SUZUKI’S GSX-R1000 WINS NEW ZEALAND SUPERBIKE TITLE
Daniel Mettam – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 1st SBK Overall
Scott Moir – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 2nd SBK Overall
Ben Rosendaal – Suzuki SV650 – 1st Pro Twins Overall
After dominating this season’s New Zealand Superbike Championship, Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery took the top two-steps of the podium at the weekend’s fifth and final round with Daniel Mettam taking the victory ahead of defending champion Scott Moir.
The series finale at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park proved to be a thriller, with little to separate friendly rivals Mettam and Moir when they arrived at Taupo for the weekend’s showdown; an event that also saw Suzuki SV650-mounted Ben Rosendaal wrap-up the 2019 Pro Twins Championship.
Moir had led the championship standings after rounds two and three, but Mettam pounced to snatch away the lead at round four of the series at Feilding the previous weekend.
On Saturday, Alastair Hoogenboezem celebrated his first race win of the series, while Mettam finished runner-up. Moir was close behind on his GSX-R1000 in third and this boosted Mettam’s championship lead to nine points over Moir.
Damon Rees won the first of Sunday’s two Superbike races, with Moir this time taking the runner-up honours, and Mettam scored third place – then the points difference between the two title contenders was now just five points, and all coming down to the third and final Superbike race of the season.
In one of the closely-fought title fights, Moir again finished runner-up behind Rees and once more he had beaten Mettam across the finish line, but with Mettam third in that final outing, he took the title by just a single point.
“I had good pace early on in that final race, but I lost out to a little bit of home track advantage that Scotty enjoyed today,” said the 23-year-old Mettam, a bike mechanic by trade.
“I was watching what was happening ahead of me and I knew my track position would be enough to take the title. I managed to put a gap on the riders behind me and lasted until the end. All I could hope for was that Scotty couldn’t get past Damon. It all worked out for me. Even when you’re having a bad day, you’ve just got to take those vital points.
“I finished every race in the championships, which was key. I had only ever won one Superbike race before; last year when I finished the season third overall. But I had five Superbike race wins this season, so that’s a big improvement. I will be back to defend the title next year, but I’ve got a couple of things coming up overseas first. I have a ride sorted out for myself at the Isle of Man TT. I was meant to get there last year but I broke my leg two weeks before the event and didn’t go.”
Meanwhile, in the Pro Twins class, Ben Rosendaal (Suzuki SV650) successfully wrapped-up the title win at Taupo, edging out fellow Suzuki rider Nick Cain, while former GIXXER Cup campaigner Matt Brough (Suzuki SV650), stunned with his performance at Taupo to rocket from sixth to third in the final rankings.
Brough finished 1-2-2 at Taupo, heralding a bright future ahead for the youngster.