Moir to fore in Whanganui streets

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News | Police - Iain Hyn­d­man

Taupo¯ ’s Scotty Moir had a Box­ing Day to re­mem­ber af­ter win­ning back-to-back Suzuki Se­ries For­mula One ti­tles then gift­ing the cov­eted Robert Holden Me­mo­rial to a vis­it­ing in­ter­na­tional rider in sen­sa­tional style.

The 35-year-old was a break­through first-time win­ner last year of both the Suzuki Se­ries’ For­mula One class out­right and the Robert Holden Me­mo­rial race, a 10-lap­per that is the fea­ture of the se­ries’ fi­nal round on Whanganui’s Ceme­tery Cir­cuit on Box­ing Day, and he came ag­o­nis­ingly close to win­ning them both again this year too.

Moir (Suzuki GSXR1000) had ar­rived at the fi­nal leg of the se­ries on the Ceme­tery Cir­cuit in Whanganui three points adrift of F1 leader Shane Richard­son (Kawasaki ZX10R) from Wainuiomata.

In the first of the two F1 races on the card, Moir took the early lead and was never headed, while Richard­son lan­guished back in the pack. Ev­er­green street cir­cuit spe­cial­ist Tony Rees (Honda CBR1000Sp1) sat se­cond ahead of Auck­land’s Daniel Met­tam (Suzuki GSXR1000) with Richard­son soon breath­ing down their necks and vis­it­ing British racer and cur­rent Isle of Man cham­pion Peter Hick­man fifth.

While Moir cleared out to an ef­fort­less win, the re­main­ing group bat­tled it out in tight quar­ters un­til Richard­son swooped through a dream gap in the dy­ing stages to take se­cond.

This placed Richard­son and Moir tied on points at the top of the F1 ta­ble with a race to go.

Start­ing from the se­cond row on the grid with Moir on pole, Richard­son needed a good start to have any chance of turn­ing the ta­bles on the man from Taupo¯ . Un­for­tu­nately that was not to be and he was sud­denly 12th with more than half the field in front on him while Moir played a cagey game, know­ing full well a top-four or five fin­ish would hand him the ti­tle with his ri­val out of the frame. Richard­son pulled the pin mid­way through race two ex­tin­guish­ing any chance of tak­ing the ti­tle.

Moir fin­ished fourth be­hind an im­pres­sive Tony Rees, but had enough points to se­cure the ti­tle for the se­cond year on end.

“I felt great out there and just put my foot down and went for it,” Moir said of his first race.

“And I felt if I got the start I did in the first, I could hold out Shane, but in end he wasn’t in it. The pres­sure was on in that se­cond race and I knew I didn’t need to put my­self at too much risk. Win­ning the Suzuki Se­ries is a real con­fi­dence booster for the up­com­ing na­tion­als.”

Richard­son said af­ter race one he was al­ways go­ing to be up against it from the se­cond row on the grid.

“I was lucky enough to get up for se­cond and be tied on points with Scott, but my chances of win­ning the se­cond race de­pended on a very good start from the se­cond row.”

The Robert Holden Me­mo­rial, a race open to the fastest 25 times of the day in all classes apart from Su­per­moto, ini­tially ap­peared to be Moir’s for the tak­ing. How­ever a sim­ple mis­take cost him back-to­back tro­phies.

In what ap­peared to be a re­peat of F1 race one, Moir scooted to what ap­peared an unas­sail­able lead while the rest of the field, in­clud­ing Hick­man, fought for the scraps. On lap three Moir even set a new F1 lap record of 48.709 sec­onds.

Hick­man was ob­vi­ously get­ting used to street rac­ing, Ceme­tery Cir­cuit-style, and gained ground with each race and each lap. In the Robert Holden, Hick­man was pick­ing off ri­vals’ heads like plums from a tree and with a lap to go he only had Moir to rein in. How­ever, even Hick­man him­self thought it was a bridge too far.

In the fi­nal lap and near­ing the fi­nal cor­ner be­fore the short run to the che­quered flag, Hick­man was hon­ing in on Moir who seem­ingly ap­peared un­aware. He vis­i­bly slowed and Hick­man nailed him just short of the fin­ish line to be­come the first in­ter­na­tional rider in re­cent his­tory to win the Robert Holden Me­mo­rial.

The Rees fam­ily also had a day to re­mem­ber with pa­tri­arch Tony tak­ing one leg of the F1, while son Da­mon Rees (Honda CBR600RR) won the Suzuki Se­ries F2 ti­tle.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Dun­can Hart (Yamaha YZF450) from Tau­ranga won the Su­per­moto ti­tle af­ter two in­ci­dent-packed races.

Photo / Lewis Gard­ner Whanganui Chron­i­cle

Taupo¯ rider Scott Moir on Whanganui’s fa­mous Ceme­tery Cir­cuit dur­ing round three of the Suzuki Se­ries.

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