Team Suzuki's Sloan Frost raced to victory at the second round of the New Zealand Suzuki-sponsored Tri Series Superbike Championship in a drama-packed event at Manfield on Sunday that saw four-time Formula One class Champion Andrew Stroud crash and break his collarbone.
Brother Suzuki rider and first race leader Stroud was taken to Palmerston North hospital with a suspected broken right collarbone and dislocated left knee after crashing within sight of the finish line when he collided with a lapped rider.
With Stroud out for the day - and his title hopes dashed - Frost went on to win both F1 races and also elevated himself to second in the series standings, but it was Dennis Charlett (pictured), the reigning 600cc Supersport champion - back on a superbike for the first time in several years - who made the most significant impact: The 44-year-old took over the Suzuki Tri Series lead and the riders now head to Wanganui for the final on December 26th with the series on a knife-edge.
Charlett took his Underground Brown-sponsored Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a pair of third placings on Sunday, both times finishing behind Auckland's Ray Clee (Suzuki GSX-R1000), and now leads the F1 standings, seven points clear of Frost with Clee third overall, just one point further back. Fourth and fifth overall after two rounds are fellow Suzuki stars Hayden Fitzgerald and Craig Shirriffs.
Said Charlett: "It's an exciting series with all the top Superbike riders within a second of one another. It's good to be taking a points lead to Wanganui, but it's a place where anything can happen. I'm really happy with how quickly I've adapted to the Superbike. I just need to stay safe in Wanganui to make sure I can go on and contest the nationals."
In the Formula Three class, Glen Williams was unstoppable, winning both races and finishing ahead of fellow Suzuki SV650 rider Terry Fitzgerald and Chris Osborne. This was easily enough for him to take over the series lead from Scott Moir, who suffered mechanical problems and failed to score points in either race.
Jaden Hassan won both Formula Two races and extended his lead in the class to 18 points over Jeremy Holmes, with Jayden Carrick moving his Suzuki GSX-R600 up to third overall in the class with just his home town event to come.