Born from a vision of a well-known South African champion, David Goosen and the MSA Motocross Commission early 2021, the plan was set to bring dirt bike fanatics together to bond for a full weekend of racing any type of dirt that bounces your valves. Bringing Enduro, Cross Country and Motocross together was a new idea pledged by the MSA Motocross Commission and backed by the Enduro and Cross Country Mcycle Working Groups, this was to be the inaugural year after months of planning.
Friday 30th September arrived and driving up to the majestic Legends MX track East of Pretoria at 06:00, there was no doubt, a line of enthusiasts lining at the main gate was proof enough that something was abuzz this weekend, this was no ordinary weekend in South Africa.
Telegram notices gave all the information needed and cyclic practice for all classes started early on Friday. Mechanics and parents in the mechanic zone sorting out suspension settings and giving line choice advice looked like a full race day instead of practice.
Riders just kept arriving for the event, and by 2nd cyclic practice the field was full and appeared just the way it was intended to be, a Dirt Bike Festival of choice. The field was cleared late afternoon and the temperature played its role as evening rolled in. The smell of fires and “braai” into the evening and the crackle of laughter broke through the dark evening as kids played around and parents chatted about their dirt bike careers and experiences. Legends Adventure kiosk was ablaze all day and into the night with high quality food and service, nothing was amiss, but everyone knew what lay ahead was an octane blaster 2 days of flat-out racing Motocross, Enduro and Cross Country at Legends MX with a mound of prize money on the table up for grabs.
Morning broke on Saturday 1st October, with the 1st bike started just after 6:00 as mechanics brought bikes out and started final checks for the day ahead. The kiosk queue started for that coffee infusion to settle the nerves for the day and the breakfast rolls churned out.
Officials announced the times for facet racing and riders were all set and ready for this first ever Dirt Bike Festival on new soil. Motocross went into a warmup session to give everyone a fair advantage of bike setup and getting used to the track after Friday afternoon preparations.
The mood soon changed into that race face as riders knew that this was to be the race of races in South Africa to win. Minor problems and setups solved and soon found riders knocking on the door of Heat 1 in the early afternoon. Everyone brought their AAA game to this festival as the stakes were high.
While the motocross riders were battling it out on the MX track, the junior and senior Cross Country competitors started their crusade to be crowned class winners and to walk away with the honour of setting up the fastest lap time in their respective categories. Those honours went to Deruk van Aswegen on the junior lap and Scott Heygate on the senior lap. Declan Richards (50cc), John-Luke van der Westhuizen (65cc), Deruk van Aswegen (Jnr 85cc) and Mitchell Phelan (Snr 85cc) walked away with a class win in the junior classes, while the top riders in the senior classes were Leah Heygate (Ladies), Mark Beverley (Veterans), Charl van Rooy (Masters), Grant Bloomfield (Seniors), Cobus Bester (High School), Davin Cocker (OR3), Scott Heygate (OR2) and Stefan van Deventer (OR1).
The field settled itself in all MX classes and as most regrouped after Heat 1 on how to improve we soon saw dusk arrive and the day was gone before we knew it. The true champions were those 1st time junior riders, goosebumps riddled as most watched these two-stroke junior fanatics battle it out in the 50cc Junior class. The future of motocross was right there in front of us and its imperative to remember those names like Bjorn Roets, Luan Jordaan, Ruben Rooza, Hanro Jacobs, Aiden Pretorius, Cody Wills, these will be big names one day along with our 50cc pro class riders Rayden Woolls, Henrico Barwise, Rhys Wentzel, Cik Parker, Qhamani Thu, Cooper Harvey, Allistair Maycock, Troy Wentzel, Declan Richards, Coby Kretzmann, Ulrich Sterley, Zibo Moabi and Aziel Simoyi. Watch this space for future MSA and World Champions among those names in a few years.
Heat 2 started another early day on Sunday 2nd October and by now teams had strategised the win for sure to bag the loot ahead of the strong opponents. No power was left behind at the pit and bikes were geared to the max as the heat belted down. Sweat was pouring by midday, kit had changed from that fresh breeze to race infused dirt burning for the podium, slight tear in the corner of the eye and aggression for the win.
Meanwhile, on the Enduro routes, both junior and senior warriors were taking on the hills and “koppies” around Legends to triumph over their peers as class winners. These titles went to John-Luke van der Westhuizen (65cc), Cobus Bester (J1 High School), Callan Broskie (J2 Junior Pro), Drikus van der Merwe (J3 Senior & Junior 85cc), Dennis Broskie (Masters), Zack Coetzee (Seniors), Stefan van Deventer (E2) & Matthew Wilson (E1) with the fastest junior lap being set up by Cobus Bester and the fastest senior lap by Stefan van Deventer.
As lunch time broke, some were still close enough for that bag of boodle and some knew the rev limiter had engaged.
Heat 3 was the ultimate blazer of a race under the sweltering sun. Digging deep included eating mud and roost within the first 100m, men and ladies took a beating to grab the key to safe holding the cash. It was not an easy podium as the best of the festival enjoyed the satisfying glory of being crowned that king of dirt per class.
Inspiring moments were aplenty as this was no ordinary weekend and friends and acquaintances from afar simply enjoyed the festival together. Live music late Saturday helped ease the mood with overall comradery among the entire fraternity which felt like home with friends around the fire.
Laughing and telling jokes never ended and old friends and new met up again after many years. This is what South Africa needed to bring us together and create some fun for all our dirt bike enthusiasts.
Motocross full results of the event will be posted on telegram, however are ecstatic to announce the winning Province and Club for the 2022 Dirt Bike Festival:
MX Provinces ranked:
- Gauteng (winner) 4438
- KwaZulu-Natal 1090
- Limpopo 308
- Free State 298
- Mpumalanga 204
- International 184
- Eastern Cape 103
- Western Cape 48
The top 3 MX clubs scores in South Africa:
- Chestnut (winner) 2258
- Terra Topia 1532
- MMCC 1090
MX Class Winners:
- 50cc Support Bjorn Roets
- MX 50cc Rayden Woolls
- 65cc Support Hayden Victor
- MX 65cc Trent Valsecchi
- 85cc Support Ruben Cawood
- MX 85cc Trey Cox
- MX High School Luke Grundy
- MX Ladies Kayla Raaff
- Legends Vintage Grant Bloomfield
- MX 1 Tristan Purdon
- MX 2 Slade Smith
- MX 3 Andre David
It is fitting to applaud the real heroes of this event and our appreciation to Out of Africa’s Guy Henley and team, Jesse Wright, the Legends Management team, Wian du Plessis from GXCC who set and marked the Cross Country and Enduro routes and most certainly Miranda du Plessis from GXCC who made this all come together as the most amazing event on the continent to date.
Thank you to our Motocross Commission for steering this project as well as Motorsport South Africa legends Vic Maharaj and Carmen Hill for their guidance in making this that one event never to forget.
It gets better though, the 2023 Dirt Bike Festival dates will be announced soon via our official MSA channels.
All the winners of each class will be sent the official 1st place Dirt Bike Festival Logo that may be worn on your riding apparel as well as bike sticker kit until the 2023 Dirt Bike Festival. You are the official 2022 Dirt Bike Champions, wear it with pride.
Well done to all riders and parents attending and thank you for your support of this inspiring event which engraved its mark in Motocross in 2022.
On behalf of the MSA Motocross Commission, Enduro Working Group and Cross Country Mcycle Working Group.
See you at the Dirt Bike Festival in 2023