Team Suzuki Press Office – April 9.
Richie Dibben: GSX-R600 – 1st Supersport Championship.
Scott Moir: Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 2nd Superbike Championship.
Suzuki GSX-R600 rider Richie Dibben has been crowned New Zealand Supersport Champion after the series organisers cancelled the final two rounds of five due to the ongoing crisis.
Dibben was informed of the news in lockdown on his 31st Birthday yesterday (Wednesday) from his home in Whanganui. It also meant that Suzuki GSX-R1000 rider Scott Moir was awarded second place in the NZ Superbike Championship class.
Said bike shop owner Dibben: “It came as a bit of a surprise but was still a fantastic way for me to celebrate my 31st birthday. I thought the organisers would try to get the rest of the races run. This is not how I wanted it to end, but that’s it wrapped up.”
In all, Dibben won five of the nine races – three races at each of the three rounds that were run – and he finished runner-up in each of the other four races. In addition to that, he qualified his Suzuki GSX-R600 fastest, therefore earning pole position at two of those three events.
Dibben was 60 points clear of his nearest challenger after round three and this meant road-race ‘Rookie’ Dibben already had more than two races up his sleeve with just six more to come.
“I probably would have had to crash out of at least two of those remaining races for me not to take the title. Regardless of how the season was going to pan out, I had already decided that I will be in the 1000cc Superbike class for next season’s nationals. It should be a good challenge. I have never even ridden a Superbike before.”
So is it optimistic and ambitious to jump up to a 1000cc Suzuki?
“Yes, but it’s the same as for me racing the GSX-R600 this year. I never really knew whether I would feel comfortable with it to start with. It will just be a time thing to get used to another bike and try to go fast,” said the father-of-two.
Meanwhile, the champion in the Superbike class is Alastair Hoogenboezem – the Christchurch rider just three points ahead of Scott Moir (Suzuki GSX-R1000) after three rounds, with Damon Rees third.
Rees won the first two rounds of the series before heading overseas to race at the end of January, while Moir won the Superbike class at round three, at Hampton Downs on March 7-8th.
All of the nine race wins were shared exclusively between this talented trio – Rees won five of the six races he contested before he left the country, while Hoogenboezem and Moir won two races each.
However, this class result is deemed provisional, with technical checks still to be conducted on a number of motorcycles.
Other class champions declared this week were Nathanael Diprose (Supersport 300, provisional only); Nathan Jane (650 Pro Twins); Andy Scrivener and Tina McKeown (Sidecars); Cormac Buchanan (Supersport 150) and Tyrone Kuipers (GIXXER Cup 150).
Dibben is supported by Barracks Sports Bar, Totalspan, Bernard Racing, Garmac Engineering, David Jones Motors, Roger Crowley Solicitors, Mike Paul Building Inspectors, BikesportNZ.com and Steel It.