Budgen clinches NZ Superbike title

Team Volvo Group Suzuki/ Triple R Racing Suzuki's Robert Bugden has clinched a record fourth New Zealand Superbike Championship at the final round in Taupo.

The 31-year-old Queenslander entered the final round with a 10.5-point advantage over fellow Suzuki rider and local favourite Andrew Stroud, with victory at Taupo enough to seal him the title by 37.5 points after five hard-fought rounds.

After claiming victory at the final round of the season with a perfect weekend of back-to-back wins, Bugden added the 2012 championship to the three consecutive titles that he won in 2007-2009 aboard the all-conquering Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Said Budgen: "It's been a pretty long couple of months for a five-round series and we have had our ups and downs, but to get the Championship under our belt is a good effort and great feeling. I have to say a huge thanks to the whole Volvo Group Triple R Suzuki team; they've been burning the midnight oil to make this happen and I truly appreciate it."

The weekend marked Bugden's debut on the Taupo circuit in dry conditions, since wet weather hampered a previous test session at the venue in the lead-up to the series.

"I'd never ridden at Taupo in the dry, but we managed to find good speed during the weekend," Bugden added. "I topped every time sheet, qualified on Pole, won both races and set the lap record, so that's the kind of weekend you dream about. It was the perfect way to finish the series off."

After a strong opening round of the Australian Superbike Championship, Bugden sits fourth overall and will now return to Australia to focus on the remainder of the ASBK Championship, which continues at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway in the Northern Territory on April 20-22nd.

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