Richie Dibben is praying for a change of luck as he eagerly awaits the start of the Suzuki Series in his homeland after being shunted out of contention in the final round of the ASBK Australian Superbike Championships at Sydney Motorsport Park at the weekend.
Racing in the Supersport 600cc Formula 2 series, the 30-year-old offered so much in practice and qualifying. Dibben's times were consistently getting faster and he was only just under a second from the series leader after the second qualifying race on Saturday.
However, he was taken out on turn two of race one sending him and his Barracks Bar/Total Span-sponsored Suzuki GSXR600 tumbling out of control resulting in a sprained wrist ending his chances of continuing. The crash was through no fault of his own.
Gutted was the word Dibben uttered.
He was using rounds of the Australian series as practice for his upcoming Suzuki Series and national championship assignments. He had competed in just three legs of the seven-round Australian series with his best performance a fourth in round five at Winton Raceway in Victoria.
After a rocky season at home, Dibben produced two excellent performances in his class at the fifth and final round of the 2019 New Zealand Superbike Championships in Taupō in April to finish the nationals ninth overall.
The 600cc road race rookie managed two fourth placings on a programme reduced for this class due to successive crashes and numerous red (stop) and yellow flag (caution) incidents.
The season began badly with no racing in round one of five in the 2019 New Zealand Superbike Championships at Mike Pero Motorsport Park (Ruapuna) in Christchurch.
Racing was halted after a serious crash in race one of the Supersport class on the Saturday and then on the Sunday a major oil spill during a sidecar race immediately before Supersport was set to restart again halted proceedings, this time for good as the meeting was canned.
The 29-year-old was taken out in the race by another rider who was later reprimanded for his behaviour at the Levels track in Timaru.
Dibben is now looking forward to the Suzuki Series kicking off on December 8 at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupō and continuing on to Manfield on December 15, culminating in the final round on the Cemetery Circuit in Whanganui on Boxing Day. The national series begins early in the New Year.