Champ watch­ing his back

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By ALAS­TAIR LYNN

Jaden Has­san has al­ready made his­tory be­com­ing the youngest ever New Zealand Su­per­bike cham­pion at 20, but with younger brother Aaron hot on his tail it may be a record that slides through the fam­ily.

He’s had far from a per­fect sea­son rid­dled with tech­ni­cal is­sues, en­gine ex­plo­sions and crashes. A chance to wrap up the se­ries at the fi­nal stage in Taupo in March be­gan with a hor­ren­dous set­back.

Jaden was sit­ting in poll po­si­tion when he ripped off a knee slider on the warm-up lap.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing went re­ally, re­ally down­hill,’’ Jaden says.

‘‘I had to ac­tu­ally come into the pits while ev­ery­one else was start­ing up on the grid and put a knew knee slider on so ev­ery­one was go­ing into turn two be­fore I even got off the line.’’

Valu­able sec­onds had been lost but the West­mere rider got into a rhythm and against all odds man­aged to clinch the se­ries.

‘‘With two laps to go I hit sec­ond and put my head down, caught the leader, passed him and man­aged to gap it on the last lap.

‘‘It was ab­so­lutely all on and we pretty much ran lap record pace all race to try and close him in.

‘‘That was def­i­nitely the race of my ca­reer,’’ he says.

Reach­ing the pin­na­cle of New Zealand motorcycling has con­sumed a huge part of the now 21-year-old’s life.

He has achieved so much at such a young age and now wants to take a break.

‘‘Win­ning made all the sleep­less nights, train­ing and hor­ri­ble months be­fore – deal­ing with all the stress – worth it,’’ Jaden says.

‘‘Part of the rea­son I’ve de­cided to take a year off is to give my­self men­tally a break.

‘‘Suzuki says they’ll al­ways have a bike for me so I’ll come back with the same team, same spon­sors and do it all again.’’

As Jaden set­tles in for a bit of rest and re­lax­ation he may need to keep an eye on 16-yearold Aaron, who is start­ing to take his older brother’s records one by one.

The youngest rider in the 600cc Su­per­stock cham­pi­onship, Aaron has achieved three podium fin­ishes in a field of ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers, some of whom are eight years his se­nior.

‘‘I just wanted to come into the sea­son and get a podium,’’ he says.

‘‘I’m pretty happy that I got three be­cause there’s a lot of ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple there.’’

Aaron has treated his first sea­son with Suzuki as a learn­ing curve.

Now with a bit more race time, the top po­si­tion is in his sights.

‘‘I just want to have con­sis­tent podi­ums through­out the next sea­son and run the pace at the front.

‘‘I would like the cham­pi­onship, but real­is­ti­cally top three.

‘‘I’ve still got a way to go, this year I can def­i­nitely make an im­prove­ment.’’

While rid­ing in sep­a­rate classes Jaden says sib­ling ri­valry has never turned sour.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely help­ing each other out in an in­tense way,’’ he says.

‘‘We’re all pretty loud so if I don’t think Aaron’s do­ing some­thing right I’ll tell him and the whole pit will hear it.’’

They both stand at around 1.9m so the Has­san broth­ers tower over coun­ter­parts. Hav­ing a well set-up bike is crit­i­cal.

A good re­la­tion­ship with tech­ni­cians has also al­lowed the pair to tweak and mould their bikes into se­ri­ous speed ma­chines.

The broth­ers agree there is one key fac­tor cru­cial to their suc­cess – their fa­ther’s sup­port.

Jaden and Aaron Has­san with the ma­chines that hur­tle them around a track at speeds close to 300kmh.

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