Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

It's A Back-to-back South Island Blockbuster

Timaru's Harry Parker (Yamaha R3), hoping to turn his home track advantage into valuable points this weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

It's one down and three to go in this year's chase for motorcycle road-racing honours and the action on tarmac is set to get hotter as the series progresses.

The first round of four in the 2021 New Zealand Superbike Championships (NZSBK) was held at Mike Pero Motorsport park, Ruapuna, on the outskirts of Christchurch, last weekend and several riders surely have bragging rights after that early dust-up, but it's early days yet and none can really take anything for granted.

The FabTech and Trust Aoraki-sponsored second round is at Levels International Raceway, near Timaru, this coming Saturday and Sunday, and the South Island riders in particular will be hoping to make the most of this weekend's opportunities to score before the series heads to the North Island for the second half of the series in March.

One rider who might fancy his chances more than most this coming weekend is Timaru's Harry Parker, the 20-year-old hoping a little home track advantage might boost him up the standings.

Parker finished third overall on debut in the Supersport 300 class in 2019, was placed fifth overall in the same class last year and he's running second in the class after the 2021 opener at Ruapuna last weekend.

He'll be working hard to see if he can move up to the No.1 spot, but that could be extremely tough with the 14-year-old road-racing sensation from Invercargill, Cormac Buchanan, virtually untouchable at Ruapuna and likely to be just as hard to beat at Levels.

Parker is no longer a novice in the sport, having introduced himself to the sport by racing in the inaugural GIXXER Cup competition that kicked off at the end of 2017 and he then finished a remarkable third overall in the 250cc Production class in 2018.

He certainly has not wasted any time in getting to grips with the sport and Parker could now be expected to feature among the leaders any time he races.

"I certainly plan on getting in front of Cormac (Buchanan) this weekend. We passed each other, back and forwards, a few times at Ruapuna, so I know I've got the pace to challenge him. But he's pretty special ... remember, he's this quick and he's still only 14 years old," said Parker.

"I'll have to ride a bit smarter this weekend. I went too hard early in my races at Ruapuna and cooked the tyres. This meant it got pretty slippery and I had to back off a bit near the end just to ensure I finished the races.

"I practice at lot at Levels, doing as many laps there each week as I can, so I expect to go well there.

"I raced a bit in Australia last year too ... well I crashed my brains out actually," he laughed. "But I learned a lot from that experience too."

Aside from what happens in the Supersport 300 class this coming weekend, the action is expected to be fierce in the other bike categories too, with the Superbike and Supersport 600 classes typically attracting the most attention, although the 650 Pro Twins, Sidecars, GIXXER Cup 150 and Supersport 150 classes will also be closely-fought.

There is a month-long break after this South Island phase of the series, with racing set to resume in the North Island, with the Mike Pero-sponsored MotoFest, round three at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, near Meremere, on March 6-7, before wrapping up with round four at Taupo's Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on March 13-14.

Class leaders after last weekend's racing at Christchurch are Whakatane's Mitch Rees (Superbikes); Christchurch's Aaron Scott (Superbike B, support class); Christchurch's Dale Finch (Supersport 600); Napier's SJ Cavell (650 Pro Twins); Buchanan (Supersport 300 and Supersport 150); Christchurch's Blair Robertson (250 Production, support class, round one only); Hamilton's Billee Fuller (GIXXER Cup 150); Tauranga's Barry Smith and Stu Dawe (Sidecars).

The 2021 New Zealand Superbike Championships are supported by Sky Sport Next, Aon Insurance, Pirelli, Trust Aoraki, Redpath, CTAS, MX Timing, BikesportNZ.com and commentators Neil and Brad Ritchie.

2021 NZ Superbike Championships calendar:

Round 1 – January 9-10, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch;

Round 2 – January 16-17, Levels International Raceway, Timaru;

Round 3 – March 6-7, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato, Mike Pero MotoFest;

Round 4 – March 13-14, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, ww.BikesportNZ.com

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland