Nick Cole discovered there is justice in the motorcycling world after wrapping up the Suzuki Series Formula One championship and claiming the coveted Robert Holden Memorial Trophy in Wanganui yesterday.
The Hamilton-based rider gave faultless displays in both F1 events on the card and then again in the Holden Memorial on his ZX1OR Kawasaki, not allowing his rivals a look in.
The Cemetery Circuit street track meeting marks the final round of the Suzuki Series and Cole came into yesterday's meeting second on points behind F1 defending champion Dennis Charlott from Christchurch.
Charlott did his chances no favours when crashing in the first race, forcing him to switch to his second string GSXR1000 Suzuki to complete the meeting. He failed to finish the first event, leaving Cole in front on points, but such was the dominance of the Waikato rider few would have bet Charlott would have tested him on the tight Wanganui track.
Last year Cole won both F1 races on the Cemetery Circuit, but a broken crankshaft in the series opener at Hampton Downs meant he was not in contention for the F1 championship. And to make matters worse, heavy rain in the afternoon last year forced the cancellation of the Robert Holden Memorial Trophy, denying Cole a chance at redemption.
"I had a fairly trouble-free series this season and came to Wanganui second on points," Cole said yesterday.
"I felt comfortable on the street circuit, so just kept doing what I've always done to get the job done. But to win the Robert Holden trophy was very special. It has a lot of really big names on it from over the years and for me to now have my name on it is awesome - Robert Holden the man, what a legend."
Charlott was gracious in defeat and reasonably philosophical about his crash in race one.
"I broke a crank case, so had to switch to my other bike which is a little under-powered and maybe that's what you need around here. It's not over until it's over," Charlott said before his second race on the new machine.
But over it was.
Visiting English rider Guy Martin had a mixed day, finishing just in behind the leaders in F1 on his GSXR1000 on loan from Suzuki New Zealand, while beating the lap record in the Classic Solo grade on a Manx Norton loaned to him by John Marsh from Napier.
His father Ian Martin said his son thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but conceded tight circuits were not really his go.
"He much prefers the long sweeping bends and it was a shame the F1 bike was not really up to scratch. It was not set up like he's used to at home and the way these lads go around this track everything needs to be spot on. He did well on the Manx, though, and to break the lap record was brilliant," Martin senior said.
Suzuki Series organiser Allan (Flea) Willacy said yesterday's crowd was one of the biggest in years and apart from several crashes, the worst of which gave Australian rider Craig Trinder a broken femur, the meeting went smoothly.