MSA MOTOCROSS NATIONAL ROUND 3

Round 3 of the MSA South African MX National Championship was hosted by the Bloemfontein Off-Road Club on the 14th of May. A sunny winter’s day with a well-prepared circuit delivered some sensational racing which showed why the popularity and health of the series is on the rise.



MX 50cc: Ross Mackenzie #85 took a double win, by taking full profit from critical errors made by his championship rivals Rayden Woolls #345 and lightning starter Lou Rademeyer #25. Woolls and Rademeyer crashed into each other while battling for the lead. They both remounted for the top 10 finishers. A battered and bruised Woolls lined up to fight again in race 2 but suffered another early crash and a damaged collarbone but still managed to rejoin for valuable points. Lou Rademeyer took 2nd overall with Rhys Carl Wentzel #404 3rd overall on his season debut.
 
 
MX 1: It was the Red Bull KTM show once again in MX 1 with Cameron Durow #58 and teammate Tristan Purdon doing battle with the likes of Michael Docherty #19, Anthony Raynard #23, and Jesse Wright #14.


 Durow took the race 1 hole-shot and pulled away to a comfortable win ahead of Purdon working his way through the field to P2, Raynard in 3rd and Docherty taking 4th after a mistake early in the race cost him a podium. KTM team manager Kerim Fitz-Gerald #108 impressive podium in heat 1 with a 3rd place. Purdon was out for revenge in race 2 as he fought all race long with his teammate Durow. Durow applied pressure all race long but could not find a way through on the #1 plate before the chequered flag. Jesse Wright made a big step forward into 3rd, while Docherty was forced to settle for another error-induced P4 which took him to 3rd overall for the day. Jayden Proctor put on a solid effort in both heats on his CRF 450 Honda and finished 6th overall.
 
 
MX High School: Luke Grundy #450 continued his dominant start to the season with another set of double wins challenged only by Swaziland’s Blake Young #44 who went 2-2 and Out of Africa/Monster Energy/Yamaha Hayden Tully who went 3-3 with two consistent rides in the highly competitive class. Barend du Toit #101 was once again a contender for the podium but some technical problems cost him dearly forcing him into 2 DNF’s. Kyle Townsend #89 had an outstanding day on his Cannabis Energy Drink sponsored KTM pushing through to P4 overall with Bryce Petersen #12 in P5
 
 
MX 65cc: Evan Frost #5 followed up his Round 2 double with another double at Round 3 by absolutely crushing his competition in heat 1 with a 32-second winning margin. Trent Valsecchi slashed that margin down to 4.3 seconds in heat 2 doing his best to pressure the easy-going Frost. Kabelo Ledwaba #80 could have had a much better day but was slowed down by early tangles with other riders in each heat. Valsecchi 2nd overall with reigning 50cc Champion Trenton Kretzmann continuing his adaptation to the 65cc class with 3rd overall.
 
 
MX 3/MX Ladies/MX Senior Support: With a carbon copy of the Pietermaritzburg result it was Tintswalo Yamaha’s Anthony Raynard #23 who took the MX3 class double win with Dean Wheeler #135 closing the gap to Raynard this round going 2-2 and Tyson Engelbrecht #100 earning 40 points going 3-3 for 3rd overall.
 
Kawasaki’s multiple SA champion Kayla Raaff #1 fought off the charges from the De Lima sisters, Leah Heygate #76 as well as the returning (and on form) Puck Klaassen #88. Raaff finished P1 in both heats followed up by Heygate. Cheyenne De Lima #4 came out on top on this occasion of the sibling rivalry with a 3rd overall and Jadene De Lima #77 and Klaassen completing the overall top 5.
 
An increase in entries for the MX Support class saw some new contenders in action to challenge veteran Quentin Foster #51. Zaydrian Grace#74 beat out Foster for P1 with Cristopher Warner #141 completing the MX Support podium.
 
MX 2: The best racing of the day undoubtedly came out of the MX 2 class. Some newer faces showing their pace while the established names in the championship went to war. Cameron Durow #58 maintained his form out the gate this season with a hard win race 1 victory. Tristan Purdon was 4th in heat 1 after a late crash 2 corners after taking the lead from Durow. Stav Orland and Jono Mlimi were the only two other riders to challenge the top 2 riders from 2021. Orland was strong all race long leading early and eventually finishing 2nd. Class Rookie Mlimi #259 found his first podium finish of the season in 3rd.
 
Race 2 saw the top 4 from race 1 exchanging positions early on until Durow and Purdon pulled away and focused on their inter-team battle for supremacy. After stalking each other for a couple of laps fireworks would eventually spark between the teammates. Purdon and Durow would engage in an intense and incredibly entertaining battle which could easily remind one of the classic Stewart VS Reed battles back in the day. With a few laps to go the KTM teammates would collide with each other and both riders going down. They remounted still leading the race with Mlimi #259 briefly squeezing into 2nd position before Durow would come back through to continue his battle with Purdon. After a series of on-the-limit back and forth overtakes the duo would clash again on the final lap with Purdon coming out on top ahead of Durow. Mlimi #259 watched the chaos unfold in front of him and made his way onto the podium for the 2nd time that day. Stav Orland #265 was 4th overall with the returning Joshua Mlimi #411, back in SA National MX (this time in Husqvarna colours) finishing 5th overall.
 
 
MX 85cc: With some of the 85cc juniors returning from a recent outing racing in Europe, it would mean that the level would only get higher in the ultra-competitive 85cc class. The top 3 riders on the podium and the championship were in a class of their own finishing both heats and battling amongst themselves a long way ahead of the chasing pack. Neil van der Vyver #18 and Jordan van Wyk #747 shared P1 and P3 in each race finishing the day equal on points with van der Vyver finishing 1st overall courtesy of his race 2 wins. Trey Cox completed a solid points haul with a 2-2 result on his Red Bull KTM. Jake van Schoor had a really good day in 4th overall ahead of Christian Berrington-Smith and Matthew Correia
 
Another day of world-class motocross racing, with much more still to come this season. We’re all looking forward to Round 4 which takes place at Rover Circuit in Port Elizabeth on the 2nd of July 2022.


Published by: Themba Khumalo

Photography by:  Ruben Louw

HUSQVARNA RACING SET TO LET LOOSE CAT AMONGST THE PIGEONS

Husqvarna Racing is set to release the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons this weekend when they field new signing Michael Docherty at the Cross Country National. National Championship heads off to the semi-desert region of North West for a battle in the sand. The small town of Vryburg sometimes referred to as the Texas of South Africa due to the numerous cattle farms in the area will undoubtedly have all eyes on the Husqvarna bikes given their spate of spectacular results of late.


Brett Swanepoel, the current overall and championship class leader has never raced in Vryburg before is quietly confident and looking forward to what the weekend holds. “Growing up at the coast I have always ridden in the sand and I’ve had some good results at the Desert Race in Botswana before” he added. “From what I’ve seen the course does not seem to be as fast as one would expect so it suits me coming from KZN. I think it is going to be some tight and tough racing and I’m really excited to race here” he said. He also added that he could see the organisation is putting in a lot of effort and it is starting to reflect in the participation numbers.


The buzz in the Cross Country fraternity at the moment is the news that new MX signing Michael Docherty will be on the start line in Vryburg following the news Davin Cocker’s season-ending injury at the last round. Docherty of course is no stranger to sand having spent a lot of time in Dubai and his Rally racing pedigree will most certainly serve him and the team well.

“This will be my first ever cross country race on South African soil, but it makes a lot of sense for my 2023 Dakar Rally preparations” Docherty commented. “I need as much offroad time in the saddle as I can get and I am really looking forward to the challenge of high-intensity cross country racing,” he said. “I’m used to navigating with a roadbook so switching to stickers might present a challenge and I’m confident I’ll get used to it quickly in Friday’s Time Trial event” he noted.


Team principle Fred Fensham enthused “With the injury and long-term rehab to our young star Davin, the inclusion of Michael is really exciting for the team and Cross Country racing – as Michael has said, it’s his first Cross Country race on SA soil so much to learn and come to grips with but still an exciting prospect. It also allows him to train as he starts to build up towards the rally season. This takes nothing away from the inform man Brett Swanepoel – Brett has really been a star this year and enjoying his FX 350 to the full – Its without a doubt going to be an exciting and interesting weekend in Vryburg.”

Published by: Grant Frerichs

Photography by: ZCMC-Media

RED BULL KTM BUOYANT AFTER A BULLISH DISPLAY IN BLOEMFONTEIN OVER THE WEEKEND

The Red Bull KTM squad have reason to be buoyant after a bullish display in Bloemfontein this weekend for the third round of the National Motorcross Championship. On what was hailed by most as the best-prepped track on the circuit, it was the familiar orange that topped multiple podiums and walked off with the laurels.


It was an impressive 1st and 2nd finish on the overall MX1 podium with Tristan Purdon stepping onto the top step and teammate Cameron Durow in second. The hotly contested MX2 was where Red Bull KTM shone taking all three podium spots in this round with Durow in P1, Purdon in P2 and Jono Mlimi rounding it off in P3.
Tristan Purdon added, “Round 3 of the MX Nationals was quite a tough day for me. I didn’t start so well and had three crashes. I finished second in the first moto and I was riding well in the MX2, got into the lead but had a crash and hit my head. During the second Moto, I sorted my stuff and came out swinging and got a win. The MX2 was a big battle with my teammate but got the win for the moto. I can’t thank my team and everyone enough.”


Teammate Cameron Durow came in second and was ecstatic with his performance at Bloemfontein in the MX1 and MX2 classes, maintaining his standing points-wise that positions him as a strong contender in the hunt for the MX1 crown. Durow comments, “In MX2 I came third for the second moto but still won overall for the day and pulled another points lead in the championship. I’m excited for Round 4 in Port Elizabeth.”

Durow heads over to the Netherlands for five weeks where he will be doing a lot of sand riding and training. He added, “This is really good for PE, so I’m thrilled to go racing after the Netherlands.”

Young gun, Trey Cox who races in the Pro Mini Class bagged yet another podium spot for the team with P3 and added, “It was an alright day for me, not the day I wanted but you can’t always have a perfect day. I managed to go 2-2 for second and got a better championship lead, and pulled a bit of a gap. I’m just going to take the positives from the day and onto the next round in Port Elizabeth.”


Teammate Jonathan Mlimi in the MX2 class explained that the toughest part of the third round of the day was maintaining a lead, adding that the race was completely different from the 125’s but he has certainly learnt a lot and is looking forward to taking the experience gained in the third round to the Champs in Port Elizabeth. He said, “I had a really good day, and placed third in the first moto and first in the second moto so I’m happy to make the podium. I just going to keep working and building from here. Thank you to everyone and the KTM team. Onto the next round!”


In the High School Class, Luke Grundy added to the loot by claiming a solid P1 in the high school class. He commented, “I didn’t get the best start but I clawed my way back and got the win for heat one. Moto two started well, but it took a bit for me to get in my flow. Once I got that checked out, I took the win as well. Thank you to everyone and KTM South Africa, TRP and WP Suspension for a good experience. It was a good wrap!”


Red Bull KTM will certainly be moving to Round Four of the South African National Motocross Championships in Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape) on the 2nd of July with their tails up!

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney

Photography by: Justin Reinecke – ZCMC Media

MOTOCROSS ON THE RISE

Northern Region Motocross or NRMX as it has come to be known, hosted its third round of motocross action at the notoriously difficult Sandtrax track in Sasolburg. With over 100 eager pilots all wanting to prove their skills in the sand, we couldn’t have asked for a better day out. Crisp cool conditions for morning practice saw a well-prepped track take a beating over the course of the day, making each heat a challenging new experience to deal with for our young and older riders alike.

Endurance was the call of the day and each rider was going to be pushed to their physical limits, where just crossing the finish line in itself was a feat to be celebrated.


A few standout rides on the day gave the spectators some jaw-dropping action. Tristan Purdon is racing for Northern Regions now and you can definitely expect him to climb the championship ladder with an outstanding ride in both MX 1 and MX 2 gate taking 1 – 1 in both classes.


It was great to see Kerim Fitz-Gerald fighting it out again in the MX 1 gate, no doubt it was in preparation for his upcoming National Cross-Country battle later this month. Another return saw Joshua Mlimi, with his incredible starts, managing to gap the rest of the pack by some margin in both his heats, an eye-opener for sure to the rest of the pack especially when he gets his fitness back up to scratch.


Our ever-increasing standalone ladies gate saw Kayla Raaff take the top step, in conjunction with NRMX channelling all our prizes towards the ladies gate in support, we look forward to a growing the number of ladies in the future. Our very own committee member Bianca Prout-Jones had a nasty crash in heat one leaving her out of contention for the rest of the day, speedy recovery Bianca!


Our juniors had some impressive rides across all the gates. In 2021 our 65cc gate only had four riders at the same track, while this year we celebrate 17 pilots all testing their might in the thick sand. Trenton Kretzmann from KZN showed his class with a double win in both heats on the 65cc gate while local riders Trent Valsecchi and Daniel Brindley were hot on his heals, an unfortunate crash by Daniel made way for Cruz Martin to take the final podium place.


In the 85cc gate, Damian Venter revved into action leading most of both his heats until an unfortunate crash on a tabletop. Damian’s bow out made way for Christian Berrington-Smith in first with Christopher Brindley and Alex Cooper in second and third respectfully.  


The MX High School class was jam-packed with action and Barend du Toit did not disappoint with an impressive performance to take the win, Lucas Venter with a strong second performance while third place was a close battle between Joshua Williams, Timo Maximo Toepfer, Thor Johnson,  and Garrick Henley to see who would take the final podium position, with Joshua finally edging it out in the end.


The 50cc gate always brings something special to the sport, the sheer passion and determination of these little guys and girls is something to behold! Pound for pound these little ones can definitely give the bigger guys a run for their money. The clear leader of this pack was the young Rayden Woolls, although he didn’t have it all his own way, with two poor starts he had to fight his way through the field to eventually take the win in both heats. Rhys Carl Wentzel and Parker Cik rounded out the second and third positions respectfully for the 50cc gate. With this being the fastest track of the season for these little guys they all had their machines pinned to the max.  The sport is in good hands with the level of talent at such a young level, NRMX is certainly paving the way to cultivate future national champions.


When the NRMX Committee took over the reins of regional motocross competition in 2020, motocross was at a low in competitor numbers and events being held. The Covid pandemic exacerbated an already downward trend showing from the 2019 season, we had our hands full with the challenge of trying to positively turn our beautiful sport around. With no 2020 racing, no money and no support we endeavoured to kick off the 2021 racing season. It was with a somewhat surprised blistering pace that the riders supported our endeavour and to date this enthusiasm has yet to dissipate even now in our 2022 season. We have had year-on-year record numbers and seen the race on race increases across the various classes. Our ladies gate went from sharing it with MX3 and support riders to now having its own dedicated class as a standalone event. In 2021 we were privileged to have awarded three of our riders with their MSA Northern Regions Regional Colours. This was a first for the new Committee to be able to award such achievements at our prize giving. This has increased significantly for 2022, where, as it stands each one of our current classes qualifies as a championship class except for our MX 1 class and hopefully we will be able to award even more of our crowned champions with their official MSA recognised Regional Colours.


Our challenge as a committee is to finish the season strong and work with the MX 1 gate to turn that around before the end of the season. We also implemented a non-championship junior support or club class for our 50cc, 65cc, and 85cc classes with the aim in helping develop the junior riders who have either just joined the sport or are looking to develop their skills before moving into the championship classes. These classes give our young riders the experience of racing with the more experienced riders in a fast-paced class while scoring separately, this has seen a mix of battles not only upfront but with a midfield battle now undeniably more visible.


 As many of you know, this year we have implemented a team challenge and seeing everyone working together to help their fellow teammates get better has been incredible. This is what this challenge was about. For those who are not aware, separate from our championship points system riders were randomly selected and placed into teams of four with a cross mix of seniors and juniors. The points scored during the championship event on the day would count towards the top three riders in each team scoring in their respective classes giving them a total to add to the team challenge. With the help of our sponsors, Out of Africa and Yamaha, we will award each member of the top team with their very own TTR 110 Yamaha Pit Bike. Yes, that’s ONE for each team member! Currently, we have a total of 21 teams all fighting hard for the overall win.


Another NRMX milestone was the first-ever dedicated e50cc all-electric bike gate in South Africa. A total of eight riders “silently” fought it out to see who would be crowned the e-king on the day. With power settings proving crucial and many being caught out meters from the finish line, it brought a different dynamic to the sport, one of slightly more strategy than just raw talent. Parker Cik (third place in the conventional 50cc race) took top honours in the first ever e50cc class – a busy day for young Parker as he had two practice sessions and four heats to do on the day. Rounding out our second place was Wilco du Plooy and Bjorn Roets in third.  The best part of our e-class gate was that excluding the top three riders, all of them were brand new to the sport having never ridden a regional race day before.


A special welcome and mention for our two international riders on the day, Alex Robinson from the USA in the MX 3 class and David Wieshayer-Turra from Austria in our MX High School Class, it was great to have you part of our racing. Another special mention and one that we could not overlook is to our sponsors; thank you for believing in what we are doing and supporting this great sport. Neslo our Trophy sponsor, VLA Racing and RidgeWay, Portable Shade, Nithrone, Paramatic, and Out of Africa. Without you guys it would be very difficult for us to do this.


Regional racing has a long way to go still, however, there is a clear willingness from the committee to embrace the riders and help them grow, and ensure that their preparation for a national competition level gives them a fighting chance. As a group of racers ourselves, some from different facets and various classes, we can quickly assess any pitfalls and possible shortfalls and collectively approach the likes of MSA to address concerns, required change considerations, or problem-solving very often without the riders being any the wiser. This is done in the spirit of bettering the sport for all. Collectively and tirelessly the NRMX Committee is here for you the rider regardless of age or class.


We look forward to hosting you all again at our next round which will be held at Legends MX Park on 16 July 2022.


Published by:  Johnathan Meyer, MSA NRMX Committee Chairman
 

Photography by:  Sean Versfeld – Cloud9 Photography SA

BLOEM ANYTHING BUT BORING FOR HUSQVARNA RACING

The city of roses welcomed the National Motorcross Championship roadshow for round three this weekend. The iconic Free State capital Bloemfontein turned out to be a bittersweet weekend for the Husqvarna racing team that was anything but boring. The weekend was billed to be a big “finding our feet” exercise for the Husqvarna Racing squad with some expectations but the perfectly primed red earth of BORC was not destined to yield major fireworks.

Young Neil van der Vyver despite suffering an initial setback with a rider stopping in front of him ruining his chances in the first moto battled back in moto2 with a big heart and took the overall win in the Pro Mini class for Husqvarna Racing. “The weekend started all right but hitting that backmarker that stopped in front of me nearly ruined my weekend, I just managed my race after that and came back strong in the second moto,” Van der Vyver said. He added that he was “super happy” with the weekend and his first overall win.


Thunder Valley saw new signing Michael Docherty battle with bike problems and another unlucky roll of the dice saw him battle with health problems coming into BORC. It was evident he had the speed but to quote him, “I was right in there initially but could just not keep up the battle feeling that flat”. He added, “I was happy to finish both motos and knew I could perhaps do more but it just wasn’t in the cards for me this time around, I’m hungry to battle with the guys at the next one”.

Fresh from US soil, Josh Mlimi has returned to the  SA racing scene with his first National, “I made a small mistake that led to a small crash, but other than that moto2 went a lot better. I know I have a lot of work to do on my fitness and I am super happy being back, but at this stage it is one race at a time, and I’m looking forward to the season ahead,” he said.


Brand manager for Husqvarna South Africa Fred Fensham said, “We’re still bubbling along and we know the dice just rolled and fell on the wrong side for us this time”. “Josh raced back on SA soil for the first time in years and showed he was not just out having fun,” said. He added, “No matter how much you train it is very different in racing, and in 2023 you can know that he will be your man”. Fensham had a lot of praise for young Neil van der Vyfer who showed true grit coming back from that unfortunate stop in moto1. He also mentioned that “It’s just a question of time” until Docherty flies the Husqvarna racing flag high.”


The next Championship round winds down to the windy city where Husqvarna racing will be looking to crack the whip again in the sands of the Eastern Cape.

Published by:  Grant Frerichs

Photography by:  Justin Reinecke – ZCMC Media

RACING SERVICES & BIKES RENTALS – ARE YOU RACE READY?

Fabio Fasola #872 (ITA) taking advantage of the SHERCO Racing Service during the 2021 FIM ISDE ©FIM

There is no doubt that the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) remains a real challenge on many different levels and preparing and maintaining your motorcycle is one of the most important parts of the ISDE. As per previous editions ISDE competitors will again be able to take advantage of an extensive range of racing and rental services provided by the major manufacturers at this year’s event at Le Puy-en-Velay, France from Monday 29 August to Saturday 3 September.

Riders will be able to rent the latest models and enjoy the performance and reliability benefits of riding a new factory machine prepared by mechanics who have great ISDE experience, or alternatively can choose to use their own motorcycle although can still profit from the expert assistance and spares back up that will be on hand. Choosing any of these options will help towards a hassle-free week, which offers the best chance of getting the absolute most from the adventure that the ISDE is.


Below are listed the racing and rental services that are currently available, but that are being added to as the event date continues to get closer. Please click on each manufacturer logo below for full details of what they have on offer and when their registration process closes – taking note of the limited number of packages that are available on a first come first served basis and the need to secure your booking as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

Finally, with high demand for tourist accommodation in the region for the summer season, it is strongly recommended that ISDE bookings are made with Le Puy-en-Velay Tourist Office as soon as possible. Local advisors are on hand to recommend options to suit all budgets.

More details about accomodations

Other information regarding the 2022 ISDE can be found at – www.fim-isde.com

FIM ENDUROGP DOCUMENTARY SERIES DUST TO DUST BEING PRODUCED IN 2022

PRIME STADIUM is pleased to announce that a behind-the-scenes documentary TV series is being produced during the 2022 WPTGlobal FIM EnduroGP World Championship and will be aired on an international streaming platform later this year.


“Dust to Dust” will be produced by Portuguese company Motorcycle Sports in collaboration with the WPTGlobal FIM EnduroGP World Championship. In it, viewers will be able to follow the many stars of the FIM EnduroGP series, riders like Josep Garcia (KTM/ESP), Andrea Verona (GASGAS/ITA), Brad Freeman (Beta/GB), Steve Holcombe (Beta/GB), and many more, as well as the managers of the most prestigious teams.


Featuring exclusive material and set to run over 10 episodes, Dust to Dust will show both the stories of the championship’s promising up-and-coming young riders, as well as the elite riders from the world’s most esteemed enduro series.
The aim of the series is to give viewers access, for the first time, to all the challenges and pressures that both riders and teams face, both inside and outside the GP environment. In addition, it aims to show the demands placed upon everyone working within the series, at all levels, and to showcase the passion that exists within the unique FIM EnduroGP paddock environment.


This new documentary series joins Motorcycle Sports’ already wide range of sports content productions, such as Motorcycle Sports (SportTV’s weekly series), AutoGear (SportTV’s weekly series), and Rout-e (Sustainable mobility with Turismo de Portugal).

SA CROSS COUNTRY BIKES HEAD TO THE DESERT

What Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Round 3 Preview
Where Ganyesa, Northwest Province
When 20-21 May 2022
Community South Africa National

A Change of Scenery in the Trademore SA Cross Country Chase

The Trademore Group South African Cross Country Championship emerges from a lengthy break with a total change of scenery from the opening rounds. Far from the rolling verdant hills of KwaZulu Natal, competitors head to the arid semidesert of the Northwest Province for round 3 at Ganyesa, 70 kilometres north-west of Vryburg on Saturday 21 May with one question on any observer’s mind. Will that favour the upcountry riders? Time will tell!

That question is particularly pertinent considering that a trio of KZN riders sit in the overall top three, and two KZN riders won the opening two rounds. Brett Swanepoel stormed to victory at a tough Dalton, KZN second round aboard his OR2 Husqvarna to take charge at the top of the title log. Fellow KZN OR2 rider Scott Heygate was second in Dalton aboard his OR2 KTM to move to second in the chase, with Mike Pentecost’s OR1 Kawasaki third.

OR3 leader Matthew Wilson is the top upcountry rider in fourth in his KTM. He has two more KZN riders on his tail for good measure. Round 1 winner Bradley Cox missed Dalton due to an injury sustained racing abroad and he will certainly want to be back with a bang. Gareth Cole’s Honda sits seventh ahead of the next Gauteng men, Seniors leader Kenny Gilbert’s Kawasaki and Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s KTM in ninth and tenth, from Hayden Louw’s Yamaha and Ryan Pelser on a KTM.

A slightly different picture emerges in the classes. Michael Pentecost’s gritty season so far and a round 2 win aboard his Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki has earned him the open 450cc class lead over the plucky Gareth Cole’s Sleepover CIT Honda, Hayden Louw’s Yamaha and Wade Den’s Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki. That leaves fifth placed round 1 winner Bradley Cox with it all to do to stem that Japanese tide aboard his Austrian Brother Leader Tread KTM.

It’s the other way around in 350cc OR2 where Brett Swanepoel’s Husqvarna has a perfect score over Scott Heygate’s Brother Leader Tread KTM, Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s Red Bull KTM and Dylan Cox’s Yamaha. Round 1 winner, Brother Leader Tread rider Matthew Wilson leads the 250cc OR3 class from fellow KTM rider Ryan Pelser and Haydn Cole’s Sleepover CIT Honda. Husqvarna rider Davin Cocker sits fourth ahead of Taki Bogiages’ Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki.

Second round OR2 winner Davin Cocker has however opted to sit out the rest of the season to recuperate from a knee injury and will be replaced by SA international motocross and rally raid Husqvarna rider David Goosen. OR1 Kawasaki man Wade Den will also sit this one out after hurting his knee off the bike.

Kenny Gilbert leads Seniors after winning the class in both opening rounds aboard his Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki. He leads Sleepover CIT Honda man Wade Blaauw, Pepson Kawasaki teammate Wyatt Avis’ Kawasaki and Marco Cocci’s Yamaha. Second in both opening rounds Greg Nairn’s Husqvarna leads the Masters over round 2 winner Carel Le Roux’s Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki opening round winner Kobus Jonck’s KTM and Wayne Farmer on a Husqvarna.

In junior action, opening race winner Matatiele lad Ross Ramseyer leads the 125cc High School chase on his Durban KTM from Wian Wentzel’s Husqvarna, Rory Donaldson on a KTM, Joss Alexander’s Husqvarna and Daniel Peckham on a Sherco. Also keep an eye on round 2 winner Luke Walker’s KTM. Double 80cc Junior winner Brandon Clarke is the kid to beat on his Spherical Holeshot Husqvarna and he will have Bruno Niebuhr, Murray Smith and AJ Louw’s KTM on his case.

KTM leads the Trademore Group South African Cross Country Championship maker’s chase to Ganyesa on 307 points from Husqvarna’s 255 and Kawasaki on 186 points. Yamaha and Honda are a point apart in fourth and fifth. The Ganyesa race also reverts to a two-day format with the time trial Friday afternoon before the main race on Saturday.

Issued on behalf of Trademore SA Cross Country

KAWASAKI READY TO STORM THE DESERT

What Trademore SA Cross Country Motorcycles Round 3 Preview
Where Ganyesa, Northwest Province
When 20-21 May 2022
Community South Africa National

Team Green All Set For Third National Cross Country

Kawasaki Racing heads to the 20-21 May third round Trademore South African Cross Country Motorcycle Championship Ganyesa desert race in a strong position. With two of its riders leading their championships and several other riders right in contention, the fast and dusty Northwest Province race also favours the team.

Mike Pentecost leads the open class OR1 championship and sits third overall aboard his Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki KX 450 X following a fine come from behind OR1, while Kenny Gilbert has been unbeatable in the Seniors aboard his Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki KX 450 X racing with Scottish Cables. KX250 X. Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki KX 250 X racing with Scottish Cables teammate, Wyatt Avis is third in Seniors, and Taki Bogiages is fifth in 250cc OR3.

“I have had a tough but successful start to the season,” Mike Pentecost pointed out. “I have picked myself up and the team pulled off some minor miracles to help get me and the bike to the finish, but I’m ready and looking forward to racing my Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki KX 450 X on terrain that suits us best this weekend. “Now all I need do is have a clean run and we should be right up there in the mix of the lead battle. “Can’t wait!”

Kenny Gilbert is another man looking to get the best out on his Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki KX 450 X racing with Scottish Cables in the desert. “I have had a pretty good run so far in my comeback season and I’m really enjoying racing as part of this special team,” Kenny explained. “This weekend we head back to the desert and I can’t wait. “I really enjoy the quick stuff and armed with my KX 450 X, I’m keen to see how it all pans out at Ganyesa.”

“Yeah really looking forward to this round,” Gilbert’s Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki KX 250 X Seniors teammate Wyatt Avis explained. “I’m making improvements every time we race both physically and how I’m approaching it mentally so I’m excited to see what happens. “Can’t thank the team enough for their support while I figure some of these challenges out!”

Taki Bogiages is looking forward to racing fully fit on his OR3 Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Kawasaki KX 250 X. “We have had a long break now since we last lined up to go racing and I’m extremely excited to get back out there with my team! “We have not had a race out Vryburg way in quite a while which makes me excited for this ‘new’ event on the calendar. “Let’s see what these Kawasakis can do in the desert bush! “It’s going to be good!.”

There is one change in the team for the Ganyesa race. Wade Den hurt his wrist while training off the bike and the team has drafted JC Nienaber in to ride Den’s Pepson Plastics Spherical Bearings Kawasaki KX 450 X.

“We are ready for the desert,” Franchise Co. CIT team boss Harry Grobler concluded. Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing with Scottish Cables team principal Iain Pepper added: “We won two classes last time out, so the plan is to go one or two better in Ganyesa on the sort of terrain we thrive on. “Go get it guys!”

Issued on behalf of Kawasaki Cross Country

RED BULL KTM READY FOR A THRILLING DAY OF RACING

The third round of the National Motocross Championship moves to Bloemfontein on Saturday and will prove to be an action-packed day of racing for the Red Bull KTM team considering their stellar second-round performance!


 
The orange team put on a spectacular performance at Thunder Valley, Pietermaritzburg, as they stormed to MX1, MX2, High School, and Pro Mini Class victories respectively. Cameron Durow enters the third round of the championship with his first MX1 heat win at a national event, with teammate Purdon right behind him.
 
Durow commented, “It is really good to be in the championship hunt for both MX1 and MX2. For Round 3, I am going to try and keep up the momentum and keep doing what I’ve been doing in MX2, win the class and extend the points lead. In MX1 I really want to try and secure my first overall win.”
 
Adding to the excitement of the day Tristan Purdon added, “I’m looking very forward to Bloem. I really enjoy the track. I have such good memories and got my first win for KTM there. I won my championship in Bloem in 2020 as well so it’s a very exciting track to be at and I enjoy it a lot. The pre-nationals went very well, wanted to make some points up in MX2 and extend my point lead in MX1 so I’m hoping for a good day.”
 
Teammate and young gun Jonathan Mlimi in the MX2 class who rounded out the podium in third during Round Two said, “I really want to get a top-three podium finish for the next round of the Motocross Nationals for both MX2 heats and win the overall for the day. I have been putting in a lot of work, am training hard and I know I can do it.”


He added “I’m currently in third place in the championship, which is very good for me as it is my first year in the MX2 class. I know I have the speed to run with the top riders, I just haven’t had the race to show that, so I’m hoping that I can prove that in Bloemfontein.” Mlimi has put on an impressive performance thus far and hopes to battle it out for the win in the rounds to come.
 
High School Class rider, Luke Grundy added another impressive victory and explained, “My goal for the next round is to win the Bloem National. I have been training hard on and off the bike. I am pushing hard to get a championship win this year and am going into Round 3 feeling very positive.”
 
Last but not least, Pro Mini rising talent, Trey Cox, had an unforgettable Round 2, including a victory in what he described as “the best weekend of his life”. He had the following to say about his upcoming races in Bloemfontein, “I’m going into the next round on a high after winning in Pietermaritzburg, so I’m going to try and do the same thing in Bloem. I’m feeling really good and very comfortable on the bike. The track is one of my favourites and I enjoy riding there, so I’m looking very forward to the third round.”


Published by:  Louwrens Mahoney

AN EXCITING WEEKEND LIES AHEAD FOR HUSQVARNA RACING AT ROUND 3 OF THE NATIONAL MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP

The Husqvarna Racing team moves to the 3rd round of the National Motocross Championship in Bloemfontein this Saturday. While Thunder Valley had its challenges for the team, lessons were learned and prep for BORC is being done in the most meticulous way by both riders and technical personnel.


Pro Mini class rider, Neil van der Vyver expressed his excitement, “I can’t wait for the next round in Bloemfontein – it’s one of my favourite tracks and I really want to go for the win!” I’m currently second in the championship but will be closing the gap on the points this weekend.”
 
With the recent injury and retirement of David Goosen, Michael Docherty takes up the reigns of the MX1 class for Husqvarna Racing and is hoping to have as much fun as possible as he gets back to his roots. He added, “It’s been a while since I’ve raced competitively in South Africa and I’m really looking forward to access myself against the local talent – from what I saw briefly in Pietermaritzburg, it’s going to be exciting!”


New on the Husqvarna Racing team for the MX2 Class, Josh Mlimi is looking equally forward to getting back into the racing scene with the hope of rebuilding his confidence and improving his race intensity. He commented, “It’s been a while since I’ve raced a full season in South Africa, so I’m thrilled to get back into the swing of things and re-establish myself as a rider.”


Davin Cocker also representing in the MX2 class has been nursing a series of recurring and niggling knee injuries. Sadly, a bucket handle tear in his meniscus has prompted an early withdrawal to the 2022 season for a surgical intervention in the hope of a full recovery in time for the 2023 racing season. He will certainly be missed after showing incredible pace at Thunder Valley recently.


Husqvarna Brand Manager and team principle Fred Fensham added – “Its an incredibly exciting weekend for the team as we head down to Bloem – it almost feels like we starting the season all over again with having Michael and Josh on board – we also have Neil who, as in the past, has shown at his young age that he has the heart of a lion and will no doubt be ready to fight his way back to the top!”

Published by:  Grant Frerichs

SHIFTING SANDS OF CHANGE SETS UP HUSQVARNA TO DISRUPT THE RACING SEASON

The 2022 racing season can only be described as a challenge thus far for Husqvarna Racing. The season has largely been overshadowed by a forced change, notably with a season-ending injury to star MX rider, David Goosen. The adage that change is the only constant, sets the stage for what is set to be a major disruption for the remainder of the season.


This news comes as the team announced on Thursday 5 May that they included two South Africans, namely Josh Mlimi and Michael Docherty, in their rider line-up. Both riders have just returned to home soil after honing their skills on the international stage.


Michael Docherty, based out of Dubai, makes his return to SA racing in MX1 and retains his Rally relationship with SRG Motorsports, and has his sights firmly fixed on Dakar 2023. Docherty has been making a name for himself in the Rally 1 class and will prove to be an exciting prospect to watch for the upcoming Rally season, now having become the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons on the local Motorcross circuit.


Adding some more spice to the mix is that the team will include Docherty in the lineup for the upcoming Cross Country National in Vryburg alongside championship leader Brett Swanepoel!


Both of the riders will have their respective WP suspensions done for them by Justin of Shock Logic so set-up for them as they tackle the rest of the season will be on point!”


Docherty, visibly excited, said: “It’s such a great feeling to be a part of the Husqvarna Racing team, I’ve been a part of Husqvarna in Dubai for more or less two years, so I would say it’s kind of keeping it in the family. Being able to come here and still work with the same brand and group of people and machines makes it a lot easier, but still very exciting. Being part of the National Cross Country team will benefit my rally scene so much, it’s going to be good practice.”


He added that he started racing back in 2001 when he was only 6 years old, and only raced motocross before he moved to America and later Dubai. He commented, “The goal is to race the Andulicia Rally and hopefully in Morocco, building up towards the big picture – Dakar in 2023.”


Docherty’s Dubai team had the following to say, “SRG Motorsports have a great relationship with Michael and we wish him the best of luck for the racing in Bloemfontein next weekend. Thunder Valley was a learning curve for Michael and the team, and generally, it’s been a tough couple of years for the number 19, but since mid-2021 he’s shown us all why he’s considered a top-tier rider. His injury recovery, hard work, commitment, and racing achievements in the UAE over the past 12 months speak for themselves. Thank you very much Husqvarna South Africa for allowing him the opportunity.”


Josh Mlimi hardly needs an introduction and will be using the rest of the season to set himself up for the 2023 season. This puts him in a unique position where there is no undue pressure or immediate expectations, yet no limit to the opportunities on offer or potential for the next season. Mlimi will be lining up in MX2 on his new #411 FC 250.


Mlimi added, “Coming back from the US, I’m looking forward to bringing back some exciting ideas and concepts and showcasing my skills on a competitive level and everything I’ve learned in my time being abroad. Hopefully, I can try to step up the level of South African racing. The number 411 came from my Dad’s racing background, and once I left SA I knew I would leave the 259 open to my brother, Jonathan Mlimi. I thought why not let’s keep it in the family and chose my dad’s racing number.”


He added, “I’m very excited to be a part of the team and look forward to this new partnership with Husqvarna and to build with the brand. There’s nothing like SA motocross, so I’m very eager to be a part of it again. It’s going to be an exciting season.”


Fred Fensham, Brand Manager from Husqvarna Motorcycles South Africa, had the following to say, “What an exciting day with the signing of these two stars to the Husqvarna Racing squad, but it also comes with some unexpected bad news for the team – our young star and defending OR3 champ, Davin Cocker, will be off the #87 for at least the next six months – an old knee injury and new bucket handle meniscus tear has meant that surgery is now the only and correct long term option – one thing we know is Dav will be back and once again establish himself as a top racer in both Cross Country and Motocross – we’re missing that smile already and wish you a full and speedy recovery Champ!”

Published by:  Grant Frerichs

Photography by:  Sage Lee Voges for ZCMC Media

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