Hitting top gear
JADEN Hassan has broken more records than he can remember but his younger brother Aaron is hot on his heels.
They are fast becoming the ones to beat in the motorcycle world.
Jaden, 19, is more than 1.9 metres tall and 14-year-old Aaron is close behind so both are unlikely champions in a sport where most competitors are built like jockeys.
Jaden started racing on a 125cc bike when he was 13 as the youngest Kiwi to compete in that category.
He moved up to a 600cc and at the age of 16 finished fifth in the Superstock championship in his first season.
The Westmere rider has stepped things up a gear this year and will now ride a 1000cc superbike for Suzuki.
Mt Albert student Aaron took out the 125GP winter series and the 250 Prolite championships last year.
He went on to finish third in the 125 class this season.
A lot of his early success has come from years of watching his brother on the track, Aaron says.
‘‘I’m just learning every time I ride. I want to slowly build up that pace and keep working at it.’’ Jaden is proud of him. ‘‘I’m still his big brother and always will be – I always try to help him as a mentor if he has any problems on the day. I’m never not going to help him so he can’t break my records.’’
And Jaden has broken more than just records in his short career.
Last year he fractured an ankle and three bones in his back but was on his bike just six weeks later to win two races and break lap records.
He was hoping to make a repeat of this speedy recovery after breaking his wrist while qualifying for the second round of the 600cc Supersport champs in Timaru. Jaden finding it too difficult to ride with a cast so Aaron stepped in and cut it off with a steak knife.
Things didn’t quite go to plan with Jaden finishing 12th place and forced to pull out of the next race because of the pain.
‘‘As long as I know why I crashed and what happened I want to get straight back on that bike and go just as fast for the next lap,’’ Jaden says.
The brothers different riders.
‘‘He’s a very, very mature young rider,’’ Jaden says.
‘‘When I was his age I didn’t really have much respect for myself and my body.
‘‘I would just kind of go all out until I crashed, whereas Aaron thinks things through
very a lot more and when he can’t win he’ll just take second place and take it easy which is good.’’
Motorcycling runs in the family. Dad Greg started out racing as a teenager before abandoning the sport only to return to it in his 40s.
He hopes to see both of his sons test their abilities with European campaigns in the future.
On track: Brothers Jaden, left, and Aaron Hassan are smoking records on the New Zealand motorbike circuits, despite their age and height. Racing runs in the blood with their father Greg, centre, returning to the sport in his 40s.