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Kiwi Champ Biddle Takes On Australia

BIDDLE’S AUSTRALIAN CHALLENGE

Newly crowned New Zealand motorcycle champion Avalon Biddle has wasted little time in setting herself a new challenge.

Biddle, formerly of Orewa and now living in Christchurch, will be contesting five rounds of the Australian 600 Supersport Championship, starting next weekend (April 26-28) at The Bend in South Australia.

The 2019 NZ 600 Supersport Champion will racing a newly prepared Yamaha R6 as part the Gold Coast-based Cube Racing team, in a programme organised by former New Zealand world championship rider Stu Avant, who now lives in Australia.

“I met Stu at a race meeting in New Zealand last year when I rode his classic Suzuki RGB500,” Biddle (26) said today.

“We got along really well. He understood my enthusiasm and desire to ‘kick some butt’ and the next thing he’s using his contacts to get me set up to race in Australia.”

Avant, like Biddle, knows how hard it can be to break into the international scene,

“Don’t be fooled by the smile. Avalon’s done those lonely hard years in Europe,” Avant said from Sydney.

“She’s a tough racer. She has the talent and is smart.

“You can’t help but be impressed by her ability, drive and professionalism.”

Biddle’s major New Zealand sponsor MTF Finance is backing her Australian campaign, together with help from Pirelli tyres and Yamaha Australia.

“I’m so grateful for MTF’s support, who see value in continuing to progress my career in motorcycling and inspiring others along the way,” she said.

Although Biddle has extensive overseas experience, she has not raced in Australia since a MotoGP Wildcard in the 125cc class at Phillip Island in 2011.

She regards it as hugely important to keep racing all year round, and racing in Australia during winter months will hone her racecraft.

“I’m expecting the competition to be tough over there, but it will be great experience and I believe with a few rounds under my belt we will be able to fight for podium positions.”

“The bike will be new to me, but at least I know the Pirelli tyres well and I’m familiar with some of the Australian circuits from my earlier racing days.”

Her team-mate at Cube Racing will be Oli Bayliss son of former World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss.

“Oli is currently second in the points standings so I feel I’m joining a well-prepared team,” Biddle said.

The racing is televised in Australia on Fox Sports and live-streamed outside of Australia via the following links:

Motorsport TV https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCghn5tfYCfPHBkQZY7hL-Nw

ASBK Facebook https://www.facebook.com/asbksuperbikes/  

 

Photo supplied by Mad Love Media

 

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2019 NZSBK Supersport 600 Champion!

It’s is very exciting to say that last weekend, I won the 2019 Supersport 600 Championship. After five challenging race weekends (2 in the South Island & 3 in the North Island), I managed to finish the season with 3 x race wins, many podium finishes and the overall championship win.

I am the first female to ever achieve this.

Read more here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/motorsport/111873806/avalon-biddle-makes-history-as-first-woman-to-win-new-zealands-supersport-600-title

 

Thank you to my sponsors, supporters, fans, friends and family who all made this possible!

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Update March 2019

Hi everyone,

This past weekend was Round 4 of the 2019 NZSBK Championship. Heading into the weekend in Fielding I was sitting in 2nd position overall, 22 points behind the championship lead. My eyes were firmly fixed on reducing this gap to the front, so that we would leave the penultimate round in with a chance of winning the championship at the final in Taupo. What happened next exceeded all my expectations!

Friday practise went quite well. To be honest I felt a bit rusty but my lap times were there or thereabouts. On Saturday morning I was able to smash out a good lap time in practise and then set a fantastic lap of 1.07.3 to blitz the competition in qualifying. Starting all three races from 1st on the grid put me in a good mindset and also meant we scored one valuable championship point.

We completed Saturday’s proceedings with a 10 lap race in the afternoon, which I led from start to finish & crossed the finish line over four seconds ahead of the next riders. Woohoo!

Sunday’s races were scheduled to be a lot longer, 15 and 18 laps respectively. On Sunday morning I stormed to the lead at turn one once again but didnt manage to break away from my championship rival Toby on the opening laps. We exchanged passes a few times which was good fun. Heading into turn one on lap 7, I saw his front end collapse out of the corner of my eye as he crashed heading into the corner. This allowed me to race towards a comfortable win; making it three in a row! Heading into this season I had only won one 600cc supersport race ever, so it still seems kinda surreal.

I knew Sunday afternoon’s race would be challenging, as track temperatures soared over 45 degrees. By now my arms were pretty shattered too – Manfeild is a circuit with lots of hard braking and I was feeling the effects of that. Nevertheless, I had to put everything on the line and prove myself what I was capable off. I got off to another good start, this time with good company as two riders were hot on my heels. We passed back and forth a few times and I realised David Hall on the Suzuki had mega pace, must faster than the first few races. After a few dodgy moments on the front end, I decided to just find my own rhythm and see if I could pass on the closing laps. It was not to be as David pulled too much of a gap and I came home second.

The superb points haul from two first places and a second place moved me to first overall in the championship, 29 points ahead. At this stage the results are provisional due to a protest (nothing to do with me/my bike) so we will wait for them to be confirmed ahead of the final round of the championship THIS weekend in Taupo! Please contact me if you are keen to get along to this round, otherwise stay tuned on Facebook and www.ctaslive.co.nz where you can keep up with all the action.

Thanks for your amazing support – this just would not be possible without my amazing bike, crew and supporters! I couldnt ask for a better team ?

All the best
Avgas #3 

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Update February 2019

Hi all,
 
Wow, there is no shortage of news to share this month!
 
As you will have seen throughout the magazine, the New Zealand racing scene has been ‘flat out’ with events of late. I have honestly been astonished with the spectator turn-out at every event I have been to this summer, be it the Burt Munro in Invercargill or the Ride Forever Shiny Side Up BikeFest in Kapiti. Most notably for me however, was Mike Pero MotoFest at Hampton Downs. Hosting Round three of the NZSBK Championship, along with racing legends from across the world, the Kawasaki trail ride, Motul New Zealand trials display, Shiny Side Up and much more, this event had a TON going on! 
 
Six weeks after round two of the championship, the race meeting was a long time coming. I did one day testing at Hampton Downs ahead of the event which left me itching to get back on my MTF Finance ZX6R Supersport bike and racing with the other championship contenders.
 
Heading into the weekend I was nine points behind Toby Summers and one point ahead of Seth Deveroux in the points standings. On Saturday, I took pole position which meant one valuable championship point and a good start to getting closer to that number one spot. On Saturday afternoon it was Toby and I out front for race one. I managed to fight for the lead on the last laps of the race but he passed me back and I had to settle for second on track. A 20 second jump start penalty meant I was later relegated to fifth place for the race. That was my first jump start in 13 years racing! I was determined to not let it affect me mentally and was pleased to lead into the first corner in both races on Sunday; without pulling the trigger to soon.
 
Despite leading into the first corner, in Race 2 on Sunday morning Toby came by early on and showed incredible pace leaving me to finish a distant second. In other words, I got waxed. I wanted to prove to myself I could at least run his pace in Race three on Sunday afternoon (given we are both on the same spec Kawasaki ZX6r’s) so I did everything I could to stay on his rear tire for the entire 15 laps. At times it was tough, but I knew I just had to hang in there lap by lap. By the time we saw the last lap board, both Toby and I were struggling for grip as the tires were overheating. I thought to myself ‘you know what, I’m gonna give this a go’ heading into turn one but my bike wasn’t quite close enough to his. I rode the rest of the lap worried as I couldn’t find another opportunity to get close enough to make the pass. Into the last corner I went in as fast the front tire could manage and thought ‘well, it’s now or never!’ as I opened the throttle to the stop on the exit. Although the rear tire was sliding a lot, my drive was incredible and up the hill I managed to get right beside the #22 bike. I felt like I was being slingshot towards the finish line and we passed the checkered flag side-by-side. On the warm down lap I could see the crowd was really excited and when we arrived into parc ferme there was so many people there cheering. The only problem was, I wasn’t sure who had won! When my mechanic Ozzy said I had taken the win by 0.006 of a second I was overwhelmed. Wow. What a way to end the weekend.
 
This is my third TT title, after taking one on the 125GP bike in 2011 and one Superlite TT in 2015. 
 
The result was such a great reward for a lot of hard work and late nights recently. I have been very busy with work, travel, Sky TV appearances and presenting at the Ride Forever Shiny Side Up events, so I was relieved to see that the extra commitments hadn’t negatively affected my race pace or fitness. 
 
There is no slowing down before the next round of NZSBK racing at the end of March. We have plans to race in Australia for the remainder of the year creating even more work to do behind the scenes but I know it is all going to worth it! 
 
Catch you all next month. 
Avgas #3 
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Update January 2019

Hi everyone,

What a month it has been!

It has been a pleasure to meet many of you fans and supporters at some events of late. These have included the Ride Forever Shiny Side Up Bike Festival’s in Nelson and Christchurch, the HSBC Sevens in Hamilton and of course, at the race tracks throughout the country.

 

As you will know, we have now had two rounds of the New Zealand Superbike Championship (NZSBK) in the South Island. The series got off to a perfect start for me as I put the MTF Finance Kawasaki ZX6R on pole position at Mike Pero Motorsport Park for Round 1. Christchurch certainly turned on the weather and I was looking forward to an epic weekend of racing ahead. In race one on Saturday I lead the way for half a lap before Toby Summers snuck by with a close pass into the dipper. I saw we had ‘battle royale’ ensuing and was already working out a plan where to pass him back when the red flags came out on lap two. Unfortunately, the accident was very serious, and the race was stopped for over half an hour to attend to the injured rider meaning we could not restart. On the plus side, the injured rider James Barham got the medical attention he needed and is now making a great recovery from some nasty injuries.

 

We re-grouped for the Sunday’s action, looking forward to two long races. Once again, the 600cc class would miss out as an oil spillage before our race put an end to the event. Throughout all of this I have learnt to keep my cool and not to stress about what you cannot control. Over the past few weeks when things haven’t gone to plan, I have had to concentrate on simply putting on foot in front of the other and just make the most of every situation that presents itself.

 

The following weekend we were in Timaru for Round 2 of the championship at Levels Raceway Timaru. With some mixed weather thrown into the mix, there was no shortage of drama in the 600cc class. I qualified in ninth position on a damp track which left me with a lot of work to do in the races to get to the front. In race 1 I took my time picking riders off one-by-one and finished in 3rd to claim my first podium of the season. Our class had four races in Timaru and I finished three out of four events on the podium, leaving the circuit sitting second overall in the 2019 championship. Just nine points off the lead with nine races still to go, you could say it’s still wide open!

 

After Timaru, my second race bike was delivered to Hamilton for the Rugby Sevens tournament with MTF Finance. We had a HUGE weekend painting the stands yellow with 10,000 yellow cowboy hats! It was amazing to see so many people (both children and adults) take interest and want a photo with my race bike on display. Events like this are great not only for my sponsors, but also for raising the profile of our sport.

 

Speaking of profile, how can I not mention MotoFest at Hampton Downs which is the next round of the NZSBK championship. To have Simon Crafar, Chris Vermuelen and many other legends at the track and watching our races is going something special. I have engagements on every weekend between now and then, along with work keeping me extremely busy during the week. It has left me worried how I am going to squeeze enough training in to keep this title fight alive. Looks like my 5am gym sessions are here to stay for a while!

 

Once again, thanks for coming to say hello at events. One of the best things about motorcycles is the people you meet who share the same passion for two wheels. I look forward to meeting more of you at events soon.

 

All the best,

Avalon