Kiwi Rider May 2022 Vol.1 - Page 14



By Andy McGechan

Nothing to do with the pandemic , but motorcycle road-racing in New Zealand has been given a massive shot in the arm with the nation ’ s two premier competitions joining forces . The hugely-popular Suzuki International Series and the New Zealand Superbike Championships have collaborated for the first time to create a revamped , revitalised and expanded season for 2022-23 . The people behind the two traditionallyseparate annual competitions have been working in conjunction to ensure an explosive resumption to high-calibre road bike racing in this country ... with six , and possibly even seven , events pencilled on to the road-racing calendar . It is a tremendously pleasing and positive way for the bike community to recover after two years of being stifled by the COVID-19 pandemic . The first two of three rounds for the 2022 Suzuki International Series – scheduled as usual for Taupo and then Manfeild , on December

3-4 and December 10-11 respectively – will now also be recognised as rounds one and two of what is planned to be a new six-round National Superbike Championships series . The third and final round of the Suzuki International Series is , as usual , set for the public streets of Whanganui , the world famous Cemetery Circuit , to run on Boxing Day . This street fight won ’ t be part of the nationals , but remains the jewel in the crown for the threeround Suzuki International Series . In the New Year , the racers will revert back to standard track racing mode and resume their bids for national championship honours on purpose-built race circuits . The latter four rounds of the national series will be run early in 2023 , with only the Hampton Downs-promoted Star Insure MotoFest confirmed for the first weekend of March . Like the Suzuki International Series , MotoFest has become a marquee racing event , and has been an integral part of the superbike nationals