Moto Media

Nick Cole cleans up at Wanganui

Cole stamped his authority
on his Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R during the the prestigious Robert Holden Memorial feature race and was never headed, despite stiff international competition. Cole’s fifth victory at the Cemetery Circuit leaves him unbeaten in two years at Wanganui in the premier class.

He had to work for the first two victories though, with Sloan Frost, Scott Moir, and Dennis Charlett putting Cole under extreme pressure on a street circuit which doesn’t tolerate mistakes.

Cole said after the race, "It was fantastic, I got Pole and three wins, you can’t get much better than that! I had to push though, my lap times were really fast and almost matched lap record pace. I knew I had my work cut out, unfortunately the other guys fell off around me and I’ve said it before, you have to run perfect laps every lap around here otherwise it’ll bite you. There’s some big names on that trophy, there’s some past and present legends including Robert Holden himself - what a guy, so to get that one is a huge achievement! To put my Kawasaki at the top of the series is a good start for the Nationals and a good build-up.”

Defending champion Dennis Charlett, of Christchurch, narrowly lead the Suzuki Series from Cole heading into the final round, however a rare crash in race one dropped the Underground Brown Suzuki GSXR1000 racer out of contention for a second series win. He ended the series second overall after posting a non-finish and sixth at Wanganui.

"I had Scott Moir in front of me and Sloan [Frost] and Nick [Cole] were in front of him, so I really wanted to get past Scott Moir otherwise the other two would pull away,” Charlett explains. "I was pushing a bit hard myself on tyres that were a bit cold not scrubbed in properly, so it was entirely my fault. I was just pushing hard to try and win, so that’s what you get.

"It is still awesome to come up for the Suzuki Series as I get a lot of support from Suzuki NZ and Pirelli tyres, and I wouldn’t be here without help from Underground Brown in Christchurch. I’m disappointed I didn’t win it but I’ll just have to go and win the Nationals!”

Sloan ‘Choppa’ Frost won two of the six races in the series on his Fujitsu TSS Red Baron Suzuki NZ GSXR1000, and remained an outside contender for the Suzuki Series before Wanganui. Frost finished second behind Cole in race one, however a fast race two crash in the ‘Esses’ left Frost unable to challenge Cole for his first Wanganui win.

"It was a tough day that’s for sure! I wanted to take it easy and finish the day but it didn’t turn out like that. Nick and I were both coming into the turn together and I went a little bit wider to give him a bit of room and unfortunately I hit the manhole cover and crashed. I went straight into the airbags, which was nice-ish? I had some good results between the crashes so I need to stay on the bike, but some of it comes down to luck.”

Australian Chris Seaton qualified his Motul Aprilia RSV4 second on the F1 grid but didn’t get to race. Seaton shared the same Aprilia with fellow Australian and 1986 lap record holder Craig Trinder, who crashed from the lead in the opening BEARS race, breaking his left femur, and the bike.

Australian Douglas Hall crashed after making a bold turn one move on German Steve Mizera in the first F1 leg, which resulted in a spectacular aerial crash. Hall suffered a broken collarbone when he hit the ground.

Other standout F1 performances during an action packed day included Hayden Fitzgerald on his Team RGM Suzuki GSXR1000, who finish second in the Robert Holden Memorial but was rapidly closing on Cole in the latter stage of the race. Fitzgerald rode in three classes and won a Classic race on a Matchless McIntyre G50, and both F3 races to win the F3 series.

The New Plymouth rider also scored a fourth and third in the two Suzuki Series F1 heats to finish fifth in the series, behind Taupo rider Scott Moir in fourth.

Moir enjoyed a good day at or near the front of the star-studded pack on his MotoTT Promoto Suzuki GSXR1000, and posted a third then a second in the Suzuki Series heats.

Tony Rees scored a pair of fifth placings on his new Tony Rees Motorcycles Honda CBR1000 superbike, while Ray Clee scored an eighth and a fourth in the Suzuki Series legs on his Team RCM Suzuki GSXR1000, plus a fighting seventh with British rider Guy Martin in the Robert Holden Memorial.

Guy Martin during the parade lap. Photo - Terry Stevenson

TV and film star Guy Martin enjoyed his brief New Zealand visit and proved to the huge crowd he wasn’t there for a holiday. Still a truck mechanic in the UK, Martin rode in two classes to post a fourth and a third on a Manx Norton in the Classic category, plus a sixth in the F1 class, a DNF in race two, and was sixth on the Robert Holden Memorial on a Suzuki NZ supplied GSXR1000 Superbike.

This was Martin’s second visit to the Cemetery Circuit, after a 2005 visit. "This is megga! I’m not bothered where I ride motorbikes, I just want to ride them, but to come to New Zealand and do the Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day – I just love it.

"A mate has just moved to NZ so I’ve been to see him in Auckland, I’ve been out mountain biking in Rotorua, and I’ve seen a lot of interesting people, including Steve Roberts (builder of the 1980s era Plastic Fantastic carbon/kevlar motorcycle) in Wanganui. I’d love to come back, but the biggest thing for me is getting time off work.”

Martin wouldn’t make a comparison between the high-speed Isle of Man road circuit and the relatively slow nature of Wanganui’s Cemetery Circuit, although he liked the Cemetery Circuit for another reason. "They are completely different things. This is better than the TT in some ways - you do your Christmas thing on Christmas Day, you get up on Boxing Day morning, you scrutineer your bike, and you race your bike, and then it’s all over. For the TT, it is two weeks, and as much as I love riding the course, two weeks is just a bit long.” 

Formula 1, race 1:  Nick Cole (Hamilton, Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1; Sloan Frost (Lower Hutt, Fujitsu TSS Red Baron Suzuki NZ GSXR1000), 2; Scott Moir (Taupo, MotoTT Promoto Suzuki GSXR1000), 3; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Team RCM Suzuki GSXR1000), 4; Tony Rees (Whakatane, Tony Rees Motorcycles Honda CBR1000), 5; Guy Martin (Great Britain, Suzuki NZ GSXR1000), 6.

Formula 1, race 2:  Nick Cole, 1; Scott Moir, 2; Hayden Fitzgerald, 3; Ray Clee (Kumeu, Auckland, Team RCM Suzuki GSXR1000), 4; Tony Rees, 5; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Underground Brown Suzuki GSXR1000), 6.

F1 final series points: Nick Cole, 130; Dennis Charlett, 97; Sloan Frost, 93; Scott Moir, 92; Hayden Fitzgerald, 87; Ray Clee, 83.

Robert Holden Memorial feature race: Nick Cole (Hamilton, Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Team RCM Suzuki GSXR1000), 2; Tony Rees (Whakatane, Tony Rees Motorcycles Honda CBR1000), 3; Jayden Carrick (Wanganui, GJ Gardner Homes Suzuki GSXR600), 4; Adam Chambers (Clive, Lattey Civil & Precast Honda CBR600RR), 5; Guy Martin (Great Britain, GSXR1000), 6.

Nick Cole leads a hungry F1 pack.  Photo - Terry StevensonSuzuki Series winner Nick Cole with Robert Holden Memorial trophy. Photo - Terry Stevenson

"Like my new trophy - you have to ride faster than me to get it!" - Nick Cole shows Guy Martin his Robert Holden Memorial trophy. Holden won 47 times at Wanganui but was tragically killed at the Isle of Man in 1996. Photo - Terry Stevenson

Formula 2 Class

Toby Summers won the Formula 2 class in style after two more victories on his R&R Power Sports Yamaha R6, taking his tally to four victories in the six series legs.

With a years experience on his R6 Summers has taken well to racing road machines, as well as Supermoto, "I’m still getting the hang on it – I’m still learning!” Summers says. "I put it on Pole then I won the first race, which I was happy with. I managed to get a bit of a gap after Jayden [Carrick] ran off on the first corner, then I pulled a gap and just cruised.

In the second race I did a similar thing, I pulled a gap and then cruised. I just wanted to win the Suzuki Series, whether I come second or tenth place - whatever it took, but I had the speed to win.”

Adam Chambers had a good to cross the finish line behind Summers in each heat, while third place was shared by German Thomas Kreutz (race 1) and local Suzuki GSXR600 rider Jayden Carrick, in race two. Chambers Honda team-mate Daniel Mettam was fourth in each race.

Formula 2, race 1:  Toby Summers (Auckland, R&R Power Sports Yamaha R6), 1; Adam Chambers (Clive, Lattey Civil & Precast Honda CBR600RR), 2; Thomas Kreutz (Germany, Yamaha R6), 3; Daniel Mettam ( Auckland, CTAS Honda CBR600RR), 4; Ashley Payne (Wanganui, GSXR600), 5; Shane Richardson (Wellington, CBR600RR), 6.

Formula 2, race 2:  Toby Summers, 1; Adam Chambers, 2, Jayden Carrick (Wanganui, GJ Gardner Homes Suzuki GSXR600), 3; Daniel Mettam, 4; Thomas Kreutz, 5; Ashley Payne, 6.

Formula 2 final series points:  Toby Summers, 144; Adam Chambers, 117; Daniel Mettam, 112; Thomas Kreutz, 107; Jayden Carrick, 95; Rhys Holmes, 70.

Jayden Carrick leads 777 Toby Summers in F2 race start. Photo - Terry Stevenson

Formula 3:

Formula 3, race 1:  Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki NZ SV650), 1; Jay Lawrence (Ohaupo, Boyd Motorcycles KTM Duke), 2; Leigh Tidman (Taumarunui, RS450), 3; Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland, Colemans Suzuki SV650), 4; Dean Bentley (Lower Hutt, TSS Red Baron Suzuki SV650), 5; Royd Walker-Holt (Kawakawa, Drury Performance Centre Suzuki SV650), 6.

Formula 3, race 2:  Hayden Fitzgerald, 1; Jay Lawrence, 2; Dean Bentley, 3; Gavin Veltmeyer 4; Royd Walker-Hoult, 5; Gavin Oxtoby (Wanganui, GSXR450), 6.

Formula 3 final series points: Hayden Fitzgerald, 94; Gavin Veltmeyer, 86; Royd Walker-Holt, 82; Dean Bentley, 76; Gavin McKay, 60; Gavin Oxtoby, 45.



Richard Dibben was the star of the day and the Suzuki Series in the large Supermoto field, who fought off challenges from Summers, Aden Brown and consistent 18 year old UK racer Malachi Mitchell-Thomas on his slightly underpowered TM450. Mitchell-Thomas is a regular in the European Supermoto championship, where he was leading the title into the final round but crashed, leaving him in fifth. He was fourth in the Suzuki Series, behind Dibben, Summers and Brown.

Supermoto race 1: Richard Dibben (Wanganui, Silicone Engineering Honda CRF450), 1; Toby Summers (Auckland, R&R Power Sports Yamaha YZF450), 2; Malachi Mitchell-Thomas (Great Britain, Silicone Engineering TM450), 3; Casey Bullock (Reporoa, KTM 450SMR), 4; Aden Brown (Wanganui, Balance Accountants Yamaha YZF450), 5; Ben Dowman (Wanganui, CRF 450), 6.

Supermoto race 2: Richard Dibben, 1; Toby Summers, 2; Aden Brown, 3; Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, 4; Ben Dowman, 5; John Oliver (Feilding, TM450), 6.

Supermoto final series points:  Richard Dibben, 137; Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, 122; Toby Summers, 118; Aden Brown, 97; Casey Bullock, 92; Ben Dowman, 87.


F1 Sidecars

Hamilton’s Aaron Lovell and passenger Dennis Simonson (Masterton) won both F1 sidecar races on their LCR1000, although the Suzuki Series went to the more consistent Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe pairing on their Boss Engineering Windle F1.

Lovell, who won four of the six races to finish third in the series, said after the race, "The Suzuki Series has been very, very interesting and we certainly learned a lot. We had a some very good races with our competitors, unfortunately at Manfeild we didn’t have a good weekend due to a blown clutch, but at Wanganui we had a fantastic day. We won two out of two races and got the lap record!”

F1 Sidecars, race 1: Aaron Lovell/Dennis Simonson (Hamilton/Masterton, LCR1000), 1; Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe (Auckland, Boss Engineering Windle F1), 2; Michael (Burt) Wolland/Neville Mickleson (Masterton, NZ Moto Derbyshire 1000), 3; Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance (Auckland, Anderson R1), 4; Corey Winter/Tim Shepherd (Wanganui, Collins and Sons DMR600), 5; Spike Taylor/Astrid Hartnell (Masterton, Stealth Electric Bikes LCR Suzuki), 6.

F1 Sidecars, race 2: Aaron Lovell/Dennis Simonson, 1; Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe, 2; Michael Wolland/Neville Mickleson, 3; Corey Winter/Tim Shepherd, 4; Des James/Warren Miller (Papakura, LCR Yamaha R1), 5; Spike Taylor/Astrid Hartnell (Masterton, Stealth Electric Bikes LCR Suzuki), 6.

F1 Sidecars final series points:  Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe, 131; Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance, 108; Aaron Lovell/Dennis Simonson, 102; Spike Taylor/Astrid Hartnell 88; Michael (Burt) Wolland/Neville Mickleson, 87; Corey Winter/Tim Shepherd, 87.



John Oliver and Rhys Holmes on their respective BMW S1000RRs won a BEARS race each, while Dwayne Bishop won the Suzuki Series class on his Aprilia RSV4 Factory. Oliver was second in the series, and Australian veteran Craig Trinder was third overall, even though he broke his left leg in the opening race.

BEARS, race 1: John Oliver (Feilding, BMW S1000RR), 1; Rhys Holmes (Tauranga, BMW HP4), 2; Steve Mizera (Germany, Racetaxi99 BMW S1000RR), 3; Dave Oliver (Australia, Aprilia SXV550), 4; Mark Perry (Palmerston North, Aprilia) 5; Nick Prestidge (Hawera, Ducati 1098) 6.

BEARS, race 2: Rhys Holmes, 1; Steve Mizera, 2; Brian Bernard (Wanganui, Triumph Daytona 675), 3; John Oliver, 4; Dwayne Bishop (Wanganui, Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 5; Mark Perry, 6.

BEARS final series points:  Dwayne Bishop, 101; John Oliver, 99; Craig Trinder, 92; Rhys Holmes, 87, Steve Mizera, 87; Gavin McKay, 86.

Post Classic Pre’89

Whangarei rider Duncan Coutts surprised many by taking his Planet Honda GSXR1100 to the series win, ahead of Jay Lawrence and Sean Donnelly, who were only one point apart. Lawrence won both races at the Cemetery Circuit.

Post Classic Pre ’89, race 1: Jay Lawrence (Ohaupo, Bridgestone Tyres GSX1100), 1; Duncan Coutts (Whangarei, Planet Honda GSXR1100), 2; Sean Donnelly (Paraparaumu, Precise Print Kawasaki Z1000R), 3; Bernard Ryan (Moto Guzzi), 4; Dave Freeman (Paraparaumu, Suzuki 1100), 5; John Reid (Huntly, TZ250U), 6.

Post Classic Pre ’89, race 2: Jay Lawrence, 1; Duncan Coutts, 2; Sean Donnelly, 3; Dave Freeman, 4; Bernard Ryan, 5; Kevin Grey (Auckland, Suzuki McIntosh), 6.

Post Classic Pre ’89 final series points: Duncan Coutts, 139; Jay Lawrence, 138; Sean Donnelly, 110; Paul Wootton, 85; Vince Burrell (Hastings, Moto Guzzi 72 Vsport), 76; Nigel Lennox (Auckland, Kawasaki ZXR400), 67.

Classic Solos

Classic Solos, race 1: Bernard Ryan (Moto Guzzi), Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, G50 Matchless McIntyre), 2; Peter Tanner (Feilding, Norton Manx 630), 3; Guy Martin (Great Britain, Manx Norton), 4; David Hall (Te Awamutu, Norton Domi 500), 5; Vince Burrell (Hastings, Moto Guzzi 72 Vsport), 6.

Classic Solos, race 2: Hayden Fitzgerald, 1; Bernard Ryan, 2; Guy Martin, 3; David Hall, 4; Vince Burrell, 5; Mark Halls (Auckland, Norton Atlas), 6.

Classic Solos points: Hayden Fitzgerald, 48; Bernard Ryan, 47; Guy Martin, 38; David Hall, 34; Vince Burrell, 31; Mark Halls, 29.

Classic Pre ‘82 Sidecars, race 1: John Blaymires/Charles Bilby (Te Puke, Moto Guzzi 950), 1; Bryan Stent/Tracey Bryan (Wanganui, Triumph Trident 750), 2; Robert Hood/Mark Thompson (Wanganui, Norton Commando), 3; Mark Smith/Sid Sutherland (Carterton, 750 Triumph), 4; Gordon McKeown/Steve Bryan (Tauranga, 1975 BMW R90S), 5; Will Williamson/Julie Loveridge (Wanganui, Triumph T110), 6.

Classic Pre ‘82 Sidecars, race 2:  John Blaymires/Charlies Bilby, 1; Bryant Stent/Tracey Bryan, 2; Robert Hood/Mark Thompson, 3; Mark Smith/Sid Sutherland, 4; Nick Aston/Eddie Curlett (Wanganui, XS650), 5; Gordon McKeown/Steve Bryan, 6.

Classic Pre ‘82 Sidecars points:  John Blaymires/Charles Bilby, 50; Bryan Stent/Tracey Bryan, 45; Robert Hood/Mark Thompson, 40; Mark Smith/Sid Sutherland, 36; Gordon McKeown/Steve Bryan, 31; Nick Aston/Eddie Curlett, 29.