Team Suzuki riders dominated the Endurance and 600cc Sports Production classes at the final round of the New Zealand Road Racing Endurance Championship at Pukekohe on virtually stock production GSX-Rs.
Suzuki New Zealand-sponsored riders Andrew Stroud and Ray Clee raced their out-of-the-crate GSX-R1000K5 to victory in the Endurance class and Craig Shirriffs and Karl Morgan dominated the Sports Production class on their GSX-R600 at the 2.8 kilometre circuit.
Pole setter Stroud led the Le Mans-style start for five laps until passed by Jared Love (Honda). Yamaha-mounted Tony Rees closed on the leaders and a high-speed freight train ensured with the lead changing each lap. Stroud was baulked several times as the trio closed on back markers but pulled ahead, a position he held with riding partner Clee until race end.
The drama behind continued as Love pitted for fuel at the 30 minute mark, with team-mate Dean Fulton taking charge: The lead continued to change between teams as each rider pitted for gas, with Stroud, Rees and Fulton the race order until a rejuvenated Love took over again. He closed to within 13 seconds of the leaders, setting a new track record of 55.8 seconds, before pitting for a final burst by Fulton with a fresh Michelin rear tyre.
While the new tyre was being fitted and the tank refilled, the Pace car came onto the track due to a crashed rider. But while leaving the Pit Lane exit, Fulton passed Rees without knowing the circuit was under a yellow flag and suffered a 20 second penalty.
NZ Endurance Title and Superbike Results: Stroud/ Clee (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 119 laps: Rees (Yamaha R1), 119 laps: Love/ Fulton (Honda CBR1000RR), 118 laps.
600cc Sports Production Class Results: Shirriffs/ Morgan (Suzuki GSX-R600), 115 laps: Jones (GSX-R600), 114 laps: McAdam/ Odonoghue (Kawasaki ZX-6RR), 114 laps.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office