Motorsport: Rees on top as Frost slips

Wainuiomata's Shane Richardson is the new points leader in the 600cc. Photo / Andy McGechan
Wainuiomata's Shane Richardson is the new points leader in the 600cc. Photo / Andy McGechan

Blink and you'll miss something ... that could well be the advice to spectators at this season's New Zealand Superbike Championships after another topsy-turvy weekend of racing.

The defending champion in the premier Superbike class, Wellington's Sloan Frost, enjoyed a 10-point lead over his nearest challenger, Whakatane's Tony Rees, after the first of four rounds in the series near Christchurch a week ago.

But seven days can be a lifetime in this sport and now it's Rees on top, able to reflect on a massive 18-point lead over the new No.2 man in the superbike class standings, Christchurch's Alastair Hoogenboezem, after round two at Invercargill at the weekend. Frost has slipped back to third overall, nine points adrift of Hoogenboezem.

"I had the lead in the championship after winning the first superbike race on Saturday, but now I've strengthened that advantage," said the 49-year-old Rees.

"I made a small mistake in the first race today (Sunday), missing a gear change and running wide in a corner, and Al (Hoogenboezem) and Sloan (Frost) got close to me, but I managed to hang on for the win. I couldn't win all three races this weekend, but I'm still really enjoying the racing."

The 600cc supersport class also underwent a massive points reshuffle at the top with the series leader after round one, Rees' 21-year-old son Damon Rees, qualifying quickest at Teretonga on Saturday, but then crashing out of the weekend's first 600cc race.

This dropped him to 18 points behind his nearest challenger, Wainuiomata's Shane Richardson, and when Richardson then won the following day too, this opened the gap out to 26.5 points.

Meanwhile, another big mover at the weekend was Tauranga's Rob Gibson, who has jumped from third to first overall in the 250cc Production class.

Leaders remained unchanged in the other classes Invercargill's Jeremy Holmes (1000cc superstock class), Taumarunui's Leigh Tidman (Superlites), Christchurch's Andy McLaughlin (Lightweights), Christchurch's Dennis Charlett (Pro Twins), Christchurch's Matthew Hoogenboezem (125G), Ashburton's Paul Skinner (Senior Development class), Christchurch's Jackson Cotton (Junior Development class) and sidecars pair Spike Taylor (Masterton) and Robbie Shorter (Tauranga) settling in to defend their respective positions at the top when the series heads to the North Island next month.

With the series now at the halfway stage and the South Island phase of the competition put behind them, the riders now look ahead to round three at Taupo's Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on February 25-26 and perhaps even more of the same drama that unfolded on the Teretonga circuit on this weekend just gone.

There are now just six more races to go for each class, at Taupo and at the finale at Hampton Downs on March 4-5, and anything could still be possible.

Class leaders after the second for four rounds of the nationals:

Superbikes: 1. Tony Rees (Whakatane, Honda) 131 points; 2. Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch, Honda) 113; 3. Sloan Frost (Wellington, Suzuki) 105.

1000cc Superstock: 1. Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill, Honda) 152; 2. Chris Defiori (Te Kauwhata, Kawasaki) 56; 3. Rob Whittle (Raglan, Aprilia) 43.

600 Supersport: 1. Shane Richardson (Wainuiomata, Kawasaki) 137.5; 2. Damon Rees (Whakatane, Honda) 111; 3. Jake Lewis (Rangiora, Triumph) 102.

Superlites: 1. Leigh Tidman (Taumarunui, Yamaha) 112; 2. Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland, Suzuki) 99; 3. Chris Defiori (Te Kauwhata, Yamaha) 93.

Lightweight: 1. Andy McLaughlin (Christchurch, KTM) 132; 2. Sam Goulter (Ashburton, Yamaha) 120.5; 3. Lewis Dray (Ashburton, Yamaha) 81.5.

250 Production: 1. Rob Gibson (Tauranga, Kawasaki) 116.5; 2. Campbell Grayling (Opunake, Kawasaki) 109.5; 3. James Squire (Timaru, Kawasaki) 94.

Pro Twins: 1. Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Suzuki) 152; 2. Josh Augustine (Auckland, Suzuki) 102; 3. Jordan Burley (Hamilton, Suzuki) 88.

125GP: 1. Matthew Hoogenboezem (Christchurch, Honda) 136; 2. Chris Wallinger (Christchurch, Honda) 97; 3. Chris Cain (Auckland, Honda) 79.

Development class (Senior): 1. Paul Skinner (Ashburton, Kawasaki) 147; 2. Phillip Lowe (Hastings, Suzuki) 90; 3. Phil Denovan (Christchurch, Suzuki) 76.

Development class (Junior): 1. Jackson Cotton (Christchurch, Kawasaki) 152; 2. Luke Huddlestone (Christchurch, Aprilia) 105; 3. Joey Ransome (Ashley, Kawasaki) 101.

Sidecars: 1. Spike Taylor (Masterton) and Robbie Shorter (Tauranga) 152; 2. Peter Goodwin and Kendal Dunlop (Albany) 116; 3. Barry Smith and Tracey Bryan (Tauranga) 100.

- NZ Herald

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