Monday, January 7


Robbie Bugden in the lead.
Winning the New Zealand Superbike Grand Prix had a special meaning for Australian star Robbie Bugden in Christchurch today.

The four-times New Zealand champion won the feature race by a clear margin from Feilding racer Craig Shirriffs, although Shirriffs pushed him hard for the first half of the race and briefly led it. Both rode Suzukis.

Bugden riders for the Christchurch-based Volvo Triple R team, owned by Peter “Red” Fenton.

“The team’s been through hell and back over the last two years,” Bugden said, referring to the earthquakes. “It’s great to do this for the team.

“That was a tough race. Midway through it I changed my mentality, gave it 100 percent and reeled off a few good laps.

“I spend three or four months a year in New Zealand now. I love the place and I love coming over.”

Shirriffs, who also finished second to Bugden in the preliminary race, said he had lost time when he nearly crashed in the Dipper corner. “I thought I’d fallen off – that’s when he got the gap,” he said.

In both races Christchurch rider Dennis Charlett (Suzuki) took third, New Plymouth’s Hayden Fitzgerald (Suzuki) came fourth and Hamilton racer Nick Cole (Kawasaki) finished fifth.

Charlett was delighted with his result as this is his first season back in superbikes after a long absence.

Wellington rider Sloan Frost had been one of the favourites but crashed out of the Grand Prix on lap one after contact with another rider.

Jaden Hassan, 18, ran away with the GP in the 600cc Supersport class on his Yamaha but the Hamilton rider was pipped on the final lap of his preliminary race when local racer John Ross got his Suzuki in front at the end of the main straight.

Two other GP classes went to Australians, Troy Guenther (Honda) in 125 GP and Luke Burgess (Kawasaki) in 250 Production. Other GP winners were: Superlite, Neil Smith (Blenheim, Yamaha); Pro Twins. Hamish Murphy (Wellington, Suzuki); and Sidecars, Spike Taylor (Masterton)/Astrid Hartnell (Wanganui).

Caption: Robbie Bugden just holds off Craig Shirriffs on his way to victory in the New Zealand Superbike Grand Prix. Credit:

NZ Motorcycle Grand Prix meeting, Powerbuilt Tools International Raceway, Ruapuna, Christchurch.

Superbikes – Race one: Robbie Bugden (Australia) Suzuki 1; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding) Suzuki 2; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki 3; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Suzuki 4; Nick Cole (Hamilton) Kawasaki 5; John Ross (Christchurch) 6. Race two, New Zealand Grand Prix: Bugden 1; Shirriffs 2; Charlett 3; Fitzgerald 4; Cole 5; James Smith (Christchurch) Honda 6. Championship points: Bugden 50, Shirriffs 40, Charlett 32, Fitzgerald 26, Cole 22, Ross 18

600cc Supersport – Race one: John Ross (Christchurch) Suzuki 1; Jaden Hassan (Auckland) Yamaha 2; Jake Lewis (Christchurch) Yamaha 3; Daniel Ormsby (Christchurch) Yamaha 4; Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill) Honda 5. Race two, GP: Hassan 1; Ross 2; Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Suzuki 3; Lewis 4; Holmes 5. Points: Hassan and Ross both 45, Lewis 29, Hoogenboezem 25, Holmes 25.

Superlite – Race one: Neil Smith (Blenheim) Yamaha 450, 1; Richard Newbery (Balclutha) Kawasaki 450, 2; Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland) Suzuki SV650, 3. Race two: Newbery and Smith =1; Jason Nairn (New Plymouth) Suzuki SV650, 3. Race three, GP: Smith 1; Newbery 2; Nairn 3. Points: Smith 72.5, Newbery 62.5, Nairn 48.

Pro Twins – Race one: Hamish Murphy (Wellington Suzuki SV650, 1; Nathanael Diprose (Auckland) Suzuki SV650, 2; Nick Southerwood (Auckland) Suzuki SV650, 3. Race two: Murphy 1; Diprose and Southerwood =2. Race three, GP: Murphy 1; Diprose 2; Southerwood 3. Points: Murphy 75, Diprose 58, Southerwood 50.

125 GP race: Troy Guenther (Australia) Honda 1; Scout Fletcher (Christchurch) Honda 2; Scott Kinder (Geraldine) Honda 3. Race two: Guenther 1; Fletcher 2; Tyler Lincoln (Havelock North) Honda 3. Race three, GP: Guenther 1; Lincoln 2; Kinder 3. Points: Guenther 75, Kinder 41, Fletcher 40.

250 Production race: Luke Burgess (Australia) 1; Bailie Perriton (Ashburton) 2; Chris Sutcliffe (Timaru) 3. All rode Kawasaki Ninjas. Race two: Burgess 1; Perriton 2; Grant Ramage (Timaru) Kawasaki 3. Race three, GP: Burgess 1; Perriton 2; Ramage 3. Points: Burgess 75, Perriton 60, Ramage 41.

Sidecars race one: Spike Taylor (Masterton)/Astrid Hartnell (Wanganui) LCR 1000, 1; Peter Goodwin/Darren Prentice (Bay of Islands) Windle 1000, 2; Grant Waters (Timaru)/Matthew Gibbs (Christchurch) Windle 1000, 3. Race two: Taylor/Hartnell 1; Goodwin/Prentice 2; Waters/Gibbs 3. Race three, GP: Taylor/Hartnell 1; Goodwin/Prentice 2; Waters/Gibbs 3. Points: Taylor/Hartnell 75, Goodwin/Prentice 60, Waters/Gibbs 48.