Tuesday, January 5

CHARLETT OFF TO A FLYING START

Dennis Charlett is off to a flying start for 2010.
Two days into the New Year and the Christchurch racer is still celebrating the arrival of a new decade after winning five races from seven starts at the 16th annual Port Nelson Street Races on Saturday.
Charlett took his Suzuki GSX-R600 to finish 3-1-1 in his three formula one outings and then also wrapped up the formula two-class, coming home 2-1-1.
The Canterbury ace then also wrapped up the 12-lap King of the Port feature race.
Runner-up was fellow Christchurch racer Daniel Ornsby, on a Triumph 675, while another Christchurch rider, Chris Alley, came third on his Suzuki GSX-R1000.
"I'd never raced on this circuit before, so I guess I'd have to say I'm pretty pleased to come here and win," Charlett said.
"It's good to get a win or two under my belt ahead of the nationals … it's certainly a confidence-builder," said the 41-year-old.
Charlett has every right to feel confident, with such a solid set of wins under his wheels with the Castrol Power 1 New Zealand Superbike Championships set to kick off near his Christchurch home, at Ruapuna Raceway, in just two weeks' time, on January 17.
"We're on track for the nationals and just need to get suspension settings right now for the new tyres I'm using this year. I'll be using Continental rubber this season.
"I'm not quite polished yet but I'm getting closer and closer each time I ride."
"I think riders such as (fellow Christchurch man) James Smith (Suzuki), Wellington's Glen Skachill (Suzuki) and Tauranga's Sam Love (Yamaha) will be my biggest threat for the 600 sports production crown this season."
Charlett's title bid last season was fraught with bad luck early on but, even so, he managed to claw his way back to finish fourth in the class.
Meanwhile, Motueka's Josh Coppins was another rider to impress at the Port Nelson Street Races.
Grand Prix motocross star Coppins took a Suzuki RM-Z450 to an unbeaten string of wins in the Super Motard SM2 class (for 450cc bikes) and then backed that up by finishing a strong third overall in the SM1 (open) class, behind Wanganui Suzuki rider Jayden Carrick and Taranaki's Mitch Rowe (Yamaha).

Source: Suzuki NZ