Tuesday, October 27

GROOMBRIDGE STEPS UP

Words & Pic: Suzuki

OCTOBER 26, 2009: With his team boss sidelined through injury, it was expected that Taupo’s Brad Groombridge would step up and fill the void.
And that’s exactly what the 19-year-old did on his home track in Taupo on Sunday.
Groombridge took his Suzuki RM-Z450 to three wins from three starts at the sand and pumice-based Digger McEwen Motorcycle Park facility in Taupo’s industrial area, winning both the MX1 class outright and also taking the main prize for the day at the annual Labour Weekend Extravaganza when he won the all-comers champion-of-champions Nicky Smith Memorial feature race as well.
He finished ahead of Hamilton’s two-time former world No.2 Darryll King in both the MX1 class battle and the feature race.
“It was a perfect day really,” said an ecstatic Groombridge afterwards.
“Darryll King really gave me a run for my money and I really felt the pressure from him, but I held on to win the feature race.
“I knew he was coming hard at me over those last few laps, so I had to find some extra pace too.
“To get my name on the Nicky Smith Memorial trophy is pretty special. There are not too many Taupo names on that.
“I was riding (injured team-mate) Daryl Hurley’s 2010 model bike and that made a huge difference. His 2010 model has so much more power than my regular 2009 bike. With Daryl sidelined, this is the bike I will have now for the rest of the season.
“I can’t wait now for the next round of the nationals (near Morrinsville in a fortnight, on November 8).”
Groombridge is currently fourth overall in the national series after two of four rounds.
Brad Groombridge and Team Suzuki are supported by Action Suzuki of Hawera, Elf lubricants, Fox apparel, Scott goggles, Bridgestone tyres, Renthal handlebars, Demon Energy, Asplundt, FMF, DID Acerbis and Eziup.
In the meantime, while Groombridge was winning the weekend's main prize, fellow Suzuki riders Dion Picard and Tom Managh was also enjoying success.
National junior champion Picard, from Atiamuri, lived up to his star billing by winning two of the day's three races and finishing runner-up in the third race, to claim top honours in the 12-14 years' 125cc class.
Wanganui's Managh had a particularly busy weekend, riding his Suzuki RM125 to runner-up spot in the 15-16 years' 125cc class, just behind Mangakino's Kayne Lamont and ahead of fellow Suzuki rider Joshua Jack (Auckland).
Ironman Managh also rode out on a Suzuki RM-Z250 to tackle the four-stroke class, finishing a close runner-up to Manawatu's Tom Hughes.
Managh also rode the following day, lining up against the seniors, and finished fourth in the senior 125cc class, an outstanding all-around effort from the talented teenager.