Minister Mccully To Present Medal To Slight

  • Murray McCully
Sport Fitness and Leisure

The Minister for Sport, Fitness & Leisure, Hon Murray McCully, will present superbike ace Aaron Slight with his international medal as runner-up in the world superbike championship, this Sunday at Pukekohe race circuit.

The Minister's presentation will be a highlight for a throng expected to turn out to honour the New Zealand-born star of the Castrol Honda team, who narrowly missed out on his world title last year.

Slight will spend most of the day speaking to his fans, signing autographs, and riding some laps of the race circuit at sedate speeds with kiwi riders.

With backing from Slight's employer Honda, riders of Honda bikes and members of his supporters organisation Slight Advantage have been invited to ride demonstration laps with the star.

Mr McCully will make the presentation at approx 3.15pm, not long before Slight has to leave to catch a flight back to Australia for more testing of the Castrol Honda on which he will begin the 1999 world championship in South Africa next month.

The Minister will be presenting the medal struck by the world governing body of motorcycle sport, the FIM, in company with Motorcycling New Zealand.

Slight's demonstration laps of Pukekohe circuit will be repeated the following Saturday morning at Ruapuna, Christchurch.

"It's a chance to spend at least a little time catching up with Kiwis who I know are my staunchest followers," said the popular ace. "I get so little time here now that I wanted to make the occasion special.

The Masterton-born professional racer is flying back from Australia especially for the Pukekohe day this weekend. He returns for another week of development work, then flies to Christchurch for the Ruapuna event from which he has to leave at midday to begin his final countdown.

That includes a quick flit across the world for testing at Laguna Seca, the bogey Californian circuit where Slight seriously injured a foot in a startline crash last year.