Bugden wins NZ Superbike Championship
Australia’s Robbie Bugden has sealed a thrilling victory in the 2007 New Zealand Superbike Championship at Pukekohe Raceway on Sunday. With a rich history of trans-Tasman rivalry, Suzuki’s Bugden is the first Australian rider ever to secure the New Zealand Superbike crown.
Winning the first race of the final round, Bugden needed to finish the last race of the season ahead of main title challenger, New Zealand’s Andrew Stroud to seal the series win. In a dramatic turn of events, Bugden was leading the final stoush when he and fellow Australian, Scott Charlton touched wheels, running Bugden off the circuit.Miraculously, Bugden remained upright and rejoined the track in front of New Zealand’s Suzuki hero, Stroud, where he remained to the chequered flag.
Delivering a fast and furious pace beyond any seen in New Zealand before, Bugden’s Suzuki registered a new lap record of 56.698 seconds around the 2.8km Pukekohe circuit.Piloting his GSX-R1000 Superbike to an historic victory, the laconic Queenslander was delighted with his triumph.
“This is fantastic – it was a really tough day and I feel like I’ve aged about two years across the weekend, but it was well worth it,” Robbie Bugden said. “I had a strong finish to the 2006 season with Team Yoshimura Suzuki and the momentum carried through into the NZ series.
“I really appreciate Suzuki New Zealand’s invitation to race in the NZ Superbike series and all the support they gave me.”Suzuki is so dominant in New Zealand road racing; GSX-R1000’s fill three of the top five places in this year’s Superbike championship.”
The Aussie racer is looking to continue his winning ways back on home soil as he resumes his charge in the Australian Superbike competition in the double-header rounds two and three at Winton Raceway (VIC) on 22 – 25 March.
NEW ZEALAND MOTORCYCLE ROAD-RACE CHAMPIONSHIPS
FINAL STANDINGS (TOP 5)
1. Robbie Bugden 197 points
2 Andrew Stroud 190
3 Scott Charlton 162
4 Craig Shirriffs 126
5 Chris Seaton 94