SA Motocross star Tristan the man to beat in Welkom

What    South African National Motocross Round 3 Preview
Where    Phakisa Freeway, Welkom, Free State
When    Saturday 22 May 2021
Community    South Africa National

The question on everyone’s lips as the Cannabis Energy Drink & TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship heads to the Phakisa Freeway in the Free State town of Welkom is, can anyone stop Tristan Purdon. The Cathcart rider holds a championship advantage in both the MX1 and MX2 racing after two rounds, so the Red Bull KTM man is without the centre of attention leading up to the 22 May races.

Purdon leads David Goosen’s Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna hero by eight points in open class MX1, with Anthony Raynard’s Tinswalo Yamaha also in close contention. Behind them, Yamaha rider Jesse Wright and Cross Country star Bradley Cox on a KTM and Husqvarna duo Seth van den Abeele’ and Royce Griffin are also well worth keeping an eye on.

Purdon has double the points advantage in 250cc MX2 thanks to Camden McLellan popping home from his international duties to stir up the pot last time out. Purdon’s Red Bull KTM teammate Cameron Durow finds himself in a tight three-way fight for second in the quarter-litre championship, with David Goosen’s Rockstar Husqvarna, Yamaha trio Anthony Raynard, Dalton Venter and Christiaan Celliers and Mark Carty’s KTM all in close pursuit.

Over 30s man Grant Frerichs’ Yamaha has a clear MX3 title advantage over Dwayne Kleynhans’ KTM. He has over 40s leader Ian Topliss’ Yamaha all over his back, while Honda rider Bruce Viljoen and Jaco Smit on a KTM arrive in Welkom tied in fourth. But keep an eye on Ryan Frerichs who impressed on a Yamaha last time out.

There’s somewhat of an upset in Ladies Motocross, where KTM lass Leah Heygate leads the eternally dominant Kayla Raaff and her Kawasaki on a count-back as those two arrive at Phakisa tied on championship points. Watch out for Husqvarna mounted de Lima sisters Jadene and Cheyenna and Kawaski lass Dakota Grobbellar among the girls too.

It’s also almost too close to call in 125cc High School Motocross too, where Jonathan Mlimi’s KTM heads for Welkom with all of a three-point championship advantage over Miguel de Waal’s similar machine and the consistent Husqvarna lad Luke Grundy and quick Ethan Hoffman’s Yamaha in hot pursuit. Don’t ignore KTM riders Stav Orland, Barend du Toit and Blake Young, or Hayden Tully’s Yamaha among this lot either.

It’s just as close in 85cc Pro Mini, where six points split Trey Cox’s KTM, Gas Gas rider Emmanuel Bako and Jordan van Wyk on Husqvarna in that championship chase. None of them can rest easy though, with the likes of Neil van der Vyver, Wiaan du Plooy and Liam Botha’s Husqvarnas and Alon Orland’s KTM breathing down their necks.

KTM kids Tyler Petersen and Matthew Correia are meanwhile tied in the lead of the 85cc Junior title chase ahead of the consistent Caden Wiese’s Husqvarna and KTM kids Andrew Venter and Ashton Martin. But all of them will be wary of another KTM kid Andrea Mynhardt, who took a splendid double win last time out and is not far off in the title chase.

The super-competitive 65cc Juniors have been a little controversial this year, but it’s Husqvarna lad Jack Pullen who leads that championship chase into the Free State. Blade Tilley is second for Gas Gas, with Blake Frost’s KTM and Aiden Henley’s Yamaha next up and Nicol Smit and Alex Cooper’s Husqvarnas and KTM kids Trent Valsecchi and Evan Frost all in the mix.

Trenton Kretzmann leads the baby 50cc MX title chase on a Husqvarna with Rayden Woolls’ Gas Gas keeping him honest. KTM gang Aiden Retief, Ross MacKenzie, Maxwell Fourie and Casper van Zyl are in hot pursuit, with Brody Bircher the dark horse in the South African Motocross kindergarten.

Spectators remain banned from racing, but the Phakisa races will be live streamed on the MX Nationals South Africa Facebook page on Saturday 22 May.

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.

Issued on behalf of SA Motocross

Photography by:  Ruben Louw

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