Never has a podium finish tasted as sweet for New Zealand’s number two Superbike Team; M1Motorsport, where the weekend climaxed in a thrilling third place in the New Zealand Grand Prix feature Race as the smoke clears from possibly the most carnage filled NZSBK round for a very long time, which saw 20 plus incidences.
The opening weekend of the 2015 NZSBK Championship was hectic, filled with early mornings, long days and late nights and a lot of head scratching. The suspension problems arose on Wednesday and continued right up until Sunday morning.
The ultimate uphill battle for the Tauranga based Superbike Team, a theme reminiscent as the team moves forward from a disappointing early retirement from the Suzuki Series.
With Linden Qualifying 8th, the Team finished day one of the opening round with a 7th, day two finishing with a steady 5th and 6th in races two and three, respectively.
Day three of the opening round saw the fourth Superbike race hold two restarts from two red flagged incidents.
In the first, Daniel Ornsby fell and the second where Tony Rees, Ray Clee and Linden Magee had a coming together, this saw the third start which reduced the 4th race from 15 to 12 laps.
We patched the bike up and went back out for the restart which saw Linden Magee on board the Valvoline sponsored BMW S1000RR finishing in 7th.
It had taken almost the entire weekend to get the suspension setup far from perfect, but rideable.
It was a test of resilience and followed through with tenacious riding during a battle of survival for third in the New Zealand Grand Prix title race, tenacity is something the calm Australian has become known for.
“Holding third for most of the race – Sloan had a go and came in at the second to last lap but I was able to let go of the brakes and carry straight past Sloan under the BMW’s momentum.”
After the NZGrand Prix race – the final race of the first round, Team Manager Robert Ramshaw commented “Gaining a podium finish for the opening Round made the weekend worthwhile, it’s pretty sweet. We’re still smiling.” Adding “We’ve now managed to get the bike to a point where it’s just about rideable”.
Next weekend sees the NZSBK 2015 Championship resuming for round two at Levels in Timaru, one of Linden’s favourite NZ tracks as it reminds him of Symmons Plains International Raceway in Tasmania.
Top ten points at Round One
Dennis Charlett 110
James Smith 91
Jaden Hassan 70
John Ross 62
Sloan Frost 58
Linden Magee 55
Scott Moir 49
Ryan Hamtpon 48
Hayden Fitzgerald 32
Dillon Telford 28