The first half of veteran Hamilton Superbike rider Andrew Stroud's season is in tatters after a race crash at Manfeild yesterday left him with a broken collarbone and dislocated knee.
Stroud, who won the first round of the Suzuki Tri Series at Hampton Downs, was leading the first Formula 1 race of the second round at Manfeild.
The four-time former and reigning tri series Formula 1 class champion Stroud (Brother Suzuki GSX-R1000) crashed within sight of the finish line.
Stroud was taken to Palmerston North hospital with suspected broken right collarbone and dislocated left knee, his series prematurely ended and a dream of making it five consecutive tri series title wins ruined.
Stroud had passed early race leader Sloan Frost, of Wellington, just a lap earlier and was charging towards victory when the leading riders caught a lapped rider just one corner from the finish.
"There was some confusion as the lapped rider suddenly changed his line," explained former Waikato man Frost, the rider with a front-row seat to the incident.
"I had committed to try and drive down the inside of Andrew when the lapper moved over, forcing Andrew across in front of me. I had nowhere to go and I hit his handlebars. I wobbled a bit but managed to stay upright and went on to win the race."
Frost completed a further lap after the chequered flag and was still the first to arrive at the accident site, worried about the condition of his friend and rival.
With Stroud gone for the day, Frost (BMW S1000RR) won the day's second F1 race and also elevated himself to third in the series standings, but it was Christchurch's Dennis Charlett, the national 600cc supersport champion back on a superbike for the first time in several years, who made the most significant impact.
Charlett, a 44-year-old father of four, "with one on the way", and a grandfather of two, has taken over the tri series lead.
Charlett took his Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a pair of third placings yesterday, both times finishing behind Auckland's Ray Clee (Suzuki GSX-R1000), and now leads the F1 standings, seven points clear of Frost, with Clee third overall, just one point further back.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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