Team Suzuki Press Office – January 6.

Suzuki’s Dennis Charlett and John Ross dominated the two main classes at the opening round of the New Zealand Superbike Championships at Mike Pero Motorsports Park in Christchurch at the weekend.

Charlett raced his Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a stunning hat-trick of wins in the Superbike class as Ross took two-out-of-three victories in the Supersport 600 class.

By winning the weekend’s third superbike race, Charlett also secured the New Zealand GP crown, adding icing to the cake for the popular former 600cc class champion.

Said Charlett: “This weekend was a fantastic start to the series. Winning the Grand Prix and getting my name on the cup with a lot of famous names is really something.

The winning wasn’t so clear-cut for Ross in the 600cc Supersport class, the defending champion winning two of his three races but forced to settle for second to fellow Christchurch rider Seth Devereux (Kawasaki). However, at the end of the day, the 32-year-old put his Suzuki GSX-R600 into a commanding 28 points lead over fellow Suzuki rider Alistair Hoogenboezem.

Said Ross: “I won the first race on Saturday but the second race, on Sunday morning, was wet and I was just happy to get points there. The third race was a really good three-way battle between me, Alastair Hoogenboezem and Toby Summers. It went right to the line.

“To win the GP title was really fantastic. I’ve never won that before. It has always been a bogey race for me, but I suppose I’ve done away with the bogey now.”

Rangiora’s Jake Lewis (Kawasaki), briefly back home after winning the European Junior Cup this season, won the 250cc Production class GP title after a fierce fight with Ashburton’s Baillie Perriton (Kawasaki) while other GP title winners were New Plymouth’s Hayden Fitzgerald (Superlites, Suzuki SV650); Clive’s Tyler Lincoln (125GP, Honda RS125); Kawakawa’s Royd Walker-Hoult (Pro Twins, Suzuki SV650); Te Awanga’s Eddie Kattenberg (Post Classics, Yamaha FZR1000) and Hamilton pair Aaron Lovell and Dennis Simonson (Sidecars, LCR1000).

The GP title winners in each case are also the championship points leaders in their respective classes.

Round two is set for Levels Raceway at Timaru next weekend (January 11-12th) before the series takes a month-long break and resumes at Taupo Motorsport Park on March 22-23rd; that third round including the New Zealand TT title races. The championship wraps-up with a double-header final round at Manfeild Park on the outskirts of Feilding on March 29-30th.

Words and photo of Dennis Charlett : Andy McGechan @

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