The MSA Motocross Commission is proud to announce that three riders will be representing South Africa at the 2021 FIM Monster Energy Motocross of Nations, which is set to take place next weekend from 24-26 September in Mantova, Italy.
Without a doubt the MXON is one of the biggest team events on the International Motocross calendar, with 33 teams, consisting of 99 competitors from across the globe. The South African team will be competing against some of the best riders.
The following riders will be representing South Africa:
Camden Mc Lellan – MX2 class (Race Number – 59)
David Goosen – MXGP class (Race Number – 58)
Tristan Purdon – OPEN class (Race Number – 60)
MSA and the MSA Motocross Commission wishes the South African team all the best and encourages all local motocross enthusiasts to show their support.
In what was an unforgettable day of racing, Brother Leader Tread KTM took top honours at the penultimate round of the National Cross Country Championship on Saturday.
The event welcomed riders to a dusty Delmas route where star rider Bradley Cox stormed to not only the OR2 Class win, but the victory overall. While the multi-disciplined rider had enjoyed a winning streak since both Enduro and Cross Country racing resumed last month, the seemingly elusive overall title had been evading his grasp. He explained, “To take a win in my class is so good, but to claim the overall victory is something special. Over the last year and a half, this overall win has haunted me. I broke my collarbone in 2019 while leading overall, and then last year I had a lot of second place finishes. To finally snatch up that overall victory is an amazing feeling and something I want to experience again in the last round.”
As a KwaZulu-Natal based rider, Cox is more accustomed to tighter routes, but he mentions thoroughly enjoying the challenge of the fast-paced terrain that Delmas provided this weekend. It was full-speed ahead from the moment the race started as Cox faced the challenge of chasing down Kerim Fitz-Gerald. Despite navigating through unrelenting dust, it wasn’t long before Cox passed Fitz-Gerald and controlled the race from the front until the finish line.
While Cox has opened up a comfortable points lead as the season finale approaches, he has no intention of slacking off in the slightest: “It’s nice to have a comfortable points lead going into the last round, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt through racing is that it’s not over until it’s over. I have to go into the last round with the same intention to give 100% and chase down another win.”
When asked about the secret to his success this season, Cox revealed: “I always say that the goal is to win, and it really is. My job is to put KTM on the top step and fly that orange flag high. There’s no secret formula, it’s all about hard work. I just keep grinding day in and day out.”
Fresh off a hard week of racing the Kalahari Rally was Brother Leader Tread KTM teammate Charan Moore. After a slower start to the race by his own high standards, Moore was left to navigate in the unforgiving Delmas dust for most of the event.
Once the gaps started to open up between riders, however, Moore managed to pick up the pace with each passing lap to finish the event strong. While he admits that racing back-to-back was challenging, he describes the experience that he gained over the past week as invaluable.
As he works towards his bigger 2022 Dakar Rally goal, he commented, “The last week was tough mentally, but it also helped prepare for what to expect when I race the Dakar next year. I really embraced the challenge of it all and have a much better understanding of what will be required of me.”
With the final event of the season looming large, Moore’s goal remains the same – to bridge the gap on the frontrunners in the OR1 Class. “This season has come with many challenges and my goal has been to narrow the gap on the leaders in the OR1 Class. How you finish the season is just as important as the way you start it, so I’m looking forward using the final race as an opportunity to end the year on a high note,” said Moore.
What South African Cross Country Moto Round 4 Report Where Delmas, Mpumalanga When Saturday 11 September 2021 Community South Africa National
Another win, plus two seconds, a third and a fourth in Delmas
Newly returned Kawasaki won again in its fourth race since its SA National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship comeback. Mike Pentecost’s Franchise Company CIT machine led Pepson Plastics Motul man d’Artagnan Lobjoit to a KX450X open class OR1 1-2 at Delmas on Saturday on a good day all round for Kawasaki. KX250 trio Franchise Co CIT man Deon du Toit rode to second in Masters, and Pepson Motul trio Kyle Mackenzie to third in OR3, Lee Thompson fourth in Seniors and Craig Alcock has a positive OR1 outing.
“Kawasaki only returned to the South African National Cross Country Championship this season and we have already won twice,” Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing team principal Iain Pepper explained. “Overall winner last time out Mike Pentecost repeated his OR1 victory at a dusty Delmas on Saturday and D’Artagnan Lobjoit made it a 1-2 on his Pepson Plastics Motul KX450X.
“We had a great day all round — Deon du Toit, Kyle Mackenzie and Lee Thompson all starred in their classes and Craig Alcock had a good run too. “Michael now shares the OR1 championship lead with Dart a close third, Deon is second in Masters and Kyle jumps up from ninth to fourth in OR3. “Our Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Juniors – Clayton and Dylan Human, Jake Pretorius enjoyed another learning weekend “With one race left at Virginia Hills, we are fighting for championship wins in our first season back. “Bring it on!”
“We had a fantastic day at Delmas,” D’Artagnan Lobjoit admitted. “Second in OR2 and a Kawasaki 1-2 at that, keeps me third in that championship chase and fourth overall. “And it’s looking even better in the Gauteng Cross Country Championship. “It was so dusty and tough with some tricky rocky sections too, but my Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX450X ran like a train all the way. “Thanks to my incredible team for all the support — this is proving to be a special season!”
“What a fun but dusty day at the fourth round of the National Cross Country series in Delmas,” Kyle Macenzie explained. “I never made the start I was looking for, but my Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX250X felt amazing and I was super happy with my set-up. “That helped me to make up some positions to end up third in the national OR3 class and second on the Gauteng GXCC regional results. “Massive thanks to everyone who helped in the pits and before the race!”
“That’s more like it!” Masters rider Lee Thompson smiled. “I’ve had a few tough breaks so far this season and I needed a bit of luck, so I’m happy to bring it home fourth in Delmas. “It was dry and dusty out there, which always makes it more difficult, but my Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX250X ran a treat and I scored my best national result of the season so far. “Thanks to my team — it is a special privilege to be part of it.”
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul returns to SA National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship at Virginia Hills in KwaZulu Natal for the season finale on 22 October.
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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder was the top-ranked KTM MotoGP racer for the second Grand Prix in a row as the South African captured 7th place in the sweltering climes of MotorLand Aragon.
Hot temperatures at MotorLand Aragon marked the thirteenth Grand Prix of the 2021 campaign and the third of four visits planned to the Spanish mainland. 23 hard and fast laps of the 5.1km layout tested resolve, tire endurance and race management and a contest where 26-year-old Binder emerged as the leading rider on the KTM RC16.
Brad launched from 12th place on the grid and slipped into the exhaust stream of Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Iker Lecuona; the young Spaniard showing excellent pace on home turf. The KTM pair circulated together in a dispute for 7th and ahead of championship leader Fabio Quartararo. Lecuona dropped down to 10th by running wide at Turn 8 and Brad had breathing room to move up to 6th and then stare at a large gap to 5th. He then had to negotiate the last three laps with fading rear grip and took 7th by the flag.
MotoGP travels to Italy this week and for the second meeting in the space of seven days. The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is slated for two rounds of the championship as the season enters the final phase. The thirteenth Grand Prix occurs next Sunday with the sixteenth GP marked for the same flat and winding circuit on the final weekend of October.
Brad Binder: “It was a tough race for us, really difficult, I tried my absolute best at the beginning not to destroy my rear tire so that I would have something left for the end. Even though I nursed the left-hand side really well it gave me a very hard time on the last few laps. I need to say a huge thank you to the team because they worked so hard this weekend. The bike is working well, we just need a little bit more to be a bit more competitive. We are struggling more than we’d like to right now but it’s not for a lack of effort, that’s for sure. If we keep working then we are going to get there.”
What South African National Motocross Round 5 Preview Where Chestnut Hill, Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng When Saturday 18 September 2021 Community South Africa National
But will spectators be allowed back by Saturday?
The Cannabis Energy Drink TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship is looking forward to a full day’s racing when it heads to Chestnut Hill in Bronkhorstspruit on the eastern verges of Gauteng Province on Saturday 18 September. Especially if spectators are allowed back. Only one heat of racing went down when Pietermaritzburg’s Thunder Valley lived up to its name and treacherous conditions caused all the classes’ second races to be cancelled last time out.
That did not prevent Red Bull KTM star Tristan Purdon from hanging on to both the MX1 and MX2 title leads in KZN. The Eastern Cape star heads to the Highveld looking to make up for lost ground in both classes last time out. Cape rider David Goosen and his Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna took the single open class win at Thunder Valley. Red Bull KTM duo Cameron Durow and Cross Country star Bradley Cox and Anthony Raynard’s Tinswalo Yamaha are also in that picture.
KZN racer Cameron Durow took the 250cc MX2 win on his Red Bull KTM, from David Goosen’s Rockstar Husqvarna and championship leader Tristan Purdon’s Red Bull KTM in ‘Martizburg. Also keep an eye on Leonard du Toit, reigning champion Anthony Raynard’s Tinswalo Yamaha, Dalton Venter’s Yamaha and Jayden Proctor on a KTM among the quarter-litre brigade.
Over-30s rider Grant Frerichs will be out to continue his MX3 title charge on his Yamaha. He can expect a little more competition in Gauteng. Over-40 championship rivals, Honda rider Bruce Viljoen’s, Ian Topliss’ Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha, Phillip Harper on a Honda and Stewart Parkes are among those likely to make it even tougher on Freirichs.
Leah Heygate was one rider who lost out to the conditions in Martizburg, if Ladies Motorcross form is anything to go by so far this season. That cancelled second heat prevented the KZN lass from the opportunity to once again share wins with winner last time out, Jozi rider Kayla Raaff and her Kawasaki. Also expect the de Lima sisters, Jadene and Cheyenne to be in with a shout among SA’s motocross girls on their Husqvarnas.
Jonathan Mlimi is the lad to beat in High School 125cc Motocross on his Red Bull KTM. He extended his championship advantage by beating Luke Grundy’s Husqvarna last time out, while Ethan Hoffman’s Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha is his closest championship threat. Then, KTM trio Miguel de Waal and Barend du Toit and Blake Young, Cuan Conway’s GasGas and Callan Broskie’s Ridgeway Husqvarna must prevent another Mlimi win to keep any title hopes alive.
Rockstar Husqvarna lad Neil van der Vyver is meanwhile the 85cc Pro Mini kid to watch after his treacherous condition performance last time out. The 65cc champion has come alive and is on a come from behind charge that will be keeping the likes of championship leader Trey Cox on a Red Bull KTM, Husqvarna duo Ryan Adler and Jordan van Wyk, Christian Berrington-Smith’s KTM and Kodi Goosen on a Yamaha awake an night.
Pietermaritzburg served to spice up the 85cc Junior chase. Caden Wiese and Tyler Petersen’s Husqvarna and KTM trio, Matthew Correia, Andrew Venter, and Kassim Hassim will be out to gain any advantage at Bronkhorstspruit. Blade Tilley and his GasGas are the 65cc race combination to beat, but Aiden Henley’s Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha, KTM lads, Riley Rocher, Blake and Evan Frost and Casey Tilley’s GasGas will all be out to stop him.
And finally, Championship leader Trenton Kretzmann remains the kid to beat in baby class 50cc motocross on his Perry Husqvarna. He will have Maxwell Fourie’s Cobra, Rayden Woolls’ GasGas and KTM trio Brody Bircher, Ross Mackenzie and Ashton Rawlins on his case on what is likely to be a dry and dusty Chestnut Hill Motocross Park in Bronkhorstspruit this weekend.
Spectators remained banned from watching live sports at the time of writing. But that may very well change by the time the first gate drops at Chestnut Hill on 18 September. Should the President confirm that ban is lifted at his expected Family Meeting, what better way to celebrate than by heading off to watch SA’s finest motocross racers in action, not too far from Jozi? Here’s holding thumbs!
The 2021 South African National Motocross Championship is proudly presented by Motorsport South Africa in partnership with Cannabis Energy Drink, TRP Distributors, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Pro Taper, 100%, Fly Racing, Ogio, Bandit Graffix and the Race Shop.
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For the second Grand Prix in a row, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder was the lead qualifier as the South African made the cut from Q1 to Q2 and will line-up in 12th place for the 23-lap race at MotorLand Aragon on Sunday.
The technical layout of MotorLand Aragon gave 2021 MotoGP its latest challenge and remained fresh in the riders’ minds for feeling and set-up after the double-header that took place at the eastern Spanish venue last autumn. The championship negotiated the circuit for only one appointment and the thirteenth round of eighteen on the current calendar but enjoyed warm and bright conditions for the crucial Free Practice sessions on Saturday and the flurry of fast laps in both Q1 and Q2.
The quickest KTM RC16 rider on the day and among a very tight contest with 11 names split by just 1.1 seconds was Brad Binder. The Styrian Grand Prix winner grabbed 2nd place in Q1 and transferred into Q2 for the second meeting in succession. Brad was handicapped by having used the best options from his tire allocation and could not push to the maximum in the short decider for the first three rows of the grid.
The MotoGP lights will go out on Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Brad Binder: “I’m happy we made it through to Q2 but unfortunately we didn’t have the tires to make the most of it. I tried my best to make a lap-time from a used one from Q1 but just didn’t have the grip. I struggled to do anything In Q2. Overall, we can be happy with the step we have made today. Now we’ll give our all tomorrow.”
The Board of Directors met for its third meeting of the year at the FIM HQ in Mies, Switzerland, and via videoconference on 8 and 9 September 2021
On this occasion, the Board addressed many topics, in particular the following: COVID-19 pandemic: Thanks to the strong commitment of the FIM Family and stakeholders, all World Championships/Cups and Prizes could be held with only minor cancellations or changes in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2021 sporting and non-sporting calendars .
Sport: All disciplines were discussed with a focus on the Supercross World Championship for which a tender for the promotion of this championship will soon be launched for the upcoming years. The status of the MiniGP World Series was addressed as well as the E-bikes, E-Motorcycles and E-Xplorer. Discussions related to the level of sound emissions took place. The Board decided to fix the new sound limit to 109dB/A with a margin of tolerance of +1dB/A (sound measuring method) for factory off-road motorcycles for 2023 and for production series off-road motorcycles for 2024. The e-sport Working Group presented its report to the Board.
Finance: The Board approved a draft 2022 budget as well as changes in calendar and licence fees which will be presented to the General Assembly for approval. The 2022 direct payments were also agreed.
Insurances: The status of the 2022-2024 international riders’ insurance programme was presented and the volunteers’ insurance project was introduced to the Board.
Public Affairs: The Board was informed of the status of the revision of the EU Motor Insurance Directive (Vnuk case). The Motorsport shall be the only sector specifically exempted from the scope of the directive. National Federations are encouraged to lobby at national level to ensure a proper integration of the exemption in the respective national legislations. After a tender process, FIPRA was retained as the new FIM’s EU public affairs consultant as of 2022. Sustainability: The sustainability strategy developed by the International Sustainably Commission, together with external experts was presented to the Board. Discussions about alternatives energies such as electricity, eco-fuel or green-hydrogen were held.
Platforms and digitalisation: The platform listing the riders serving a period of ineligibility is ready to be implemented. It will centralise all information related to ineligibility of riders. The information on the platform will be provided by the riders’ FMNs. This tool will allow all FMNs to check the status of a rider before issuing a licence. The medical data platform (accidentology and riders’ status), aiming to provide a unique reference point for the FIM Medical Director and all FIM Chief Medical Officers, is currently being developed. This platform will allow to track the health status of the riders and to monitor the frequency and type of accident and related medical consequences in each case. The Working Group on digitalisation presented its first report to the Board. Its initial tasks included an assessment of the current state of play regarding digitalisation within the FIM and among the FMNs.
Education and training: Webinars with the participation of the FMNs were maintained with a satisfactory attendance rate. A training aimed at FMN Secretaries General on “Resilience – how managers can manage during a crisis?” will be organised mid-October by FIM Europe with the cooperation of the FIM in Rome (Italy).
Marketing and Digital: An in-depth analysis of the marketing and digital contents of the FIM International Six Days’ Enduro was presented to the Board. The coverage on various platforms such as the website, social media, among others, was also addressed for this event for which the FIM is acting as promoter.
Communication: The FIM Hospitality will be present on 10 events on various disciplines during the 2021 season. It is the FIM official venue to host media, partners, stakeholders, meetings, officials at major racing events.
General Assembly and FIM Awards: The Board decided to hold the 2021 General Assembly and 2020-2021 FIM Awards in Monaco. Mandate was given to the Executive Board to decide on the 2022 General Assembly and 2022 FIM Awards venue. The 2022 Commissions Conference will take place in February in Divonne les Bains (France).
Amendments to Codes and Regulations: The Board approved amendments to the Statues and By Laws as well as the Sporting Code that will be submitted to the General Assembly for consideration. Several amendments to the Financial Regulations and Medical Code were also approved by the Board.
Awards & Recognition: The Board awarded the following honorary memberships and title of Member of Honour, subject to the approval of the General Assembly:
Andrzej Witkowski (PZM), Honorary Vice President
Wojcieh Grodzki (PZM), Honorary CCP Member (posthumously)
Johan Pieter Ribbink (KNMV), Honorary CMS Member (posthumously)
Charly Demathieu (FMB), Member of Honour
Commissions: The following appointment was approved by the Board:
CTI – Expert, Giuseppe Esposito Corcione
In addition, the CONU Presidents, the Board Committees, the Working Groups and the departments of the Administration presented progress reports on their respective projects.
Zoom screen from top left: Jan STOVICEK (Board Member); Robert DINGMAN (FIM North America President); Stephan CARAPIET (FIM Asia President); Peter DOYLE (FIM Oceania President); Abdulrahmann AL MANNAI (Board Member).
Brother Leader Tread KTM are preparing to tap into new gears as the penultimate round of the National Cross Country Championship approaches.
Taking centre stage this weekend is Bradley Cox, who will not only attempt to extend his lead in the race for the OR2 Championship, but also for the Overall National Cross Country title.
The rider has never raced at the Delmas venue before but is undaunted by the unfamiliar terrain. Having snatched a class victory in the last round, Cox describes feeling as confident as ever on his KTM 350 XC-F, “I really enjoy it when races take place so close to each other. I pulled off my plan to win in the last round recently and while that feeling is still fresh, I get to carry the momentum over into the next round. Everything is dialled in and I can’t wait to get out there on my KTM 350 XC-F,”
Also representing the orange squad this weekend is Charan Moore. With a dream to complete the infamous Dakar Rally next year, the rider is currently competing in the Kalahari Rally. Moore will line-up on Saturday having spent more time in the saddle than ever, something that will certainly hold him in good stead as he looks to narrow the gap on the frontrunners in the OR1 Class.
“After two back-to-back weekends of racing, I spent some time getting back to the drawing board. I felt like towards the end of each race I found a really good groove, which is what I ultimately want to feel from the start of the race. I know what I needed to build on for Delmas to be ‘race ready’ and I’m keen to see how that will pay off.”
After an unfortunate turn of events, Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Jarryd Coetzee has withdrawn from the Delmas event due to an injury. After crashing during training, the rider will spend the next few weeks recovering from a successful operation he underwent this week.
As his team prepare to battle it out for Cross Country glory, KTM South Africa’s Marketing Manager Louwrens Mahoney commented: “The national event will be combined with a GXCC Club race – so this is going to be a tough day for the riders! They have six laps of a 48km loop to get through, and with 300+ riders in the mix the track is going to get really rough and demanding. Our riders have done the necessary changes and set up to adapt to this type of racing, so we are ready for a great day! We wish Jarryd Coetzee a speedy recovery and look forward to having back on the start line.”
Published by: Louwrens Mahoney – KTM Motorcycles SA
The curtains of the National Cross Country Championship have started drawing to a close with the penultimate round of the series taking place in Delmas, Mpumalanga, this weekend. With two national titles within their grasp, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna are preparing to fight tooth and nail for every last championship point that remains.
Leading rider Brett Swanepoel will be out for redemption this weekend. The rider faced his greatest test of the season when he ran out of petrol in the previous round. With the help of a fellow rider, Swanepoel dug deep to get to the finish line and salvage his hope of defending the prestigious OR1 Championship.
Having chosen his weapon of choice to finish the 2021 season strong, Swanepoel will return to his trusty Husqvarna FX 450 this weekend. “Without trying all our options, which fortunately we have with our line-up of Husqvarna models, we will not learn and progress – so with that being said, the race for this OR1 championship is far from over! After the last round, Brett has decided to stick to the FX 450 as his weapon of choice for the rest of the season.”
“I just finished up the last bit of testing before the weekend and I’m feeling as confident as ever on the FX 450. Let’s go!” said an excited Swanepoel.
Joining him in the battle for Cross Country glory is Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Davin Cocker. The youngster put on an eye-catching performance in the last round when he stormed to victory in the OR3 Class and third place overall.
Having stepped onto the overall podium for the first time in his career, Cocker will undoubtedly line-up with a fresh sense of confidence this weekend. Not only did the rider prove that he has what it takes to race against the frontrunners in this sport, but sent a strong message that his Husqvarna FC 250 is a force to be reckoned with.
Cocker has been dealt his fair share of blows this season and has been relentless in his effort to claw his way back up the leader board. His recent victory has put him back into contention for the OR3 Championship and only a few points separate him from the top step.
While the race for the national title will come right down to the wire, the rider remains undaunted as he prepares to face on the familiar Delmas terrain: “I like this terrain a lot and feel really comfortable on it. I feel so determined knowing I’m in second place by just a few points. I know this race is going to present a big battle for the championship lead, but I’m ready for whatever this weekend throws at me. My FC 250 is feeling great – from handling to power and speed. I couldn’t be happier with my setup, and I can’t wait to get out there!” said Cocker.
Gael Chatagno gave himself an early present when three days before his 25th birthday he piloted his Electric Motion to the 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship Trial-E title on home ground at Cahors in France.
Always considered a rising star – he was the Trial125 champion in 2014 and two years later won a Trial2 round – before injuries and academic studies combined to slow his progress, Chatagno found a fresh motivation by switching to Trial-E.
After losing out on the Trial-E title on a tie-break to Spanish legend Albert Cabestany last season, Chatagno went one better in 2021 and enjoyed a clean sweep of all four points-paying days to finally clinch the crown.
He’s deep-thinking and articulate so, naturally, we wanted to find out more about what makes the man from Marseille tick – and what he feels could lie in the future for battery-powered bikes.
TrialGP: Congratulations on your Trial-E title – how does it feel to be the champion? Gael: “I’m very happy to get this title. We won all the rounds of the championship which was our objective but it wasn’t always easy, especially the last round in Cahors where I won with only a one-point lead. These results reward all my personal work and that of my team and my entourage so we are very happy.”
TrialGP: You had a lot of success on conventional bikes in Trial125 and Trial2 – why the switch to Trial-E? Gael: “To tell the truth, I had a lot of problems during my last years in the Trial2 world championship with a lot of injuries and a lack of training due to my studies which took more and more time.
“Even if I had some good results, I didn’t have much means and motivation to get back to my best form and then I saw that Electric Motion was releasing a new model in 2019, the new Epure Race. I called them because I thought it could be a good project for me working on a new bike with new ambitions. I think I made the right choice!”
TrialGP: How frustrating was it to miss out so narrowly to Albert Cabestany in 2020? Gael: “At the beginning I didn’t really think about going for the Trial-E title, I just wanted to do my best, give my best and try to put the pressure on Albert. After some difficult years, I wanted to prove to myself what I was capable of and I managed to do some good things throughout the championship, in particular by winning the two races in Isola 2000.
“After the last round there was obviously some frustration but I won’t have a bad memory of it because this championship allowed me to regain confidence in myself and to prove to myself that I can be competitive.”
TrialGP: Were you surprised by how dominant you were this year? Gael: “No, because winning all the rounds was my goal. However, it’s always easier to say than to do, especially as Julien Perret fought well throughout the championship.”
TrialGP: How have you had to adapt your style for an electric bike? Gael: “An electric bike is almost like a combustion bike. The clutch, engine speed and coordination of movements remain the central elements of the riding. Some things change – such as the power curves which arrive more quickly than on a combustion bike or the absence of the gearbox to which you have to adapt – but, after a good month of training, you will find the same sensations as on a combustion bike. There is still work to be done to match the performance of the [combustion] bikes but we are not idle!”
TrialGP: What do you see in the future for the Trial-E class? Gael: “It is becoming more and more difficult to find places to train, to meet and to bring new riders to trial. The development of electric models, which are much better perceived by the authorities and other users, seems to be a good solution. In any case, even if other manufacturers present themselves next year, I hope that the FIM will authorise [electric motorcycles] to ride in other categories – I am thinking of Trial2 in the short term and one day surely in TrialGP. It will be the best way to make the bike progress.”
TrialGP: Do you think an electric bike will ever be competitive in TrialGP? Gael: “Yes, I think so. I don’t know about other electric bikes or current projects – and for EM there is still a lot of work to do – but considering the speed at which it’s evolving and the margin of progress it has left, I would say between three and five years.”
Round five of the 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship takes place this coming weekend when the TrialGP and Trial2 competitors join forces with the TrialGP Women and Trial2 Women classes at the Spanish TrialGP at Pobladura de las Regueras.
For regular updates and live results check out our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just search for TrialGP.
NATIONAL MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP – PIETERMARITZBURG
In what will go down as one of the stand-out motocross races of the season, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna battled brutal weather conditions to take a double victory on Saturday. With two riders within shot of winning their respective championships, the event presented the perfect opportunity to make up some valuable points in the race for national titles.
Leading rider David Goosen describes waking up at midnight before the race to a thunderstorm and braced himself for what was to come. He explained, “The weather reports had been bad all week, so everything from my bike to my goggles were prepped. I felt dialled in and prepared. I knew didn’t need to push too hard, I just needed to keep the throttle smooth and most importantly, keep the bike upright.”
The rider started the day with a blistering pace and set the fastest MX1 qualifying time. With a clear sense of confidence, he lined-up for what would be the first and only MX1 heat of the day due to the adverse weather conditions. Having finally snatched up what until now had been a seemingly elusive victory, Goosen commented:
“I knew after the qualifying lap that I could push the pace in those conditions, so I went into the race confident knowing that this was the perfect opportunity to make up some points and go for that top step.”
Eager to have kept racing, he added, “If I could have, I would have loved to carry on and make up some more points. I’m grateful to have had a consistent weekend regardless, and now I just need to keep the momentum going. There are still three rounds left and a lot of work to do.”
A cherry on the top of what was already an unforgettable day of racing for Goosen was a second-place finish in the MX2 Class. While the rider feels he had the pace to go for a double victory, he describes the roost as being so rough that getting past race leader Cameron Durow was almost impossible.
Adding to the celebrations at the Husqvarna camp was a victory from young gun Neil van der Vyver. The rising Pro Mini star has been dealt a fair share of blows this season and a breakthrough race was just the confidence boost he needed.
Like Goosen, a fast-qualifying time set the right tone for what would be a stand-out performance for the rider. Van der Vyver commented, “There wasn’t any set plan for a race like this except to get out there and keep moving. My Husqvarna TC 85 held up so well in what was super rough conditions.”
As he steps back into the fight for the prestigious championship, the next three races will be crucial for Van der Vyver. “There is still a lot of work to do and points to make up, so I hope that this will be the start of more wins to come,” he said.
What South African Cross Country Moto Round 4 Preview Where Delmas, Mpumalanga When Saturday 11 September 2021 Community South Africa National
Will dusty Delmas serve up a fourth new winner in four races?
Three races into the 2021 MSA South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship, three different riders and three different machines have won the races overall. So the question has to be, will the virgin springtime mielie fields and dusty vleis of Delmas dish up another winner in round 4 on Saturday 11 September, or will we see our first repeat winner?
There’s much more at play. For instance, none of the reigning champions have yet won a round. And then there’s the ongoing Gauteng versus Natal battle to consider.
Pietermaritzburg international hero Travis Teasdale rode his TT Racing Gas Gas to wildcard victory in a muddy Jolivet, KwaZulu Natal season opener in February, before Gauteng OR2 rider Ian Rall restored upcountry honour when he blasted his MCA Dragon Energy Husqvarna to win the second round at Modimolle in Limpopo Province on Saturday. Then lockdown intervened before another KZN rider, Michael Pentecost threw a Franchise Co CIT Kawasaki cat among the pigeons to win ‘at home’ in Matatiele last month.
All three of those riders have scored somewhat unexpected victories in a championship that is seeing consistency, rather than outright results pay off. Overall and OR2 championship leader and reigning OR3 champion Bradley Cox has not yet won a round but leads the title chase on his Brother Leader Tread KTM with a couple of seconds and a third overall. SA Cross Country champion Brett Swanepoel sits second overall on his open class OR1 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna and he has also not taken a win this year.
So the odds are on a new winner. But then overall success has followed local riders and both these KZN men must endure the dust of Delmas rather than their favoured loamy Zululand hills. So this one may just be too hard to predict. Fourth overall and third man in OR1 is d’Artagnan Lobjoit itching to race in those conditions on his Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki. As will be Husqvarna OR3 lads Davin Cocker’s Rockstar Energy and Matthew Wilson’s MCA machines. And motocross refugee Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s OR2 Red Bull KTM.
But don’t ever ignore the Natal lot in any conditions. Swanepoel, Cox and Pentecost, as well as OR3 man Scott Heygate and his Alfie Cox KTM are always going to be in the picture. And then there’s the odd man out — Cape lad Jarryd Coetzee’s and his big banger KTM, who is just as capable of causing an update. All of the above are well within the Cross Country Moto top ten and all are capable of winning in Delmas.
In the classes, it’s Brett Swanepoel versus Michael Pentecost, d’Artagnan Lobjoit and Jarryd Coetzee, as well as Sherco man Hayden Louw. Bradley Cox has Kerim Fitz-Gerald on another Red Bull KTM and second round Ian Rall to deal with in OR2. There’s a significant scuffle in OR3 however, where Scott Heygate, Davin Cocker and Matthew Wilson will fight it out with Erik Merry’s Hudqvarna and Haydn Cole’s KTM, while Kyle Mackenzie will fly the Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki in Taki Bogiages’ absence.
Wade Blaauw will be looking to continue his Seniors domination with a fourth win in four races on his Roost KTM. But Deon du Toit will be out to break his bridesmaid’s streak there on his Franchise CIT Kawasaki, with KTM Durban lad Stuart Gregory and Shimwells Yamaha duo Dirk Olivier and Marco Cocci in pursuit. Greg Nairn’s Perry Husqvarna, Miellies le Roux’s Alfie Cox KTM and Yamaha man Marius de Klerk will have Wayne Farmer’s Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna to contend with in the over-40s Masters championship chase.
In schoolkid action, KTM Durbanlas Dylan Jones leads Branden Swanepoel’s Bike Shack Trademore Sherco and John Botha’s TFC CIT Husqvarna among the High School 125s. Damon Cox, Derek Karam and Joss Alexander are in pursuit. And Thomas Scales’ Dynamic KTM leads Cobus Bester’s Spherical Holeshot Husqvarna and Brandon Clark, Johnny Luck, Lucian Meyer’s similar machines in the 85cc chase.
Watch for the Delmas dust storm on Saturday 11 September.
What South African Cross Country Moto Round 4 Preview Where Delmas, Mpumalanga When Saturday 11 September 2021 Community South Africa National
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing wants another win
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing heads to Delmas in Mphumalanga hell bent on repeating the brand’s maiden comeback victory three races into its return to the MSA South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship last time out in Matatiele. Michael Pentecost stormed to that Matat on his Franchise Co CIT Kawasaki KX450X, but he’s not the only Kawasaki rider chasing glory in Dusty Delmas.
“We’re going to Delmas with one objective in mind and that is to win,” Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing team boss Iain Pepper warned. “We are in a strong championship position both overall and in the top class OR1 with Michael and D’Artagnan Lobjoit in the top four in both chases, and we are also out to shine in OR3 where Kyle Mackenzie is coming on strong.
“Unfortunately Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing is two riders down — our OR3 star Taki Bogiages is recovering from Covid and his recuperation and health is more important than risking to ride. “And I am still recovering from injury so we will not be out in over-40 Masters this weekend. “But then Delmas is also a home race for us, so we have that extra spring in our step and a crack squad out to claim those trophies. “Bring it on.”
“My Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX450X is ready for Delmas!” D’Artagnan Lobjoit confirmed. “This one is also a home race for us and it is on terrain that best suits my riding style too. “I love the quick stuff and we have set my bike up for maximum attack. “We expect it to be dusty, so let’s hope I can get out front and push hard all the way. “I can’t wait!”
“My Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX250X really felt amazing through all the different terrains on the track at Matatiele, Kyle Mackenzie explained, “But we now move closer to home on a local track that we are confident will very well suit my riding style. “I will be the lone Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul rider in OR3 at Delmas, so I’m also doing it for my teammate Taki, as he recovers from Covid. “I’m ready!”
Two more Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul riders, the ever-improving OR1 rookie Craig Alcock aims to continue his first season progress on the big-bore machine and Senior man Lee Thompson is looking for a clean run on his KX250X alongside Franchise CIT Kawasaki man Deon du Toit, who sits second in the over-30s class.
And then there are the Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul juniors, where the team has three kids racing. Jake Pretorius returns to the saddle following a most impressive round on his KX85X at the Matatiele national. Clayton Human is looking forward to another step forward in his outing in 85cc Club and Dylan Human is raring to race his Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX65X in the 65cc Club class.
Issued on behalf of Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing
The start of the second half of the ninety-fifth running of the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) saw riders tackle a new and much-welcomed course, taking competitors south from the event’s base at the Rivanazzano Terme Airport and featuring one-hundred and ninety-eight kilometres of fresh trails as well as several new special tests.
In the World Trophy team competition there was no change at the top of the class results, with Italy continuing to lead on home soil. In the Women’s World Trophy, the USA once again dominated, while in the Junior World Trophy, the USA dropped from second to fourth following a costly crash from Austin Walton (Husqvarna). Andrea Verona (GASGAS) ended the day as the fastest outright rider.
With team rider Andrea Verona (GASGAS) arguably hitting his best form of the competition to date, and with three of their four riders placed inside the top five of the overall individual results, Italy was again the team to beat in the World Trophy competition. Placing one-minute and forty seconds ahead of Spain, with two days of competition remaining, Italy extended their overall lead to just over five minutes.
“It took me four days, but finally I managed to get an overall day win,” enthused Verona at the end of the day. “I really enjoyed the tests today, but the ground was very hard, which made them very, very slippery. It was easy to make mistakes with no ruts or berms, like we had on the previous days. It’s been a great day for the team also, taking a few more seconds from Spain. I’m here as part of the Italian team, so I’ll continue doing my best for them as well as pushing hard for the best individual result I can get.”
Although unable to stop Italy claiming yet another World Trophy day win, Spain again produced a spirited team performance, despite a heavy crash for their fastest rider Josep Garcia (KTM) early in the day. Collectively, Spain’s riders extended their advantage over third-placed USA by twelve seconds. Outside of the top three, but well-positioned to strike if any of the leading teams run into troubles, Sweden rode well, with another notably strong performance from Mikael Persson (KTM).
The day’s biggest result shake-up came in the World Junior Trophy category. Second behind Italy at the end of day three, following a big crash from Austin Walton (Husqvarna), which resulted in a sizeable loss of time, the USA dropped to fourth on day four.
Italy was the fastest team in the Junior World Trophy, completing the day more than one-minute ahead of France to now sit six minutes and twenty-six seconds ahead in the overall results. With the USA running into troubles, France was able to capitalise and inherited the runner-up position, but sit a long way behind Italy. Sweden is holding strong, and now hold third behind Italy and France.
Despite their troubles in the Junior World Trophy class, the USA powered ahead in the Women’s World Trophy competition on day four, much like on every other day of this year’s ISDE. With no change in the top three in the class, USA remain ahead of Great Britain and Spain. With one full day of competition and the final motocross races remaining, the USA sit a sizeable eleven minutes and thirty-four seconds ahead.
On day four alone the USA were close to three minutes faster than their closest challengers, with Brandy Richards (KTM) the only female competitor to end the day with combined special test times of less than sixty minutes.
With Great Britain’s trio of Jane Daniels (Fantic), Nieve Holmes (GASGAS), and Rosie Rowett (KTM), standing firm in second, Spain hold third, and like the USA and Great Britain ahead of them, Spain look all-but assured of a podium finish.
“We’re in third, Mireia (Badia – GASGAS) is flying, so we have to stay focused on these final two days and keep pushing to the very end,” confirmed Sandra Gomez. “I started the event really well, which was a little unexpected. The special tests are really fast, and I’m a much better rider on technical special tests. I’ll keep pushing, I’m doing my very best, and I’m enjoying the race. I just want to do my best for the team and hope we finish on the podium.”
In Enduro1, the day’s overall fastest rider Andrea Verona (GASGAS) topped the class comfortably. With Sweden’s Mikael Persson (KTM) continuing his impressive performances to claim the runner-up spot, just as he had on day three Davide Guarneri (Fantic) rounded out the day four as third fastest in E1.
“I arrived at the ISDE with a big ankle problem,” explained Guarneri. “I twisted it five days before the race. I wasn’t able to walk the tests so well, but thankfully things have got better. I made two big mistakes on the first day, and since then I’ve been getting my rhythm back, and improving, which is the most important thing. I’m feeling better and better, but now I have to think about our position as a team in the World Trophy competition.”
Enduro2 was topped for the fourth day running by Josep Garcia (KTM). Finishing ahead of Taylor Robert (KTM), and Michael Layne (Yamaha), Garcia was one of a number of riders to crash on day four.
“I started the day well but in the long enduro test I had a big crash and then exited the track twice,” explained Spain’s World Trophy team leader. “I found it difficult to concentrate and lost a lot of time after that. I kept pushing, took some time back, but with one of today’s special tests cancelled I ran out of time to close the gap. I was close to the overall win, but finally second behind Verona.”
Italian teammates Matteo Cavallo (TM), and Matteo Pavoni (TM), again finished as the top two in the Enduro3 class, with Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM) making it three E3 class riders inside the overall top three.
The FIM International Six Days of Enduro continues on day five with competitors taking on the one-hundred and ninety-eight-kilometre Valle di Curone lap for the second and final time.
The long-awaited return of the National Motocross Championship brought great excitement to Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. In unrelenting rain, the country’s top riders set off for the muddiest bar-to-bar battle of the season.
All eyes were on leading rider Tristan Purdon who lined-up to defend his lead in both the MX1 and MX2 Class. Aware that the muddy conditions might not play to his strengths, the rider approached the track with a specific strategy in mind. He explained, “I haven’t had the best races in the mud in the past. I knew that if I wasn’t in a position to win, then all I had to focus on was staying calm and keeping my bike alive in that crazy mud.”
After a slow start to what would be the first and only MX2 heat of the day due to the weather conditions, Purdon pushed his way through the pack to finish in third place. In what Purdon describes as “salvage mode”, he fought hard to maintain his composure in MX1 to secure second place overall.
“Even though I got a better start in MX1, my goggles let me down and I had to race without them. I knew a second and third-place finish would be good enough to hold onto the championship lead, so I stayed consistent and got to that finish line without any mistakes,” said Purdon.
Taking centre stage in the MX2 Class was Red Bull KTM teammate Cameron Durow. As a Pietermaritzburg-based rider, Durow was untouchable on the familiar track and stormed to take the victory overall. While most riders were relieved to cross the finish line, Durow was disappointed to not be able to race in another heat:
“Only one heat meant that I’d earn less points than I could have at a normal event. I’m really glad to have narrowed the gap, though, and I’m feeling super motivated as we prepare for the next three rounds of the season!”
In what has become an exciting battle between teammates, Durow and Purdon are now separated by only six-points in the race for the MX2 Championship.
Also taking top honours for the orange team was High School Class hero Jonathan Mlimi. From the moment the rider saw the weather forecast in the days leading up to the race, he describes feeling excited by the prospect of racing in the mud: “I raced pretty well in muddy conditions last season, so when I heard it was going to rain, I was actually looking forward to it – strangely enough.”
Mlimi’s confidence in the unforgiving conditions was clear from the practice lap where he set the fastest qualifying time. Carrying his winning momentum forward, the rider made his way to the front early into the main race and didn’t look back. He said: “Once I’d opened a gap, I controlled the race from the front and held onto the lead until the end!”
A cherry on the top of what was a successful day of racing for Red Bull KTM was another solid performance from Trey Cox. Things looked promising for the youngster who after qualifying first, took the holeshot in the Pro Mini race. An unfortunate tip over in the first lap set Cox back, but after regaining his composure the rider clawed his way back up the ranks to finish the day in third.
Competing on the event’s Valle di Staffora route for the third and final time, day three of the ninety-fifth International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) saw Italy extend their lead in both the World Trophy and Junior World Trophy competitions, once again mastering the rough, dry, and dusty special tests. Just as on days one and two, the USA topped the Women’s World Trophy class while Josep Garcia (KTM) was again the day’s outright fastest rider.
Marking the mid-way point of the race, it was again Italy that led the way in the World Trophy competition, extending their overall advantage from one-minute twenty-two seconds to three minutes and twenty seconds. Edging ever further ahead of Spain, Italy’s riders Andrea Verona (GASGAS), Davide Guarneri (Fantic), Thomas Oldrati (Honda), and Matteo Cavallo (TM), all delivered strong performances.
With gaps starting to increase between teams, despite dropping further behind Italy, Spain were able to edge further ahead of the USA, extending their advantage to one-minute and forty-eight seconds. Once again led by the day’s overall fastest rider Josep Garcia (KTM), Spain remains best placed to capitalise should any issues beset Italy during the last half of the event.
“I’ve really enjoyed battling with Andrea (Verona) today, when you have to fight for every second and keep pushing, pushing, pushing all the day, it’s the best way to race,” commented Garcia following a day-long battle with Italy’s fastest World Trophy rider. “I knew coming into today that it would be like that, and my goal was just to keep on pushing. It’s been a good day for the team as well. We can all look forward to a new course tomorrow.”
With France having held down the fourth-place spot through days one and two, at the end of day three it was Sweden, helped by strong performances by both Albin Elowson (Husqvarna) and Mikael Persson (KTM) who moved into fourth. After three days of competition the two nations are separated by less than ten seconds.
The end of day three saw no change in the overall top five in the Junior World Trophy category with Italy now more than three minutes ahead and finishing fastest on the day. Comfortably ahead of the USA, who in turn sit ahead of France, Italy’s juniors seem determined to match their senior teammates every step of the way at this year’s ISDE.
Just over a minute outside of the top three in fourth, Sweden enjoyed a strong day three, unquestionably helped by Max Ahlin (Husqvarna), who ended the day as the eighth fastest rider overall. “I’m really pleased with the way things have gone today, and a little surprised,” admitted Ahlin. “I tried to push a little more on the last test on day two and found some good speed. I guess I brought that speed into today and everything worked out great. I liked today’s test, but I’m looking forward to new tests tomorrow. Let’s see how the last few days go for our team.”
One notable change in the Junior World Trophy competition was Finland dropping from sixth at the end of day two to fourteenth and last at the close of day three. With team rider Peetu Juupaluoma (Husqvarna), are exiting the event, Finland became the first Junior World Trophy team to drop to two riders. Benefiting the most, Chile moved into sixth
The top three nations in the Women’s World Trophy class are the same as they were at the end of day two with the USA ahead of Great Britain and Spain. Now close to nine minutes ahead of Great Britain, team USA once again saw Brandy Richards (KTM) lead the way as she set the pace as the fastest outright female competitor.
Just as the USA extended their advantage over Great Britain, so did Great Britain extend their lead over Spain. The two countries are now separated by close to one minute. More than one hour now separates the fastest Women’s World Trophy team, the USA, from Italy, who sit eighth in class.
After enjoying a sizeable margin of victory as the outright fastest rider on day two, on day three Josep Garcia (KTM) was just under three seconds faster than Andrea Verona (GASGAS) with Mikael Persson (KTM) third.
Verona and Persson also sat at the top of the Enduro1 class results on day three with Italy’s Davide Guarneri (Fantic) enjoying his best day of the event so far in third.
In Enduro2 it was again all about Josep Garcia (KTM) with USA’s Taylor Robert second fastest despite a big crash in the opening special test. Producing his best result of the event so far, Sweden’s Albin Elowson (Husqvarna) placed third fastest E2 class rider.
“It’s been a strange day for me,” confirmed Taylor Robert. “I crashed hard on the first test, then felt great on the final test, but my times don’t seem to tell the same story. Other than that, I’m just pleased to get through today. The tests and some of the time controls are super beat up now, tomorrow’s new trails and tests can’t come soon enough.”
Italian riders Matteo Cavallo (TM) and Matteo Pavoni (TM) put in the two fastest Enduro3 class times on day three, closely followed by Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM) in third.
The FIM International Six Days of Enduro continues on day four with competitors taking on the new one hundred and ninety-eight-kilometre Valle di Curone lap.
Continuing what they started on day one of the ninety-fifth running of the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE), Italy proved on day two to again be the nation to beat in both the World Trophy and Junior World Trophy classes. With close battles across all categories, the USA extended their lead to five minutes in the Women’s World Trophy competition while the day’s overall fastest competitor was again Josep Garcia (KTM).
Knowing what to expect as they competed on the same trails and, with one notable exception, the same special tests as on day one, day two was dry and dusty for all competitors. Just as on day one, nothing significantly affected any of the leading nation’s top riders, meaning it was all about the important special test performances.
With all of their World Trophy team riders finishing inside the top ten of the overall individual classification on day two, Italy stretched their overall lead in the World Trophy standings to one minute and twenty-two seconds. With Andrea Verona (GASGAS) the event’s fastest Enduro1 class rider, and Matteo Cavallo (TM) the event’s fastest Enduro 3 competitor, together with solid performances from Thomas Oldrati (Honda), and Davide Guarneri (Fantic), Italy served up another impressive team performance.
Boosted by the fact Josep Garcia (KTM) ended day two as the overall fastest rider, Spain also enjoyed a positive second day of competition. Not allowing Italy to get too far ahead, Spain are very much ensuring they keep themselves in the running, as the event nears its mid-way point.
“My goal for today was to be more aggressive than I was on day one,” commented Spain’s Josep Garcia at the end of the day. “I wasn’t quite myself on day one. I pushed hard today and it worked really well. It was a good day for me and also team Spain. All of our riders are going well. If I can stay like this all week, I will be happy.”
Rounding out the top three in the World Trophy team competition, the USA finished third on day two to hold third overall while France and Sweden rounded out the top five.
Extending their lead in the Junior World Trophy competition by a little over forty seconds, Italy were again the team to beat, but were pushed hard by an on-form USA. With Matteo Pavoni (TM) and Lorenzo Macoritto (TM) respectively sixth and seventh in the day’s overall individual results, together with Manolo Morettini (KTM), Italy stepped closer to the Junior World trophy title.
With Dante Oliveira (KTM) mixing it with the World Trophy team riders near the top of the overall results on day two, the USA moved ahead of France, and again delivered a strong result. From two seconds down on France, the USA now sit forty-two seconds ahead. Behind Italy, USA, and France, Sweden hold fourth ahead of Spain and Finland.
Close to six minutes ahead in the Women’s World Trophy category, the USA extended their WWT team lead to complete another day untroubled. Behind them, Spain, who had finished as their closest challengers on day one, dropped to third as Great Britain jumped into the runner-up spot. Less than thirty seconds separate Spain and Great Britain after two full days of competition.
In finishing second fastest overall, Andrea Verona (GASGAS) ended day two as the quickest Enduro1 class rider, but with Sweden’s Mikael Persson (KTM) snapping at his heals.
“I was a little bit nervous this morning, starting up front, having taken advantage of a good starting position on day one. I tried to do my own race, just focusing on my own riding. It’s great to be up there with the top guys and near the front in E1. I just feel good, and I want to do my best for the team,” explained Persson.”
All finishing inside the overall top ten, Lorenzo Macoritto (TM), Davide Guarneri (Fantic) and Theo Espinasse (Honda) round out the top five in Enduro1.
There was never any question who would top the Enduro2 class on day two as Josep Garcia (KTM) upped his determination levels, and his speed, to dominate both his class and the overall. Finishing comfortably ahead of USA’s Taylor Robert (KTM), Garcia set a pace no one could get close to. Thomas Oldrati (Honda) was the third fastest E2 class rider.
At the top of the Enduro 3 classification TM and Italy teammates Matteo Cavallo and Matteo Pavoni finished three seconds apart and ahead of Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM).
Just as she did on day one, USA’s Brandy Richards was comfortably the fastest female competitor.
The FIM International Six Days of Enduro continues on day three as competitors take on the one hundred and ninety five-kilometres Valle Staffora lap for the third and final time.
Host nation Italy have made the best possible start to the ninety-fifth edition of the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) with winning team performances in both the World Trophy and Junior World trophy classes. The much-anticipated opening day of competition also saw the USA top the Women’s World Trophy result with Josep Garcia (KTM) posting the day’s fastest overall individual performance.
A largely dry and dusty day of competition with little in the way of shock results or unfortunate DNFs, it was Andrea Verona (GASGAS), Davide Guarneri (Fantic), Thomas Oldrati (Honda), and Matteo Cavallo (TM) who, at the end of the one hundred and ninety five-kilometre, six special test day, collectively sat at the top of the World Trophy team results, 52.37 seconds ahead of Spain, with the USA close behind in third.
Right from the off, the three nations all delivered impressive collective performances, with Italy unquestionably helped by the strong showings of Andrea Verona (GASGAS) and Matteo Cavallo (TM). Fast from the off, Verona held a slender outright individual lead with just one special test to go, falling twice on the final test and allowing Spain’s Josep Garcia (KTM) to go on and top the individual results with relative ease. In doing so Garcia helped Spain secure a strong second.
“I had a big battle with Josep Garcia all day, which was really good,” explained Verona at the end of the day. “I was ahead after the penultimate test and, well, I had a small fall in the final test and lost time. I somehow got some soil into my front brake lever, which meant the front brake was stuck on for a while. It was very strange. Then we had some rain and with the brake not so good I crashed again. Anyway, I’m happy. I had a good day and so did the team.”
While Italy hold the provisional World Trophy team lead at the end of day one, their advantage is anything but substantial. Less than one minute behind Italy, Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM), Josep Garcia (KTM), Marc Sans (Husqvarna), and Cristobal Guerrero (Beta) all successfully completed the day, keeping up the pressure on their European rivals and managing to stay ahead of the USA.
Sitting strong in third, the USA, led by former outright ISDE winner Taylor Robert (KTM), completed the day with incredibly similar overall special test times from each of their four riders. Despite Robert crashing on the opening test, the team looks set to battle with Spain and Italy throughout the event.
“I felt really good in the first test, but went down pretty hard and busted up my elbow a little,” explained Robert after the race. “It took a little while to get my rhythm back again. Josep and Andrea were on fire, but I had a decent day, and importantly so did the USA Trophy team. The enduro test wasn’t easy on a 450, but the tests were great. We’re in for a good week of racing.”
Behind the top three, France rounded out the opening day in fourth, a little under thirty seconds behind the USA. With Sweden fifth, helped by an impressive ride by Mikael Persson (KTM), Canada, Portugal, Brazil, the Czech Republic and Finland rounded out the top ten.
As it was in the World Trophy class, in the Junior World Trophy category Italy ended day one on top. Just over one minute ahead of France, who in turn finished less than two seconds up on the USA, the three Italians of Lorenzo Macoritto (TM), Manolo Morettini (KTM), and Matteo Pavoni (TM) showed that just like their senior countrymen they are focused on doing just one thing this week – winning. So fast was team member Matteo Pavoni (TM) that he finished as the day’s outright second fastest rider, just twenty-one seconds behind Josep Garcia (KTM).
Not allowing Italy to get too far ahead, France secured a deserved runner-up result thanks to Luc Fargier (GASGAS), Leo Le Quere (Sherco), and Antoine Criq (Beta) as the trio also kept themselves ahead of the USA. France, who sit one minute behind Italy, but also narrowly ahead of the USA, have a lot to play for on day two. Equally, they have a lot to lose to the USA should any of their riders make any costly mistakes.
One better than their World Trophy teammates who sit fifth, Sweden hold fourth in the Junior World Trophy standings ahead of Spain and Finland, with Chile, Portugal, Czech Republic, and Norway rounding out the top ten.
Ending day one with the biggest advantage of all the national teams, the USA stamped their authority on the Women’s World Trophy class with a highly impressive winning result. Collectively Brandy Richards (KTM), Rachel Gutish (Husqvarna), and Britney Gallegos (Husqvarna) sit three minutes and eighteen seconds ahead of Spain.
“I started out riding a little tight, but I progressed throughout the day,” commented Richards. “The tests were mostly long and fast, but they were fun to ride. The dirt and traction was different from place to place, but it was a good day for me.”
With Spain holding down second, and Great Britain third, it was Portugal and France who rounded out the top five with all eight Women’s World Trophy teams making it to the finish of the day.
Despite his falls in the final special test of the day, Andrea Verona (GASGAS) finished day one at the top of the Enduro1 class results, close to ten seconds ahead of Sweden’s Mikael Persson (KTM). Delivering one of the standout rides of the day, Persson found himself as the Swedish filling in an Italian sandwich with Verona ahead of him and Junior World Trophy team rider Lorenzo Macoritto (TM) behind him.
Although not entirely happy with the way he rode throughout the day, Spain’s Jose Garcia (KTM) has already opened up a near one-minute advantage at the top of the Enduro2 class, ahead of USA’s Taylor Robert (KTM) and Italy’s Thomas Oldrati (Honda).
“My day was good, even if I took a lot of dust in some of the special tests, which made things tricky,” explained Garcia. “Also, I didn’t feel perfect on my bike. I’m not sure why, but anyway the day was good and I managed to win the overall too. I hope that tomorrow I can ride like I did on the final test today, and we’ll keep pushing as a team.”
With World Trophy team riders topping the Enduro1 and Enduro2 class result, in Enduro3 it was Italian Junior World Trophy team rider Matteo Pavoni (TM) who topped the time sheets. Fifteen seconds ahead of countryman Matteo Cavallo (TM), Pavoni kept experienced racers like the USA’s Ryan Sipes (GASGAS) and Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM) behind him.
At the top of the individual Women’s class results it was the USA’s Brandy Richards (KTM), one minute and forty-seven ahead of Great Britain’s Jane Daniels (Fantic), with Spain’s Mireia Badia (GASGAS) third.
The FIM International Six Days of Enduro continues on day two with riders repeating the one hundred and ninety five-kilometre Valle di Staffora lap.
Only six machines started the first heat in extremely tricky conditions and it was Malcolm Rapson (Racebase Kawasaki ZX10R) home first with Jacques Ackermann South Kawasaki ZX10R) a distant second, Gavin Louw third and Lubabalo Ntisana (KawasakiZX10R) fourth. J-P Friederich (FR Trax Yamaha R1) took a tumble in turn 5 but recovered to finish fifth whilst Connor Hagan had his bike retire on the grid. Heat two saw David McFadden (Stunt SA Kawasaki ZX10R) cruise to an uncontested victory with Trevor Westman (Team Wayward Kawasaki ZX10R) second, Malcolm Rapson third, Jacques Ackermann fourth, Connor Hagen fifth and J-P Friedrich sixth.
Overall it was Malcolm Rapson that won from Jacques Ackermann, Gavin Louw, Lubabalo Ntisana, J-P Friedrich and David McFadden.
Slade van Niekerk (Project Sixty60 Kawasaki ER650), Jason Linekar (RST Kawasaki Ninja 650) and Zante Otto (Missile Motorcycles Kawasaki ER6) provided some of the best racing on the day with a thrilling three way tussle in extremely tricky conditions to finish less than five seconds apart in heat one with David Lindemann (GM Contractors Suzuki SV650) fourth, Lance Jonas fifth and Nicholas Hutchings (HSC Racing KTM RC390) sixth. The PSP 300 category another thrilling dual that saw Hutchings cross the line only 0.006sec clear of Tristan Pienaar (KTM RC390). The top three a little more spread out in heat two with David Lindemann and Lance Jonas fourth and fifth. Trevor Westman (Roxstar Performance Kawasaki Ninja 650) sixth on this occasion. Tristan Pienaar getting the upper hand in PSP300 with Nicholas Hutchings second.
Overall the PSP 650 order was Slade van Niekerk, Jason Linekar, Zante Otto, David Lindemann, Lance Jonas (BMW Accident Repair) and Rob de Vos (MSA Kawasaki ER650). In the PSP300 category the overall order was Tristan Pienaar, Nicholas Hutchings, Mitch Robinson (The Mag Workshop Kawasaki Ninja 400), Braddon Hutchings (HSC Racing KTM RC390), Peter Hill (Hillbilly Racing KTM RC390) and Sean Kleyn (HSC Racing KTM RC390). Slade van Niekerk securing the Western Province 600cc championship for the season.
The category also enjoyed a one hour endurance race as part of the days itinerary and it would be Rob de Vos and Wayne Arendse (Kawaski ER650) that would prove to be the top combination, completing 42 laps aboard their …… Slade and Willy van Niekerk (Project Sixty60) looked the likely winners but though they set the fastest time of 1min21.125 their machine cried enough and they were forced to withdraw after 26 laps.
Tristan Pienaar (rode solo and claimed second spot with David Lindemann taking third. Trevor and Alan Westman slotting into fourth with Jason Linekar and Adrian Solomon (RST Kawasaki Ninja 300) fifth and Peter Hill – Lubas Ntisana (KTM R6) sixth.
What South African National Motocross Round 4 Report Where Thunder Valley, Pietermaritzburg When Saturday 28 August 2021 Community South Africa National
Racing curtailed after treacherous first heats
Pietermaritzburg’s Thunder Valley lived up to its name as treacherous conditions played havoc at the Cannabis Energy Drink TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship on Saturday. A major cold front hit KwaZulu Natal overnight to wreak havoc as extreme cold, driving rain and even sleet in each class tested competitors and officials to the limit in the first motos. The meeting was then abandoned and the second heats scratched as conditions deteriorated.
Cape rider David Goosen shrugged the cold, wet and wind off to ride his Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna to the open class MX1 win. He grabbed three points back from his Eastern Cape rival, championship leader Tristan Purdon’s Red Bull KTM. Purdon’s teammates Cameron Durow and Cross Country star Bradley Cox were next up ahead of Anthony Raynard on a Tinswalo Yamaha and Jayden Proctor’s KTM.
KZN local Cameron Durow took a 250cc MX2 race of attrition on his Red Bull KTM, two and a half seconds clear of David Goosen’s Rockstar Husqvarna. Championship leader Tristan Purdon’s Red Bull KTM was also close behind in third to limit Purdon and Goosen’s title advances as the top three closed up in the quarter-litre championship race. Leonard du Toit was fourth ahead of reigning champion Anthony Raynard’s Tinswalo Yamaha and Jayden Proctor on a KTM.
Solo over-30s rider in ‘Martizburg, Grant Frerichs did his MX3 title aspirations no harm at all when he overcame conditions to ride his Yamaha home to the MX3 win ahead of over-40 winner, Honda rider Bruce Viljoen’s Honda. His over-40 rivals, Ian Topliss’ Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha, Phillip Harper on a Honda and Stewart Parkes were next up.
Kayla Raaff celebrated woman’s month by taking the Ladies Motocross win on her Kawasaki. Raaf’s championship hopes were aided by Jadene de Lima, who put her Husqvarna ahead of co-title leader coming into the KZN race, Leah Heygate’s KTM. Second de Lima sister Cheyenne was fourth on another Husqvarna.
Jonathan Mlimi reigned in the adverse conditions in MX High School aboard his Red Bull KTM. He extended his already handy championship advantage by beating Luke Grundy’s Husqvarna to second ahead of second in the championship race, Ethan Hoffman’s Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha. KTM duo Miguel de Waal and Barend du Toit, Cuan Conway’s GasGas, Blake Young’s KTM and Callan Broskie’s Ridgeway Husqvarna followed.
Rockstar Husqvarna lad Neil van der Vyver also mastered the treacherous conditions to take an easy 85 Pro Mini victory over Ryan Adler’s Husqvarna and championship leader Trey Cox on a Red Bull KTM and shake up that title chase. Jordan van Wyk was third on his Husqvarna ahead of Christian Berrington-Smith’s KTM and Kodi Goosen on a Yamaha. Title protagonist Emmanuel Bako was among those to opt not to race.
Caden Weise revelled the conditions to score an upset 85cc Junior win on his Husqvarna ahead of KTM trio, championship second and third lads, Matthew Correia and Andrew Venter, and Kassim Hassim KTM. Championship leader coming in to Maritzburg, Tyler Petersen’s Husqvarna was not running in fifth at the flag.
GasGas lad Blade Tilley dominated the 65cc race to consolidate his championship advantage. Aiden Henley was second on an Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha as he closed up on KTM lad Blake Frost for second in the title chase. Riley Rocher ended third on a KTM ahead of Casey Tilley’s GasGas and Evan Frost on a KTM.
Championship leader Trenton Kretzmann took a close baby class 50cc motocross win on his Perry Husqvarna. He beat Rayden Woolls’ GasGas and Cobra rider Maxwell Fourie’s, who moved up to second in the title chase. KTM trio Brody Bircher, Ross Mackenzie and Ashton Rawlins were next up.
SA’s national motocrossers won’t have long to wait to get racing again following the disappointment of losing those second heats — the next round is at Chestnut Park in Gauteng on 18 September.
The 2021 South African National Motocross Championship is proudly presented by Motorsport South Africa in partnership with Cannabis Energy Drink, TRP Distributors, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Pro Taper, 100%, Fly Racing, Ogio, Bandit Graffix and the Race Shop.
Brad Binder scored 6th position at a bright but cool Silverstone circuit for the British Grand Prix and the twelfth round of 2021 MotoGP™ as the series returned to the UK for the first time since the summer of 2019.
After the double-header at Red Bull Ring, MotoGP moved to the second fastest circuit on the calendar and the longest layout. Silverstone’s eighteen corners and near-6km length provided a technical test for both the riders and bike set-up and the choice between medium and hard compounds. Bright but windy and chilly summer conditions created a stable environment from Friday and the 20-lap MotoGP race was run in the dry and with grippy asphalt.
Brad was the most advanced RC16 rider on the grid and began from 12th and the fourth row. The South African weathered a sluggish start to rapidly pick up his speed and hover on the edge of the top ten. From this position Binder became faster and more decisive with his overtaking moves to eventually work his way to 6th.
The Gran Premio Tissot de Aragón will take MotoGP to the climes of Spain and the MotorLand Aragon circuit for round thirteen in two weeks time.
Brad Binder: “Today was a solid day, all things considered. I had a tough start to the race and struggled a lot in the first few laps but as the race went on I got stronger and stronger. I’m really happy with the rhythm I managed to keep until the end. I want to say a huge thanks to the team; this weekend has not been easy for us and the guys have worked non-stop. We tried everything and the best bike we had all weekend is the bike we had for the race.”
Brad Binder will roll his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing RC16 onto the fourth row of the start grid at Silverstone tomorrow, and starts the Monster Energy British Grand Prix from 12th position. The South African was the fastest qualifier in chilly conditions in the UK for the twelfth round of the season.
For the first time since 2019 MotoGP circulated the demanding course of Silverstone for a sold-out British Grand Prix and the twelfth round of the current season. Despite dry skies and occasional sunshine, a chilly breeze meant that set-up and tire choice became complicated for the tricky weave of 18 corners. The track demanded a constant flow and was a contrast to the hard braking and acceleration of the Red Bull Ring two weeks previously.
Winner of the last Grand Prix, Brad did not have to worry about damp asphalt and attacked the first Free Practice sessions with gusto to enter the top ten and secure Q2 standing during Friday’s laps. The 26-year-old pushed to reach the highest possible grid positions during the quick dash on Saturday afternoon but finally rested 12th.
Brad Binder: “Today was OK, we started this morning a bit tough, a bit difficult, but I found a lap that pulled me onto the Q2 session. I gave my all in Q2 but there was not much more left for me. I did my best and 12th place will have to do. We’ll do our homework tonight and get in the mix tomorrow. I felt pretty good all weekend. I think in the race we can be stronger.”
After all the FIM EWC races held behind closed doors since August 2020, fans will once again attend the Bol d’Or on 18 and 19 September on the Paul Ricard circuit. There will be no limit on the number of spectators. Members of the public will merely have to show a health passport and their ticket to attend the third round of the FIM Endurance World Championship, which is set to be a hotly contested race.
Excellent news for Endurance fans: they will be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the race at the Paul Ricard circuit on 18 and 19 September. The French authorities have confirmed that the Bol d’Or can host spectators in unlimited numbers so long as they can show a valid health passport.
The 24-hour race in Le Castellet will feel special for the spectators at the circuit as well as for the teams, who will once again experience the enthusiasm of fans in packed grandstands, the very particular atmosphere of the race start and finish and the magic of riding at night.
A not-to-miss edition After being cancelled in 2020, the 2021 Bol d’Or is set to be a one-of-a-kind event, not just in the grandstands but on the track. Following two spectacular and hotly-fought rounds at Le Mans and Estoril, the races for the 2021 FIM EWC title and the FIM Superstock World Cup win are wide open. A narrow points gap separates the favourites leading the provisional standings. Yoshimura SERT Motul won the 24 Heures Motos but stumbled at the 12 Hours of Estoril. F.C.C. TSR Honda France had a tough time at Le Mans and won in Portugal. BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team finished 3rd in both races despite crashes. But Webike SRC Kawasaki France Trickstar, who finished 2nd at Le Mans and at Estoril, top the provisional standings with a 5-point lead over F.C.C. TSR Honda France. We can also expect YART–Yamaha Official EWC Team, ERC Endurance-Ducati, VRD Igol Experiences, Wójcik Racing Team and Moto Ain to feature in the leading pack at the Bol d’Or. A similar clash is set to take place in the Superstock class. The leader in the FIM World Cup standings, National Motos, are only 2 points ahead of BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers.
The Bol d’Or is a party The Bol d’Or is also one big party on the Paul Ricard circuit and this year there will be a concert by the rock group The Limiñanas on Saturday 18 September evening with the young group Cheap Teen opening for them.
All weekend long, fans will be able to check out the live events and exhibitors at the Bol d’Or Village and wander around the paddock to see all the competing teams.
A not-to-miss edition!
Sophie Casasnovas, president of Larivière Organisation, the organizer of the Bol d’Or “The cancellation of the 2020 Bol d’Or, like many other sporting events, came as a shock for the competitors as well as all our spectators. It has been more than a year since the start of the pandemic, and I am thrilled that we can once again welcome the riders and fans. We’re fortunate enough to be able to do so in the proper conditions, with no limit on numbers. The health passport and barrier gestures will not stop fans from fully enjoying the show on the track and the live events taking place throughout the weekend.
See you in 3 weeks at a full-on motorcycling fiesta!”
Andrea Verona (GASGAS) is an Italian that cannot wait to compete in this year’s FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE). The opportunity to compete in his own ‘back yard’ and represent his country in the World Trophy Team competition with a very real chance of both team and individual success, comes few times in a career.
Already a five-time FIM International Six Days of Enduro competitor, Andrea first raced in the event in Slovakia in 2015, as a Club team competitor. Going on to experience the highs of winning in Chile in 2018 as part of Italy’s Junior World Trophy team, and the lows of not finishing in Portugal in 2019 when his bike failed to start on the morning of day five. Andrea has learned first-hand just how rewarding, difficult, and ultimately important the ISDE is.
“The ISDE is a really important race – to me, to Italy, to enduro. I can’t wait to start,” explains Andrea. “I think for every rider, it is an honour and a really big pleasure to represent your country. For me to wear the Italian jersey is very special. Also, being a part of a team is really cool. This season in the World championship I’ve been competing against some of my Italian teammates, so racing together with them, for our country, will be very special.”
In representing Italy in the World Trophy Team competition alongside Davide Guarneri (Fantic), Thomas Oldrati (Honda) and Matteo Cavallo (TM), Andrea knows that he, and his teammates, will carry the hopes of an expectant nation. “Italy has always had a very strong connection to the ISDE. This year, with the race being back in Italy, the event is obviously even more important to the Italian enduro community. I think Italians are always proud of the sportsmen and women who represent their country, and for sure that is true with the ISDE.”
One thing that will make this year’s FIM International Six Days of Enduro just that little bit more special, both for Andrea and all competitors, is the fact that the event marks the re-start of the ISDE following the global COVID pandemic.
“Because of everything that has happened in the World with COVID, this ISDE is even more important than normal – a really important moment for our sport, for enduro in Italy, and for enduro fans and riders all around the World,” offers Andrea. “I’m confident that despite the COVID situation everyone will remember this race as a good one. The most important thing is that we have a race. I think everyone is very pleased to see the ISDE back.”
As well as celebrating the return of the event to enduro’s annual sporting calendar, does Andrea think he will have any other reason to celebrate come the end of the event?
“With six days of racing a lot can happen. But, on paper at least we have a very strong team, so we are confident and looking forward to the race,” he comments. “We have to all ride well, to give our all as individuals for the team, and then, day-by-day, we will see how things are going.”
“I have a number of goals for this ISDE. The most important thing is for me to do my best to help Italy win the World Trophy competition. Then, I want to do as well as I can in Enduro1, and try and win there. And, if things are going well for me, I want to do as well as I can in the overall individual category. But winning for Italy is my number one goal.”
Brother Leader Tread KTM – National Cross Country Matatiele
After yet another eye-catching performance, Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Bradley Cox claimed his second consecutive victory since the return of national racing recently. Following the high of his National Enduro E1 Class win, the multi-disciplined star took top honours yet again at the National Cross Country event last weekend.
In what started as a misty day in Matatiele, KwaZulu-Natal, Cox set off with a blistering pace to establish himself as the fastest rider of the time trial. With an unmatched sense of confidence, he carried his winning momentum into the main race.
The rider certainly had a target on his back being tied not only for points in the OR2 Class but also overall. In what Cox describes as an “almost perfect day of racing”, he secured the class win and second overall.
“I was so happy to take the class win. It was almost a perfect day of racing to finish first in the time trial and in my class. I would have liked to have taken the overall win too, but there’s still a long season ahead so it wasn’t worth taking any unnecessary risks,” said Cox.
Also representing the orange team with a solid result was Jarryd Coetzee, who finished second in the prestigious OR1 Class and fourth overall. The rider started out with an impressive time trial result, setting himself up in a prime position to contend for the title overall. Having realized the speed and fitness he needed to ultimately take the win this weekend, Coetzee explained:
“I’m really happy to have had a solid weekend of racing with a good result. With that being said, I saw this weekend that there is plenty of room for improvement. After the time trial, I was in a prime position to fight for top honours overall. When the main race started, however, I didn’t have the intensity that the riders ahead of me had. It was awesome to finish on the podium in my class, but to win overall I’m going to need to work on my pace.”
He added, “I must compliment the event organisers on the route. There was everything from fast sections to technical trails and riverbeds. It was so well-marked and the route really raised the bar for how Cross Country races should look.”
Rounding out the Brother Leader Tread KTM team was Charan Moore, who had a challenging day in the saddle. An unfortunate crash in the time trial set the rider back, but he managed get back on the bike and push to finish as one of the top ten fastest riders.
With each passing lap of the main race, Moore settled into a rhythm and was able to secure a top five finish in his class and eighth place overall. He commented, “It’s time to get back to the drawing board after two back-to-back weekends of racing. I felt like towards the end of the race I found a really good groove, which is what I ultimately want to feel from the start of the race. I know what to build on for the next one to be ‘race ready’ and I’m keen to get back to work.”
In what was an epic back-to-back weekend of racing, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna walked away with yet another class win. Following Brett Swanepoels’ stand-out performance at the National Enduro, it was teammate Davin Cocker that took top honours this time around at the National Cross Country in Matatiele, KwaZulu-Natal.
Cocker was on the war path this weekend having lost valuable championship points in the last round due to a technical issue. Determined to claw his way back up the OR3 leaderboard, Cocker started the day with a blistering pace in the time trial. Second only to Bradley Cox, the rider sent a strong message of his intentions for the day.
The main race had diverse terrain in store with sandy sections, riverbeds, and tight forest trails looming. In what will be one of the stand-out performances of Cocker’s career, he raced to not only win his class but finish third overall.
This was Cocker’s debut on the overall podium, a goal he had patiently been working towards. With the prestigious national title back within his grasp, he is now just one point behind the class leader with two rounds of the championship still to go.
“I’m so glad to be back in the fight for that title! This was my first time ever coming away with what was a very happy third place overall. The fact that I did it on my Husqvarna FC 250 proved to everyone that the ‘little’ bikes very much have what it takes to race up there with the frontrunners,” said an elated Cocker.
In stark contrast to last weekend’s Enduro high, teammate Brett Swanepoel entered a fight for the championship in a far more challenging way than he had expected. When the rider ran out of fuel on the third lap, it was no longer about winning the race but doing everything possible to salvage the OR1 championship.
“I lost a lot of time and had to finish the last hour and a half of the race without any water to drink. A fellow rider stopped to help give me fuel, so I used my hydration pack to transfer it from his bike to mine. He really saved the day and helped me keep the championship alive,” explained Swanepoel.
Shaking off the setback, the rider held his composure to ultimately secure fourth place in his class and seventh overall. As the team prepares for what will be a nail-biting final two rounds of the season, Husqvarna South Africa’s Brand Manager Fred Fensham gives a closing comment: “The term ‘bitter-sweet’ comes to mind after the weekend. Brett, the current overall Cross Country champion, worked extremely hard with our team to be ready for the Matat event. As it happens in all forms of sport, the cards just did not fall his way. Not only was the error in fuelling a bitter pill to swallow, but in hind sight the choice of machine for the race was not ideal for the terrain.”
Focusing on the positives, Fensham added, “Without trying all our options, which fortunately we have with our line-up of Husqvarna models, we will not learn and progress – so with that being said, the race for this OR1 championship is far from over! As for our young gun in the OR3 class, Davin and his FC 250 were simply in a class of their own. Not only did he blow everybody’s socks off with his qualifying performance, but to come home with the OR3 win and a third overall is truly amazing. We are excited and proud of this young talent, and now look forward to the next round in Delmas!”
Please find enclosed the Press Release / 2021 FIM International Six Days of Enduro Provisional Entry list – Rivanazzano Terme (ITA), 30 August – 4 September. 2021 ISDE Provisional Entry lists
The 95th edition of the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) is almost upon us with this year’s event in Italy set to run from Monday 30 August to Saturday 4 September between Lombardy and Piedmont with the event HQ and the paddock located at Voghera-Rivanazzano Terme airport.
Despite the ongoing challenges and restrictions related to the COVID pandemic, this historic event has still attracted six hundred and fifty-eight riders from as far afield as Japan and the USA. The entry includes a total of twenty nations who will contest the blue-ribbon World Trophy class, fourteen countries represented in the Junior World Trophy and eight different nationalities in the Women’s Trophy competition. As perhaps would be expected, the enduro fanatical host nation Italy has the most entries in the Club Team Award category.
With the final planning now completed according to the latest COVID protocols and in close cooperation with all the key stakeholders and relevant authorities, the ISDE organisers are now able to share the official entry list and timetable as follows.
What South African Cross Country Moto Round 3 Report Where Matatiele, Eastern Province When Saturday 21 August 2021 Community South Africa National
Kawasaki has come, seen and conquered Cross Country
Kawasaki has won, just three races since its return to the MSA South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship. Franchise Co CIT rider Michael Pentecost swapped over to a Kawasaki KX450X alongside the regular Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul team and went on to dominate his first race aboard his green machine at Matatiele over the weekend.
It was a good day at the races for the Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul crew too. D’Artagnan Lobjoit rode home third in open class OR1 and sixth overall, while Kyle Mckenzie and Taki Bogiages came in fourth and fifth in 250cc four stroke OR3 on their Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki KX250Xs. Another Franchise Co CIT rider Deon du Toit ended second in over-30s Seniors on his KX250X.
“What an incredible first race on my new Kawasaki KX450X,” Mike Pentecost explained. “We won — what more can I say! “I was third in the time trial and then had a great first lap dicing with Brad Cox and I managed to move into the lead. “My second lap was the fastest of the day and then settled into a rhythm for the win. “What a feeling! “My bike was faultless, my team fantastic and this was one of the best organised and marked races I have ever done — world class for sure!”
D’Artagnan Lobjoit was ecstatic with his run to third in OR1. “My Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX450X ran like a train throughout and I’m delighted with another OR1 podium,” Dart admitted. “My pace was consistent and quick and I loved the changing conditions from rocky sandstone through sandy sections to the gum plantations. All areas where my bike felt brilliant. “We move back up to Gauteng and Delmas next — I love the quick stuff and I can’t wait for more of that!”
Kyle Mackenzie was also over the moon about his performance. “I had a really good day in the Matatiele mountains,” Kyle pointed out. My Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX250X really felt amazing through all the different terrains on the track. “I started quite far back and managed to get up to fourth in the OR3 class. “The track was really fun and I can’t wait for the next race on home turf in Delmas. “Bring it on.”
Taki Bogiages was happy to jump up the OR3 championship table despite some challenges along the way. “It was awesome to be out racing as always,” Taki confirmed. “The diverse track really tested us in so many ways and my Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX250X was awesome today. “Unfortunately I hit a stump and damaged my chain, but still gave it my best shot to come home fifth in OR3. “It’s closer than ever in the championship, so bring on those next two races!”
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing team boss Iain Pepper was delighted with the Matatiele result. “Kawasaki has only been back in South African Cross Country for three races and we have already won. “Congratulations to Franchise Co CIT Kawasaki rider Michael Pentecost for a sensational debut win on his green machine and to our Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing regulars, Dart, Kyle and Taki for an incredible effort. “This is the first of many more Kawasaki wins!”
Issued on behalf of Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing
One of the most talented riders competing at this year’s FIM International Six Days of Enduro is Spain’s Sandra Gomez. A three-time ISDE competitor having raced at the event in Spain, Chile, and Portugal, as a regular Women’s TrialGP and hard enduro competitor, Sandra certainly knows what it is to take on a challenge.
“For me the ISDE is a special race, you spend the year just racing for yourself and not thinking about anyone else so it’s great to change to that team spirit,” offers Sandra. “I’m mostly riding hard enduro and the ISDE is totally different. Both types of races are long hours, but at the Six Days you’re stopping from time to time and trying to remember the special tests. In hard enduro you just go and never stop during the day. I like going to ISDE so I can get out of my comfort zone.”
Well used to competing alone, often for hours at a time, being a part of a team is one of the things what Sandra likes most about the ISDE. “The ISDE is a team race, like the Trial des Nations. I really like that. You also have to come up with a team strategy, to think about being better as a team. You have to spend the whole race thinking about the team. In my opinion that’s key to getting a good result. We did it this way in Chile and we got on the podium, so we’ll do it again this year.”
Finishing third in the Women’s World Trophy competition in Chile in 2018 with her Spanish team mates, Sandra’s got her first taste of the ISDE on home soil in 2016. “We got second place as a team and it was a great experience, but I was so tired after the race. I wasn’t ready for the challenge if I’m honest, I wasn’t even riding hard enduro at that time so I wasn’t used to long days on the bike. But it’s a special race and I loved it.”
At this year’s ISDE Sandra will compete alongside two equally talented young Spaniards – Mireia Badia and Julia Campo in what will be one of the strongest teams in the Women’s World Trophy Competition. “For sure Mireia is the best rider in our team, she’s having a great season. She just focuses in traditional enduro and she has even won a round of the FIM World championship this year.”
“I just change between disciplines, which I love, but it’s difficult to be keep the speed needed for racing on the special tests. Anyway, I did a round of the Spanish national enduro championship this year and I even manage to beat Mireia on one day, so we’ll see what happens. We have Julia Campo who’s new to the team but she has been training hard all year and we will be there to help her in anything she needs. We’ll give it our all and see how it goes.”
So, with three highly talented riders, and with the speed and experience needed to challenge for victory, can Spain win the Women’s World Trophy competition in Italy? “We’ll have to see, the Six Days is a long race so anything can happen,” admits Sandra honestly. “I don’t want to just think about winning only. Sadly, some of the strong teams are not coming this year, but you can never count out the northern European teams, the English team, or the USA team.”
“Obviously, we will start with a winning mentality, but let’s just go test by test trying to do the best we can. We have Mireia Badia on our side who is riding incredibly good this year so that’s great for us. Speaking about myself, maybe I’ll need a test or two to find my rhythm but after that my plan is to go as fast as I can. Let’s see, we will start with winning in the back of our heads but it’s a difficult task at the ISDE.”
Adam Raga (TRRS) was in control and took his first win of the season as the 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship passed the halfway mark on day two of the Andorran TrialGP.
Conditions were even hotter than yesterday but Raga – world champion back in 2005 and 2006 – kept his cool to overhaul his fellow Spaniard Jaime Busto (Vertigo) who held a clear four-mark lead after the first lap.
Reigning champion Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) couldn’t replicate his winning form from yesterday although he still ended the event on the podium as the premier TrialGP class top-three distanced themselves from the rest of the field.
It was also all-change in Trial2 where Spain’s Aniol Gelabert (Beta) finally broke the British stranglehold on the class to take victory from his compatriot Arnau Farre (Scorpa) but Britannia continued to rule in the Trial125 category thanks to championship leader Jack Dance (GASGAS) who improved a position on his Saturday finish.
France’s Gael Chatagno (Electric Motion) kept his win-streak going with a clear-cut victory in Trial-E giving him a three-from-three record.
Conditions were hot, dry and dusty today in the Pyrenees with three distinct groups of sections based around the town of Sant Julià again divided between a steep hill littered with loose rocks, huge boulders set into near-vertical woodlands and a deep, treacherous riverbed.
Busto set the pace from the get-go and the 23-year-old was the only rider unpenalised following the opening two sections as he carved out a first-lap total of six that put him four ahead of Raga and six clear of Bou. He couldn’t, however, sustain his form and his lap-two total of 13 wasn’t enough to take a second career win after Raga dropped his second-lap score to just eight.
“I’m very happy because yesterday I deserved the victory,” said Raga. “Today I was very strong but so were some of the other riders and everything was very tight until the last moment.”
Bou brought it home with a total of 23 to suffer just his second defeat of the season but the Andorra resident still holds a commanding lead at the top of the table as he bids to claim his 15th title in a row.
Miquel Gelabert (GASGAS) made it a Spanish 1-2-3-4 but, along with fifth-placed Matteo Grattarola (Beta) from Italy, he was a long way off the podium pace.
In the Trial2 class Jack Peace (Sherco) strengthened his hold on the title as his fellow British rider Toby Martyn (TRRS) – who won yesterday to tie the championship race – slipped to sixth but after Billy Green (Scorpa) was disqualified the day belonged to Gelabert who dropped just eight on the opening lap and replicated this score second time around.
“It’s been very good and we were pushing for this result all day,” said Gelabert. “I’m really happy.”
Farre’s lap-two total of seven brought him into contention but he ended the day three marks adrift although still one clear of Peace who in turn was just a single point ahead of Norway’s Sondre Haga (Beta) with Italian Lorenzo Gandola (Beta) another two behind in fifth.
Trial125 has been dominated by British riders and there was no change today with Dance adding his second win of the season to extend his advantage. Part of a three-way tie for second on seven after the opening lap, a mark behind Saturday’s winner Harry Hemingway (Beta), Dance then completed his second tour for the loss of just six.
“It’s brilliant to end a double-header with a win,” said Dance. “I had some good rides today along with some unfortunate fives that let me down but I pulled it back on the second lap.”
Hemingway hung on for second on a score of 19 after winning a tie-break from fellow Brits Harry Turner (Scorpa) and Ben Dignan (Vertigo) with Czech rider David Fabien (Beta) four marks back in fifth.
Chatagno has bossed the Trial-E class since the opening round and he was in charge again today to make it three consecutive wins with his total of eight a full 14 ahead of Julien Perret and it was an all-French podium with Martin Pochez (Electric Motion) claiming his best finish of the year in third.
“It was a very good job by me and all the team because we managed to improve on some sections, especially in the river,” said Chatagno. “I had a good feeling on the bike all the day and was really focussed.”
The 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship continues this coming weekend with the second French TrialGP of the season at Cahors.
For regular updates and live results check out our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just search for TrialGP.
What South African Cross Country Moto Round 3 Report Where Matatiele, Eastern Province When Saturday 21 August 2021 Community South Africa National
Michael turns SA Cross Country Moto chase on its head
Michael Pentecost threw a giant green cat among the MSA South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship pigeons at a splendid Matatiele third round on Saturday.
The KZN rider swapped brands in the lead up to the weekend, arrived in Matat armed with a brand new Franchise Co CIT Kawasaki and proceeded to dominate. the race. Pentecost beat fellow KZN lad, OR2 winner Bradley Cox’ Brother Leader Tread KTM and OR3 winner, Gauteng lad Davin Cocker’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna to the lower podium steps.
Jarryd Coetzee was fourth on his OR1 Brother Leader Tread KTM from second OR3 man Scott Heygate’s Alfie Cox KTM, OR1 trio d’Artagnan Lobjoit’s Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki, SA Cross Country champion Brett Swanepoel’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna and returning SA OR1 champion Charan Moore’s OR1 Brother Leader Tread KTM. Two more KTMs, Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s OR2 Red Bull bike and OR3 KTM Durban lad Gareth Cole closed out the top ten.
Pentecost qualified third behind Cox and Cocker in Saturday’s time trial but the Kawasaki man was in charge by the end of the first lap with a 36 second lead over Cox and Cocker. Pentecost added a further 21 seconds to his lead over Cox with the fastest lap of the day on the second tour as Brett Swanepoel popped up in third. Brett lost time on the third tour, where Cox matched Pentecost, before Swanepoel was quickest over Cox as Pentecost consolidated to win the day.
The Matatiele result had a significant effect on the overall championship chase. Cox now sits in a handy provisional 10 point lead over Swanepoel, while Pentecost jumps up from ninth to third ahead of Lobjoit, who stays fourth. Scott Heygate jumps from 8th to fifth, while Davin Cocker and Jarryd Coetzee leap up from the mid teens. Ian Rall, Dylan Cox and Matthew Wilson all lost out in the tile chase. All championship points are subject to MSA ratification.
In the classes, Michael Pentecost took the OR1 win on his Kawasaki from Jarryd Coetzee’s KTM, d’Artagnan Lobjoit’s Kawasaki, Brett Swanepoel on his Husqvarna, Charan Moore’s KTM, Dynamic HMW Sherco man Hayden Louw and Henco Botha’s KTM. That provisionally leaves Swanepoel holding a slender five point open class championship lead over Pentecost with Lobjoit another four points adrift and Louw holding a watching brief.
Second place man, SA champion Bradley Cox took OR2 honours on his KTM ahead of his motocross rival Kerim Fitz-Gerald on another Red Bull KTM, the troubled Ian Rall’s Dragon Energy MCA Husqvarna and Rikus Botha’s KTM . That also saw Bradley open his championship lead over lead Rall up to 5 points with Fitz-Gerald a further 5 points behind.
Davin Cocker made up for his last round disaster with his second OR3 win in three races on his Husqvarna ahead of KTM lads Scott Heygate and Gareth Cole, Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing duo Kyle Mckenzie and Taki Bogiages, Erik Merry’s Verotest Husqvarna and last round winner Matthew Wilson’s MCA Husqvarna. That saw Cocker jump back from fourth to second that class title chase a point behind Heygate and ahead of Wilson and Bogiages, in the absence of former leader Dylan Cox.
Wade Blaauw continued his Seniors domination with his third win in three races on his Roost KTM. His closest over-30s title rival Deon du Toit was second on his Franchise CIT Kawasaki from Shimwells Yamaha duo Dirk Olivier and Marco Cocci, and KTM Durban lad Stuart Gregory. Wayne Farmer’s Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna bounced back to take the Masters win from over-40s championship leader Greg Nairn’s Perry Husqvarna and Miellies le Roux’s Alfie Cox KTM.
In schoolkid action, Branden Swanepoel took his second High School class win of the season aboard his Bike Shack Trademore Sherco ahead of local hero Ross Ramseyer, his KTM Durban teammate Dylan Jones and John Botha’s TFC CIT Husqvarna. That sees Swanepoel into a single point title advantage over round 2 winner Jones with Botha and Yamaha rider Damon Cox next up.
Cobus Bester took the 85cc Junior win on his Spherical Holeshot Husqvarna to close down second man Thomas Scales’ championship advantage down to four points Scales’ Dynamic KTM teammate Murray Smith was third from Johnny Luck on a MCA Husqvarna and Sam Pedlar’s Peak Yamaha. And Justin Rom was the first baby 65cc kid home on his Husqvarna ahead of KTM trio Brad Apostolides, Ethan van Aswegen KTM an d Zach Wichmann’s Mpenjati Coffee machine.
It’s another total change of scenery as the MSA South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship leaves the foothills of the Berg and heads to the virgin new season mielie fields in Delmas on the Highveld Saturday 11 September. That one could very well be dusty considering the region may well still be awaiting its first spring rains. Which could very well play into the hands of the Gauteng riders…
Brother Leader Tread KTM bounced back into action in Bathurst, KwaZulu-Natal, last weekend as the National Enduro Championship resumed. Expectations for the event were high as the series presented an all-new race venue in the Winterberg terrain. Rated as one of the best Enduro events of all time, the carefully cut virgin trails certainly did not disappoint.
Taking centre stage was multi-disciplined star Bradley Cox, who returned to racing with a victory in the E1 Class. Cox patiently paced himself behind championship rival Heinrich Aust as he waited for the right moment to make his move.
When the opportunity presented itself after a few laps in, the rider slipped into the lead and didn’t look back. As he sets his sights on taking the E1 Championship, Cox is relieved to have extended his points lead before the season finale: “I’m so happy to extend my points lead. I had some bad luck in the first two laps, but I managed to get back out there and make up for the lost time,” said Cox.
With a goal to narrow the gap that the leaders had on her, Brother Leader Tread KTM teammate Kirsten Landman achieved exactly what she’d set out to do. The enduro queen has spent the past year reconditioning her body after an injury. She explained, “My coach often says that if I train hard then I’ll race easy – that’s exactly how I felt this weekend. My goal as a female in this sport is to narrow the gap. Since 2011, this was the first time that the overall leaders didn’t lap me. I’m so proud of the time I made up in comparison to previous races.”
Highly impressed by the Bathurst route, she added, “Honestly, this was the best enduro track I’ve ridden in a long time! It was well-marked, tight, and twisty – it even had some epic technical river sections.”
Rounding out the orange squad was Charan Moore, who like Landman enjoyed every moment he got to race on the Bathurst route. The rider went into the event with the aim to increase his intensity. Pleased with his performance, he commented: “The track couldn’t have gotten any better. The rain beforehand made the conditions perfect! I struggled to find my rhythm initially, but I picked up the pace with every passing lap. I’m happy with the performance and ready to keep building on that intensity for the next one.”
With little time for rest, the team will now focus on preparing for the next round of the National Cross Country Championship. The high-anticipated event takes place in Matatiele, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday.
As he attempts to snatch up yet another national title this season, Cox will line up with a target on his back. Not only is he tied for points with Ian Rall in the OR2 Class but is also tied for points overall with Brett Swanepoel.
With a goal to finish the 2022 Dakar Rally, Cox has spent more time in the saddle than ever lately working on his endurance and speed. He commented, “I’m super excited to get back to Cross Country racing. With all the Dakar preparation I’ve been doing, I’m feeling really confident with my speed and riding in general.”
Eager to represent the team again this weekend, Moore has spent the week testing and fine tuning his orange machine. The rider will be well-prepared for the terrain in store having had endless access to similar terrain in his hometown in Ladybrand.
Another Brother Leader Tread KTM rider to look out for this weekend is Jarryd Coetzee. This will be completely new territory for the rider who has never raced in Matat before. Undaunted by the unknown, Coetzee said “The main thing I focus on, even if I’m not entirely sure about the kind of terrain I’ll race in, is feeling comfortable on my bike. I spend countless hours riding and fine-tuning so that by the time race day comes I know everything I need to about my bike and feel completely confident on it.”
Having shaken up his training recently, he added: “I’ve changed up my preparation slightly. I’ve been spending a lot more time on the bike to refine my riding skills and fitness instead of placing too much focus on cross training. When I do train off the bike, I do a lot of stability and balance training – stuff that I know will help me when I’m on the bike.”
Despite being excluded from the previous event due to a route issue, Coetzee is confident that he has the pace to run with the sharp end of the field and is eager to make up some points. The rider mentions making the time trial his top priority this time around with the hope of putting himself in the best possible starting position for the race.
“I’m really looking forward to being out there again – I always perform my best when I’m truly enjoying this sport,” said Coetzee.
South African racing made its highly awaited return last weekend and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna came back swinging. In what was one of his most impressive races of the season, lead rider Brett Swanepoel stormed to the E2 and overall victory at the National Enduro Championship in Bathurst, Eastern Cape. Teammate Heinrich Aust secured the second spot in his class to stay in the fight for the E1 Championship.
Having pulled out of the first round due to an illness, Swanepoel has been relentless in his comeback this season. The rider lined up in the second row on Saturday and set off on a war path as he fought his way up front with rival Luke Walker and Bradley Cox. When the opportunity to make his break presented itself, Swanepoel didn’t look back and opened over a minute gap on his competitors.
Making the performance particularly impressive is the fact that this was his first Enduro race in the Bathurst terrain. Swanepoel describes his experience of racing through what was mostly virgin trails: “I absolutely loved this route. Having never raced here before, we were all very excited to see what was in store. The guys really put in a lot of work – I could see how much virgin terrain had been cut open. I really just found a groove and my bike felt amazing,” said an elated Swanepoel
It’s no secret that teammate Aust prefers more of a technical route, but the rider has exceeded expectations in the new Enduro format he’s faced this season. He explained: “The new format is less technical, but by no means less challenging. These new national routes flow more and have been a lot tighter, which leaves little room for error. I was lucky enough to get the 2022 model of my Husqvarna TE 150i recently, so I really enjoyed putting it to the test.”
On a route that required high levels of concentration and consistency, Aust held onto his class lead for the first three laps before being overtaken by championship rival Bradely Cox. The fight for the E1 Championship is far from over, however, and the rider will leave no stone unturned as he prepares for the season finale.
Motivated by the high of the Bathurst race, the team will now turn their focus to the National Cross Country race that is set to take place in Matatiele, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday. Adding an extra sense of excitement to this event is the fact that Swanepeol will line up on his all new Husqvarna TX 300i tied for points overall with Bradley Cox.
The rider explained that his sense of confidence has soared to new heights on his latest machine: “I am in love with this bike. I can ride it to the limit constantly with so much less fatigue – I feel faster than I ever have when I’m on it. My setup for this weekend will be slightly stiffer, but lately I’ve enjoyed taking on a softer setup in general. It absorbs little bumps and really saves my energy,” he said.
With recent snow in the area, riders are hopeful that the route will present less dust than initially expected. As he sets his sights on a back-to-back victory, Swanepoel commented: “These last few races of the season count the most, so it’s important to keep a level head. This weekend isn’t just going to be a flat out race – this route requires some skill and concentration. The switch to the TX 300i has helped me zone in on the task at hand – I can’t wait to get out there.” Joining him in the fight for Cross Country glory is teammate Davin Cocker, who mentions being particularly excited for the Matat venue: “I haven’t raced there for a long time so I can’t wait to see what the terrain has in store. I’m predicting some fast and tight sections, which suits me. I’ve been training hard on any similar terrain I can find here in Joburg,” he said.
Equipped for the battle in the OR3 Class with his Husqvarna FC 250, Cocker is determined to make up for lost points this weekend. Undaunted by the pressure, he gives a closing comment: “My goals are finishing this race with a good position – we need to catch up on valuable points lost earlier this season. We aren’t out of the fight just yet – we are just getting started!”
What South African National Motocross Round 4 Preview Where Thunder Valley, Pietermaritzburg When Saturday 28 August 2021 Community South Africa National
Cannabis Energy TRP SA MX battle resumes in ‘Maritzburg
The Cannabis Energy Drink and TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship is finally back on track as the series finally heads for Thunder Valley in Pietermaritzburg for its long awaited fourth round on Saturday 28 August. The weekend’s race takes over from a round originally scheduled for July, before a reshuffled 2021 calendar returns on the three originally planned dates through to the end of the season.
The focus will be squarely on double open class SA Motocross championship leader Tristan Purdon and his Red Bull KTM in Maritzburg. Purdon has won five and finished second in the sixth 450cc MX1 moto so far this season. He leads that first race winner, Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna man David Goosen by 14 points. Anthony Raynard sits third on his Yamaha with KTM trio Jesse Wright, Cross Country star Bradley Cox and Johan Vogelsang next up.
Purdon also leads his Red Bull KTM teammate Cameron Durow by eleven points in the quarter litre Moto2 chase with David Goosen’s Rockstar Husqvarna third ahead of Yamaha duo, champion Anthony Raynard and Dalton Venter’s Yamahas.
Grant Frerichs on a Yamaha and Dwayne Kleynhans’ KTM are fighting it out for over-30s honours in MX3 with Calvin Gloster and Ryan Frerichs in chase. Another Yamaha man, Ian Topliss’ Yamaha is in charge among the over-40s ahead of Honda duo Bruce Viljoen and Phillip Harker and Byron Linaker’s Yamaha.
The battle of the season has to be the South African Ladies Motocross title fight where Leah Heygate’s KTM and reigning champion Kayla Raaff on a Kawasaki remain tied on 141 points. The de Lima sisters Jadene and Cheyenne are next up ahead of Kawasaki lass Dakota Grobbellaar.
In the junior ranks, Jonathan Mlimi’s KTM has a handy 14 point 125cc High School advantage over Ethan Hoffman’s Yamaha with KTM kid Miguel de Waal in hot pursuit en route to KZN. Luke Grundy, Callan Broskie, Lukas Venter and Nathan Mayberry’s Husqvarnas and Leonard du Toit, Stav Orland and Blake Young’s KTMs are also worth keeping an eye on there.
KTM lad Trey Cox, Husqvarna rider Jordan van Wyk and Emmanuel Bako’s Gas Gas are split by three points in the 85cc Pro Mini title chase. 65cc champion Neil van der Vyver will want to win more races there though and don’t ignore Alon Orland’s KTM or Husqvarna kids Wiaan du Plooy, and Liam Botha either.
Five points split KTM kids Tyler Petersen and Matthew Correia in the 85cc Junior chase, with KTM riders Trent Valsecchi, Andrew Venter, Andrea Mynhardt and Trent Valsecchi in chase.
Blade Tilley’s Gas Gas has a ten point 65cc Junior advantage over Blake Frost’s KTM with Aiden Henley’s Yamaha and Jack Pullen and Nicol Smit’s Husqvarnas in chase. Also watch for Trent Valsecchi and Evan Frost on KTMs Husqvarna lads Sven Larsen and Christopher Brindley.
Trenton Kretzmann’s Husqvarna leads the SA kindergarten 50cc Motocross title by 22 points over KTM kid Aiden Retief and Rayden Woolls’ Gas Gas. Also watch for Brody Bircher and Casper van Zyl’s KTMs, Cobra rider Maxwell Fourie and Husqvarna trio Luke van As, Lou Rademeyer and Josh Peters-Newman.
The 2021 South African National Motocross Championship began at Terra Topia in Gauteng before heading to Rover in Nelson Mandela Bay in April and Phakisa, Welkom in May. This weekend’s KZN fourth round will be followed by a round at Chestnut Park in Gauteng on 18 September, before heading to Bloemfontein on 23 October and then it’s back to Gauteng for the final at Legends Motocross Park.
With lesser lockdown measures still in force, spectators remain banned at sporting events. You can still follow the SA Motocross action via live streaming on the MX Nationals South Africa Facebook page.
The 2021 South African National Motocross Championship is proudly presented by Motorsport South Africa in partnership with Cannabis Energy Drink, TRP Distributors, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Pro Taper, 100%, Fly Racing, Ogio, Bandit Graffix and the Race Shop.
Make no mistake, Laia Sanz (GASGAS) is one of the world’s greatest-ever female athletes. The discipline – whether it requires running spikes, a tennis racquet or ice skates – is irrelevant because the amazing longevity of her stunning career speaks for itself.
The fact she requires two wheels and a throttle to do the business means she may never receive the same mainstream accolation as, say, Jackie Joyner-Kersee or Serena Williams or Sonja Henie but, without a doubt, Sanz is a genuine global sporting superstar.
After winning 13 FIM TrialGP Women titles in 14 years from the inception of the series in 2000 until 2013, the now 35-year-old Spaniard went looking for a new challenge and set her sights on the infamous Dakar Rally. Competing against men in the premier motorcycle class, she’s got a best finish of ninth in 2015 in arguably the most gruelling off-road motorcycle event in the world.
Last year she was struck down by the strength-sapping Lyme disease – a condition caused by tick bites – but despite this she still managed to finish 17th in the 2021 Dakar and is currently in pole position to win her sixth FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship title with an eight-point lead with one round to go.
And she’s also made her long-awaited return to the Hertz FIM Trial World Championship where she currently sits second – three points behind reigning TrialGP Women champ Emma Bristow (Sherco) – with a 1-2-2 scorecard at the halfway point with three scoring days left.
“The opening day [in Italy] was perfect,” she said. “I didn’t win the second day but I could [have] because on the first lap I was leading but on the second lap I was completely dead. I’m struggling with my fitness and also in France I was really close to the win. This is something good because with no training I’m [almost] there so that means if I can prepare properly and I can feel healthy I can be there again.
“It’s really hard to go back to trial. I still have some skills but, yes, it’s tough because I haven’t competed [in trial] for eight years and of course my level went down a lot but for me the worst thing is that I have been sick for a year with Lyme disease.
“It’s something that I’m still not 100 per cent over so more than not being on a trial bike for a long time, it’s my physical condition that is my big challenge this year. I’m fighting against my body every event and suffering a lot. It’s difficult for me mentally because it doesn’t help me to ride my best and to be myself so this is the worst part.
“I’ve been missing trial for many years but I’ve never returned before because I was with KTM and they had no trial bike so now is the perfect time. It’s fun and it’s a big challenge because this year I have not a lot of training but I will try until the end [of the season].
“Emma is a much better rider and I am much worse and not only has she improved a lot, also Berta [Abellan] and some other riders are coming. Emma’s level is much better than before but, of course, my level after eight years of no practising is much worse also.”
Bristow has cited Sanz as a source of inspiration and the Spaniard’s legacy clearly means a lot to her.
“More than the titles [inspiring riders] is something that makes me really proud. It is really nice to see that now the level of trial women is really improving and there are more girls and more help. For me at the beginning it was more difficult. I was riding against boys and I think I opened a little bit the way and that makes me really, really proud.”
The big question is whether or not the 2021 season is a one-off or will we see Sanz back for more next year but there are too many factors outside her control for her to be able to commit just yet.
“It depends on the calendar and the races and also if GASGAS are still interested. We will see after this season and also it depends on my health – I hope to be better – but, of course, it would be super-nice because I think this year it will be hard to win but I would love to prepare properly and be really competitive.”
Round three of the 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – the Andorran TrialGP – takes place on August 20-22 but fans will have to wait until the Spanish TrialGP on September 10-12 to see the world-class women riders back in action.
For regular updates and live results check out our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just search for TrialGP.
Picture Caption: Laia Sanz is back in the Women TrialGP class after an eight-year absence Pic (c) Pep Segales
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing sampled the sweet taste of success at their home Grand Prix as Brad Binder defied a crazy dry/wet Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich to win for the second time in his career in the premier class. The South African ensured that KTM trod the top step of the podium for the second time in 2021 and for the second year in a row at the Red Bull Ring.
The second taste of the Red Bull Ring for MotoGP took place in front of the biggest fan attendance since the start of the pandemic as the sport welcomed back a full allocation of spectators for the eleventh round of the 2021 campaign. Sunshine and decent temperatures were also part of the ingredients for an eagerly anticipated Austrian Grand Prix but the race itself took a late dramatic turn with a heavy shower that coated the track for the last four laps of the 28.
2020 winner at the Spielberg venue, Miguel Oliveira, was the highest KTM RC16 runner on the start grid and occupied the final slot on the third row, just one space ahead of teammate Brad, but it was the South African who made the brighter start as Tech3 KTM Factory Racing pair Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci tried to thread their way through the pack from the second half of the group.
Brad had moved up to 6th when the rain started to appear and the leaders grouped together as the conditions became more perilous. The five riders ahead of him elected to pull into the pits to change to wet weather settings but Brad gambled and gingerly guided his KTM RC16 to 1st place as the water plummeted. The 26-year-old almost fell, and actually ran off the track on the final lap with the rain at its heaviest. He had enough of a margin to make it home and spark wild celebrations in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing pitbox.
Brad Binder: “That was really scary! When I saw the rain coming I was trying to work out how many seconds I could lose per lap and when the others went in I decided to take the gamble. I could push hard on the first lap but then the rear tire started to slide as the temperature cooled. Then I lost the carbon brakes! Wow, I think there was someone up there holding me up today because there were a couple of moments when I thought it was over. Here in front of the fans and the home race for KTM and Red Bull I felt like I had to take the gamble. To win today is insane.”
What South African Cross Country Auto Round 3 Preview Where Matatiele, Eastern Province When Saturday 21 August 2021 Community South Africa National
SA Cross Country Motorcycles head back from lockdown lull
Notorious for gun-running and rustling in the mid-1800s, Matatiele is an interesting place. It means ’the ducks are gone’ in Sotho and has been part of the Cape Province, Natal and now, somewhat controversially, it’s actually part of the Eastern Province. A favourite venue for enduro racing over the years, it was also the overnight stop for the Roof of Africa in the ‘70s.
Now Matat is back on the South African Cross Country Motorcycle Championship calendar as the series finally bounces back from its most recent lockdown lull on Saturday 21 August. The all-new KZN Racing event will blend a little of everything, from sandstone river beds to craggy creaks, cattle paths, gum plantations and grass tracks, and even a little sand in between, when it traverses the foot of the Eastern Drakensberg, where crews will have a great vantage point off surrounding outcrops.
Like was in those wild, gun-running days 150 years ago, don’t expect any holds to be barred down Matat way this weekend. No single rider is in a safe championship position as SA’s finest Cross Country Motorcycle racers limber up to resume battle. Not least of all reigning SA Cross Country and Enduro champion Brett Swanepoel who shares both the overall and open class OR1 class lead aboard his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna.
There’s a surprise behind Brett in the big class where Botswana lad D’artagnan Lobjoit sits second for the upstart Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul team in his tight battle with KZN duo Michael Pentecost’ now on a Franchise Company CIT Kawasaki and Sherco man Hayden Louw.
Another KZN star, Brother Leader Tread KTM lad Bradley Cox shares the overall championship lead with Swanepoel and the 300 cc OR2 class lead with Modimode winner Ian Rall’s MCA Dragon Energy Husqvarna. They will need to keep an eye on motocross star Kerim Fitz-Gerald, who continues to improve his Cross Country game on his Red Bull KTM. Husqvarna lad Devan Smith, Kyle Eggar. Yamaha and KTM rider Ruan Merry will carry on their tight battle for fourth.
Gauteng lad Matthew Wilson’s MCA Husqvarna arrives at Matat in the effective 250cc OR3 title lead. Mathematically WIlson shares the lead with KZN RBS Yamaha star Dylan Cox, who will unfortunately sit at least this one out to injury. Scott Heygate and Haydn Cole’s KTM, Husqvarna lad Erik Merry and Taki Bogiages’ Kawasaki are all within eight points of WIlson in a tight chase. Opening race winner at Jolivet, Davin Cocker’s Rockstar Husqvarna is however the real quarter-litre danger here as he sets out to right his second round Modimole wrongs.
Free State star Wade Blaauw arrives in the EP unbeaten among the Seniors on his Roost KTM with Kawasaki man Deon du Toit is keeping him honest and Stuart Gregory’s KTM, Yamaha duo Marco Cocci and Elize Olivier and Brad Clarke’s Husqvarna in pursuit. Greg Nairn’s Husqvarna is similarly unbeaten in Masters — he has Carel le Roux’s KTM, Yamaha men Marius de Klerk and Martin Poole, and Ernst Slabbert’s KTM on his case.
First round winner, KTM kid Dylan Jones leads the High School class by a handful of points over round 2 winner, Branden Swanepoel’s Sherco. Dylan’s brother Damon Cox’s Yamaha, John Botha’s Husqvarna and Derek Karam on a KTM in pursuit. Round 2 winner Thomas Scales leads the Junior chase on his KTM ahead of Husqvarna trio, Cobus Bester, Lucian Meyer and first Race Winner Brandon Clarke.
Husqvarna leads a super-tight manufacturer’s championship on 307 points with KTM just four behind on 303 and Yamaha in third under pressure from upstart Kawasaki.
The 2021 SA Cross Country Moto championship started in Jolivet in KwaZulu Natal, followed by round 2 at Modimolle in Limpopo. Those races played to the respective strengths of the KZN and Gauteng competitors. The coming three rounds will likely continue to do the same when the series heads to neutral territory Matat this weekend, before moving back up to Delmas on the Highveld and then back to the KZN and Virginia Trails in October.
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA PREPARE FOR NATIONAL ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIP
This weekend South African riders will welcome the highly anticipated return of racing. The National Enduro Championship resumes with great excitement as riders face the challenge of a new Eastern Cape venue. Since the location announcement, the Winterberg terrain in Bathhurst has certainly enticed the country’s top racing talent who are frothing at the thought of taking on new territory.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Brett Swanepoel will lead the charge in the prestigious E2 Class. Having overcome the disappointment of a DNF at the start of the season that was beyond his control, Swanepoel bounced back with an impressive victory at the second round.
As he prepares for what until now has been widely unknown territory, the rider explained: “I can’t explain how excited I am to be racing again! It feels like we’ve come off December break and starting the season fresh again. My body has had time to recover and it’s ready to take on a new challenge. From what I’ve seen, we’re in for some exciting terrain this weekend. I’m expecting wet riverbeds, so I’ve been riding in that kind of terrain as much as possible as I prepare for this weekend.”
With his successful track record in endurance racing, it is no secret that Swanepoel thrives off a challenge. The unknown element that this weekend presents has certainly motivated the rider, who describes spending more time in the saddle than usual over the past few weeks:
“My bike setup in something I constantly work on and refine to make sure I’m fully prepared for whatever the terrain throws at me. My TE 300i feels ready, my body feels ready – so I’m looking forward to giving it a good go! The goal is always the top step of the podium, but also to come out of the race injury free. I’ve been spending more time in general on the bike over the last few weeks with a good mix of speed and technical work – so I’m feeling strong and fit!” said Swanepoel.
With his sights set on snatching up the E1 Championship this season, teammate Heinrich Aust will certainly leave no stone in Bathhurst unturned. In an attempt to bridge the 6-point gap that rival Bradley Cox has opened up, Aust will be looking to capitalise every championship point that he can get.
Undaunted by the challenge of new terrain, he commented: “We’re used to Eastern Cape terrain being dry, rocky and fast – so that’s what I’ve been prepping for. My setup will involve a slightly harder mousse, medium compound tyre and a stiffer suspension. That kind of terrain is very unique – it puts the KZN and Gauteng riders out of their comfort zone, so anything can happen. If your bike set up isn’t on point, then that kind of terrain is normally quite difficult!”
With the pressure of the E1 Championship coming right down to the wire, Aust is taking a very specific approach to racing this weekend: “I believe that to finish first, you must first finish. I’d like to just do my best and show all the hard work I’ve been putting in. I’ve been working on my fitness levels to build up more endurance, and on the bike I’ve been working on my technical skills. Thanks to Husqvarna for giving me all the tools needed for success, now let’s get to Bathurst and go racing!”
Published by: Grant Frerichs
Picture Caption: Brett Swanepoel prepares to make a comeback. Photography by: Sage Lee Voges
This weekend marks Brother Leader Tread KTM’s return to racing as the National Enduro Championship resumes. The penultimate round of the series takes riders to the Winterberg trails in Bathhurst – some of the country’s oldest and more traditional enduro terrain. Having never raced at this venue before, the orange squad has been hard at work preparing to take on new and unexplored territory.
Spearheading the hunt for championship points is Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Bradley Cox. The rider not only lines up with the lead in the prestigious E1 Class but also with the most championship points overall.
Cox has spent more time in the saddle than ever in recent months after making the commitment to take on the 2022 Dakar Rally. With a stronger motivation than ever to refine his skills, Cox welcomes the opportunity to race against some of the country’s leading riders.
“I’m so happy to be back racing. Training has gone well over the past few weeks and I’m really looking forward to giving these last two rounds of the championship everything I’ve got. We’ve never raced in the Winterberg area and it looks like we’re in for some cold weather and possible rain, so tyre choice is going to be critical. The goal is the same as always this weekend – to win,” said Cox.
Joining Cox in the race for Enduro glory is teammate Charan Moore. Like Cox, the rider has signed up for the Dakar next year and is eager to capitalise on every opportunity to race that he can get.
With his current third spot in the E2 Class, Moore will be looking to snatch up some valuable championship points as he attempts to secure what looks like a promising finish on the podium this season. The rider has had his fair share of setbacks this season having overcome both an injury and Covid-19. Moore feels confident, however, that he has made up for lost time and returned to his racing form:
“Over the past few weeks, I’ve managed to put in some good effort and training to get back to where I want to be physically. Fortunately, I have some ravines in the area I live in that will definitely help me prepare for the kind of terrain in store. My goal this weekend is to push for a top three finish in my class and top five finish overall. I’ve been working on my intensity so I can narrow the gap on the front of the field, and I’m trusting that will pay off this weekend,” said Moore.
Rounding out the squad is the country’s leading female Enduro rider Kirsten Landman. With a long list of accolades in endurance sport, it is no secret that Landman thrives off a challenge. She commented, “I’ve really enjoyed putting my head down and working towards a goal again. These last few weeks have been quiet without racing or travelling, so preparing for an event again has been very exciting.”
Having returned from an injury at the start of this season, Landman has been working on building back up to her racing form. She mentions making some good progress over the past few months, especially with her goal to return to the Dakar Rally next year.
As she looks to take on new territory this weekend, Landman is particularly excited about her weapon of choice – the new 2022 KTM 250 XC-W TPI: “I’m so glad that there’s a new venue on the calendar – so I’m taking on new terrain with my new KTM 250 XC-W! I’ve never ridden there before, but generally the Eastern Cape terrain is quite rough and rocky. I’m anticipating a race that’s going to be hard on the body, but I’m feeling conditioned for it and ready to close the time gap that the leaders have on me.”
Published by: Louwrens Mahoney – KTM Motorcycles SA
Picture Caption: Charan Moore at Roodeberg Enduro Farm. Photography by: Carli Smith
What South African Cross Country Moto Round 3 Preview Where Matatiele, Eastern Province When Saturday 21 August 2021 Community South Africa National
Will Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing find its first win this weekend?
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing heads to the Matatiele in the remote Eastern Province to finally rejoin its maiden South African Cross Country Motorcycle Championship challenge following a lengthy lockdown break on Saturday 21 August. The team will be eyeing a possible first class victory since Kawasaki returned to Cross Country racing for the first time in two decades, but the objective is to continue with its great form so far this season.
“We have exceeded our wildest expectations since Pepson Plastics Motul Racing brought Kawasaki back to the South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship this season,” team boss Iain Pepper reflected. “So much so that we are daring to anticipate a maiden win sometime soon! “We came close on our last Gauteng GXCC race, but we were a little unlucky. The lads have been flat out training and preparing and we are ready for more top results in Matat!
“I was blown away by the performance of my Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki KX450X at the last regional,” open class OR1 man D’Artagnan Lobjoit explained. Dart sits second in the SA national OR1 championship chase and fourth overall and he can’t wait to get back on his green machine at Matatiele. “It’s a tight championship, but I’m up for the challenge and really hungry to get that first win on my green machine!”
“It’s been a long time since we last went racing,” Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul OR3 250cc class rider Taki Bogiages admitted. “I’m super excited to head into round 3 — Matat will definitely be a great event, the area has super diverse terrain and I’m sure we will be tested in all aspects. “The team has made a tremendous effort to make me feel right at home on my Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki in this large gap between the races — I can’t wait to give it all I’ve got!”
“I can’t wait to get to the National Cross Country down in Matat,” fellow OR3 man Kyle Mckenzie confirmed. “The track is looking awesome — it seems they will throw a mixture of everything from river beds to soft sand at us, which is good. “My Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX250X is perfect for all terrains and feels comfortable and fast — bring it on!” Taki sits joint sixth in a super-tight OR3 chase just 8 points off the lead, while Kyle is poised to vault up from 10th.
Two more Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul riders, the ever-improving OR1 rookie Craig Alcock has been building confidence in his first season on the big-bore machine and sits tenth in that title chase, while Senior man Lee Thompson will be looking for a clean run following a tough start to his two-wheeled season on his KX250X.
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul is racing Kawasaki’s all-new built for cross country 2021 KX250XC and KX450XCs in the SA championship. Based on the ’21 KX motocross machines, both benefit specific XC tuned electric start engines with MotoGP derived finger follower valve technology and plug-and-play engine mapping for precision tuning via the KX FI Calibration kit.
The five-speed XC models get cross-country gearing for their close-ratio gearbox, a light and direct feel hydraulic clutch and traction control. XC-tuned Showa suspension on the 450 and KYB forks on the 250 is cross country ready, as are larger diameter brakes and optimised wheels with an 18″ rear and cross country tyres. The XCs carry over the narrow KX frame with adjustable handlebar and foot peg positions, minimalistic bodywork and add a side stand and skid plates.
Issued on behalf of Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing
Steven Odendaal and his team Evan Bros. Racing Team were back in action in Autodrom Most, Czech Republic, last weekend and did not take long to get back to where they left off before the summer break with Odendaal showing strong pace from the opening session. Despite a more difficult Superpole, which saw the currently second man in the overall world championship standings qualify 7th on the grid, Odendaal managed to claw his way back through the field to take a dominant victory in a red-flagged race 1. The second race on Sunday was even more dramatic as Odendaal had to fight his way through from a 9th position after a mistake in the opening stages of the race to take a second position and a new race lap record closely behind his main championship rival Dominique Aegerter, who took a flag-to-flag win.
Steven Odendaal (1st, 2th): “Overall it was a fantastic weekend for us. I was a bit disappointed with the second position in race 2 because I knew we could have won that race too, if I did not make a mistake at the beginning and did not have to close over a 4-second gap and overtake so many riders. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to catch Dominique as a result but we still managed to reduce his points advantage this weekend, which is important for the championship, although we are not thinking about that as yet, the goal is now to win as many races as possible. Because we do not race in South Africa, Czech Republic is like a home race for me and it was great to race in front of the local fans. Our goal for Navarra is to make sure we qualify more in the front because starting from the third row this weekend really made my job much more difficult and most probably cost us a double win this weekend. We definitely learned a few things this weekend that will help us to be even stronger at the next round. I would also like to say huge thanks to my team for all their hard work. Their ability to give me exactly what I need to feel confident on my Yamaha machine is truly impressive.”
The rider from O Rosal just north of the Portuguese border came into last year’s series on the back of a title-winning Trial2 campaign in 2019 and quickly made waves. A podium finish at his fourth attempt on day two in Spain was an incredible result and he backed this up with three fourth-placed finishes on his way to a #6 world ranking.
It’s been a tough start to the season so far for the 21-year-old who lies eighth in the points table but he’s currently holding down third in the Spanish championship and is aiming to replicate this form on the world stage.
We caught up with Gabriel to find out a little bit more about what makes him tick…
TrialGP: Hey Gabriel, how are you feeling at the moment with the first two rounds finished and a small wait until Andorra? What will you be doing until then? Gabriel: “I feel a little dissatisfied with the results. In the Spanish championship I feel strong so it’s time to turn the story around and start making good results in the world championship. I have taken the opportunity to disconnect a little to recharge the batteries and return to 100 per cent.”
TrialGP: You had a podium last year in your first season in TrialGP. That must have felt amazing… Gabriel: “The truth is that last season was very positive. To be honest getting on the podium was not in the plans but as the season progressed I felt stronger and able to fight for the top positions.”
TrialGP: This year it has been a bit tougher – are you disappointed that your best result in 2021 so far has been a sixth? Gabriel: “I am not happy with my riding in these first three trials. I think I could have done a lot better but my rivals have a very high level – everyone is fighting for the podium and in the end someone has to be behind in the standings. I hope these events ahead of us go better.”
TrialGP: Toby Martyn once described you to us as ‘an animal’ on a bike – he obviously meant that as a compliment. Can you tell us about your riding style? Gabriel: “Toby and I have a good relationship – we are rivals but friends like most of the riders I compete against. I think I am a pretty effective rider. I am very calculating and I like to have everything under control – every line, every stone, every movement of the bike. I tend to be calm but it’s true that when I’m under pressure and stress I bring out a hidden anger that gives me a plus in my riding.”
TrialGP: What are your goals for the rest of the season? Gabriel: “My goals are to get into the top five of the overall world championship and make at least one podium.”
TrialGP: It’s a tough question but please tell us where you see yourself in five years’ time? Gabriel: “I would like to be fighting for the top three places in the world championship. The current riders in the championship have a very high level but I think that in a few years I can consolidate and earn a place in the top three.”
TrialGP: Thank you for answering our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Gabriel: “I would like to thank my sponsors, all the people who have been supporting me over the years and you for giving me a voice with this interview. Every person who contributes their grain of sand to the world of trial is to be thanked!”
Round three of the 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – the Andorran TrialGP – takes place high in the Pyrenees around the scenic town of Sant Julià on August 20-22.
For regular updates and live results check out our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just search for TrialGP.
What South African Cross Country Motorcycles Return to Action Where South Africa When From 21 August 2021 Community South Africa National
Matatiele, Delmas & Virginia on the menu as championship resumes
The South African Cross Country Motorcycle Championship is all set to blast back into action following its lockdown lull, with three new National rounds confirmed through to October. The action will start with a brand-new race at Matatiele at the foot of the Berg on Saturday 21 August.
Matat is no stranger to cross country racing, having played host to the good old Roof of Africa overnight stop back in the 1970s and ‘80s and often hosted off-road races since. The town ready to welcome the cross-country bikers back for what is sure to be a tough and entertaining National organised by KZN Racing in those Drakensberg foothills for the third round of the series.
The 2021 championship commenced according to plan with the first two rounds at the Jolivet, KwaZulu Natal season opener, followed by round 2 at Modimolle in Limpopo Province in April. Those races played to the respective strengths of the KZN and Gauteng competitors and the coming three rounds will likely continue to do the same when the series returns to the Highveld for the GXCC’s 11 September Delmas round 4. Then it’s back to KwaZulu Natal for KZN Racing’s Virginia Trails on 16 October.
Looking at the season so far, KZN superstar and double reigning SA Cross Country and Enduro champion Brett Swanepoel remains the man to beat in open class OR1 aboard his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. Brett also shares the overall championship lead heading to Matatiele, but there’s a surprise behind Brett in the big class. Botswana lad D’artagnan Lobjoit sits second for the upstart Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul team in his tight battle with KZN duo Michael Pentecost’s Husqvarna and Sherco man Hayden Louw. First round winner, SA international Travis Teasdale, also out of KZN, sits fifth in OR1 on his GasGas.
Another KZN star, Brother Leader Tread KTM lad Bradley Cox shares both the overall championship lead with Swanepoel and the 250 cc OR2 class lead with MCA Dragon Energy Husqvarna’s Modomode overall winner Ian Rall. Cox shared the overall and class wins and second places with both those rivals in the opening two rounds. Upcountry motocross star Kerim Fitz-Gerald has scored an impressive couple of thirds on his Red Bull KTM, while Husqvarna lad Devan Smith, Kyle Eggar on a Yamaha and KTM rider Ruan Merry are in a tight battle for fourth in the quarter-litre chase.
They may not be related, but KZN RBS Yamaha star Dylan Cox has something else in common with Bradley. Both presently lead a 2021 South African Cross Country Motorcycle championship. Dylan’s two second places so far this season see him heading for Matat tied in the points lead of the tightest-fought 200cc OR3 class with Gauteng rider Matthew Wilson and his MCA Husqvarna. KTM man Scott Heygate sits just two points behind them, with Davin Cocker on a Husqvarna, Haydn Cole’s KTM, Husqvarna lad Erik Merry and Taki Bogiages’ Kawasaki all within six points of Heygate.
Moving on to the madalas, Free State star Wade Blaauw is unbeaten among the over-30 Seniors so far this season on his Roost KTM. Kawasaki man Deon du Toit is keeping him honest in that championship chase with Stuart Gregory’s KTM, Yamaha duo Marco Cocci and Elize Olivier and Brad Clarke on a Husqvarna in pursuit. Greg Nairn’s Husqvarna is likewise unbeaten in over-40s Masters, but he has Carel le Roux’s KTM, Yamaha men Marius de Klerk and Martin Poole, Ernst Slabbert on a KTM and Pieter Holl’s Kawasaki on his case.
And in the school kid classes, first round winner, KTM kid Dylan Jones leads the High School class by a handful of points over round 2 winner, Sherco lad Branden Swanepoel. Dylan’s brother Damon Cox on a Yamaha, shares third with John with Derek Karam fifth on his KTM. Round 2 winner Thomas Scales leads the Junior chase on his KTM ahead of Husqvarna trio, Cobus Bester, Lucian Meyer and first Race Winner Brandon Clarke.
It’s super-tight in the manufacturer’s championship too, with Husqvarna leading the way on 307 points and KTM just four behind on 303. Yamaha sits third under pressure from the returning Kawasaki team.
All in all, no single rider is in a safe championship position as the South African Cross Country Motorcycle racers limber up to resume racing following this latest lockdown lull. And where better than Matatiele to get the show back on the road? Bring it on!
MONACO (Principality of Monaco) 28 July 2021 – The time has come for the FIM Motocross World Championship to head to the deep sand of Lommel for the MXGP of Flanders-Belgium!
Every season, the Belgian Grand Prix is one of the most talked about races of the year as the track is considered to be the heartland of motocross and has played a vital part in the Motocross World Championship for many years, becoming known as one of the toughest sand circuits in the world.
Many memorable races have taken place in Lommel, including the 1981 Motocross of Nations and total of 18 Grand Prix’s since 1990, including last year’s triple-header!
During the Belgian triple-header, we saw Team HRC’s Tim Gajser take two out of the three victories, while Jorge Prado of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing was the overall winner during the second of three GP’s. Meanwhile in MX2, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle won the first two events, while Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Watson finished off his MX2 career with a high to secure his first MX2 overall victory.
Other winners at the popular sand circuit include the likes of Marnicq Bervoets, Stefan Everts, Avo Leok, Ken Roczen, Max Anstie, Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli.
The MXGP of Flanders-Belgium will be even more exciting this season as the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship riders will make their very first appearance in Lommel for round two of the championship, as defending world champion Courtney Duncan of Bike it MTX Kawasaki will look to continue her dominant force with another solid result, while Larissa Papenmeier of Yamaha Racing 423 will look to keep the championship gap close, as Nancy Van De Ven and Kiara Fontanesi will look to get themselves on the podium after a tough weekend in Loket.
This weekend’s races will also see round two of the EMX2t Presented by FMF Racing as Fantic Factory Team Maddii’s Maximilian Spies will enter the race in Lommel as the championship leader looking to keep that gap to Verde Substance KTM’s Brad Anderson and his teammate Federico Tuani. Former MXGP rider Ken De Dycker will also make a wildcard appearance in the EMX2t category this weekend, so it will be interesting to see if he can make things interesting for the leaders.
In addition, there will also be races of the EMX250 category, as Fantic Factory Team Maddii’s Nicholas Lapucci will look to keep the red plate on his Fantic machine and keep SM Action Racing Team YUASA Battery’s Kevin Horgmo, Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing’s Andrea Bonacorsi, Liam Everts of KTM Liamski and Rick Elzinga of TBS Conversions KTM Racing Team at bay.
This weekend will be a chance for Team HRC’s Tim Gajser to claw back some valuable championship points that he lost out on in Loket due to the crash in the second race. Last season, Gajser won four of the six races that took place in Lommel during the Belgian triple-header, so entering the races this weekend, he is likely to pick up where he left off last time around.
Of course, there’s a field of riders who won’t make this easy, one of those riders being Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli who will look to continue his podium streak as he chases his fifth consecutive top three finish. Last time Cairoli was victorious in Lommel was 2014, so a GP victory in the sand is well overdue and it will be interesting to see how he can manage this weekend.
His young teammate, Jorge Prado will aim to make two GP wins on the bounce after his first podium of 2021 in Loket last weekend. Prado has somewhat struggled at the beginning of the year, though it looks like the Spaniard is picking up the pace now, as he proved this in Czech Republic with his race one win and GP victory.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre will look for redemption in Lommel after some tough races in Oss and Loket. For Febvre staying on two wheels and consistency is the only thing missing, as he’s finding it tough to put together two strong races, which would put him in the fight for the podium and more importantly for the overall.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing riders Glenn Coldenhoff, Jeremy Seewer and Ben Watson are all within a fighting chance of some top results this weekend and even podium finishes. Last year in Lommel Watson secured two race wins and his first MX2 overall, so no doubt he will have an extra boost of confidence coming back to the circuit this weekend. While his teammate Seewer will enter the Belgian GP off the back of his first podium finish this season which is a big confidence boost for the Swiss who struggled in the beginning of the year.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Arminas Jasikonis could shine this weekend as the tall Lithuanian has been making great progress in getting back up to speed during the last couple of GP’s. While the races in Loket didn’t deliver on the results Jasikonis would have wanted, we did however see a glimpse of what can be expected in Oss as he rode his way to a top 10 finish for the first time this season.
For Gebben Van Venrooy Racing’s Brent Van Doninck and Kevin Strijbos, along with Beta SDM Corse Motocross Team’s Jeremy Van Horebeek the races this weekend will be extra special, as the trio will want to put on their best performance for their home Grand Prix.
But the biggest talking point as we enter the sand races is whether or not Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings will make his return after a shoulder blade injury sustained in Oss. Herlings revealed in an interview with Lisa Leyland that he would want to return for Lommel in order to keep his championship chase alive, though the smart decision would be to return a couple of weeks later. So, it will be interesting to see what decision the team and Herlings make and whether we will see him line-up for the sand race on Sunday.
MXGP of Flanders-Belgium Top 3 MXGP:
1. Tim Gajser
2. Gautier Paulin
3. Jorge Prado
In MX2, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maxime Renaux will enter the sixth round of the series as the championship leader by just two points over Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini who was the overall winner in Loket. There is no doubt both riders will want to do their best this weekend to gain some valuable championship points.
Thibault Benistant from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing is a rider to look out for as he will line-up in Lommel after his maiden MX2 podium in Loket, after a 9-1 result. Last season, Benistant was impressive in the deep sand of Lommel as he chased his EMX250 title, so it will be interesting to see where he will match-up in the sand among the other MX2 riders.
For the third factory Yamaha rider, Jago Geerts, the home Grand Prix this weekend will be another chance for him to have some good races to get himself back on the podium and make his way up the championship standings. Last year the three races in Lommel were a mix for Geerts who struggled to keep it on two wheels, so hopefully this season he will be able to show what he is capable of in the sand.
Meanwhile Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle will continue his return after injury. Last week in Loket saw Vialle finish second behind Guadagnini in race one, while in the second race, the Frenchman went down twice and did not finish the race. Hopefully the crashes of last season have not been a set-back in his recovery and he can continue to get back to grips and defend his title.
Finally, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton and Kay De Wolf have been very promising so far this season as the pair have regularly been running at the top end of the field. In the sand race in Oss, the pair were second and third on the podium as they both challenged for race wins, so it will be good to see them do the same this time around.
Missing this weekend will be F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Roan Van De Moosdijk who would’ve been among the favourites for this sand race. The Dutchman unfortunately broke his scaphoid after a crash in Loket and has undergone surgery this week to repair it.
MXGP of Flanders-Belgium Top 3 MX2:
1. Tom Vialle
2. Jago Geerts
3. Ben Watson
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 179 points; 2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 177 p.; 3. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 165 p.; 4. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 149 p.; 5. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 146 p.; 6. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 142 p.; 7. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 140 p.; 8. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 137 p.; 9. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 132 p.; 10. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 114 p.;
TIMETABLE (Local Timing GMT+2) SATURDAY: 07:45 EMX2t Free Practice, 08:10 WMX Free Practice, 08:35 EMX250 Group 1 Free Practice, 09:00 EMX250 Group 2 Free Practice, 09:30 EMX2t Qualifying Practice, 10:05 WMX Qualifying Practice, 10:40 EMX250 Group 1 Qualifying Practice, 11:15 EMX250 Group 2 Qualifying Practice, 12:20 EMX2t Race 1, 13:10 WMX Race 1, 13:55 EMX250 Race 1, 14:50 EMX2t Race 2, 15:40 WMX Race 2, 16:35 EMX250 Race 2.
Trial125 is the lowest rung on the TrialGP ladder and represents the ideal starting point for anyone looking to progress to the very highest level. Since 2004, British riders have won it on no fewer than six occasions – more than any other nation – and following last month’s opening round at Tolmezzo in Italy they hold the first three positions.
Setting the pace at the front is 16-year-old Jack Dance who won the opening day’s competition at the Italian TrialGP and backed this up with second on day two to open up an early four-point advantage over Harry Turner (Scorpa) with Harry Hemingway (Beta) a further five adrift in third.
“Obviously, the first round is always a bit of an unknown quantity because you don’t know who’s been training the hardest so to win on the opening day in Italy was a big confidence boost,” said Dance. “On the second day it was a tight trial so I just had to keep my focus.
“It’s great that British riders are filling the first three spaces after the Italian TrialGP and I know I’ll have to get my act together to stay above both of them.”
A five-time national champion, Dance has been riding since he was three and was part of the first generation of riders to cut their teeth on an electric bike when he landed a deal with OSET.
“I was one of the first people in England to ride one and now there are so many riders coming through in the Trial World Championship who started on them. I know that’s a big thing for OSET owner Ian Smith and his son Oliver that so many of their riders are coming through the ranks.”
Dance got an early introduction to the sport thanks to his father.
“My dad used to ride. He was pretty decent and we used to ride abroad sometimes – the French Four-Day and some trials in Belgium. That’s what got me hooked – I just used to ride around in the paddock.”
Now in just his second season in the series after finishing fourth last year, Dance’s dedication – he regularly makes a 400-mile round trip from his home just so he can practice – is paying off and he’s setting his sights on one day graduating to the premier class.
“I’ve always wanted to compete against riders who were better than me and challenge myself. I’ll hopefully go all the way [up to TrialGP] – that’s my ambition. I’d like to pursue it as my career.”
The Trial125 class bursts back into action alongside the TrialGP, Trial2 and Trial-E classes at round three of the 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – the Andorran TrialGP – on August 20-22.
For regular updates and live results check out our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just search for TrialGP.
Round four of the 2021 World Supersport Championship took place last weekend on the legendary Dutch circuit of Assen.
There were only two clear candidates for the win from the start of the weekend, Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. Racing Team) and his closest championship rival, Dominique Aegerter, with the pair being half a second clear off the rest of the pack in free practice.
Starting from the second position of the grid, the young South African got the hole shot before pulling away together with Aegerter and taking a second position in race 1 after the chequered flag. Whilst the weather looked unpredictable on Sunday morning, the second WorldSSP race was dry in the end and very much resembled race 1 from the outset, with Odendaal and Aegerter able to break away after an initial battle in the first laps and with only Philipp Oettl able to stay with them in the opening stages of the race. Getting held up in a battle with Jules Cluzel at the beginning, the Evan Bros. Racing Team rider was in the process of closing a small gap on the leading duo when he made a mistake and crashed out. He was able to re-join in 20th position and, setting the same lap times as Aegerter in the front, finish the race in 13th position.
Steven Odendaal (2nd, 13th): “The first race went really well. We gambled a bit with the tyre choice and decided to go with the harder compound, whereas Aegerter had the softer. I think that’s the reason why he had a small advantage at the end because I did not have enough grip in the final laps to pass him. We decided to use the softer tyre in the second race but I made a mistake. Luckily my crash was small and I was still able to salvage a couple of points but it was very disappointing seeing that I was the only person on track doing the same lap times as Aegerter at the end and I was not able to challenge him for the win. We will be back stronger in Most and fight for the win again. Thanks to my team, sponsors and everyone who’s been supporting me this year. The championship is still wide open with 16 races left, we are sitting comfortably in second position in the standings and we only have one objective going forward.”
The 2021 Borilli FIM EnduroGP World Championship returns to action this weekend as the series leaves southern Europe and heads north for the first of two consecutive events that will unquestionably play a decisive role in the series’ eventual outcome.
First visiting the sandy tracks and trails of Saaremaa, Estonia the championship then passes its halfway point as it crosses the Baltic Sea to Skövde in Sweden for round four. With competitors having had just two weeks to re-group following the intense opening rounds in Portugal and Italy, the northern European tour will bring with it an important change of terrain as it challenges the world’s fastest enduro racers in its own very sandy, forest covered way!
As the much-anticipated middle chapter of the series, and followed by a lengthy summer break that will allow many competitors to race in this year’s FIM International Six Days Enduro in Italy, both the GP of Estonia and the GP of Sweden will, inevitably, stamp their own unique marks on the series. With the championship making a welcome return to Estonia, which it visited for the first time ever back in 2018, Sweden will once again offer its legendary forests to the series as the battle for EnduroGP glory rolls on.
So far, it’s been Britain’s Brad Freeman (Beta) who has had the upper hand in this year’s EnduroGP World Championship. Claiming three overall day wins from four starts to hold a 10-point lead at the top of the class, the tall Brit is comfortably placed and ready to play in the sand in Saaremaa. A rider that is every bit as fast in the soft stuff as he is on hard-pack, racing his 300cc two-stroke, Brad will again be looking for day wins and, if possible, a maximum-points haul.
Behind Freeman, knowing that no one can afford to let the 2019 FIM EnduroGP champion build upon his early series winning form, Wil Ruprecht (TM), Steve Holcombe (Beta) and Josep Garcia (KTM) are ready to step up and challenge for victory. But it’s Ruprecht, second in the EnduroGP championship and the only rider to have taken a day win away from Freeman so far in 2021, who is best placed to use the four days of racing on offer in Estonia and Sweden to wrestle the championship lead away from his Beta mounted rival. In doing so, the Australian would ensure the EnduroGP title fight stays as close as possible heading into the summer break.
It’s a similar story for both defending EnduroGP champion Steve Holcombe (Beta) and Spain’s Josep Garcia (KTM) with each rider hoping to overcome what were frustrating opening rounds and show their true form in Estonia and Sweden.
Unable to compete at his best through injury at round two, Holcombe is ready to get back to winning ways while Garcia knows that his hard-charging riding style will be well-suited to the sandy Estonian special tests. Needing to show that just like Freeman and Ruprecht they too have the pace to win, Holcombe and Garcia will be looking to ensure a four-rider fight for the top step of the EnduroGP podium.
In Enduro1 the two-rider battle between Italians Andrea Verona (GASGAS) and Davide Guarneri (Fantic) looks set to continue as defending class champion Verona and veteran racer Guarneri step away from their home round of the series and take their class battle into forests that will offer no rider any advantage. Looking to continue the run of podium finishes he enjoyed at the Italian GP, Belgium’s Antoine Magain (Sherco) will likely again be the closest challenger to the speedy Italians. With only one rider having beaten him in Enduro2 class competition so far in 2021, Wil Ruprecht (TM) carries a huge amount of confidence into the Estonian and Swedish rounds of the series, as well as a clear 10-point class lead over Steve Holcombe (Beta).
But with Holcombe looking to bounce back from injury and with Josep Garcia (KTM) just one-point adrift of the Brit, it’s going to be game on in the Enduro2 class. Add into the mix New Zealand’s Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) who is searching for his first ever senior class podium result, and Finn, Eero Remes (TM) who welcomes the series arrival a little closer to his home, and there’s going to be no shortage of action.
Dominating the Enduro3 class standings with four convincing wins, few riders look capable of stopping Brad Freeman (Beta) marching towards yet more day wins in Estonia and Sweden. The real action in E3 will be for the second and third place podium positions between Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM) and Manx brothers Danny (Sherco) and Jamie McCanney (Husqvarna).
Ensuring the northern Europe tour will sign off on a high note, the GP of Sweden will welcome the Enduro Women’s class back to the series. With Spain’s Mireia Badia (GASGAS) and Laia Sanz (GASGAS) topping the standings on 35 points each, and with Britain’s Jane Daniels (Fantic) right behind in third, there’s everything to play for with the fourth round of the 2021 Borilli FIM EnduroGP World Championship sure to serve up yet more exciting racing.