Consistency and hometown advantage paid handsome dividends for two Wanganui teams at the final round of the Suzuki Series on the Cemetery Circuit yesterday.
Young Richy Dibben secured back-to-back Supermoto titles with a win and a second on his CRF450, while the now Auckland-based Adam Unsworth and Stu Dawe claimed their third F1 Sidecar title in succession with two second placings.
Dibben returned home from an eight month stint in Britain to defend his Supermoto title bringing with him Englishman Malachi Mitchell-Thomas who also competed in the same class on his TM450, an Italian designed machine. Dibben had worked as a mechanic for the Silicone Engineering-sponsored Mitchell-Thomas overseas and the pair raced under the same sponsorship during the New Zealand series.
Dibben came into the final round of the series seven points ahead of his teammate after solid rounds at Hampton Downs a month ago and at Manfeild two weeks back with Aucklander Toby Summers in third spot.
The two races on the Cemetery Circuit yesterday marked the finals of the series and produced a three-way tussle between Summers, Dibben and Mitchell-Thomas.
In the first race Dibben led almost throughout with Mitchell-Thomas right on his rear wheel while Summers stalked them in third and that's the way the race ended. In the second race, Dibben was leading with Summers this time on his tail until a crash midway through forced a restart. Summers won that battle and Dibben was forced to settle for second, but it was enough to give him the 2013 title and Mitchell-Thomas' consistency handed second place in the championship. Summers finished third.
"It was great to successfully defend the title and to win it at home is special. It's a really fun track to ride and Malachi enjoyed it too. Both races were tight and it could have gone anyone's way, really," Dibben said.
Summers, however, had a busy day also competing in the Formula Two 600 Super which he won on his R6 Yamaha.
Meanwhile, former Wanganui racers Unsworth and Daw posted a brace of seconds to take the national title for the third year on end on their Boss Engineering-sponsored F1 Windle.
The Unsworth/Dawe combination have dominated the F1 Sidecar class over the past three years and looked to have the first race in safe keeping yesterday with a lead of almost half of the front straight. A slight misjudgment, however, forced an over run of a corner and by the time they had re-entered the race Aaron Lovell and Dennis Simonson from Hamilton had taken the lead on their LCR1000.
Unsworth and Dawe came into the final round 11 points clear of Auckland brothers Chris and Richard Lawrance and all they needed to do was finish ahead to take the title.
"We couldn't let the Lawrance brothers finish ahead of us or we were in danger, but as it happened they didn't, so the title's still ours," Unsworth said yesterday.
The former local lads lead the second race also, but were not too impressed when the Lovell/Simonson combination made heavy contact in an attempt to shove them out of the way in the run to the line. It worked, taking Unsworth and his partner by surprise. They again finished second and returned to the pits were obvious cracks in their faring. "They didn't have to do that. It wasn't as if they could have won the championship, but we did," Unsworth said.