Thursday, October 8

ARGENTINE RIDER TO CONTEST NZ CHAMPS

In an exciting new development this season, international and home-grown talent combines to boost the Suzuki strike force on all motorcycling fronts, off the road and on it.
Argentine rider Joaquin Fernandez arrives in New Zealand to add an international flavour to the new Suzuki-backed MC2 Racing Team and with Suzuki stalwart and long-time team rider Brad Groombridge, of Taupo, also returning to the line-up, the likeable visitor is sure to quickly find his feet and adapt to the Kiwi motocross race scene.

Former racer now Tauranga Suzuki dealer Andrew Hardisty (left) with Joaquin Fernandez, the Argentine rider set to contest the New Zealand Motocross Nationals for the MC2 Racing Team.


And, in addition to delivering these two 450cc motocross class title contenders to the major stand-alone events, as well as the national motocross championships series races this season, the MC2 Racing Team will also front up with Wellington-based former bay of Plenty rider Sloan Frost to race the Suzuki GSX-R1000 and represent the outfit on the superbike road-race scene.

Frost will contest the popular annual Suzuki Series just before Christmas and the superbike nationals in the New Year.

Managed by former national motocross and supercross champion Andrew Hardisty, the owner of Mount Maunganui's Moto City Suzuki dealership, the MC2 Racing Team is bulging with both talent and experience and the crew head into the 2015-16 season in a confident mood.

"Having personally competed in both motocross and road-racing, I am excited to have an involvement in both codes again, especially with strong title contenders in both motorcycle racing sports," said Hardisty.

"I am looking forward for the season ahead, not only because of the potential we show in both motocross and superbike racing, but also by Brad's credentials as an enduro and cross-country exponent as well. We have all the bases covered."

Groombridge has been a leading contender on the national motocross and cross-country scene for a number of years – he banked several high-profile wins last season and also finished the 2015 national championship series ranked No.5 in the MX1 class, while new team-mate Fernandez is, for the moment at least, a dark horse on the New Zealand scene.

Born in Achiras, Cordoba, in Argentina, the 28-year-old Fernandez has an impressive CV.

He was national 125cc motocross champion in Argentina in 2003, national 125cc supercross champion in Chile in 2004, national 250cc two-stroke motocross champion in Argentina in 2005, was Motocross International Race Champion "Abierto de la Republica Argentina" in the MX2 (250cc) class in 2006 and was national MX2 champion in Argentina in 2007.

He also raced the MXGP world championship round in Argentina earlier this year.

On the tarmac side of things, Frost is currently ranked No.3 in the superbike class, finishing the four-round 2015 series close behind fellow Kiwi Suzuki stars Jaden Hassan and Dennis Charlett.

With Hassan and Charlett not contesting the superbike class this coming season, Frost heads into this campaign as one of the title favourites.


Meanwhile, Hardisty said a new team web site – www.mc2racing.co.nz – would also be in operation within the next 30 days.