Whanganui racer Richie Dibben proved his national championship performances have been no fluke with wins at the annual Burt Munro Challenge in Southland last week.
Dibben currently leads the 600cc supersport class by 54 points on his GSXR 600cc Suzuki in the NZSBK National Superbike Championship series with three rounds remaining and took time out for a "bit of fun" and the "keep the ball rolling" with a visit to Invercargill for the Burt Munro.
Organisers lumped the F1 1000cc superbikes in with the F2 600cc supersport machines for the running of the Burt Munro Invercargill Street Race and Dibben very nearly embarrassed those on the far more powerful bikes.
He qualified fastest to gain pole position with Tony Rees and James Hoogenboezer on 1000cc superbikes behind him.
He had the audacity to lead the road race for four laps of six in race one at Teretonga and lead for six of the eight laps on the Invercargill Street Race before being overtaken in both instances late in the piece by superbikes, including eventual race winner Tony Rees on his CBR1000cc Honda.
In race three at Teretonga Rees only got him on the straights while Rich had his measure on the tight corners and the hairpin. Dibben did that three times in three successive laps.
"Tony and I had some really good dices during the race," Dibben said.
"I would get the lead on the corners and he would get it back in the straights - too much power. It was great fun and kept the ball rolling for the nationals."
Dibben was the first 600cc home in each of the three races to win his class and finish third overall behind Rees and eventual runner-up Jay Lawrence, also on a 1000cc superbike.
Dibben broke his own lap record from last year in the first of the street races, matched it in the second race, then broke his own freshly set lap time in the final event.
He then went on to win his class and beat all comers with the fastest time in the annual hill climb.
The Barracks Bar-sponsored rider who has support from Suzuki New Zealand is using the supersport F2 600cc national series as preparation for a step to superbikes next season.
The multiple Suzuki Series super motard champion concedes he can out-ride the capabilities of his Suzuki 450cc modified off-roader, but has a way to go before taming his 600cc machine.
Dibben is consistently breaking lap and race records in the super motard series and winning by ever widening margins and is now honing in on similar performances in the F2 class.
"I guess I have done all I can in motards and have mastered that bike, but there's a long way to go on the 600. I am focused on winning the F2 supersport national series and then look to jump on a 1000cc superbike which I have yet to do. That's the plan anyway, race superbikes next season," Dibben said.
The next round of the national series, Round three, is at Hampton Downs on March 7-8, Round Four at Manfeild on March 28-29 with the final round set for April 4-5 at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Pak in Taupo.