Team Suzuki Press Office – December 9.

Suzuki’s Sloane Frost raced to second place in the opening round of the New Zealand Suzuki-supported Tri Series at Hampton Downs race circuit near Meremere at the weekend.

As an annual three-race warm-up and testing-ground for the main Superbike Championship - that kicks-off at the beginning of January 2014 - Kawasaki's Nick Cole raced to 1-2 positions and Frost 3-1 positions to beat defending champion Dennis Charlett into third place overall.

Said Frost (pictured), who is tipped as a favourite for the New Zealand Superbike Championship honours: “I finished third in the first F1 race by just .0001-of-a-second. It all came down to tyre choice really. I decided to go with slicks because, even thought the track was wet, it was drying quickly. However, it took two or three laps for those tyres to warm-up properly on the cool tarmac. I got up to second place and had an epic battle with Dennis and, in the end, he beat me across the line.

“I felt I needed to redeem myself in the next race and I did, winning it ahead of Nick. I had a bad start but was in the lead inside the first lap. It was close racing and, at one stage when Nick was trying to go around the outside of me, I could feel his bike rubbing on my left boot. We have been racing each-other a while and we trust each other though. This series is certainly going to be tight."

Defending F1 champion Charlett was philosophical about his weekend. He said: “I didn't do myself any favours by only qualifying in 10th but I'm happy with how my races went. I'm feeling great on the bike and there is still a long way to go in the series. It's certainly not over yet. If this was a bad day for me, then it was not too bad."

The second race is this coming weekend at Manfeild with the third and final round of the Suzuki Tri Series at the legendary Boxing Day public street race on Whanganui’s Cemetery Circuit.

The four-round national championship series follows immediately afterwards.

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