Moto Media
James Stewart

Andrew Stroud’s perfect day.

Edited copy courtesy of Terry Stevenson for the 2010 Suzuki International Tri-Series.

Andrew Stroud said after the race, "I had mixed emotions today but everything worked out perfect! The greatest part of the day by far was Lucia being born! She'll be with us for a very long time, where the race wins have already been and gone.
"I qualified fastest and won both races, so I couldn't have hoped for a better day! It was a good bonus to take the Suzuki Tri-Series lead, so it comes down to Wanganui now. Craig Shirriffs is going to be strong around there, and I wouldn't be surprised if Nick Cole is the guy to beat.”

Stroud and a slow starting Robbie Bugden fought for the lead in both heats in dry but rain threatening conditions, with Australian Bugden officially finishing behind Stroud on both occasions. With two laps remaining in race one, Bugden passed Stroud for the lead and crossed the line first, however race organisers reversed the finishing order as Bugden had inadvertently passed Stroud under a yellow caution flag.

Bugden explains, "In the first race I passed under a yellow flag that I didn't see, which put me back to second place, which is fair enough. In the second race I missed the start but I dragged it all   Photo: Dallas Alexander     back with some good lap times and by the end of the race I was on Andrew's tail, but I couldn't do anything about passing him as I ran out of laps.  I guess now we have to worry about next weekend going into Wanganui. The championship is within three points so there's everything to play for! It's the same old story, me and Stroud and that's the way it shapes up time and time again! The street racing is going to be new to me so I'll go there and see how the bike feels and if I am comfortable I'll push, and see if we can take the championship out.”

BMW's Sloan Frost completed the opening races podium positions, followed by Kawasaki's Nick Cole and Yamaha veteran Tony Rees. In the second heat Cole grabbed third on his ZX-10R, followed by Frost and Rees.

A Friday practice crash, caused by another rider, left local Craig Shirriffs starting from a low grid position, leaving the Feilding Suzuki star to make his way through the classy Superbike field to cross the line sixth in race one. In the second stanza Shirriffs clawed his way up to a podium position, but suffered a high-speed crash at the ‘sweeper'. He walked away uninjured, however the Wanganui street circuit specialist is expected to come back fighting around the famous Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day.

The final round of the $26,000 Suzuki International Tri-Series will be held at Wanganui's Cemetery Circuit on Saturday December 26.

Andrew Stroud leads F1 Superbike pack. Photo: Dallas Alexander

Stroud's two wins propel the Hamiltonian into the series lead with just two races remaining at Wanganui. Although perennial rival and fellow Suzuki rider Robbie Bugden is just three points adrift, with BMW racer Sloan Frost still in the hunt and with a very strong chance of a surprise title victory, five points further back.

The burning questions at Wanganui will be how well Robbie Bugden can perform during his first ever street race, and if Sloan Frost can edge his German built BMW S1000RR ahead of Stroud on the Cemetery Circuit. Stroud and Shirriffs shared the major wins last year, on Stroud's way to his second Tri-Series championship. Can the Hamilton racer make it three in a row to keep the title in New Zealand hands ?

"If anyone can pick it up fast it will be Robbie,” Stroud says. "He's so quick getting on the pace when he turns up at a new track and he's so fast learning them that within three laps I have trouble following him, so he won't have any trouble.”

F1 Superbikes race 1: Andrew Stroud (Hamilton, Suzuki GSXR1000), 1; Robbie Bugden (Australia, Suzuki GSXR1000), 2; Sloan Frost (Tauranga, BMW S1000RR), 3; Nick Cole (Hamilton, Kawasaki ZX-10R), 4; Tony Rees (Whakatane, Yamaha YZF-R1), 5; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding, Suzuki GSXR1000), 6.
Race 2: Stroud, 1; Bugden, 2; Cole, 3; Frost, 4; Rees, 5; John Ross (Christchurch, BMW S1000RR), 6.

Series points: Andrew Stroud, 93; Robbie Bugden, 90; Sloan Frost, 85; Nick Cole, 54; Tony Rees, 54; Ryan Hampton (Christchurch, Honda CBR1000RR), 54; Craig Shirriffs, 51; John Ross, 51; Hayden Fitzgerald (Hawera, Honda CBR1000RR), 45.

Supermoto:  Italian Davide Gozzini proved his class by winning both 450 Supermoto legs on his TM brand machine, although all eyes were on fellow countryman Andrea Occhini, who lifted his game to bring his Suzuki RMZ450 home third on both occasions. Kiwi fast-men Toby Summers and Jayden Carrick were the only riders to split the Italians in each race.

450 Supermoto race 1: Davide Gozzini (Italy, TM SMX450F), 1; Toby Summers (Auckland, Yamaha YZF450), 2; Andrea Occhini (Italy, Suzuki RMZ450), 3; Jayden Carrick (Wanganui, Suzuki RMZ450), 4; Richard Dibben (Wanganui, Honda CRF450), 5; Duncan Hart (Tauranga, Husqvarna SMRR450), 6.
Race 2: Gozzini, 1; Carrick, 2; Occhini, 3; Summers, 4; Dibben, 5; Steven Croad (Auckland, Honda CRF450), 6.
Series points: Davide Gozzini, 97; Toby Summers, 86; Jayden Carrick, 82; Andrea Occhini, 72; Richard Dibben, 68; Duncan Hart, 59.

Supermoto Open race 1: Scott Birch (Rotorua, Aprilia SXV550), 1; Scott Moir (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550), 2; Lewis Waho (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550), 3; Chris Sales (Feilding, Honda XR500), 4; Craig Flood (New Plymouth, Aprilia SXV550), 5. Casey Bullock (Taupo, Aprilia SXV550), 6.
Race 2: Moir, 1; Birch, 2; Doug Stockwell (Auckland, Aprilia SXV550), 3; Flood, 4; Glen Haden Wanganui, Honda CRF490), 5; Sales, 6.
Series points: Scott Moir, 98; Scott Birch, 92; Glen Haden, 65; Craig Flood, 64; Doug Stockwell, 61; Lewis Waho, 60; Chris Sales, 60.

F2 600: After four races Wellington racer Glen Skachill remains unbeaten in the F2 600 Supers class on a Suzuki GSXR600. Dennis Charlett maintains his second in the title chase with two podium finishes for Suzuki, just ten points ahead of class rookie Jaden Hassan, of Auckland.

A busy John Ross (Christchurch - also riding in the F1 Superbike category) scored a second and a third in F2 600 Supers on a Yamaha R6, plus a first and a second in the BEARS class on a BMW S1000RR. Feilding's Peter Tanner finished behind Ross in the first BEARS race and won race two, after a big crash on his Aprilia last week at Hampton Downs. 1970s star John Woodley impressed everybody by taking his exotic MV Agusta R312 to a pair of stylish third placings after 30 years away from the sport !  Heading into the final round Woodley is second equal with Australian Joel Reed (Aprilia) to Ross in the BEARS championship.

F2 600 Supers race 1: Glen Skachill (Wellington, Suzuki GSXR600), 1; John Ross (Christchurch, Yamaha YZF-R6), 2; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Suzuki GSXR600), 3; Jaden Hassan (Auckland, Yamaha YZF-R6), 4; Adam Chambers (Clive, Kawasaki ZX600), 5; Karl Morgan (Auckland, Suzuki GSXR600), 6.
Race 2: Skachill, 1; Charlett, 2; Ross, 3; Hassan, 4; Morgan, 5; Chambers, 6.
Series points: Glen Skachill, 101; Dennis Charlett, 86; Jaden Hassan, 76; Karl Morgan, 65; John Ross, 61; Adam Chambers, 60.

F1 Sidecar:  Steve Bron and Dennis Simonsen raced their Suzuki LCR1000 to victory in each F1 Sidecar race. Just six points separate the pair from Adam Unsworth and Stu Dawes to make for a massive showdown at Wanganui for title honours.

F1 Sidecars race 1: Steve Bron/Dennis Simonsen (Wanganui/Masterton, Suzuki LCR1000), 1; Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe (Wanganui, Windle F1 1000), 2; Stu Prentis/Louise Blythe (Hawera, Yamaha 1000), 3; Darryl Dowman/Scott Dowman (Wanganui, Yamaha R1 1000), 4; Darren Pate/Karl Verdell (Katikati, Kawasaki 1000), 5; Tracey Anderson/Jo Mickleson (Tauranga, Yamaha DMR 600), 6.
Race 2: Bron/Simonsen, 1; Unsworth/Dawe, 2; Dowman/Dowman, 3; Des James/Jonathan Shaw (Auckland, GSXR1000), 4; Brian Read/Darren Prentis (Auckland, Kawasaki ZX-10R), 5; Anderson/Mickleson, 6.

Series points: Steve Bron/Dennis Simonsen, 95; Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe, 89; Des James/Jonathan Shaw, 64; Brian Read/Darren Prentis, 63; Darren Pate/Karl Verdell, 61; Ash Martin/Charles Bilby, 45;

Post Classic race 1: Glen Williams (Palmerston North, Yamaha FZR1000), 1; Paul Wootton (Waikane, Suzuki GSXR1100), 2; Sean Donnelly, (Paraparaumu, Kawasaki GPZ1100), 3; Mike Webster (Wellington, Kawasaki ZXR H1 750), 4; Chris Sales (Feilding, Honda XR500), 5; Peter Smith (Rotorua, Suzuki GSXR1100), 6.
Race 2: Williams, 1; Smith, 2; Wootton, 3; Webster, 4; Donnelly, 5; Sales, 6.
Series points: Sean Donnelly, 78; Paul Wootton, 73; Mike Webster, 67; Jason Hulme (Marton, Honda NC30 400), 61; Chris Sales, 60; Glen Williams, 51; Graham Moorhead (Takapuna, Suzuki GS1000), 51;

BEARS race 1: John Ross (Christchurch, BMW S1000RR), 1; Peter Tanner (Feilding, Aprilia RSVR1000), 2; John Woodley (Australia, MV Agusta R312), 3; Joel Reed (Australia, Aprilia RSV4), 4; Damian Mackie (Te Puke, Ducati 998S), 5; Jarrod Wintle, 6.
Race 2: Tanner, 1; Ross, 2; Woodley, 3; Mackie, 4; Reed, 5; Wintle, 6.
Series points: John Ross, 97; John Woodley, 76; Joel Reed, 76; Peter Tanner, 69; Damian Mackie, 68; Duncan Coutts, 57.

F3 Sportbikes race 1: Terry Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Suzuki SV650), 1; Jason Easton (Palmerston North, Tigcraft Aprilia), 2; Scott Moir (Taupo, Honda RSV450), 3; Daniel Kempthorne (Palmerston North, Suzuki SV650), 4; Geoff Booth (Dannevirke, Suzuki SV650), 5; Dean Bentley (Lower Hutt, Suzuki SV650), 6.
Race 2: Easton, 1; Fitzgerald, 2; Moir, 3; Booth, 4; Bentley, 5; Sam Baker, 6.
Series points: Terry Fitzgerald, 94; Scott Moir, 80; Geoff Booth, 74; Daniel Kempthorne, 60; Dean Bentley, 60. Jason Easton, 47

Suzuki International Tri-Series final Round 3 is at the Wanganui Cemetery Circuit, on Boxing Day 26 December.