This annual event has been going for almost 20 years now and attracts motorcycle racers from all over New Zealand. Here are some pics from yesterday:
Josh Coppins is a local who has done extremely well internationally in motocross. He was competing in the “Supermoto” class, which is essentially motocross on tarmac. You can see how his riding style differs from the conventional racers, especially at the entrance to a corner:
His bike slid under braking, apparently out of control except that this was repeated every time.
One of the top contenders, Dan Ormsby on a Triumph Daytone 675, shows how to take a corner:
In contrast, Darren Heeman was demonstrating the typical Harley stance:
It’s fun to try to catch the bikes with a slow shutter speed, panning the camera as they race past. The proportion of ‘keepers’ is not very high, but occasionally the result is a shot giving a real sensation of speed:
The tight street circuit, relatively short straights and bumpy surface all make for some interesting racing. It’s not always the biggest, most powerful bike that wins. I’m sure the inherently dangerous nature of street racing also plays a part. The consequences of a spill can be very different from a fall at the track. So I saw for example a Ducati, which usually finishes well towards the front of the field at Ruapuna, languishing amongst the tailenders.