Please find enclosed the Press Release / FIM Sidecar World Championship Santander Salt to sign off at the end of the season
The close of the 2022 season will see Santander Salt, the promoter of the FIM Sidecar World Championship, sign off on their period in charge of the series in agreement with the FIM. The UK based organisation has been responsible for changing the fortunes of the championship, with the series now enjoying a much-improved profile and increased exposure. The impact of Brexit, the global pandemic, and more recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine have all contributed to Santander Salt reaching their decision not to continue beyond the end of the current campaign.
Following this difficult decision, the FIM President Jorge Viegas said: “On behalf of the FIM, I would like to thank Roger Body and the entire Santander Salt team for having deployed their best efforts and contributed with strong passion to the growth of this spectacular championship in an extremely difficult context. The FIM will try to find a new promoter for the FIM Sidecar World Championship from 2023 onwards.”
Roger Body added: “After much deliberation and with regret I have decided that the time has come for me retire from the front line in organising the world and British Sidecar championships. I have enjoyed immensely the involvement with the series and the people and friendships formed along the way. I would have liked to achieve more but I think it is time for young blood and fresh thinking. I wish all those involved in the future the best of luck. Thanks to the FIM and all those that helped along the way.”
The National Enduro Championship will make a return to Bathurst for the second time after a short break in the racing calendar.
Brett Swanepoel still riding high after his overall and E2 wins at the last round is visibly excited about the prospect to return to Bathurst. “This is such an awesome track and I look forward to going back, especially because this will be the second time I get onto my new FE 350” he commented. Swanepoel has even more reason to look forward to the event as he will be on track with a teammate for a change after teammate Heinrich Aust has been out due to an injury.
Kyle Flanagan fresh back from Erzberg Rodeo, where he rode to an impressive 13th spot, will tackle his first National Enduro in two years. He commented that he is excited to race alongside Swanepoel again as they’ve been racing since junior days and he can’t wait to presume battles with all his old rivals.
Flanagan will be using the local races to support his ultimate goal of completing a full world championship before he calls it a day racing at a high level. “I took a chance and reached out to Husqvarna who were kind enough to give me a shot fielding the FE 250 for Bathurst” he said. “I’m really excited about the challenge and of course to see everyone out at the race again” he added.
Grant Frerichs, Group Marketing Manager commented, “Having Kyle join us in Bathurst is really exciting for us as a brand. Kyle is a past National champion and it is great for us to field the bike of injured rider Heinrich Aust while he gets back to full fitness. Kyle has already shown promising speed and fitness and the weekend will be a really good introduction for him back into racing. Bett Swanepoel is the fittest he has been this year and keeps building towards the Roof of Africa later this year. We look forward to helping Brett extend his overall and class lead this weekend.”
This weekend the National Enduro Championship resumes in the historic little Eastern Cape Town of Bathurst. The Brother Leader Tread KTM riders will be bracing for battle eager to get some solid results heading into only the third round of the championship. The team had their best results at this track in the 2021 championship which should bolster morale for more of the same as the event returns to the big pineapple for a second time.
Brad Cox who missed the first two rounds due to injury will be frothing at the mouth to hit the trails again. “This is my first round of the season and I am really excited to be riding an Enduro again, I especially enjoy this type of terrain and can’t wait to get out there” Cox commented.
Matt Stevens has been training hard for Round 3. Speaking to Stevens he said “I’ve been spending lots of time on the bike and working hard on strength and fitness off the bike, PE is always a great event and I am looking for another consistent result and we are targeting a podium.”
Last but not least, Blake Gutzeit who is currently lying second in the Championship has been happy with his preparation so far and added that he is feeling fit, positive and healthy. “This will be my first outing to Bathurst or the Port Alfred area and I know the guys who know the course will have an advantage, but I’m still excited to give it a crack” he mused. “I’m really hoping to have a good one with only one round left after this one it is crunch time to make it count” he commented.
Clearly focused Gutzeit added “I do enjoy the challenge and I’m really grateful to have such an incredible team backing me and to have the best tools to go out and do the job”.
The South African rider will continue his path to the MotoGP World Championship with the Finetwork MIR Junior Team, after a first year in which he is showing a very positive attitude and evolution since the 1st round of the season in Estoril. Jerez was a great proof of this, with 2 great starts that placed him in 1st position, which allowed him to fight in the front group and get his best result of the season.
In his 2nd full season in the HETC, he is achieving very good results and beating more experienced riders in the category, which shows the great potential of this young South African rider, who is also making his debut this year at the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
The team has secured the continuity of the talented South African rider Moodley by signing a multi-year deal that will see him move up to JuniorGP (Moto3) in 2024.
Ruchè Moodley: “I am very excited about my renewal with this great team, which has made a considerable effort to provide me the best material to be able to fight for my dream. My commitment is maximum to take the team to the top. Many thanks to each and every one of those who make this possible, for their trust”.
Javi Martinez, TEAM CEO: “We are very happy to give continuity to Ruchè Moodley within our structure for the next years, putting at his disposal a very ambitious programme for our young talents that will cover the HETC and JuniorGP on his way to the World Championship. Ruchè is the first foreign rider we selected for our programme and we want to take him to the top”.