Hampton praises Wyndham Street Race

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 26/11/2012

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Promising New Zealand Superbikes rider Ryan Hampton has heaped praise on the Wyndham Street Race - an event he considers his favourite of the Burt Munro Challenge.

The Cantabrian claimed his third consecutive Wyndham Street Race open class title yesterday onboard his Honda CBR1000 bike, winning all three heats.

Hampton is a keen street racer, having previously competed at Greymouth, Paeroa and Whanganui.

He always enjoyed the close proximity to the fans at the Wyndham Street Race and said it was a tight, challenging circuit where riders could be punished if they made a mistake.

"If you have any lack of concentration for a split second it can bite you.

"It's a completely different atmosphere to what the circuit racing is."

After taking the chequered flag in his final race, Hampton delivered an massive wheelstand down the home straight, and said he loved putting on a show for Southland petrolheads.

Hampton has been a dominant rider at the Burt Munro Challenge in recent years and that continued during the weekend.

On Thursday, he shattered the Bluff Hill Climb record - which he previously held - with a 44.74sec effort up the 1.4km course.

Hampton was slightly off the pace at the Teretonga Sprint Races on Saturday, finishing third in the open class, behind winner John Ross and second-placed James Smith.

He hurt a finger after crashing during a practice session on Friday, which affected his rhythm out on the bike.

Hampton will now turn his attention to the Tri Series, which begins at Hampton Downs in Auckland on December 8. It will be an important series for the youngster as he looks to get some confidence and miles under the belt before the Superbike nationals in early January.

Hampton had a difficult Superbikes season last summer, with bike problems and inconsistent form leaving him 10th in the standings.

He said preparations for the nationals were going better than last season and, with some alterations to the bike, he believed he could climb up the ladder this year.

"Everyone wants to win the title, but you have to be realistic and take it one step at a time. If I can get into the top five, I would be very happy with that."

Hampton was unsure whether he would return for a fourth Burt Munro Challenge next year. It was great exposure but costly to travel south for a week.

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- The Southland Times

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