New Zealand's top motorcycle racer Aaron Slight has signed to stay with the powerful Castrol Honda for next year's world superbike championships. By then the Masterton-born expat hopes to be defending a world crown: he goes to this season's...
New Zealand's top motorcycle racer Aaron Slight has signed to stay with the powerful Castrol Honda for next year's world superbike championships.
By then the Masterton-born expat hopes to be defending a world crown: he goes to this season's final round next month just half a point behind series leader Troy Corser.
"It's a big boost to me having next year settled, so I can just concentrate on winning the title," said the 32-year-old pro racer.
"I know Troy and the others are still up in the air over their rides for next year ... it is unsettling and that can only benefit me."
Never out of the top three in the five seasons to this year, Slight has yet to win the crown. And this time he has had to claw back from diabolical luck early in the season to square up the points by round 12 at Sugo in Japan on 4 October.
"Next year will be my sixth with Castrol Honda," said the internationally-lauded star.
"It's a very happy place, certainly one of the best teams in the world, and I'm delighted they have the faith in me to give me a top shot at the title.
"By this time next year I hope to be rewarding them with back-to-back championship wins.
"Riding for other teams never interested me," Slight added.
"I'm happy where I am and I believe we have the complete package with the RC45 racebike."
Slight's teammate will again be American Colin Edwards, who switched from Yamaha a year ago and is currently fifth in the championship.
"Colin's a good friend and an excellent teammate, great to have around," said Slight, possibly alluding to more hotheaded riders with whom he has found himself partnered in the past.
Edwards, 24-year-old from Conroe, Texas, says he is aiming for no less than the title next season.
"The Castrol Honda team is probably the best in world superbikes, so accepting an offer for 1999 was an easy decision for me to make.
"Riding alongside Aaron this year has worked well for me."
The team will also field two riders on 600 class machines in the world supersport series, now elevated to full world championship status.