Image from the 2021 MX National | Round 1 | Captured by Sage Lee Voges for

National Motocross Championship – Round 2

The next stop on the National Motocross Championship takes riders to the only sandy track of the season – Gqeberha’s notorious Rover. With its thick sand and deep ruts, Rover has a strong reputation as the most physically demanding track the country has to offer.

For Red Bull KTM, the main focus heading into this event has been preparation. Despite a double-dose of confidence after his MX1 and MX2 victory in the opening round, star rider Tristan Purdon has wasted no time getting ready for the challenge in store.

“Racing at Rover is completely different to racing on hard-pack. Everything from the way you pass other riders during the race to your bike set-up changes. As the day progresses the track becomes extremely taxing on your body – it’s really just survival of the fittest out there,” said Purdon.

Fully aware of the fitness required to perform at an event like this, he added: “I’ve trained really hard for this race, especially off the bike with Louwrens Mahoney. With my goal to maintain my points lead in both classes and hold onto the red plates throughout the year, I had to make sure that I was physically prepared for this one.”

Red Bull KTM teammates Cameron Durow and Trey Cox have spent the past few weeks training at KwaZulu-Natal’s Hammarsdale – one of the only other sand tracks South Africa has to offer. Like Purdon, Durow also realizes the importance of fitness in this event and mentions placing extra focus on time spent in the gym.

In an effort to do everything he can to set himself up for MX2 victory, he also explains his bike set-up: “Besides getting my fitness ready, I’ve made sure that my KTM 250 SF-X is set-up for the sand as well. I mostly did some small adjustments to my front suspension and will put a fresh Pirelli sand tyre on before the race – that’s pretty much all I need to do to get my orange machine ready to race,” said Durow.

Having come painfully close to snatching 85cc victory in the opening round, new recruit Cox has a very specific goal as he prepares for round two: “I won the first heat in the opening round but had a crash in the second moto that really set me back. My goal this time is to be more consistent and try put the two motos together. It’s hard to predict what could happen at Rover though – you never know when the sand monster could bite you!” joked Cox.

Rounding out the orange squad is Jonathan Mlimi who has his sights set one thing only – snapping up the win in both heats to secure as many points as possible. The rider admits to feeling slightly disappointed by the results of the first round despite securing a spot on the podium. With a laser focus on victory, Mlimi will certainly be a force to be reckoned with this weekend.

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney

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