The 2023-24 New Zealand Superbike Championships

CAPTION: Australian Ant West (centre) was declared outright series winner in the premier Superbike class after the sixth and final round of the New Zealand Superbike Championships at Hampton Downs on Sunday. He is flanked by last year’s champion and now national No.2 Mitch Rees (left) and his father, new national No.3 Tony Rees (right). Photo by Andy McGechan,

Bay of Plenty’s Mitch Rees won the battle, but Australian Ant West won the war in this season’s New Zealand Superbike Championships.

Weather played a large part in the PTS Logistics-sponsored 2023-24 NZSBK series, with rain affecting almost all of the six rounds run between December and March, the sixth and final round at North Waikato’s Hampton Downs circuit, near Meremere, at the weekend also blighted by heavy downpours for at least part of the packed programme.

The two-day event, again this year run in conjunction with the popular Star Insurance MotoFest motorcycling festival, on Saturday and Sunday dished up high drama with wet track riding skills and the choice of tyres proving to be pivotal in determining where the titles ended up.

Defending Superbikes class champion Rees won this class at the weekend, his 1-1-2 results eclipsing the 2-2-1 results achieved by overseas star West, but the tussle between these two equally-talented men for outright title honours went right down to the wire and West’s comprehensive win in the final race proved the difference and the premier title now heads across the Tasman.

West was naturally elated with his series and title win.

“This is what we came here to do. To be honest though, I didn’t think I could get the job done. The title could have gone to either of us really,” said the 42-year-old Brisbane man.

“It’s been really tough and he (Mitch Rees) fought me the whole way. I’d like to come back and defend the title but it’s been a very expensive campaign. We may need one or two more sponsors.”

Rees was philosophical in defeat.

“I gave it my best. Obviously, we made the wrong tyre choice, but that’s part of racing. My wets (tyres) got overheated and he just got faster (with his intermediate tyres) as the track dried out.

“It’s 100 percent that I’ll be back next year for another crack,” said the 31-year-old from Whakatane.

Motorcycling New Zealand road-race commissioner Andy Skelton and New Zealand Superbike Championship (NZSBK) series co-ordinator SJ Cavell both agreed the racing had been “exciting throughout” the entire series.

“It has been a fantastic series,” said Cavell. “It has been a pleasure just to have this series happening because throughout last year it was looking like the series may not go ahead, due to financial constraints.

“With the help of Whanganui’s Flea Willacy and the Cemetery Circuit organisation, we were able to pull something together along with the sponsors that came on board. We are thrilled we were able to go racing this season.”

This season’s main sponsor was PTS Logistics, who transported airbags to the rounds at Ruapuna, Timaru and Teretonga, while other partners for the championship included Coregas (nationwide industrial gas supplier) and Race Supplies (Motorcycle race parts supplier), with Moto Movers and BRM Dyno also supporting the Pro Twins/Super Twins class and Bartercard offered prizes for all the dedicated marshals and ‘flaggies’ in the series.


Outright class winners in the 2023-24 New Zealand Superbike Championships:

Brisbane’s Ant West (Superbikes class); Invercargill’s Cormac Buchanan (Supersport 600 class); Taupo’s Karl Hooper (Formula Three class); Southbridge’s Ben Rosendaal (650 Pro Twins class); Nelson’s Jonny Lewis (Super Twins class); Hamilton’s Jesse Stroud (Supersport 300 class); Masterton’s Eva Wintle (GIXXER 150 class); Auckland’s Hadyn Fordyce (Supersport 150 class); Palmerston North’s Barry Smith and Stu Dawe (F1 Sidecars class); Whanganui’s Peter and Michael Dowman (F2 Sidecars class).

New Zealand Tourist Trophy (TT) title winners:

Australian Ant West (Superbikes class); Upper Hutt’s Rogan Chandler (Supersport 600 class, also recognised as the inaugural Damon Rees Memorial trophy race); Wellington’s Jon Medlin (Formula Three class); Castor Bay’s Scott Findlay (650 Pro Twins class); Hamilton’s Jesse Stroud (Supersport 300 class); Hamilton’s Joseph Stoud (GIXXER 150 class); Christchurch’s Hunter Charlett (Supersport 150 class); Auckland’s Adam Unsworth and Bryce Rose (F1 Sidecars class).

Winners of the additional (non-championship) classes raced at Hampton Downs at the weekend were: Auckland’s Oliver Pykett (Carl Cox Motorsport Hyosung 250 Cup); Hamilton’s Jesse Stroud (Carl Cox Motorsport Ninja Cup); Auckland’s Daniel Mettam (Post Classics and GP two-strokes class).

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

A high-resolution copy of the attached image is available for publication, for editorial use only, simply by contacting phone 027-324-0892. As regards web site use, credit for words & photo must be given to Andy McGechan and


Code No. MNZ-AM1063