Weekend of Turmoil and Upsets at Hampton Downs
Frost then won the first of two superbike races on Sunday, while Rees again managed fourth, and this tightened the title chase to just 13.5 points with only the final race of the series still to come.
Fourth or better in that race would still have been enough for Rees to prevail but, when the last race was staged in two parts after other riders crashed and forced stoppages, Frost was able to produce two wins and Rees crossed the line in fifth both times – the title therefore went to Frost by the incredibly slim margin of just half a point.
A crash also featured in the final 600 race of the weekend, Richardson running off the track and into a tyre wall while leading, gifting the race win (and the NZ TT title) to visiting Australian Alex Phillis and, more significantly, also gifting the class title to eventual runner-up in that race, Damon Rees.
Invercargill's Jeremy Holmes (1000cc superstock class) and Christchurch's Dennis Charlett (Pro Twins) had celebrated wrapping up their respective class titles at the previous round in Taupo, while Taumarunui's Leigh Tidman (superlites class), Christchurch's Andy McLaughlin (lightweight production class) and Opunake's Campbell Grayling (250cc production) were virtually untroubled in wrapping up their respective titles at Hampton Downs on Sunday.
In the sidecars class, team-mates Spike Taylor (Masterton) and Robbie Shorter (Tauranga) fought off a last-ditch effort by Tauranga pair Barry Smith and Tracey Bryan – who won all three races at Hampton Downs – to clinch the title by just five points.
Christchurch’s Matthew Hoogenboezem won Saturday's sole 125GP race and wrapped up that title a day early, before following on to with both 125GP races the next day too.
The 22-year-old Hoogenboezem is no stranger to winning national titles. He won the 150 streetstock title in 2011 and was national 125GP champion previously in 2014.
“I was just fortunate enough this season to stay upright while others in my class were crashing,” he said modestly.
“I guess it’s the old story, to finish first; first you must finish. I’m a living example of that.
“My bike suffered a cracked exhaust expansion chamber in one of the races at (round one in January at) Ruapuna and I lost power and had to accept third place at the finish line. That was my worst result and I’ve been on the podium at every other race, so that gave me the title.”
The New Zealand TT titles were also decided at Hampton Downs at the weekend, with the final race for each class determining this.
TT title winners this season are: Sloan Frost (superbikes); New Plymouth's Hayden Fitzgerald (1000cc superstock); Alex Phillis (600 supersport); Whangaparoa's Nathan Jane (superlites); Hamilton's Jacob Stroud (lightweight); Campbell Grayling (250cc production); Dennis Charlett (pro twins); Matthew Hoogenboezem (125GP); Barry Smith and Tracey Bryan (sidecars).
Leading final standings for the 2017 New Zealand Superbike Championships:
- Superbikes: 1. Sloan Frost (Wellington, Suzuki) 226.5 points; 2. Tony Rees (Whakatane, Honda) 226; 3. Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch, Honda) 198.
- 1000cc Superstock: 1. Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill, Honda) 250.5; 2. Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth, Yamaha) 149.5; 3. Sam Sharp (Auckland, Kawasaki) 109.5.
- 600 Supersport: 1. Damon Rees (Whakatane, Honda) 252; 2. Shane Richardson (Wainuiomata, Kawasaki) 243.5; 3. Jake Lewis (Rangiora, Triumph) 172.
- Superlites: 1. Leigh Tidman (Taumarunui, Yamaha) 237; 2. Nathan Jane (Whangaparoa, Suzuki) 210; Gavin Veltmeyer (Auckland, Suzuki) 199.
- Lightweight: 1. Andy McLaughlin (Christchurch, KTM) 221; 2. Rogan Chandler (Upper Hutt, Yamaha) 178; 3. Sam Goulter (Ashburton, Yamaha) 163.5.
- 250 Production: 1. Campbell Grayling (Opunake, Kawasaki) 261.5; 2. Rob Gibson (Tauranga, Kawasaki) 208.5; 3. James Squire (Timaru, Kawasaki) 195.
- Pro Twins: 1. Dennis Charlett (Christchurch, Suzuki) 304; 2. Josh Augustine (Auckland, Suzuki) 192; 3. Jordan Burley (Hamilton, Suzuki) 172.
- 125GP: 1. Matthew Hoogenboezem (Christchurch, Honda) 287; 2. Chris Wallinger (Christchurch, Honda) 157; 3. Matthew Reichenbach (Auckland, Honda) 145.
- Sidecars: 1. Spike Taylor (Masterton) and Robbie Shorter (Tauranga) 257; 2. Barry Smith and Tracey Bryan (Tauranga) 252; 3. Peter Goodwin and Kendal Dunlop (Albany) 224.
CAPTION: Wellington's Sloan Frost (Suzuki), celebrates with his father, Morrie, after retaining his national superbike crown on Sunday. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
A high-resolution copy of the attached image is available for publication, for editorial use only, simply by contacting the photographer, phone 027-324-0892. Credit line must be run if photo is used. As regards electronic media use (on web sites or social media, for example), credit must be given to Andy McGechan and BikesportNZ.com
Code No. MNZ-AM625