Team Suzuki Press Office – January 12.

Suzuki's defending champion Sloan Frost raced to victory in the opening round of the New Zealand Superbike Championship at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch at the weekend.

Just 19 points separate the top three riders in the Superbike class after two days of racing: Wellington's Frost and Whakatane's Tony Rees picked-up the duelling from where they'd left off in the pre-nationals Suzuki Series that wrapped-up on Boxing Day, the two men now joined by Christchurch's Alastair Hoogenboezem in making it a tight three-way scrap for top honours in the glamour class.

Glen Eden's Daniel Mettam, the national 600cc class champion last year, who has now stepped up to a 1000cc Suzuki superbike, and Manukau's Tony Summers rounded-out the top five in the superbike class after a fierce two days of racing at the Canterbury circuit formerly known as Ruapuna.

Frost (pictured) qualified on pole and took the bonus point that went with that achievement, but then had to settle for a close runner-up finish to Rees in the first of the weekend's three superbike class races on Saturday. However, a pair of wins the following day propelled Frost to the top of the standings. He and Hoogenboezem each took turns to lead, but it was Frost in front at the finish with a 1.8-second winning margin over runner-up Rees.

It was a similar story in the 600cc Supersport class where Suzuki Series rivals Damon Rees and Shane Richardson also reignited their rivalry, Whakatane's Rees, the 21-year-old youngest son of Tony Rees, leaving Christchurch with a slender six-point advantage over Wainuiomata's Richardson, with Rangiora's Jake Lewis not too far behind in third place overall.

The series now heads to round two of the nationals at Teretonga, on the outskirts of Invercargill this coming weekend.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan @

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