The Brother Leader Tread KTM racing team achieved remarkable success at the battle royale round of the National Cross Country Championships held in Bloemfontein, braving scorching temperatures and challenging dusty conditions to clinch three red plate championships! This triumphant performance showcased the team’s tireless dedication to excellence in off-road racing.
In a grueling race that tested the mettle of every rider, the team demonstrated their prowess and never-ending dedication to emerge victorious.
Bradley Cox, a formidable force in the OR1 class, not only secured the OR1 championship and overall championship but also celebrated his remarkable 10th championship, cementing his legacy as one of South Africa’s finest riders.
“I am super happy to wrap up the title, what a crazy day today, first off with me just being pretty useless in the time trial and having to come from behind in the field. The tyre issue we faced for more than half of the time, really had my nerves on an all-time high,” Cox commented.
He went on to say, “To cross the finish line and find out I also won the overall title was just the cherry on top of my year. It has been a big goal to get this 10th title, especially after my crash at Dakar and the injury that followed. Big thank you to Brother Leader KTM team for a great year and helping me achieve this amazing goal.”
Kerim Fitz-Gerald, no stranger in the racing industry snatched up his very first cross-country championship in the Seniors class. This milestone victory serves as a significant stepping-stone for Fitz-Gerald as he prepares to embark on the prestigious Dakar Rally next year.
Fitz-Gerald said, “The day was quite tough, and I had an unexpected race day which is also good so we know how we can be better and prevent it from happening again. Saturday wasn’t an easy race day for me, we all had a couple of setbacks out of our control but all in all I’m so happy to have won. So stoked to say that I have a cross-country championship under my belt now. We will give it another go next year and return swinging in 2024.”
Flying the orange flag high in the OR3 class, Matthew Wilson, displayed exceptional skill and consistency to claim his second championship, further establishing himself as a rising star in the sport and someone to keep an eye on. Wilson stated “The final round of the national cross-country championship was an all-or-nothing day for me. The time trial went great for me, I qualified 1st in class and 5th overall, and the main race was one of my most enjoyable races ever! Peter Karam and I were dicing for first place all day long and I knew I had to win to have any chance at the championship, so I put my head down and came away with the win by 10 seconds and the OR3 national title.”
He further went on to say, “My Brother Leader Tread KTM ran like a dream all day long and we were able to put it on the top step once again. It was a rollercoaster of a season for me with bad results at the beginning of the year but after the doubleheader in Ganyesa, I was back in championship contention. Thank you to my amazing team for another great year and clinching that championship.”
Rounding off the array of achievements, Scott Heygate delivered exceptional skill and stability to claim a step on the podium and securing that well-deserved third-place finish in the OR1 class. Heygate’s tenacity and skill contributed significantly to the team’s overall success and putting KTM on top step.
“What an end to an up and down season for myself. Really happy to end on a high note and run up front again for a while. Moving up to the OR1 class came with a few extra challenges but I adapted well and looking forward to hopefully riding the 450 more and getting more comfortable. Just want to say a big thank you to the whole Brother Leader Tread KTM team for everything this season” Heygate commented.
Megan Prinsloo, Group Marketing Coordinator closed off the weekend saying, “It was a long day of racing in very challenging and hot conditions. I am very proud of the hard work and dedication that the team and riders put in to wrap up all three championships. We will be back to defend our titles next year!”
Published by: Grant Frerichs
Photography by: ZCMC Media