Team Suzuki Press Office – November 18.
The Suzuki International Superbike series in New Zealand kicks-off next month for the first of three rounds at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on December 6th.
And following a revised and abbreviated 2020 National Superbike series, due to the crisis, Suzuki-supported Scott Moir is on a mission for the annual Suzuki Tri-series ahead of the 2021 championships.
Moir, from Taupo, finished a close runner-up in the national series, which was wrapped up early in March due to the restrictions of motorsport.
But now the race scene is starting to heat up once again and this puts pressure on Moir and his fellow competitors to quickly get back up to speed, especially in the relatively crisis free country.
The three-round series rivals even the Superbike Nationals in terms of popularity and typically attracts the cream of the crop across various bike categories.
Most focus tends to fall on the elite Superbike class and Moir is among the favourites to win that class any time he heads out onto a New Zealand race track.
Moir, the Suzuki International Series outright winner in 2017 and again in 2018, said: “It wasn’t the best start for me in 2019. I felt sick at the first round and not quite on my game. We tried different tyres and that experimenting also put me a little bit behind my rivals.
“I’ve been riding again lately and my lap times are good. I’ve also been riding at motocross events and my fitness is good at the moment. Riding through the winter has been good for my fitness. I think riding motocross helps too because, when things get slippery and the bike gets out of shape, I’m fine with it.”
With the pandemic forcing an early end to the 2020 nationals, it meant Moir was denied the chance to improve his championship position, with racing halted before it got to Moir’s favoured venues of Manfeild and Taupo.
But the upcoming Suzuki International Series ticks all the boxes for Moir and he’ll finally get his chance to shine.
Following the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park opener, Manfeild follows as host venue a week later on December 13th. The action wraps up on the public streets of Whanganui’s famous Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day, December 26th.
Suzuki’s former national and Suzuki International Series champion in the F1 class, Sloan Frost, is one who will threaten Moir on track, along with Suzuki’s 2019 National Superbike Champion Daniel Mettam.
The National Supersport 600 Champion in the 2020 nationals, Richie Dibben, steps up from a Suzuki GSX-R600 to ride a Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the Superbike class along with Jayden Carrick and former 600cc frontrunner David Hall.
Christchurch’s Alastair Hoogenboezem, winner of the 2020 Superbike class crown, has plans to make the trip north to tackle the Suzuki Series again, while former National Superbike Champion Jaden Hassan re-joins the series after a five-year break.
Added Moir: “I’m itching to go again on the GSX-R1000 Suzuki and I’m feeling confident. I know Damon and Mitch Rees will be fast and Dan Mettam and Sloan Frost need to be respected too, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I think we all need to watch out for Richie Dibben this year too. It may be his first season on the 1000cc Suzuki, but he’s obviously very talented and a quick learner too. He has road-racing legend Brian Bernard behind him and he’s a great mentor to have.”