SWANEPOEL STORMS PORTERVILLE

What Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Round 5 Report
Where Porterville, Western Cape
When Saturday 27 August 2022
Community South Africa National

Leader Brett consolidates in the Cape

Husqvarna factory rider Brett Swanepoel took a couple of laps to settle into the Porterville, Western Cape fifth round of the Trademore Feeds South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship. He then moved ahead to take control and ultimately deliver a dominant victory. In so doing, Swanepoel consolidated his overall and class championship leads in a tough, sandy and highly demanding race.

Early leader Scott Heygate hung on to take second overall and in the 250cc OR2 class on his Brother Leader tread KTM ahead of a delighted first time OR1 open class winner, Gareth Cole’s Tork Craft Honda. He held OR1 title leader Michael Pentecost’s CIT Tork Craft Kawasaki off for third ahead of two more open class men, Yamaha riders Hayden Louw and local wildcard Matt Van Galen. KTM duo OR2 rider Erik Merry and OR3 winner Ryan Pelser, and Tyron Beverley’s OR1 Tork Craft Kawasaki closed off the top ten. Kenny Gilbert’s Pepson Plastics Kawasaki clinched the Senior title and remains unbeaten so far in 2022 and Mielies Le Roux took the Masters win.

The weekend started with previous race winner Michael Docherty laying down the gauntlet with an almost minute’s advantage on the short qualifying lap aboard his factory Husqvarna. He ended ahead of impressive OR1 rival Gareth Cole’s Honda, Brother Leader Tread KTM duo, quickest OR3 lad Matthew Wilson and OR2 leader Scott Heygate. Their Red Bull KTM teammate Kerim Fitz-Gerald was in trouble, along with High School title leader Ross Ramseyer.

The nature of the race changed almost immediately from the midday start of the main event. Brett Swanepoel was soon into a handy lead over Heygate, Docherty, Pentecost, Cole, Kerim Fitz-Gerald flying back into contention and OR3 winner Wilson as Bradley Cox made an early exit. Swanepoel then lost a couple of minutes to leave Heygate leading Docherty, Cole, Pentecost and Louw, as Fitz-Gerald had a slow lap.

But in typical Brett Swanepoel form, he settled into his rhythm to move back to second the following lap, and then into the lead a lap later. Swanepoel controlled the race from there to take a dominant win. Imperious Brett also won the 350cc OR2 class, two and a half minutes clear of Heygate. Erik Merry came home third in class on his KTM ahead of on form local rider Wilhelm Schonfeldt, KTM man Juan Niebuhr and Fitz-Gerald.

A delighted Gareth Cole took his maiden national OR1 win for Sleepover Tork Craft Honda. He beat class championship leader Michael Pentecost’s Franchise Co Tork Craft Kawasaki, by 17 seconds. Pentecost fought back after a few issues through the day to end up a minute ahead of Hayden Louw’s Sleepover Tork Craft Honda. Local rider Matt van Galen impressed in fourth on his Wicked Family Yamaha from Kawasaki duo Tyron Beverley and Jaycee Nienaber, Devan Marais’ Yamaha and the troubled Docherty Husqvarna.

Ryan Pelser won a crazy 250cc OR3 race on his TRP Bridgestone KTM by over three minutes from Peter Karam’s MCA Honda and local lad Charles-Reinhardt Kersop’s Eddy2race Husqvarna. Early leader Matthew Wilson’s Brother Leader Tread KTM hit trouble mid distance, but he struggled home fourth in class from John Botha’s Franchise Co Tork Craft Kawasaki, impressive lady rider Leah Heygate’s Sleepover Honda and another rider to fight his way home, Pepson Plastics Kawasaki man Taki Bogiages.

Kenny Gilbert stormed to the championship with his fifth win in five races aboard his Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki. He had to work hard to keep ahead of two more impressive Cape wildcards in John Webb’s Yamaha and Ockert Swart on a Husqvarna. National regular Marco Cocci fourth on his Endurozone Shimwells Yamaha from Brad Clarke and Alain du Toit’s Husqvarnas.

Mielies Le Roux rode his Alfie Cox KTM to Masters honours from Warrick Van Schalkwyk’s Franchise Co Tork Craft Kawasaki, Wayne Farmer’s Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna and local duo Dreyer van Niekerk and Clint Rieper’s Yamahas. Championship contender Greg Nairn retired.

In junior action, the High School race proved a race of attrition that served to shake up that title chase. MCA Honda lad Derek Karam took the win from local upstart Stefan Zybrands’ Droomers Yamaha and Michael Struik’s Zambia Motorsports Association KTM. Wian Wentzel struggled home fourth on his Franchise Co Tork Craft Husqvarna as Cobus Bester, Nathan Westerside and Ross Ramseyer all retired.

Brandon Clarke took 85cc primary school honours on his Spherical Husqvarna from KTM duo Murray Smith and Bruno Niebuhr, with AJ Louw’s Husqvarna, Andrew de Kock’s Yamaha and Willem van Schalkwyk’s Husqvarna next. And Pepson Plastics Kawasaki kid Jake Pretorius took the baby IPC 65cc win from Werner Kleynhans’ Rhubein Husqvarna, Yamaha kid AJ Basson and Liam Scheepers’ Sleepover CIT Tork Craft Husqvarna.

The Trademore Feeds South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship now pauses until the season finale at Brett Swanepoel’s KwaZulu Natal backyard Virginia Hills on 15 October.

Issued on behalf of Trademore SA Cross Country

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