Published on Jan 13, 2013
Shirriffs conquers Timaru
Craig Shirriffs ended Australian Robbie Bugden's run of victories with a risky-looking but perfectly judged move at Timaru's second round of the national Superbike championships today.
Bugden, the defending and four-times champion, had won both races in Christchurch last weekend and also today's first heat despite intense pressure from Shirriffs.
Shirriffs, from Feilding, shadowed the Aussie through most of the second race and pounced just before the end, braking very late and shooting up the inside as they went into the chicane before the final straight.
"That was my plan all along," Shirriffs said. "I was faster than him there and if I'd passed him anywhere else he would have got me back.
"I went in a bit hot and ran wide. Robbie said afterwards he thought I wasn't going to make the corner.
"I wanted to do the same in race one but I wasn't fast enough out of the corner before the chicane."
The finish to race two was particularly exciting because Hamilton rider Nick Cole had caught up with the leading pair and was right behind Shirriffs -- although Shirriffs had not realised he was there.
Bugden now leads Shirriffs by 10 points, with Christchurch rider Dennis Charlett third in his return to the superbike class.
The day started with some heavy rain but later dried out.
The first 600cc Supersport race was run in the rain and saw plenty of action, including a few crashes.
Christchurch rider Seth Devereux was the bravest and he pushed his Kawasaki hard to record his first victory in this class, heading off Rhys Holmes and Jeremy Holmes (no relation).
Rhys Holmes also posted a first in the second race, claiming his debut class victory on his Yamaha in a frenetic race in which the top six all ran very close and positions changed constantly.
Christchurch teenager Jake Lewis took second, also on a Yamaha, while some of the bigger names fell by the wayside.
Australian teenagers Luke Burgess and Troy Guenther lead their categories, 250 Production and 125 GP respectively. Burgess is now the only rider in any class with a perfect record of victories in all his races.
Leaders in other classes are: Superlite, Richard Newbery; Pro Twins, Hamish Murphy; and sidecars, Spike Taylor/Astrid Hartnell.