Monday, November 14


Words: Tony Rees Motorcycles

BJ Cawthorn & Tony Rees finish at the top of what was a very eventful race. After a crash in practice the decision was made to ride Tony's YAMAHA R1 as there was not enough time to repair BJ's Yamaha. It was a flip of the coin (3 times to be fair) as to who would do the Le Mans start and BJ's "Heads" call trumped all 3 times! After a good start BJ settled into third then just before his 30 minute stint was up, dropped to fourth.

 With Tony heading out onto the track the leader of the race crashed out bringing out the pace car which cost the team a whole lap as the new leader left the track to pit. Tony then had to put his head down to pull back some time which he did and also got the fastest lap of the race, but still they were only running third due to the pace car mistake.

 BJ's next session was where it all changed because it started to rain and the team made the decision to change to wet tyres before anyone else. BJ's lap-times were now considerably faster than everyone else and he dragged the team up to second place.

 The lead bike of Fred & Travis Merkel (Fred being a former 2 times World Superbike champion) pitted. Their pit stop was slow, which let the Whakatane team gain the lead by a lap. Tony was sent out for the final 30 minutes, where he gained more time to bring the team home in first position with a 1 Lap & 96 second lead time in front of second placed Travis & Fred Merkel. Mark Bennett & John Oliver were placed third, 4 Laps down from the winning team.