What GXCC Cross Country Round 1 Report
When Saturday 5 February 2022
Community Gauteng Regional
Pentecost back on top as Kawasakis star at Verena GXCC
Kawasaki enjoyed a brilliant start to its 2022 Cross Country Motorcycle Championship season at the Northern Regions GXCC season opener at Verena on Saturday. GXCC champion Mike Pentecost roared to overall and open class OR1 victory, Kenny Gilbert and Lee Thompson took a Senior class 1-2 and Danel Delport won Ladies Pro-Am, as Team Green’s Pepson Plastics Motul and Franchise Company Tork Craft squads filled the podiums across the board.
Pentecost was in fine form as he sped to the day’s win aboard his Franchise Company Kawasaki KX 450 X. Teammates, Pepson Plastics rider D’Artagnan Lobjoit was fourth and Franchise Co rider Tyron Beverly fifth. Kawasaki’s big bangers were also first, second and third in their regional class classification.
“I’m happy with an overall win to start my season!” Mike Pentecost confirmed. “I had a few snags though — falling at the start put me back so I had to work to the front as quick as possible. “I had a blast on an extremely rough track. “Big thanks to Kawasaki SA, the Franchise Co. and the whole team. “My Dunlops hooked up amazingly, Fox Racing SA always makes me look like a winner and the GXCC team always does an amazing job — can’t wait for the next one!”
Pepson Plastics Motul duo, multiple former SA Cross Country champion Kenny Gilbert and Lee Thompson, perhaps better known for his circuit car racing exploits, delivered a dominant Kawasaki Seniors class 1-2. Franchise Co man Carel ‘Mielies’ Le Roux took a fine second in Masters and the regional win and Pepson Plastics team boss, Veteran Iain Pepper celebrated his comeback with a holeshot and a solid run.
“It was a fun day out on my Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki KX450X,” Kenny Gilbert admitted. “The track was demanding because it got very rough as the day went on. “The spirit in Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Racing Motul is second to none and I could not be happier to be a part of the team. “GXCC put on another great event at Verena — now I just can’t wait for the next race!
It was a good day for Kawasaki in the junior classes too. Jaden Els was second in 85cc Junior, with Johandre Vermaak fourth and Pepson kid Clayton Human 11th in Senior. Pepson pair Jake Pretorius and Dylan Human came home third and 13th in 65cc. Multiple SA Ladies Motocross champion Kayla Raaf ended second among the GXCC girls on her Pepson Plastics Kawasaki with Chedee Grobler fourth for the Franchise Co. Her teammate Danel Delport won Ladies Pro-Am.
Franchise Co Kawasaki KX 250 X lad John Botha made up for a tough day in OR3 with fifth in class on his 250cc GXCC OR3 debut. He was the third regional OR3 competitor home. Pepson Plastics rider, Kyle Mackenzie was running in the top three early before hitting drama and Dijan van der Merwe ended ninth in OR2 on the Franchise Company’s experimental Kawasaki KX 280 X.
Next race on the calendar is the 2022 Trademore Group National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship season opener and also the Kawasaki team’s home race. The Pepson Plastics Cross Country National will goes down at Legends MX, Rhino Park, Pretoria on 26 February. “That was the perfect start to the season,” Franchise Co. team boss Harry Grobler summed it up, while Pepson Plastics’ Iain Pepper added, “Now for the National season opener and our home race — we can’t wait!”
Issued on behalf of Kawasaki Cross Country