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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Taylor chasing national title

Masterton’s Spike Taylor has the sidecar title well within his sights leading into the final round of this season’s New Zealand superbike championships at Hampton Downs, near Meremere, this Saturday and Sunday.

The combination of Taylor as rider and Robbie Shorter of Tauranga in the sidecar will go into the last three races with a relatively comfortable lead on the points table.

Currently they sit on 213, nicely clear of Barry Smith and Tracey Bryan (Tauranga) who are on 175 and third-placed Peter Goodwin and Kendal Dunlop of Albany on 164.

It will take a huge effort from Smith and Bryan or conversely bad luck for Taylor and Shorter for the latter to be deprived of the national title.

There are just 76pts still up for grabs which means that should Taylor and Shorter win the first race they will be impossible to overhaul.

The winners of several other categories could be decided early as well.

Whakatane’s Tony Rees has a massive 42.5pt lead over his nearest rival for superbike honours, Sloan Frost of Wellington.

The battle for superlites glory sees Leigh Tidman (Taumaranui) 41pts clear of Gavin Voltmeyer (Mt Roskill) while the lightweight production class looks almost certain to go to Andy McLaughlin (Christchurch) who has a 45pt advantage over Ashburton’s Sam Goulter.

In the 250cc production class it is Opunake’s Campbell Grayling who has a 33pt lead over Rob Gibson (Tauranga) and the 125GP title is virtually done and dusted too.

There Matthew Hoogenboezem has a huge 55pt lead over Chris Wallinger (Blenheim).

A close finish does seem likely though in the 600cc supersport class where Wainuiomata’s Shane Richardson is just 20pts clear of Whakatane’s Damon Rees.

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