Hampton again dominates trio of Burt Munro events
The king of the Burt Munro Challenge, Ryan Hampton, is ready to launch his assault on the New Zealand Superbike Championship this summer and is optimistic of producing a top five finish.
For the second consecutive year, Christchurch-based Hampton set the challenge alight, shattering his own record in the Bluff Hill Climb on Thursday with a time of 45.99sec, and also gaining open class victories in the Teretonga Sprints and yesterday's Wyndham Street Race on board his Honda CBR1000.
The 22-year-old, who has been touted as one of the rising stars in New Zealand motorcycling, finished ninth overall in last year's New Zealand Superbike Championship and said his form over the weekend was a good early season confidence boost.
"It will be the third year for me [in the New Zealand Superbikes] this year. I've got a bit of a positive mindset. Hopefully this year, I've got a bit more experience under the belt and a better setup being involved with Castrol.
"The key is going to be consistency. I've got to finish every race and confidence is the big thing. If I can have a good run leading into nationals, you go into it feeling confident."
Hampton will warm up for the championship with the Tri Series, which begins on December 10, and said it was important to gain some pleasing results and keep improving.
At Wyndham yesterday, Hampton enjoyed an exciting battle with Southland-raised rider Lee Munro, before going on to win both of the open class races. He celebrated his title with an amazing wheelstand, where it almost looked like he was going to tip back off his bike, his front wheel was raised so high.
Hampton said he wanted to thank the Southland crowd for their wonderful support during the Burt Munro Challenge and said he had a blast in the deep south, despite the inclement weather over the first few days of the motorcycling extravaganza.
"I do enjoy putting on a show for the crowd. (The Burt Munro Challenge) is good promotion for myself and the companies that support me.
"I just thought I'd do something different to get the crowd talking. They always get a massive crowd [to Wyndham] and they really get into the atmosphere of the racing."
He was delighted with the performance of the Castrol Honda bike during the challenge and said things boded well for the next couple of months for him.
"It's definitely been going well. The Bridgestone tyres were going fantastic [yesterday].
"There's definitely no complaints. It's onwards and upwards from here."
Christchurch's Kevin Orr had a successful day at the Wyndham Street Race yesterday securing title wins in the classic pre-82 and pre-89 classes.
Other major winners included Wellington's Chris Swallow in the classic pre-63, Rotorua's Malcolm Pearce in the pre-72s, Ashburton's Bryan Hill in Formula Three, Hawera's John Oliver in the super motard open and Christchurch's Peter Jones in the girder forks.
Winton's Brent Scammell was a popular winner in the super motards up to 450cc, while Munro claimed victory in the Bears class.
Nelson's Heath Botica took away the annual Burt Munro Challenge Trophy, awarded for overall contribution, after featuring in four of the five events at the challenge.
The Southland Times