Suzuki’s Scott Moir put his GSX-R1000 on the top step of the podium at Sunday’s 25th annual Battle of the Streets race at Paeroa in New Zealand.
The 31 year old finished a solid third in the first of two Formula One races, the top three riders –Tony Rees, Toby Summers and Moir – crossing the finish line just a few bike lengths apart. Moir then snatched the lead at the start of race two and then shot away from the chasing bunch.
When race one winner Rees pulled out with muscle cramps, Moir was left to battle it out with Summers for the overall win and, when he overshot a corner, Moir thought he'd blown it. But Summers also overshot the same corner and so Moir's position at the front was safe and he held on to win the race and take the class win overall, by just one point from Summers.
Said Moir: “This is the first time I've raced a Superbike here, so to win today is pretty remarkable. I didn't come here with any expectations. It was close racing and I guess I picked-up on it fairly quickly. I didn't know I'd won the day overall until I returned to the pits at the end of the race. I was totally buzzed-out by the news. It's pretty cool to win here.”
Moir also won the Super Motard class, where riders race on the streets on modified dirt bikes.
“I've won the Super Motard class here before and won the Formula Three class too, but the Superbike win was most special, added Moir.
American visitor Don Canet, a bike test editor at US magazine Cycle World, enjoyed his first visit to New Zealand. Canet (54) said he had heard about the street racing at Paeroa from a friend in America and had been intrigued.
“I Googled it and watched a few YouTube videos of Paeroa. I talked to my boss at Cycle World and so here I am on a working holiday.”
He raced a 2016-model Suzuki GSX-S1000 to an impressive fourth overall in the Formula One class behind Moir, Summers and Auckland Suzuki rider Ray Clee, and he also finished ninth in the all-in King of the Streets feature race.
He added: “I'd love to come back and do this race again, or perhaps the Cemetery Circuit street race at Whanganui.”
Words and photo courtesy of Andy McGechan @ www.bikesportnz.com