Dibben intent on winning back his Suzuki Tri-Series title

Whanganui rider Richie Dibben (former WHS student) is on a mission to reclaim his Suzuki Tri-Series super moto title this season.
PHOTO / Andy McGechan

Whanganui rider Richie Dibben is single-minded in his approach to the super moto class in this year's Suzuki Tri-Series - reclaim the title.

The two-time winner of the class has gifted the title to Tauranga's Duncan Hart for the last three years running with mechanical issues striking twice and a minor crash relegating him to second.

Dibben leads with 51 maximum points after winning both round one races at Bruce McLaren Park in Taupo last weekend, gaining the bonus point for also qualifying fastest. Hart is hot on his heels with two seconds to be seven points behind on 44.

And Dibben intends to keep it that way by leading throughout the series.

Even Hart himself concedes there is no way of catching Dibben on a good day, a comment he made after claiming last season's title through consistency.

Dibben showed again at Taupo last weekend he is tough to pass with his front running style at top speed leaving rivals in his wake. His biggest problem is weaving his way through slow traffic as he laps the back makers.

Dibben is rapt with the way his bike is performing this season despite only taking it out of the shed a month before the series began.

"I usually don't ride it during the winter and only took it out of the shed about four weeks ago. I took it down to Manfield a couple of times to see how it was going and I was rapt - I haven't done too much to it at all," Dibben said on Wednesday.

The Keown Honda motorcycle mechanic heads to round two at Manfield on a mission to qualify fastest then win both super moto races on Sunday.

Last season he was invited to also race in Australia, the Philippines and Malaysia, a distraction he won't have this year.

"I'm only racing the Tri-Series, the Nelson street circuit on January 2 and the streets of Paeroa in February - I love street racing."

The final round of the Tri-Series on the Cemetery Circuit in Whanganui on Boxing Day is one of his favourite street meetings. Traditionally, the Dowman Contracting, Tyre Shield-sponsored rider wins both races on his home track each Boxing Day.

"I really enjoy Whanganui and have won Paeroa for the last two years breaking the lap record last season. But I thought I'd also get Nelson in this year too.

"But in the meantime, the focus is on getting to the front and staying there in the next two Tri-Series rounds. If the bike sticks together I'm confident I can get the title back," Dibben said.

By Iain Hyndman
Wanganui Chronicle 14/12/17