Team Suzuki Press Office – December 13.
Scotty Moir won the opening round of the 2017 Suzuki Tri-Series at Bruce McLaren Motorsports Park in Taupo, New Zealand at the weekend aboard his new 2017 GSX-R1000, dominating the Formula One Class from qualifying through to the races.
The 33-year-old won both F1 races on Sunday, emerging as the man to beat in the popular three-round pre-nationals competition this year. He took a start-to-finish win in the first of two eight-lap F1 races with 50-year-old defending Suzuki Series champion Tony Rees eventually claiming second position, 2.1 seconds behind Moir, with Suzuki’s Sloan Frost fourth.
The second F1 race later that afternoon was a fractured affair, with a massive first-turn pile-up claiming half the field, Moir and Rees included. At the re-start, both Moir and Rees lined-up on back-up machines, Rees on his No #2 bike and Moir grateful to be able to borrow the second bike belonging to Suzuki team-mate Frost.
Mitchell Rees led the way and Moir, even though he was on the borrowed Frost bike, was soon nipping at Rees’ rear wheel. The pair cleared-off from the rest of the field and young Rees led until halfway through the dramatic final lap, when Moir was finally able to pounce and snatch the advantage, taking the win by a bikes-length.
Said Moir: “I was just riding my own business when I was struck from behind and the next thing I knew I’d been flung through the air. It took me a lap or so to get used to Sloan’s spare bike, but I got faster and faster after that. The bike was stock standard but was actually so easy to ride. I was thinking I’d just go out and try to salvage as many points as I could. I didn’t believe I could win on a borrowed bike.
“By the end of the race I was doing lap times as fast as the one I’d set to qualify fastest, and this bike wasn’t even set up for me.”
Moir has 51 points, thanks to his back-to-back wins and the bonus point for topping qualification, and leads Mitchell Rees by nine points in the F1 standings, with Frost third, just six points further back.
The series now heads to Manfeild for round two this coming Sunday, with the public streets of Whanganui, the famous Cemetery Circuit, awaiting riders for the final showdown on Boxing Day.
The newly-created GIXXER Cup class, set aside for riders aged between 14 and 21 and all on identical Suzuki GSX150F bikes, got off to a storming start.
Hamilton’s Jesse Stroud, the 15-year-old son of nine-time former national superbike champion Andrew Stroud, scored back-to-back wins on Sunday.
He leads the class by 10 points from 14-year-old Clark Fountain, with Blake Ross, Zak Fuller and Whanganui’s Ollie Dennison completing the top five.
As well as being an integral part of the three-round Suzuki Series, the GIXXER Cup grade of competition will also be a feature of the four-round 2018 New Zealand Superbike Championships, beginning at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch, on January 6-7th, with rounds to follow at Timaru, Hampton Downs and Taupo.
Riders will count six of seven rounds from these two separate competitions, discarding points from their one worst round, to determine the inaugural GIXXER Cup champion for 2017-18.