Super-granddad Dennis Charlett achieved one of the best results of his long motorcycle racing career as he won the New
Zealand Superbike Grand Prix at Ruapuna today.
Christchurch racer Charlett, 45, led almost all the way on his Suzuki but was shadowed ominously for most of the 20 laps
by Hamilton’s Nick Cole on his Kawasaki.
It looked very tense but Charlett said he had not been fazed by the pressure from Cole, who had won the Suzuki Series
“That was how I planned it anyway,” he said. “I was just going to pace myself and pick up the pace with seven laps to
go, and then fortunately Nick couldn’t quite hold on.
“Winning the Grand Prix and getting my name on the cup with a lot of famous names is really something.
“I’m getting better with age and better with grandchildren, I’ve got three grandchildren now.”
Cole admitted that Charlett had just been too fast on the day, and the hot pace had caused him a couple of awkward
moments as his bike threatened to get away on him.
The meeting is also the first round of the national championships and Charlett seized the lead in the Superbikes, the
premier class, with three victories over the weekend. Cole was second each time.
“I want to keep an eye on the championship – I‘m trying to win the championship,” Charlett, a former champion in the
600cc Supersport class, said.
Taupo racer Scott Moir, who has contested several different forms of motorcycle racing, came third in the GP on his
Suzuki, confirming his recent elevation into the top ranks of New Zealand racing.
Australian Linden “Magoo” Magee (BMW) and Wellington’s Sloan Frost (Suzuki) both started well back on the grid after
problems in qualifying but came through to finish fourth and fifth respectively, dicing with each other along the way.
New Plymouth rider Hayden Fitzgerald was the unluckiest rider of the day. He had qualified his Suzuki fastest and
finished third in yesterday’s first heat, but today he ran out of petrol in the second heat and then retired from the GP
with an oil leak.
To add insult to injury, he also became the first rider to be fined under a new rule for allowing his bike to run out of
fuel. However he gained minor consolation by winning the Superlite GP on his father Terry’s Suzuki SV650.
The Supersport GP saw another big home victory as reigning champion John Ross narrowly beat fellow Christchurch Suzuki
rider Alastair Hoogenboezem after a protracted battle, with Hoogenboezem leading at times.
Rangiora rider Jake Lewis, back home after winning the European Junior Cup, claimed the 250 Production GP but only after
a close battle with Baillie Perriton from Ashburton, both riding Kawasakis.
Winners of Grand Prix titles in other categories were: 125 GP, Tyler Lincoln (Clive) Honda RS125; Pro Twins, Royd
Walker-Hoult (Kawakawa) Suzuki SV650; Post Classics, Eddie Kattenberg (Te Awanga) Yamaha FZR1000; Sidecars, Aaron
Lovell-Dennis Simonson (Hamilton) LCR1000.
New Zealand Grand Prix meeting, Ruapuna circuit, Christchurch. Results of Grand Prix races Superbike GP: 1 Dennis
Charlett (Christchurch) Suzuki; 2 Nick Cole (Hamilton) Kawasaki; 3 Scott Moir (Taupo) Suzuki; 4 Linden Magee (Australia)
BMW; 5 Sloan Frost (Wellington) Suzuki; 6 Tony Rees (Whakatane) Honda.
600cc Supersport GP: 1 John Ross (Christchurch) Suzuki; 2 Alastair Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Suzuki; 3 Toby Summers
(Taupo) Yamaha; 4 James Hoogenboezem (Christchurch) Suzuki; 5 Jeremy Holmes (Invercargill) Honda.
125 GP: 1 Tyler Lincoln (Clive) Honda RS125; 2 Tim McArthur (Dunedin) Honda RS125; 3 Matthew Hoogenboezem
(Christchurch) Honda RS125.
Superlite GP: 1 Hayden Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Suzuki SV650; 2 Jason Nairn (New Plymouth) Suzuki SV650; 3 Gavin
Veltmeyer (Auckland) Suzuki SV650.
250 Production GP: 1 Jake Lewis (Rangiora) Kawasaki; 2 Baillie Perriton (Ashburton) Kawasaki; 3 Luke Burgess
Pro Twins GP: 1 Royd Walker-Hoult (Kawakawa) Suzuki SV650; 2 Jordan Knowles (Christchurch) Suzuki SV650; 3 Doug
Stockwell (Auckland) Suzuki SV650.
Post Classic GP: 1 Eddie Kattenberg (Te Awanga) Yamaha FZR1000; 2 John Beck (Invercargill) Suzuki RGB500; 3 Dave
Freeman (Paraparaumu) Harris Suzuki GSX1100. Sidecars GP: 1 Aaron Lovell-Dennis Simonson (Hamilton) LCR1000; 2 Barry
Smith-Robbie Shorter (Te Puke) Windle Suzuki; 3 AJ MacDonald-Glen MacDonald (Kaiapoi) Dunoon Suzuki 1000.