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THE 2021 MOTUL ROOF OF AFRICA DAY 1: A RIGHT ROYAL SEND-OFF AS THE MOTHER OF HARD ENDURO RETURNS

There was a palpable sense of excitement at Thaba Bosiu, Lesotho on the morning of Thursday 25 November 2021 as the 2021 Motul Roof of Africa got under way. The adrenaline was tempered by relief – not only that the threatened rain held off for the entire morning, but also that the Roof was happening at all.

This lent itself to a warm and genuine sense of community as old friends and rivals met up again – in many cases, for the first time since the last running of the Roof back in 2019.

Once the pleasantries had been observed, the serious business of the Time Trial got under way. This year, the signal for hostilities (of the riding kind) to be resumed was a wave of the iconic blue, white and green Lesotho tricolor by the King of Lesotho, King Letsie III. His Majesty was accompanied by the Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Moeketsi Majoro and a delegation from the Lesotho Government.

“Despite the clouds, all the Gold, Silver and Bronze Class competitors got to enjoy a nice, dry, clear run, as did most of the riders in the newly introduced Iron Class. With a mix of fast, flowing sections and some more challenging technical areas, this was 55km of classic Lesotho riding and served as an excellent curtain raiser for this year’s event,” commented Charan Moore, Race Director and Founder of Live Lesotho.

Occupying the podium at the end of the Time Trial were Travis Teasdale (Trax TT Racing) who recorded the fastest time of the day with 1:28:51. In the process, he edged out defending champion Wade Young (Sherco Factory Racing) who took second place, just 20 seconds behind Teasdale. Matt Green (TT Racing) finished in third, a further 3 minutes 35 seconds behind Young. Coincidently, all three riders on the Gold Class podium have recently returned from competing on the European Hard Enduro circuit and it showed in their performances today.

“We’re delighted to be back at the Motul Roof of Africa and to see that the standard of riding is as high as ever,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean. “Today’s Time Trial really delivered when it came to excitement, and the stage has been set for an epic showdown in the Maluti Mountains from tomorrow – exactly the sort of racing that has made the Roof a Hard Enduro legend,” she added.

Competition was equally fierce in the Silver Category, with 2019’s Bronze Class winner Austin Stuart (Orange County KTM) making his intentions clear with a blisteringly quick time of 1:42.19, almost 10 minutes quicker than second-placed Anthony Abrahamse (Roost KTM).

Similarly in the Bronze Class, Time Trail winner Rory Gower came in almost 10 full minutes ahead of veteran Pieter Holl (Bert Smit Allstars).

For the first time, the Roof included an Iron Class for ‘weekend warriors’ and this naturally generated a lot of interest, as well as giving rise to some excellent performances – not least Tiaan Rabe who finished ahead of Chris Weideman (Zenga Plant Hire).

“With rain predicted for the next two days, it’s safe to say that the 2021 Motul Roof of Africa will represent a formidable challenge to all those who have entered,” concluded Moore. “The Mother of Hard Enduro is back!”

Follow all the latest action and find awesome Roof images and video on the Motul Roof of Africa Facebook page throughout the race.

LIVE LESOTHO
Live Lesotho is an adventure sports and event management company specialising in motorsports events and tours in Lesotho. They have a successful track record of organising high-profile events and are passionate about encouraging more people to experience Lesotho.


You can learn more about Live Lesotho here: http://www.livelesotho.co.ls/

Issued by Listen Up on behalf of Live Lesotho and Motul:

ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA REIGNS SUPREME

GEARING UP FOR THE ‘MOTHER OF HARD ENDURO’


As the 2021 season slowly draws to a close, riders are gearing up for the Motul Roof of Africa, the pinnacle of the hard Enduro calendar.

After their recent performance in the National Extreme Enduro Championship, all eyes will be on Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Brett Swanepoel and Heinrich Aust. In an unforgettable season finale, the pair took top honours in the E2 and E1 Class respectively.

With a slender one point lead, Swanepoel entered into a winner-takes-all battle with Luke Walker. While he started off with a blistering pace, Swanepoel describes hitting a wall after a few climbs into the route. With his sights set on glory, the rider dug deep and finished third overall and second in his class – a result that secured victory in his class overall.

“I’ve done many races in my career, but I can undoubtedly say that this was the toughest day I’ve ever had on a bike before. By the last lap I was counting down the metres to the finish,” said Swanepoel.

After a recalculation of the championship points it was recently revealed that Swanepoel also claims the title of Overall National Enduro Champion. Combined with his Extreme Championship victory, the rider takes the highest honour in the National Enduro Super Series Challenge (NESS) this year – a combination of the Extreme and National Championship.

“The Extreme Enduro Championship holds a lot of value in this country, so to win it is something I take great pride in. I was gutted when I heard I didn’t win the National series, so to discover I won that too made it one of my sweetest wins yet!” said Swanepoel.

Adding to the team’s bragging rights is another Extreme Championship title from young gun Heinrich Aust. His class victory skyrocketed him to the top of the NESS leaderboard, where he finished right behind his teammate in second.

It’s been an incredible debut season for the rising star who was recruited by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna this year. With the “Mother of Hard Enduro” looming large in Lesotho later this month, the rider will certainly make the most of the opportunity to take the event by storm.

“The final Extreme event was my favourite – it was super technical. Husqvarna made sure I had the best weapon on the start line. My bike felt good and my body felt strong – it was just an awesome day of racing and it gave me a massive confidence boost as the Roof approaches,” said Aust.

Published by: Fred Fensham

Photography by: Sage Lee Voge (www.zcmc.co.za)

INFORMATION – FIM ENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2022 PROVISIONAL  CALENDARS, UPDATE 23 NOVEMBER

Please find enclosed the Press Release / FIM Enduro World Championships& FIM Enduro World Cups 2022 provisional calendars, UPDATE 23 November

Swedish round cancelled

The FIM, the promoter Prime Stadium and the Swedish Motorcycling Federation (SVEMO) inform that the event originally set to take place on 2-4 July in Skövde, Sweden is cancelled by the local organizer.

The Promoter Prime Stadium is looking for a replacement event on the same date.

More information will be communicated in due time.

Click here to view the document

KTM BOLSTERS ITS RANKS WITH THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS

New Riders Revealed for 2022 Season

KTM South Africa is proud to announce a star-studded line-up of riders that have been added to the Brother Leader Tread KTM and Red Bull KTM team for 2022. In a massive scoop for the team, Blake Gutzeit will be stepping onto a KTM 300 XC-W TPI from November 2021.

Hailing from the small town of Oslo Beach on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal Natal, Gutzeit has rapidly become one of the most technically gifted riders in the world. Gutzeit’s first memory on a motorbike is at the age of three, but his racing career only actually started from about the age of 14. The rider is a former Junior World Champion in SuperEnduro and currently lies fifth in the World Championship Prestige Class.


His glittering resume includes a National Enduro title, a fourth place at the Roof of Africa and finishing the Erzberg Rodeo. By his own admission, he mentions that his performances in the extreme Enduro races around the world haven’t quite lived up to his own lofty expectations – something he will be desperate to set right with his new team at the Roof of Africa. While Gutzeit has had minimal time to switch his preparations from the upcoming SuperEnduro season to training for this year’s Mother of Hard Enduro, he reveals his plan to win the prestigious event.

“Joining an official factory team is going to make it so much easier to focus all my attention on winning at the Roof, which is my number one focus with the team. I just love to win and it is one hundred percent my goal to stand atop the podium at the Roof of Africa next year and to attempt to do the same this year,” he said.


After the call to join the team from KTM CEO Franziska Brand, he added: “Brandl has been instrumental in bringing such a fire back to KTM and also the National Enduro Championship. She is a big part of the reason why the sport is going through a revival in South Africa.”


Brother Leader Tread KTM have also managed to capture the signing of the hugely exciting Enduro prospect Matthew Stevens, who will be riding in the J1 class on the KTM 125 XC next season. Stevens is the youngest ever finisher of the Gold Class at the IMPI Enduro and is already a two time national Enduro Champion.


Stevens has massive dreams and tells the story that at the age of nine he wrote his goals on the ceiling above his bed in permanent marker – one of those goals being to win the Roof of Africa in 2023. Stevens has a hugely impressive work ethic and he stands by the ethos that his father has put in place for him: “Any goal is 100% doable if I have a plan, put in the work, surround myself with good people, and have a never-say-die attitude,” he said.


In the highly competitive field of Cross Country riders, Brother Leader Tread KTM will unleash the flying Zambian, Scott Heygate. The rider will represent the orange squad in the OR2 Class aboard a KTM 350 XC-F.


The 20 year old lives on a farm on the outskirts of a small town in Zambia called Chingola and practically grew up on a 50cc that his grandfather bought him at five years old. Heygate has since gone on to win the Zambian Motocross Championship the last five years in a row and in 2021 finished second in the South African National Cross Country Championship in the OR3 class.


The team will also be adding young gun Matthew Wilson to their cross country roster, who will competing in the OR3 Class next season. The 17 year old has been winning championships since the age of nine with multiple Gauteng Regional and National Championships under his belt.


Wilson first stepped onto a bike at the age of three and by age eight was already going bar to bar with his rivals on a 65cc. The rider does most of his riding at Rhino Park and is also dedicated to putting in the work off the bike with a rigorous gym schedule.


Joining the fray on the motocross scene is Luke Grundy. The young gun will represent the Red Bull KTM team in the High School class in 2022 aboard a KTM 125 SX with his sights firmly set on being crowned the National Champion next year.


Grundy lives in Amanzimtoti, Durban, and does the large majority of his training at Cato Ridge, Thundervalley and Hammersdale. The prodigious young talent has represented South Africa at the FIM Junior World Championships in Italy in 2019 and attributes his already lengthy list of successes to a relentless work rate.


Grundy expressed his immense admiration for the Red Bull KTM team and admitted that he is honoured to race for what he considers the best racing team in the country. Grundy will bring a massive dose of youthful energy and pace to the team and he will be frothing to fight for his first holeshot for his new team.

The remaining riders of the Red Bull KTM and Brother Leader Tread KTM team will be announced at a later stage.

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney – KTM Motorcycles SA

Picture Caption: Blake Gutzeit signs wih Brother Leader Tread KTM.