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Brad Binder was the top finisher for Red Bull KTM at a cool and difficult Catalan Grand Prix where effective grip was at a premium. The South African classified 11th as MotoGP entered the second half of the 2020 campaign.

The coolest conditions yet for 2020 MotoGP graced the eighth round of the season in Catalunya and made the slick asphalt of the circuit a short distance north of Barcelona a complicated challenge. Teams and riders had to make snap judgements on tires in order to find rubber that would last the 24-lap race distance but also offer performance in the initial stages of the Grand Prix.

Brad Binder recovered well from a slow start to push-up from outside the top fifteen and reach as high as 9th. The rookie then ran out of rear grip in the last three laps and reached the finish line in 11th.

Brad Binder:
“Today was a bit different to what I had in mind. Coming into the race my pace seemed really good and I had a good feeling with the bike. In the race it just didn’t quite go to plan. I tried my best at the start but when we hit lap sixteen things became a bit more difficult with the rear tire. It was tough, for sure. Not a great result in the end but we’ll learn from this and use it for the future. We’ll stay focused, look ahead to the next race and try to make things right there.”

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Red Bull KTM hold onto red plate after National Motocross double-header

It was a gnarly weekend of racing for Red Bull KTM as the team returned to the National Motocross Championship. The double-header event took place at Pietermaritzburg’s Thunder Valley – a track that became particularly unforgiving after heavy rainfall.

Despite the extreme conditions, Tristan Purdon fought to defend the red plate in the MX1 Class. The rider set off with what he described as a ‘slow start’ by his own high standards on Saturday. He lined-up on Sunday determined to make up some points, however, and managed to secure the second step on the podium in MX1 and third overall in MX2.

“It was a mud show out there! I’m just glad I did better than the first day and managed to finish on the podium. Now it’s time to get back to the drawing board to make sure I come back stronger in the next round,” said Purdon.

For Jonathan Mlimi, the Thunder Valley event is one that the rider won’t soon forget. After sitting on the sideline for most of the 2019 season due to injury, Mlimi stormed to the victory that he had been waiting for.

Having not only won both rounds of the championship but every heat that he competed in this weekend, Mlimi is confident that he has reinstated himself as a force to be reckoned with in the High School Class.

“I came in with the right mindset this weekend and wanted to show the guys what I’m truly capable of after my injury last year. I got some really good starts this weekend and managed to stay up front. Thank you to my whole team for all the support,” said Mlimi.

Rounding out the Red Bull KTM squad was Kerim Fitz-Gerald, who finished in fifth in the MX2 Class overall. As the defending 2019 national champion, the rider will relish the chance to fight his way back up the leaderboard at the double-header season finale in Bloemfontein next month.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the team for the way they performed on what was an extremely demanding track. All of them managed to get some solid points in the bag as we prepare for the next round in Bloemfontein. We’re excited to know that we’ll be lining up with the red plate next month,” said KTM South Africa’s Marketing Manager Louwrens Mahoney.

Published by: KTM Motorcycles – Louwrens Mahoney


What SA National Motocross Rounds 2 & 3 Report
Where Thunder Valley, Pietermaritzburg KZN
When 26-27 September 2020
Community South Africa National

SA motocross bounces back in style

The Cannabis Energy South African National Motocross Championship exploded back into action with a double header round 2 and 3 at Thunder Valley in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday and Sunday. It proved a thrilling weekend of spectacular, muddy racing with multiple winners and a few surprises in the open classes. There was a fair bit of domination too, across the ladies and junior motocross classes.

SA champion Maddy Malan started the weekend perfectly with a double open class Moto 1 victory for Husqvarna on Saturday. He beat Yamaha man David Goosen and Cameron Durow on a KTM in the first race. Malan then took heat 2 over Goosen and Tristan Purdon’s KTM. it was a different story on Sunday however as Goosen took his chance to do the double as Purdon and Malan shared out the lower podium steps.

Kerim Fitz-Gerald took a gate-to-flag opening Saturday MX2 moto for KTM after Yamaha challenger Slade Smith crashed in pursuit. David Goosen was second on another Yamaha from KTM man Tristan Purdon. Goosen took race 2 from Smith, Fitz-Gerald and Purdon. Slade Smith then made it three winners in three 250cc MX2 races over the double-header weekend in a Yamaha 1-2 over David Goosen and Fitz-Gerald. Goosen then went five wins up for the weekend across Moto 1 and Moto 2 when he beat Smith and Tristan Purdon’s KTM in Moto 2 race 2, too.

Over-30 rider Wyatt Avis beat over-40 men Ian Topliss and Brett Bircher in Saturday’s opening MX3 masters class race. Topliss’ Yamaha took race 2 from KTM men Avis and Bircher on a pair of KTMs. Avis took both Sunday’s races as Bircher and Topliss shared out the second places.

While there were multiple winners in the open classes, it was however a different scenario in the Ladies and schoolboy classes over the weekend. Kayla Raaff once again proved unstoppable in Ladies MX as she powered to four wins out of four races on her Kawasaki. Natasha Rugani on her KTM and Husqvarna sisters Jadene and Chayenne de Lima fought it out in pursuit.

Jonathan Mlimi’ was another rider to take a clean sweep of 125cc High School wins aboard his KTM. On Saturday he beat Miguel de Waal and Mark-Anthony Filip each time in a double KTM clean sweep. And on Sunday he beat Yamaha rider Christian Celliers and de Waal’s KTM in race 1, and Dylan Lloyd-Kirk and Celliers in race 2.

Kayde van Deventer’s KTM took the opening 85cc Pro Mini heat from Bryce Petersen on a Yamaha and Lucas Venter’s Husqvarna. Petersen then beat du Plooy and Venter in race 2. Nobody could stop Petersen on Sunday however, as he powered to the double. He beat Venter and Seth Young’s KTM in the first race and Wian du Plooy on a Husqvarna and Venter in the second moto.

Husqvarna kid Liam Botha was unbeaten in the 85 Junior races. Ryan Adler on another Husqvarna and Yamaha lad Tyler Petersen swapped out the seconds and thirds on Saturday. Botha continued his winning form with two more Sunday wins over Petersen, while Ryan Adler and Timo Maximo Toepfler on a KTM shared the thirds.

Neil van der Vyver dominated the 65cc class for Husqvarna. Jordan van Wyk on another Husqvarna and KTM kid Trey Cox shared out the seconds and thirds in pursuit on Saturday. On Sunday, van der Vyver beat KTM pair Cox and Blade Tilley in moto 1, before Jordan van Wyk bounced back to second over Cox in the final moto.

And last but not least in the baby 50s. Trenton Kretzman won both Saturday races on a Husqvarna. Brody Bircher and Evan Frost shared out the seconds and thirds on their KTMs. Kretzman took Sunday’s first race from Bircher and Frost. Frost then took the final from Kretzman and Bircher.

The 2020 SA Motocross championship will wrap up with another double-header in Bloemfontein over the weekend of 24 and 25 October. The South African National Motocross Championship is proudly presented and sanctioned by Motorsport South Africa in partnership with Cannabis Energy, TRP Distributors, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Pro Taper, 100%, Fly Racing, Ogio, Racestar Graffix and the Sunoco Race Shop.

Issued on behalf of SA Motocross

Photography by: Ruben Louw


In a season shortened by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ricardo Otto (RAW Projects Yamaha R6) claimed the 2020 NGK Spark Plugs South African SuperSport 600 title at Red Star Raceway on Saturday, 26 September. Otto took two second places behind Dino Iozzo (King Price Extreme Yamaha R6) to take the crown with one round left to run. In the SuperBike category, Clint Seller (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R1) shared the victories with Garrick Vlok (DCCS Coring, Cutting and Sealing Yamaha R1) to extend his lead at the top of the championship standings.

In Friday’s qualifying sessions, it was Seller, riding with an injured hand, who set the early pace. He led the way from the first of the Bridgestone SuperBikes piloted by Damion Purificati (Andalaft Racing/Amalgum Welding BMW S1000RR). Seller’s closest rival in the championship race, David McFadden (RPM Center/Stunt SA/Lights by Linea Yamaha R1) ended the first session in third with Blaze Baker (JBR/Rapid Bike Kawasaki ZX10R) in fourth. Otto was the fastest of the 600s, just over half a second quicker than Iozzo. Conditions were slightly better in the second session, with all the riders improving their times. Again, Seller led the way, this time from Vlok with Purificati in third and leading the Bridgestone SuperBike brigade. Iozzo got the better of Otto to lead the way in the 600 class. The wind had picked up in the final session, making things difficult for the riders. Seller elected not to go out, trusting that the time he set in Qualifying 2 would be good enough to keep him at the top of the combined timesheets. Although Vlok went quicker in the final session, he couldn’t get the better of Seller and had to settle for second place on Saturday’s grid. Purificati ended in third with McFadden, Baker and Iozzo filling the second row. Otto was next up ahead of Luca Bertolini (Izinga Worx/Willcom Racing Yamaha R1) and Brett Roberts (Lights by Linea/RPM Center Yamaha R6). Nicole van Aswegen (Gem Auto/Andalaft Racing Ducat) headed the fourth row of the grid with Sifiso Themba (King Price Extreme Kawasaki ZX10R) and Ian Thomas (SA Compressor Hire Kawasaki ZX10R) alongside her.

In the opening race, Vlok and Seller opened a gap from the start, with the defending champion leading the way. The pair were never separated by more than a couple of bike lengths, but the defending champion was just able to hold off Vlok’s bright yellow Yamaha. Behind them, Baker, who got a great start, occupied third ahead of the early dice between McFadden, Iozzo and Purificati. A couple of laps into the race, Purificati had moved up to fourth but then lost the front of his BMW and crashed into retirement. Just as it looked like McFadden was starting to close the gap to the leaders, an old nerve injury returned to spoil his chances of a good result. The Capetonian was unable to exert much power with his right hand, making it difficult to brake. Because of this, Iozzo was able to get away and when McFadden ran off the track, Otto was able to get through. McFadden was able to get back past Otto but couldn’t do anything about the gap to Iozzo. Bertolini, Roberts and van Aswegen were having a battle a little bit further back before Roberts and van Aswegen clashed, sending both of them into retirement. Behind the leading duo, Baker had a lonely race to third with Iozzo the leading 600 in fourth. McFadden managed to hang on to take fifth ahead of Otto with Bertolini, the second of the Bridgestone SuperBike competitors, in seventh. Thomas just managed to get the better of Themba in their race-long duel to take eighth.

In Race 2, Vlok grabbed the lead from the start with Seller, Baker and McFadden tucking in behind him. As they did in the first race, Vlok and Seller soon opened a gap over the rest of the pack. Seller got through into the lead after a couple of laps in Vlok’s wheel tracks, but could not pull away with Vlok looking for a way through almost every lap. While they were running away at the front, Baker again settled into a lonely third place ahead of McFadden, Purificati and Iozzo. McFadden’s nerve problems returned and he pulled into the pits after running off the track again, leaving Purificati and Iozzo battling for fourth on the road. Behind them, Otto led Berlotini until the halfway mark, when the bigger bike was able to find a way through and pull away. Roberts, whose crew worked hard between races to get his bike back together after his crash, was just ahead of Themba and Thomas, who had resumed their first race battle. This, unfortunately, came to an end when the clutch on Themba’s Kawasaki cried enough. Just after the start of the final lap, Seller had opened up a gap that looked like he might be able to hold until the flag but then disaster struck for the King Price Extreme man when his bike stopped on the exit of Turn 6. Vlok just avoided running into the back of the slowing bike to take the lead and his first national SuperBike win half a lap later. Baker crossed the line in second ahead of Iozzo, who got past Purificati on the final lap. Bertolini took fifth ahead of Otto and Roberts with Thomas in eighth. Despite not finishing, Seller had done enough to be classified in ninth.

Vlok took the overall SuperBike class win from Baker and Seller. Iozzo ran away with the SuperSport 600 class ahead of Otto and Roberts while Bertolini took another Bridgestone SuperBike win from Thomas and Themba.

The final round of the NGK SA SuperBike series supported by Bridgestone will take place at Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante Racetrack on 30 & 31 October 2020.

Published by: NGK SA Superbike Series

Picture Caption: 2020 SA SuperSport 600 champion Ricardo Otto
Photography by: Paul Bedford