NZ Road Race Series 2005
NZ ROAD RACE SERIES 2005
For the first time in many years, the big four motorcycle manufacturers will all field competitive bikes with fast riders in the New Zealand Grand Prix this weekend at Ruapuna.
Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki are all challenging Suzuki's recent domination in the premier SUZUKI NZ PRODUCTION SUPERBIKE class at the GP, which is also the first round of the NZ MOTORCYCLE TRADER AND NEWS ROAD SERIES.
Reigning champion Andrew Stroud, who has raced world super bikes and 500cc GP bikes during his long career, starts as favourite, again with Suzuki.
As well as the fast but smooth Stroud, Suzuki also fields fellow Aucklander Ray Clee, who was second last season, and Wanganui's Brian Bernard, who was third.
A lot of interest will centre on former Wellingtonian Bruce Anstey, who has been based in the UK in recent years and won the 1000cc Production TT at the Isle of Man this year. He will also ride for Suzuki.
Tony Rees from Whakatane has been the
main standard-bearer for Yamaha in recent seasons and the
former champion returns to the fray after missing last
Honda is mounting a serious effort with its new bike, engaging former champion Dean "Beany" Fulton from Mt Maunganui and ambitious Jared Love from Hamilton.
Kawasaki has four riders in its line-up: Aucklanders Lance Lowe, Carey Brier and Glen Williams, and Oamaru rider Andy Bolwell.
The four companies are all fielding 1000cc four-cylinder bikes with about 170hp, fast machinery that is definitely challenging to ride. The competition should be intense.
The SSANGYONG NZ 600 SPORTS PRODUCTION class sees the return of defending champion Shaun Harris from New Plymouth, but on a Suzuki instead of the Honda he raced last season. He is also helping Dominic Jones, a very promising youngster from Invercargill.
Brian Bernard is running a
team with three fast teenagers on Suzuki’s:
Aucklanders Karl Morgan and Ross King, and Hayden Fitzgerald from New Plymouth.
This is the class that will see the emergence of a new wave of New Zealand talent.
The meeting also
includes championship races for Formula Three, 250cc GP,
125cc GP and Sidecars. Each class has one race on Saturday
and two on Sunday, the final race doubling as the GP