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Aaron Slight

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Aaron Slight

Born: 1966 -

Inducted into MNZ Hall of Fame: 2019

Aaron Slight has to be New Zealand’s most successful international motorcycle road racer. Coming from the Wairarapa town of Masterton the young Slight took up Moto-cross at age of twelve. However it was not till the tragic death of fellow Masterton racer Peter Blackwood in 1984, did Aaron begin his road race career after his employer Ross Gregory offered Blackwood’s bikes to ride. A Yamaha RZ250 and 350. Learning his craft over the next few years, winning on many machines from 250cc to 1000cc machines he would ride in many races in New Zealand.

By the mid to late 1980s, Aaron would win the New Zealand 250 Production Championship and the Castrol 6 Hour Production race twice. Moving to Australia with his own Yamaha TZR250, gathering valuable experience. In 1988 he left New Zealand to race with the Super Angel Team in Japan with little success.

This led to his first major ride in 1989 when he joined Team Kawasaki Australia alongside Rob Phillis in the Australian Superbike Championship finishing third at the end of the season.

The following year (1990) saw Aaron have a serious crash in Japan which almost curtailed his career. He would spend much of that year recovering from a very badly injured hand.

A big break came with Team Kawasaki Australia when he would win the 1991 Australian Superbike Championship, along with the Pan Pacific Championship. In 1991 still riding with Kawasaki Australia, he would continue to race in Australia, Asia and New Zealand before being signed to race the World Superbike Championship for the Official Kawasaki factory team where he would win his first World Championship Superbike race in Spain in 1992.

His final year riding for Kawasaki would be 1993 before signing for Honda in 1994. But before that he would have his second World Superbike race victory in Italy and also win the Suzuka 8 Hour in Japan for the first time.

Aaron would also win the Suzuka 8 Hour in 1994 and 1995 for Honda.

A record that would last for over twenty years with Aaron being the only rider to have won the Suzuka 8 Hour race three years in succession. In 2018 Yamaha factory rider Kats Nagasuka would win the famous race four straight years in a row breaking that record.

Coming so close to winning the Superbike World Championship on several occasions the title of being World Champion eluded him. However his racing record speaks for itself.

229 World Championship Starts (More than any other New Zealander in any World Championship)

8 WSBK Pole Positions

13 WSBK Wins

87 WSBK Podium Finishes

26 WSBK Fastest Laps

2nd in the World Superbike Championship in 1996 and 1998

3rd in the World Superbike Championship in 1993,94,95 and 1997

4th in the World Superbike Championship in 1999

6th in the World Superbike Championship in 1992

8th in the World Superbike Championship in 2000 (missed much of the season after brain surgery)

NZ 250 Production Champion

2 Times winner of the Castrol 6 Hour

3 Times winner of the Suzuka 8 Hour

Recovering from a major brain surgery in his final year in 2000 and returning to the track after just three months defied all doctors expectations. Aaron only competed from round seven and however would still finish his final year in the World Championship in 8th place.

Aaron went on to race British touring cars with some success before returning home to Masterton where he manages various property and business interests.