Street savvy is likely to determine many of the categories in the final round of the 2019 Suzuki International Series in Whanganui today.
The traditional Boxing Day race fest is run on the world famous Cemetery Circuit, a far cry from the wide open spaces of track racing at the likes of Bruce McLaren Park in Taupō or Manfeild Park in Feilding, the venues that hosted the first two rounds of the series.
Not every rider is suited to the close encounters that street racing brings, nor the twists and turns that arise at every corner.
The first two rounds have been frenetic and ended with virtually nothing separating the top two or three riders in each category, including the Formula One Superbike class where visiting British champion Richard Cooper and Whakatāne's Damon Rees are neck and neck. It will come down to who handles the closed off streets of Whanganui better.
Rees may have the edge given he is a former Boxing Day winner, having tasted glory in the 600cc Formula Two class at Whanganui last year, but he is yet to take to the twists and turns of the Cemetery Circuit on a far more powerful 1000cc superbike.
Cooper does have impeccable credentials when it comes to street racing, having jumped onto the podium at the famous North West 200 event in Ireland earlier this year - although he has zero experience around Whanganui.
There are a similar stories in several of the other bike classes, too, with just six points between Upper Hutt's Rogan Chandler and Palmerston North's Palmerston North's Ashton Hughes at the top of the 600cc F2 class.
For Whanganui rider Richie Dibben, it was a mixed bag at Manfeild.
The Barracks Bar/Total Span-sponsored rider was clearly the fastest in the supermoto class - light-modified 450cc dirt bikes - extending his series lead from seven to 13 points over the new No 2 rider in the class in town, James Clarke. Dibben should have no problems winning this class yet again.
He is among the leading riders in the F2 class, sitting fourth behind leader Ashton Hughes.
Dibben's F2 outings were beset by problems. He was leading the first F2 race when it was stopped early after another rider had crashed.
Dibben maintained the lead in the re-start but, just three laps into the race, he was shunted off his bike by another rider as they exited a corner.
The Whanganui competitor's bike was sent sliding 270m down the track in a shower of sparks before it eventually came to a stop. This resulted in a non-finish for Dibben.
In the next F2 race he finished third and then won the final race of the weekend, lifting him from eighth after Round 1 to now settle at fourth in the series standings, just four points off a podium position, something he'll look to achieve on his home track today.
"It's going to be pretty hard (to win the F2 class)," Dibben said.
"They (riders ahead on points) will have to have a disastrous day for me to get up and that's pretty much what I've had all series. There's only two races here and 51 points up for grabs so I'd need to win and they have DNFs. Never mind, I will be racing the national series starting with round one at Ruapuna (January 5-6)," Dibben said.
Meanwhile, just one point separates Whanganui's Ashley Payne and Dwayne Bishop at the top of the Formula Sport/Bears (senior) class and only four points between the new leader in the Formula Sport/Bears (junior) class in the North Shore-based expat Brazilian Gui Mendes, and his nearest challenger in Dunedin's Michael Lee.
It's also tight at the top of the Post Classic Pre-89 (senior) class, with just nine points between Napier's Eddie Kattenberg and Hastings rider Gian Louie. In the Post Classic Pre-89 (junior) class, there is just one solitary point to separate Woodville's Kieren O'Neill and Castor Bay's Scott Findlay at the top of the series standings.
The Gixxer Cup class should also deliver drama at Whanganui, with as many as a dozen riders bunched up and challenging for the win in all races at both rounds thus far.
Originally created in 2017 with the aim of providing a starting place and a pathway towards "growing future champions", the Gixxer Cup has proven to be a runaway success and it is impossible to pick a winner here until the final races are run in Whanganui.
Currently it is Hamilton's Jesse Stroud, son of Suzuki's record nine-time former New Zealand superbike champion Andrew Stroud, who leads this class.