News 16 Aug 2016

New Zealand takes initial Oceania Road Racing Championship lead

Hampton and Frost carry advantage into Winton's decider.

Image: Keith Muir.

Image: Keith Muir.

A horror Morgan Park round of the 2016 Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship presented by Motul Pirelli for Australia’s Mike Jones has handed Team New Zealand the early advantage in the 2016 FIM Oceania Road Racing Championship.

The Oceania series is contested within the ASBK, however with Jones not registering a finish in either Superbike race at Morgan Park, the NZ duo Ryan Hampton and Sloan Frost capitalised to lead following round one of two.

While Jones’ DesmoSport Ducati team was unable to rectify technical dramas with the Panigale, JD Racing Yamaha’s Daniel Falzon claimed fourth overall and a strong haul of points for Team Australia. As a result, NZ leads by five at the halfway mark.

“Round one of the Oceania championship certainly wasn’t smooth sailing for Team Australia,” Falzon reflected. “Mike and his team were plagued by bike problems and after I saw him enter the pits prior to the start of both races, I knew I had my work cut out for me. It was great that we were able to secure our best result to keep us in the running for the Oceania title, however this is motorcycle racing and as we saw anything can happen next round.

“We head in to Winton five points down on the Kiwi boys, I think Mike and I both have the pace over Sloan and Ryan, we just need to be consistent and ensure we have no issues come race day. We don’t want the final result to be ‘a Steven Bradbury [laughs].

“I feel confident coming in to the last round on my side of Team Australia, we have a double test with Yamaha Racing Team at Winton next week. It is a track I’ve only ridden a handful of times and that was many years ago, but I’m hoping to get up to pace quickly and push for consistent top five results again and ultimately retain the Oceania championship trophy for the second year running.”

The final round of both the ASBK and Oceania series will be contested at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria on 30 September-2 October.