The highly anticipated National Cross Country season finale is about to unfold. The event takes place as a double-header round in Mid-Illovo, KwaZulu-Natal, from 17-18 October.
For Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing, the hunt for national titles has come right down to the wire. The team has two championships on the line with both Kenny Gilbert and Brett Swanepoel sharing the points lead in the OR1 and OR2 Class respectively. As former national champions, the riders will draw on years of experience to fight tooth and nail for the country’s highest level of Cross Country glory.
Gilbert will go head-to-head with OR1 championship rival Charan Moore. The Husqvarna rider has been relentless in his determination to reclaim the top step after a near career-ending injury in 2019. Fresh off a top 20 finish at the Andalucia Rally, Gilbert will line-up this weekend with a renewed sense of confidence.
Teammate Brett Swanepoel is bracing himself for a bar-to-bar battle with Jarryd Coetzee, who shares his points lead in the OR2 Class. Like Gilbert, Swanepoel is out for redemption as he looks to claim his first national title since his return from injury last season. The rider will pull out all the stops this weekend as he looks to reinstate himself as South Africa’s leading OR2 star.
Rounding out the team this weekend is rising Cross Country talent Davin Cocker. All eyes were on the rider at the last round of series when he stormed to victory in the final 100 metres of the race. With a mere two points separating him from the top of the OR3 leaderboard, Cocker will be a force to be reckoned with this weekend.
As one of the most nail-biting events of the season approaches, Husqvarna South Africa’s Brand Manager Fred Fensham commented: “I’m not quite sure if my nerves are going hold out over what is going to be an exceptionally long weekend. In the top three categories there are no fewer than five red plates showing riders leading or level in championships! Anthony has done an amazing job of giving the riders the right equipment. I know our riders have put in serious training and will be ready to take on the course rather than the other riders. We can now only wait and see who gets crowned on Sunday afternoon – unlike the film from many years ago this is not just any Sunday!”
Published by: Fred Fensham – Husqvarna Motorcycles SA
Live Lesotho has announced that the 2020 Motul Roof of Africa will be going ahead as planned. While the coronavirus pandemic will necessitate some changes to the way the event is staged, riders can look forward to a classic “Mother of Hard Enduro” which will challenge competitors in all classes (Gold, Silver and Bronze).
Although ongoing travel restrictions in some countries may limit the number of international riders who can participate this year, the headline news at this stage is that Wade Young (Sherco Factory Team powered by Motul) will be back to defend the Gold Class title he won so decisively last year (travel restrictions permitting). To date, Young has won an incredible five Roof of Africa titles – only Roof legend Alfie Cox has more victories to his name – including the last three in a row.
With more than 200 riders having signed up already, the organisers are confident that there will be a strong showing by riders from across southern Africa.
After a year in which the Extreme Enduro season has been severely disrupted, with many events either postponed until 2021 or cancelled, the Motul Roof of Africa represents the perfect opportunity for riders to get back into the Maluti Mountains and enjoy some of the region’s most breath-taking – and challenging – high-altitude landscapes.
“I’m pleased to be able to end the speculation as to whether the Motul Roof of Africa would be run this year,” commented Charan Moore, Motul Roof of Africa Route Director and Manager of Live Lesotho. “The confirmed dates are 9th – 12th December 2020, and I’m also happy to squash the rumours that this year’s routes will be easier than usual. That’s certainly not the case, so I’d advise riders in every class to get out there and train and prepare properly in anticipation of some epic Extreme Enduro action,” added Moore.
It is important to note that while the safety measures for Motorsport events around the world are evolving, the current regulations, in compliance with MSA’s event requirements, will include:
All entrants and support staff will need to supply COVID-19 tests that indicate a negative status within 72 hours of their arrival at the border for entry into Lesotho. You will then be allowed 14 days of travel and the same COVID-19 test can be used when returning to South Africa. The organisers are confirming if their medical partner will have a COVID-19 testing station at the event.
Screening and sanitising protocols will be followed at the start of each section of the event, including a verification process and scrutineering, time trial and all race stages.
There will be no spectators or hospitality this year to avoid mass gatherings and maintain social distancing.
Each competitor may have up to 5 crew members so a total of 6 people per entry (1 competitor and 5 crew). The DSP for each race day will be open to riders and crew only.
There will be no Round the Houses or EduroX to avoid mass gatherings and maintain social distancing
The programme of events will include a verification process and scrutineering on Wed, time trial on Thurs and race days 1 and 2 on Fri and Sat respectively.
There will be no bike wash facility – again, to maintain social distancing.
It is uncertain at this stage if there will be a prize-giving ceremony for the top 3 riders in each class – an application has been made to MSA for permission and approval is awaited. It has been confirmed there will be no main prize-giving ceremony for the remainder of the competitors, although medals will still be available for finishers and trophies will be made available for collection after the event.
The organisers are committed to the safety and wellbeing of everyone connected with the Roof and are determined to eliminate the risk of disease transmission. For more information about the COVID-19 measures that are being implemented, entrants are asked to visit the official Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/theroofofafrica – updates will be posted regularly as the situation continues to evolve.
Entries for the Motul Roof of Africa 2020 are now open on a strictly first come, first served basis. Various payment schedules are available up until the last day of November 2020, when entries will close. Full details can be found at the official Motul Roof of Africa website: www.roofofafrica.co.ls
ABOUT MOTUL Motul is a world-class French company specialised in the formulation, production and distribution of high-tech engine lubricants (two-wheelers, cars and other vehicles) as well as lubricants for industry via its Motul Tech activity.
Unanimously recognised for more than 160 years for the quality of its products, innovation capacity and involvement in the field of competition, Motul is also recognised as a specialist in synthetic lubricants. As early as 1971, Motul was the first lubricant manufacturer to pioneer the formulation of a 100% synthetic lubricant, issued from the aeronautical industry, making use of esters technology: 300V lubricant.
Motul is a partner to many manufacturers and racing teams in order to further their technological development in motorsports. It has invested in many international competitions as an official supplier for teams in: Road racing, Trials, Enduro, Endurance, Superbike, Supercross, Rallycross, World GT1, 24 Hours of Le Mans (cars and motorcycles), 24 Hours of Spa, Le Mans Series, Andros Trophy, the Dakar Rally and Motul Roof of Africa.
Issued by Listen Up on behalf of MOTUL South Africa and Live Lesotho
Picture Caption: Wade Young wins the 2019 Motul Roof of Africa Photography by: ZCMC