The men from the ITools Racing Team know a thing or two about winning motorcycle races and this was further emphasised when they again dominated the recent Motul 6-Hour Endurance race at the Taupo International Motorsport Park.

This made it two years consecutively that the distinctive Ozzy Performance-supported ITools riders have won this popular long-distance motorcycling test of strategy, speed and stamina.

The endurance race, competed for by teams of three riders, the motorcycles running in relay fashion, dictates that each rider is to complete a specified amount of track time within the six-hour duration.

Paraparaumu’s Richard Markham-Barrett owns the ITools Racing Team and he led by example by this season teaming up with his son, Isaac Markham-Barrett, and Upper Hutt’s Glen Skachill to make it two Motul 6-Hour race wins in a row.

The runner-up team at Taupo on Sunday comprised Wellington pair Rhys Lindsay and Malcolm Bielski, teamed with Hamilton’s Jordan Burley.

Richard Markham-Barrett had also led the winning trio at this event last season, when it was then held at Pukekohe.

Meanwhile, fellow ITools Racing Team riders Luke Riley, Hamish Tarr and Jeff Rogerson also hit the podium last season, finishing third overall at Pukekohe.

But it was a three-pronged ITools Racing Team assault on the big race in Taupo this time around, with Upper Hutt’s Luke Riley again joining in the action, this time sharing the riding duties with his twin brother Joseph Riley and Paraparaumu rider Tarr. They managed to finish eighth overall at Taupo on Sunday.

The other ITools Racing Team bid comprised Hamilton rider Rogerson, Wellington’s Ian Reed and Tauranga man Colin Macgregor and they wound up 15th overall at Taupo.  

For the Riley twins, it was their first time together on a race track and all the more remarkable too in that it also represented Joseph Riley’s road-racing debut, and on a 1000cc superbike no less.

“It was his first time racing a superbike and came just one week after he’d first ridden the bike, just the previous weekend,” Luke Riley explained.

“We are bother former motocross riders and some of the skills were transferrable.

“It was all about having a great time with our mates,” Luke Riley continued.

“We had not gone about trying to set the world on fire … the secret was to not bike off more than we could chew, and also to not crash the bikes. We weren’t the fastest riders out there, but we were consistent and that was vital.

“Results were secondary to the experience of simply travelling New Zealand and racing bikes together. If an event gets rained off or cancelled due to track conditions, it’s not the end of the world for us, because we can just pack the bikes up and go do something else fun together while we’re away for the weekend.

“We all rode Gen-3 BMW S1000RR bikes, which makes it much easier as a team because we can all share parts and share bike set-up information.

“As far as I am aware, we are the biggest superbike race team in New Zealand history. I don’t know of another race event in New Zealand where a team has shown up with nine identical superbikes and nine riders to pilot them.”

The next major event on the ITools Racing Team calendar is the three-round Suzuki International Series, set to kick off at the same Taupo circuit on the weekend of December 2-3.

Words: Andy McGechan