What Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Round 2 Report
Where Jolivet, KZN
When Saturday 15 April 2023
Community South Africa National
Cole, Pentecost star for Honda in Jolivet Cross Country National
Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda Wing Racing came home smiling from a dusty, fast and fire interrupted Jolivet second round Trademore South African Cross Country Championship in KwaZulu Natal on Saturday. In a good day at the office, headline news was Haydn Cole scoring a fine home victory for the red team in OR3, while Michael Pentecost ended third in OR1 and young Murray Smith took the 65cc Junior win.
A delighted Jolivet Farm home hero Haydn Cole took full advantage of his local knowledge to ride his Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda XRF 250 RX to a dominant maiden National OR3 victory. “I had an awesome day to grab my first national class win at my home race at Jolivet,” Haydn admitted. “I cannot thank my awesome team Honda and sponsors enough for everything they do and for such an awesome machine. My Red Rocket never missed a beat all day and I had an absolute blast on the bike.”
There was more of a curve ball for Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda’s XRF 450 RX OR1 duo Mike Pentecost and Gareth Cole, who found an army of wildcard top South African enduro champions to contend with in the open class at Jolivet. Undeterred, Pentecost soldiered home third behind hard enduro international Wade Young and his regular Cross Country rival Brad Cox as he held the rest of the one race wonders at bay.
“Round two of the National Cross Country series was fast and dusty at Jolivet and we had a gang of enduro guys to content with,” Mike Pentecost reflected. Nevertheless I had fun on my Honda, made the most of the day as the bike handled beautifully for third overall and in OR1, which was effectively second versus my regular Cross Country rivals. Well done to my teammates, especially Haydn for a brilliant maiden OR3 win and a huge thanks to my team for all their effort and positivity!”
Gareth Cole was mixing it with the front runners early in the race, but his race somewhat changed character on the second lap. “I was going well early on but I had two big crashes and ended up concussing myself and getting a bit of whiplash,” Gareth confessed. “I could not focus properly and had a bit of double vision after that, so I just backed it off to bring it home safely to pick up some valuable points in what was effectively third among the regular Cross Country riders.
Other Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda riders to impress included Senior rider Murray Smith with the 85cc Junior win, Louwrens Mahoney, who ended a close third on his debut in the class. “What an incredible day on my first time out with my new team in a National Cross Country after three years off a bike,” Louwrens admitted. “Now I know what to work on going forward, so thanks to all my sponsors and everyone in the team who made the day so special.” The ever-dependable Wynand Delport ended fifth in Seniors, while John Botha endured a tough weekend, but he brought his CRF 250 RX home to score some valuable OR3 class points.
“Well done to the team on another great performance and especially to Haydn on a splendid maiden OR3 victory and to Murray on his 85cc victory,” Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda team principal Harry Grobler concluded. “We are making positive steps across the board, one step at a time as today’s results so well prove, so onward and upward to the GXCC regional this weekend, and then the double header National at Vryburg in June. We can’t wait!”
*Honda Racing salutes its partners, Tork Craft Tools, The Franchise Co, Sleepover Motels, CIT Accessories, Motul Oils, Mitas, Leatt Protectives, Pollisport, TNT Nutrition, Galfermoto brakes & Nitro Mousse
Issued on behalf of Honda Cross Country
Photography by: Michaela Ramseyer