Nervous grandfather wins Superbike Championship at Manfeild

Press Release – Motorcycling New Zealand
Dennis Charlett went slow to clinch the New Zealand Superbike Championship at Manfeild today.

The Christchurch rider, a proud grandfather of 45 who keeps fit with kick-box training, went into today’s two races with a big points lead and decided to play it safe to make sure of collecting the points he needed to claim New Zealand’s top title.

“I was riding at nine-tenths, not ten-tenths,” he said after placings of eighth and sixth on his Suzuki gave him an unbeatable points lead with two races left tomorrow to conclude the championships. He admitted to being nervous during the races, and feeling the bumps more than usual.

Charlett is the oldest rider ever to win the championship but proved that motorcycle racing is not just for the young guns.

“I might be 45 but I still feel like I’m 25,” he said. “I’ve always kept myself active, I train hard, I try to keep myself in good shape and I eat well.

“Some guys my age would be gardening or in the pub now but I know where I’d rather be.”

Charlett’s main challenger for the title this season, Hamilton Kawasaki rider Nick Cole, spent the weekend in hospital as the result of an assault in Taupo last Sunday.

That left Taupo’s Scott Moir, who won the Superbike TT (Tourist Trophy) last weekend, the closest on points but he failed to finish yesterday’s race and could not beat Charlett today.

While Charlett is the oldest Superbike champion, Aucklander Jaden Hassan is probably the youngest winner of a Superbike race at 19. He won yesterday’s race on his Suzuki and came very close to taking the last race today before Australian BMW rider Linden Magee just snatched victory.

“I’m over the moon, to win a Superbike race in my first season,” Hassan, who looks like a champion of the future, said.

The first race today went to Wellington’s Sloan Frost ahead of fellow Suzuki riders Hayden Fitzgerald (Taranaki) and Moir, with Hassan forth. In the other race Fitzgerald was third and Tony Rees (Whakatane) fourth for Honda.

In 600cc Supersport Christchurch rider John Ross is in sight of his second championship with a 33-point lead going into the two final races tomorrow. Placings of second and third on his Suzuki today were enough to leave him well placed for the title.

Both of today’s Supersport races saw maiden championship victories, first for Hawke’s Bay rider Adam Chambers on a Honda and then for Wanganui’s Jayden Carrick on a Suzuki.

Young Christchurch racer Alastair Hoogenboezem won yesterday’s race and today’s finishes of third and second put him second in the series for Suzuki.

Royd Walker-Holt from Kawakawa wrapped up the Pro Twins championship with three victories, continuing a dominant season.

The 250 Production championship has also been decided, Ashburton teenager Bailie Perriton building a massive lead on his Kawasaki although he was narrowly beaten in both of today’s races, first by Tim McArthur (Blenheim) and then by 14-year-old Australian Lachlan Epis.

UPDATE March 30
Press Release – Motorcycling New Zealand
Caution proved a winning formula as the New Zealand Superbike championships wound up at Manfeild today. Dennis Charlett set the example yesterday as he won his first Superbike championship – at the age of 45 – with two careful rides that brought lower placings but capitalised on his big points lead to clinch the top title. In the final race today he was able to throw that caution to the wind as he led almost all the way under intense pressure from behind, only to be passed on the last corner by Australian Linden Magee.

With six riders battling at close quarters up front, it was a fitting finale to this highly competitive season, though Charlett was disappointed he was not able to finish his championship season with the flourish of another victory. Magee had come right through from eighth early on.

John Ross followed Charlett’s example today as a careful ride in his first race sewed up the 600cc title in Supersport, the second most important category. He and Charlett both rode Suzuks.

“You just do what you have to do,” Ross said after winning his class for the second year running. “It’s been very competitive this season, the best for years.”

A third Christchurch rider, 19-year-old Matthew Hoogenboezem, also went into cruise mode during his final race to make sure of winning the 125 GP championship on his Honda. “It’s the same bike my brother Alastair won the championship on a few years ago,” he said. The bike had been lengthened because both the Hoogenboezems are too tall to fit on the tiny 125cc bikes otherwise.

Alastair Hoogenboezem missed out on second in the Supersport championship when his Suzuki’s engine failed in the second-last race after he had earlier claimed three victories in a row. He ended up third, behind Taupo Yamaha rider Toby Summers.

Hawke’s Bay rider Adam Chambers scored his debut victory in Supersport yesterday and followed up with two more today on his Honda.

Today’s first Superbike race went to Feilding racer Craig Shirriffs, making him the eighth different winner this season. He battled through the front pack to head off 19-year Aucklander Jaden Hassan and experienced Whakatane racer Tony Rees. Rees rode a Honda, the other two Suzukis. That could be Shirriffs’ swansong, as he said he is thinking of retiring.

The minor placings in the Superbike championship ended up very close, Magee taking second just one point ahead of Wellington Suzuki rider Sloan Frost, who won a race yesterday. Hassan was fourth – a remarkable result in his rookie season – and Taupo’s Scott Moir was fifth on his Suzuki.

Taranaki rider Hayden Fitzgerald had a great weekend in two different categories, scoring a series of high placings in Superbikes with his Suzuki and winning the Superlite championship on his father Terry’s Suzuki SV650.

“That’s my first national championship — and dad won the championship on the same bike 10 years ago,” Fitzgerald said. “And we just seemed to click on the Superbike this weekend.”

Champions in other classes are: Pro Twins, Royd Walker-Holt (Kawakawa, Suzuki SV650); 250 Production, Bailie Perriton (Ashburton, Kawasaki Ninja 250); and Sidecars, Spike Taylor-Astrid Hartnell (Masterton, LCR).

MOTORCYCLE RACING
New Zealand Superbike Championships, final round double-header, Manfeild, provisional results.

Superbikes – Race one: Jaden Hassan (Auckland) Suzuki 1; Hayden Fitzgerald (Taranaki) Suzuki 2; Tony Rees (Whakatane) Honda 3; James Smith (Christchurch) Honda 4; Craig Shirriffs (Feilding) Suzuki 5.

Race two: Sloan Frost (Wellington) Suzuki 1; Fitzgerald 2; Scott Moir (Taupo) Suzuki 2; Rees 3; Hassan 4; Shirriffs 5.

Race three: Linden Magee (Australia) BMW 1; Hassan 2; Fitzgerald 3; Rees 4; Frost 5.

Race four: Shirriffs 1; Hassan 2; Rees 3; Fitzgerald 4; Magee 5.

Race five: Magee 1; Dennis Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki 2; Fitzgerald 3; Shirriffs 4; Frost 5.

Final championship points: Charlett 211, Magee 153, Frost 152, Hassan 147, Scott Moir (Taupo, Suzuki) 146.

Supersport – Race one: Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Suzuki 1; John Ross (Christchurch) Suzuki 2; Adam Chambers (Clive) Honda 3; Jayden Carrick (Wanganui) 4; Toby Summers (Taupo) Yamaha 5.

Race two: Chambers 1; Ross 2; Hoogenboezem 3; Summers 4; Carrick 5.
Race three: Carrick 1; A Hoogenboezem 2; Ross 3; Chambers 4; Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill) Honda 5.

Race four: Chambers 1; Carrick 2; Summers 3; Ross 4; Daniel Mettam (Auckland) Suzuki 5.

Race five: Chambers 1; Summers 2; Carrick 3; Holmes 4; A Hoogenboezem 5,
Points: Ross 272, Summers 233; A Hoogenboezem 227, Chambers 185, Holmes 155.

Superlite – Race one: Jason Nairn (New Plymouth) Suzuki SV650, 1; Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Suzuki SV650, 2; Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland) Suzuki SV650 3. Race two: Zayne Agate (Oamaru) Kawasaki ZXR450, 1; Veltmeyer 2; Nairn 3. Race three: Fitzgerald 1;Agate 2; Veltmeyer 3. Race four: Agate 1; Fitzgerald 2; Veltmeyer 3. Race five: Fitzgerald 1; Agate 2; Nairn 3. Points: Fitzgerald 281.5, Agate 232.5, Veltmeyer 198.5.

125 GP – Race one: Troy Guenther (Australia) Honda 1; Matthew Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Honda 2; Tyler Lincoln (Hawke’s Bay) Honda 3. Race two: M Hoogenboezem 1; Guenther 2; James Jarman (Whangarei) Honda 3. Race three: Guenther 1; Lincoln 2; M Hoogenboezem 3. Race four: Guenther 1; Lincoln 2; M Hoogenboezem 3. Race five: Lincoln 1; Guenther 2; Jarman 3. Points: M Hoogenboezem 233.5, Lincoln 229.5, Jarman 208.5.

Pro Twins – Race one:, 1; Royd Walker-Holt (Kawakawa) Suzuki SV650 1; Robert Whittall (Raglan) Suzuki SV650, 2; Doug Stockwell (Auckland) SuzukiV650, 3. Race two: Walker-Holt 1; Whittall 2; Stockwell 3. Race three: Walker-Holt 1; Whittall 2; Stockwell 3. Race four: Walker-Holt 1; Stockwell 2; Dean Bentley (Lower Hutt) Suzuki SV650, 3. Race five: Walker-Holt 1; Whittall 2; Sarah Elliot (Foxton) Suzuki SV650, 3. Points: Walker-Holt 349, Stockwell 222, Whittall 199.

250 Production – Race one: Lachlan Epis (Australia) Kawasaki 1; Baillie Perriton (Ashburton) Kawasaki 2; Tim McArthur (Blenheim) Kawasaki 3. Race two: McArthur 1; Perriton 2; Alex Bowers (Christchurch) Kawasaki 3. Race three: Epis 1; Perriton 2; McArthur 3. Race four: Epis 1; Perriton 2; McArthur 3. Race five: Perriton 1; Epis 2; McArthur 3. Points: Perriton 319, McArthur 149, Epis 143.

Sidecars – Race one: Barry Smith-Robbie Shorter (Te Puke) Windle Suzuki 1; Spike Taylor-Astrid Hartnell (Masterton) LCR, 2; Peter Goodwin-Darren Prentis (Northland) LCR Windle, 3. Race two: Smith-Shorter 1; Taylor-Hartnell 2; Goodwin-Prentis 3. Race three: Smith-Shorter 1; Goodwin-Prentis 2; Michael Wolland-Neville Mickleson, Derbyshire 1000, 3. Race four: Smith-Shorter 1; Taylor-Hartnell 2; Goodwin-Prentis 3. Race five: Smith-Shorter 1; Taylor-Hartnell 2; Goodwin-Prentis 3. Points: Taylor-Hartnell 247, Smith-Shorter 244, Goodwin-Prentis 210.5.

 

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