Manukau’s Toby Summers (Yamaha), hoping to set the road alight at Paeroa at the weekend.

Hot Summers Burning Up The Rubber

11 Feb 2014

Auckland motorcycle ace Toby Summers has been burning up rubber like never before this season.

And that's causing a problem for the 41-year-old Manukau plumber, a privateer bike racer on a limited budget and facing massive tyre bills.

"I suppose that's the price you pay if you want to go fast, go around corners and stay on the track too," said the Yamaha racer, who has made it a habit to go very fast indeed over the past few years.

Summers raced his way to victory in the pre-Christmas Suzuki International Tri Series, taking his R&R Powersport Yamaha R6 to convincingly win the Formula two (600cc) class, finishing the series ahead of Clive's Adam Chambers and fellow Aucklander Daniel Mettam.

Summers could possibly have made it two class wins had he not crashed his Yamaha YZ450F in one of his super moto class outings, but now in his second season of racing the 600cc road bike, it is really the F2 class that consumes most of his passion.

"The Suzuki Series campaign cost me about $3000 in tyres and I spent another $3000 on tyres at the first two rounds of the New Zealand Superbike Championships as well."

The four-round national series is now in recess at the halfway stage, racing set to resume with round three at Taupo on March 23. The fourth and final round is set down for Manfeild, on the outskirts of Feilding, on March 29-30.

Summers' national championship campaign is charging along at breakneck speed too – he is currently second overall in the 600cc supersport class, 38 points behind defending national champion John Ross, of Christchurch.

But the next big event to occupy the riders' minds will be the big annual Yamaha Battle of the Streets race meeting on the public roads of Paeroa this coming Sunday (Feb 16), where Summers will again tackle that event in two separate bike categories.

"Yes, I'll be racing both the F2 and super moto classes ... I need some prizemoney to pay for the Metzelers (tyres). Either that or I get a sponsor and sponsors like winners, so that means just one thing ... I need to win both classes at Paeroa, just like I did last year.

"I've got the lap record for the super moto class at Paeroa but I didn't get the F2 lap record last year and that's something I really want. I think (Australian Yamaha rider) Chris Seaton has the lap record for Paeroa, set in about 2006 or 2007. I'll just have to try a bit harder won't I?

"Of course, getting a lap record doesn't get you prizemoney. It's just for bragging rights really, but I like the challenge.

"But four wins from four starts (two races in each class) is definitely what I'm after on Sunday."

Summers will again face stiff opposition from riders such as Mettam, Chambers, Katikati' Yamaha rider Rhys Holmes and Wanganui's Ashley Payne.

Meanwhile, we can probably expect to see riders such as Hamilton's Nick Cole, Wellington's Sloan Frost, Whakatane's Tony Rees, New Plymouth's Hayden Fitzgerald and Kaukapakapa's Travis Moan among the frontrunners in the Formula One class.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,
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