Road Racing News

Cemetery Circuit Races – Preview

68 years since race action first took place on the Cemetery Circuit, another top draw world class entry will embark upon New Zealand’s most famous roads venue on Boxing Day, including high profile event newcomer Richard Cooper.

Quickest newcomer in North West 200 history, Cooper recently triumphed in all three F1 Superbike races at Mansfield, to put currently at the helm of the Suzuki Tri Series Superbike standings.

Set to pilot at Whanganui GSX-R 1000 Suzuki machinery, there’s no doubt that he has ability, race craft to be in prime contention to become just the UK’s third solo class winner in the 2010’s, at the ‘Southern Hemisphere’s Isle of Man’.

Photo by Rod Neill

Outside of new Bathams Racing signing Cooper, attention a plenty will also be focused upon seasoned event front runners such as Damon Rees, Daniel Mettam, Sloan Frost and Scott Moir.

Moir who finished runner-up last year to Peter Hickman in a compelling Robert Holden Memorial feature race, is tipped by many to reclaim on Thursday the blue riband race crown.

Added notable entrants include event legend Tony Rees, Mitch Rees, Ashton Hughes, Toby Summers, 2017 Newcomers B Manx GP runner-up Ben Rosendaal, Shane Richardson.

Photo by Terry Stevenson

New Zealand’s only solo class competitor at TT 2019 Jay Lawrence, Nick Southerwood, Rob Whittall and nine times International Road Race winner Lee Johnston.

Notable solo meeting newcomers alongside aforementioned British National Superstock 1000 Champion Cooper include Welsh road racing legend Ian Lougher and talented French roads exponents Xavier Denis and Morgan Govignon.

Additionally various yesteryear solo, Sidecar classic, Super Twin, Super Moto. Gixxer 150 Cup machines will also grace the Cemetery Circuit in just over three days time, whilst the entry for the F1 Sidecar races boasts a mix of local three wheeling heroes and talented event debutants.

Ones to watch include Estelle Leblond/Frank Claeys, Morgan Marshall/Dion Marshall, Steve Marshall/Murray Stronach and Barry Smith/Tracey Bryan.

Words by Stevie Rial

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