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Bikes: McEwen buries rivals at Cemetery Circuit

30 December 1998

Courtesy of SportsWeb

By - Bernard Carpinter

Motorcycle star Jason McEwen left the opposition for dead at Wanganui's Cemetery Circuit today

The former superbike champion from Palmerston North won all five of his races on the City centre streets, including the Robert Holden Memorial feature event. He used the same bike, a standard Kawasaki ZX-9R, to win not only the Sports Production races but also the Formula One heats for open racing bikes.

In spite of his success, McEwen said he did not really enjoy street events, which are more dangerous than circuit racing because of all the obstacles at the edge of the track.

"I was committed to race here for my sponsors," he said.
"You've got to have a lot of respect for these tracks, ride at a comfortable pace and not over-exert yourself

Some of the other riders might have found that comment a little hard to believe.

"Jason was riding real hard," reigning champion Tony Rees said after finishing second to McEwen in all five big-bike races, using a pair of Suzuki GSX-R750s - one standard production bike and one in superbike race trim.
"It was not for lack of trying on my part," Rees added.

Wellington's Bruce Anstey does enjoy street tracks - the Isle of Man is his favourite circuit - and he won both the F2 races on his Yamaha TZ250. In each heat he was left at the start by the bigger-engined four-stroke opposition, but cut through the field to victory.

Another Isle of Man racer, Shaun Harris of New Plymouth, took both the 600cc Sports Production from strong opposition on his Kawasaki ZX-6R. "I think Wanganui is the best track in the whole world," he said.

The other star of the day was young Hamilton rider Jared Love, who rode a standard Suzuki GSX-R600 with great verve in several different classes, scoring seconds in F2 and 600cc Sports Production, and even a third in one of the F1 races.

Love also enjoyed the tricky circuit, with its bumps, railway lines and bridge, and said his motocross experience had helped greatly.
"You can get some big slides here and control them - in motocross it's like that all the time." he said.

The wanganui meeting was the first round of the Battle of the Street series, which continues at Gisborne next Saturday.

Formula One - Race One:
Jason McEwen (Palmerston North) Kawasaki ZX-9R, 1;
Tony Rees (Kawerau) Suzuki GSX-R750, 2;
Dean Fulton (Mt Maunganui) Kawasaki ZX-7RR, 3.

Race Two.
McEwen 1;
Rees 2;
Jared Love (Hamilton) Suzuki GSX-R600, 3.

Race Three - Robert Holden Memorial:
McEwen 1;
Rees 2;
Fulton 3.

Series Points:
McEwen 40, Rees 34, Fulton & Love 28.

Formula Two - Race One:
Bruce Anstey (Wellington) Yamaha TZ250, 1;
Craig Shirriffs (Palmerston North) Yamaha FZR600, 2;
Jared Love (Hamilton) Suzuki GSX-R600, 3.

Race Two:
Anstey 1;
Love 2;
Shirriffs 3.

Anstey 40, Love & Shirriffs 32.

Formula Three - Race One:
Rodney O'Connor (Auckland) Ducati Supermono, 1;
Terry Fitzgerald (New Plymouth) Suzuki GSX-R400, 2;
Kris Shirriffs (Palmerston North) Honda RS125, 3.

Race Two:
O'Connor 1;
Fitzgerald 2;
Shirriffs 3.

O'Connor 40, Fitzgerald 34, Shirriffs 30.

Open Sports Production - Race One:
McEwen, Kawasaki ZX-9R, 1;
Rees, Suzuki GSX-R750, 2;
Ray Clee (Auckland) Honda CBR900 Fireblade, 3.

Race Two:
McEwen 1;
Rees 2;
Clee 3.

McEwen 40, Rees 34, Clee 30.

600cc Sports Production - Race One:
Shaun Harris (New Plymouth) Kawasaki ZX-6R, 1;
Anstey, Kawasaki ZX-6R, 2;
Love, Suzuki GSX-R600, 3.

Race Two:
Harris 1;
Love 2;
Daniel McLachlan (Lower Hutt) Suzuki GSX-R600, 3.

Harris 40, Love 32, Anstey 27.

250cc Production - Race One:
Ivan Smith (New Plymouth) Suzuki RGV250, 1;
Craig Flood (Wanganui) Suzuki RGV250, 2;
Warren Turner (Palmerston North) Suzuki RGV250, 3.

Race Two:
Flood 1;
Smith 2;
Turner 3.

Smith & Flood 37, Turner 30.

Sidecars - Race One:
Colin Buckley (Auckland)/Paul Ellis (Australia), Yamaha 1000, 1;
Garry West (Tauranga)/Ash Voice (Masterton), Kawasaki ZZR1100, 2;
Andy Scrivener (Eltham)/Chris Meads (Hawera) Kawasaki Zx10, 3.

Race Two:
Buckley/Ellis 1;
Scrivener/Meads 2;
Aaron Lovell/Robbie Shorter (Rotorua) Suzuki GSX-R1100, 3.

Race Three - (Handicap):
Bucley/Ellis 1;
West/Voice 2;
Phil Duxbury/Stacey Henwood (Auckland) Suzuki 1100, 3.

Buckley/Ellis 60, Scrivener/Meads 42, Lovell/Shorter 41.