The 2023-24 New Zealand Superbike Nationals

CAPTION: It’s fast and furious at the start of this Supersport 300 class race at Taupo last season and more of the same can be expected when the 2023-24 season kicks off in just over a week’s time. Photo by Andy McGechan,

NOVEMBER 22, 2023: We are about to find out which motorbike racers have been testing, planning, grafting, training and riding the hardest over the winter, spring and early summer months.

The busiest time of the year is about to kick off for New Zealand’s motorcycling elite with the first of six rounds for the 2023-24 New Zealand Superbike Nationals set to run at the Taupo International Motorsport Park in just over a week’s time, on the weekend of December 2-3.

Two men who have perhaps been working the hardest over the past year have been Motorcycling New Zealand road-race commissioner Andy Skelton and series co-ordinator SJ Cavell. Both men have indicated that they will be excited to see all their endeavours finally come to fruition at Taupo and they are anticipating close racing throughout all the various bike classes.

The first two rounds of this season’s PTS Logistics-sponsored series – at Taupo and Manfeild, on the outskirts of Feilding – are again being run in conjunction with the Suzuki International Series. That parallel three-round series wraps up with the Cemetery Circuit street races on Boxing Day, although that public street phase of the Suzuki International Series will not be counted as a round of the nationals.

Many riders regard the popular Cemetery Circuit race day as a stand-alone event anyway, with it requiring a totally different approach and unique set of skills, although it is a challenge that must be accepted for riders chasing outright honours in the Suzuki International Series.

The New Zealand Superbike Nationals resume in the New Year, with rounds three, four and five at tracks in the South Island, with round five at Invercargill’s Teretonga race circuit incorporated into the Burt Munro festival week, and then the MotoFest festival weekend at Hampton Downs, north of Hamilton, to wrap it all up in March.

Skelton explained that points from five of the six rounds will be counted in 2023-24, with riders able to discard their worst round score, allowing teams and individuals to manage their budgets and choose which rounds they wish to attend and which one they might choose to skip.

The New Zealand Superbike Championships (NZSBK) rounds for 2023-24 are:

Round 1, Suzuki Series at Taupo, December 2nd/3rd; Round 2, Suzuki Series at Manfeild, December 9th/10th; Round 3, Ruapuna in Christchurch, January 6th/7th; Round 4, Levels at Timaru, January 13th/14th; Round 5, Burt Munro at Teretonga, February 9th/10th/11th; Round 6, MotoFest at Hampton Downs, March 2nd/3rd.

Title winners in the 2022-23 season were Whakatane’s Mitch Rees (Superbike class); Invercargill’s Cormac Buchanan (Supersport 600 & Supersport 300); Whitby’s Dave Fellows (Pro Twins, post-2020 bikes); Waiuku’s Bob Irving (Pro Twins, pre-2020 bikes); Christchurch’s Hunter Charlett (Supersport 150); Panmure’s Adam Unsworth with Whanganui’s Bryce Rose (F1 Sidecars) and Albany’s Mark Halls with Geoff Davies (F2 Sidecars).

British rising star Davey Todd, Australian former Moto2 and MotoGP star Anthony West and West’s teenage team-mate Declan Van Rosmalen are all signed up to race in New Zealand this summer season.

This season’s competition is sponsored by PTS Logistics, who will be transporting airbags to Ruapuna, Timaru and Teretonga.

“This is massively positive news and helps ensure rider safety,” said Cavell.

Other partners for the championship are Coregas (nationwide industrial gas supplier) and Race Supplies (Motorcycle race parts supplier), while Moto Movers and BRM Dyno are supporting the Pro-Twins/Supertwins class, with Bartercard offering prizes for all the dedicated marshals and ‘flaggies’ in the series.

The series is also supported by the following groups: Victoria MCC, Hampton Downs, Auckland Motorcycle Club, MCI, Hamilton MCC, Southland MCC, South Canterbury MCC, Cemetery Circuit and Motorcycling New Zealand.


Suzuki International Series (and first two rounds of the nationals):

  • Round 1, Taupo, Dec 2nd and 3rd;
  • Round 2, Manfeild, Feilding, Dec 9th and 10th;
  • Whanganui’s Cemetery Circuit, Dec 26th (third and final round of Suzuki International Series, but not part of the nationals).

South Island:

  • Round 3, Ruapuna, Christchurch (includes GP title races), Jan 6th and 7th;
  • Round 4, Levels, Timaru, Jan 13th and 14th;
  • Round 5, Burt Munro, Teretonga, Feb 9th, 10th and 11th.

North Island:

  • Round 6, Hampton Downs, part of MotoFest (includes TT title races), Mar 2nd and 3rd.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,