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

National Motocross Championship – Chestnut

South African motorsport fans are in for an exciting weekend of racing as the second half of the National Motocross Championship commences. Riders will battle it out at Chestnut this weekend – a Gauteng track famous for its epic jumps and high speed.

Red Bull KTM will unleash a team of four riders on Saturday, all within touching distance of snatching up their respective championships. Spearheading the hunt for national titles in the MX1 and MX2 Class is Tristan Purdon. As the rider looks to defend the red plate and championship lead in both classes, he commented: “The championship is looking too tight for me to get comfortable, so my main goal is to extend my points lead. With three rounds to go anything can happen – this is where points start to count the most.”
Like most riders this weekend, Purdon is fairly new to the Chestnut track. Undaunted by the unfamiliar territory, he added: “I’ve only ever raced at Chestnut once, so it’s a new track for all of us. It’s quite hardpack, so I’m hoping for some deep ruts. Tyre choice for this event is going to vital, so Kevin (our team mechanic) and I have been hard at work on that. Everything is feeling really good, and I can’t wait to get out there!”
Also chasing down national glory in the MX2 Class is Cameron Durow – Purdon’s Red Bull KTM teammate and closest championship rival. The youngster has taken the opportunity to race for the team with both hands this season and only 6-points separate him from the top of the leaderboard.
With Chestnut’s strong reputation for its high-speed, Durow mentions working relentlessly on his pace. He explained: “The track this weekend is a super high-speed track – a little different to what we’ve raced up until now. I’ve been working hard on my high-speed turns specifically to prepare for it.”
Fresh off his MX2 victory in the last round, the rider feels as confident as ever.  “This season has been amazing. I love when the championship is so tight, it makes everything so much more exciting. I’m still on a high after the last round and really looking to carry that winning momentum forward.”
Adding to Red Bull KTM’s list of red plates is Jonathan Mlimi and Trey Cox. Mlimi has taken the High School Class by storm this season and put on a particularly impressive performance at the last round in muddy Pietermaritzburg.
The rider’s consistency over different types of tracks and weather conditions has seen him secure the top step in his class for most of the season. While he built up a comfortable lead on his competitors, Mlimi has no intention of slacking off in the slightest. He said, “I’ve been consistent this season because my goal has remained the same with every round – to secure nothing less than the maximum number of points available. I’m really looking forward to Chestnut with its high-speed and nice lines. It also gets pretty bumpy – something I really enjoy.”
Trey Cox will round out the squad this weekend, leading the Pro Mini Class by just three points. Like Purdon, the youngster is determined to extend his championship lead as the season hits its halfway mark. While the rider was the fastest out the starting gates in the last round, an unfortunate tip-over set him back. As he looks to carry his pace all the way to the finish line, the young gun will be a favourite in the race for top honours this weekend.

Published by:  Louwrens Mahoney

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