Championships.

The nationals are set to kick off at Ruapuna, just outside Christchurch, on January 7-8.

He will ride his John Tuhoe Racing and Mount Motorcycles-sponsored Yamaha R1 in the superbikes class for the Tri Series, his Yamaha R6 in the 600cc class and also take a BMW S1000 to race in the Bears (non-Japanese) class for the Tri Series and again in the superbike class for the nationals.

- NZ Herald

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