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Manxman Payne makes strong start at sidecar world championships

He and passenger Rousseau take podium finish at opener in Germany

Manx sidecar racer Harry Payne sits second in the FIM World Sidecar Championships after a strong opening round to the series in Europe at the weekend.

Competing at Saschenring in Germany from 13-14 May, Payne and his passenger, Kevin Rousseau, managed to secure a front row place on the grid for race one in P2 alongside Ben and Tom Birchall.

Payne and Rousseau would go on to claim 2nd place in the 11-lap sprint competition behind the Birchall brothers.

Current world champions Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement took third spot late on after the outfit of Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes ahead of them suffered an engine break on the last lap.

Race two was expected to be more challenging for Payne and Rousseau along with the rest of the field as tyre conservation was anticipated to be a factor in the 20-lap contest.

Despite leading into turn one, Payne and Rousseau struggled for rear grip as the race went on.

Having been in contention early on for second position, Payne and Rousseau would eventually have to settle for a respectable sixth come the chequered flag. 

Ben and Tom Birchall would take first place again, this time followed by Stephen Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood in second whilst Sam and Tom Christie completed the podium in third.

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