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