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SELLER BACK ON TRACK AT ZWARTKOPS

With a new sponsor, NGK Spark Plugs, onboard the SA Superbike Series supported by Bridgestone made its way to Zwartkops Raceway for the second round of the 2020 championship on 13 and 14 March. After what was, by his high standards, a poor start to the season at the opening round, defending SA Superbike Champion Clint Seller bounced back, powering his King Price Xtreme Yamaha R1 to both heat wins.

In the SuperSport 600 class, Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing Yamaha R6) took an easy win in the first heat but had to fight all the way to the flag to secure his second win of the day.

At the opening round at the beginning of February, it was David McFadden (RPM Center/Stunt SA Yamaha R1) who took both heat wins and during Friday’s qualifying sessions he signalled his intention to carry on in that vein, topping the timesheets in both sessions. It was, however, very tight at the top with just 0.162” separating the top three at the end of the day. Seller set the second quickest time with Lance Isaacs (Superbets BMW Motorrad S1000RR) in third.

Reigning SuperSport 600 champion Blaze Baker made the step up to the litre class and was very happy with fourth on the grid after his first competitive outing on his new JBR/Rapid Bike Kawasaki ZX10R. Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Kawasaki ZX10R) set the fifth-fastest time but injured his knee in the final session which could see him on the sidelines for as long as four months. Otto was the quickest of the 600s, lining up in sixth place on the combined grid. Hendrick de Bruin (NETCB Yamaha R1) headed the third row of the grid with Damion Purificati (Andala FT Racing BMW S1000RR) and the second of the 600 contenders, Taric van der Merwe (Dragon Energy Yamaha R6), alongside him. Capetonian Brett Roberts (Lights by Linea Yamaha R6) just got the better of Marius Koekemoer (Libra Racing Ducati Panigale) to take tenth with Gareth Gehlig (Superbets/BMW Motorrad S1000RR), another rider making the step up from the 600 class, in twelfth. Shaun Vermaak (DT Automotive/Gapcon Honda Fireblade) and Garrick Vlok (DCCS Coring, Cutting and Sealing Yamaha R1) completed the grid.

In Saturday morning’s warm-up session Seller gave an indication of what was to come, setting a time comfortably quicker than his best qualifying effort the day before. He put that speed to good use in the opening race, quickly opening up a gap over McFadden, who was the only rider able to maintain any sort of contact. Seller looked to be cruising to the win until about two-thirds of the way through the race when his Yamaha tried to spit him off at the exit of turn six. This gave McFadden a chance to close the gap, but he could not find a way through and had to settle for second. Behind the leading duo, there was a great three-way fight for the final podium position with Baker, Isaacs and Vlok circulating within a couple of bike lengths of each other. Unfortunately for Vlok, his challenge came to an end when his front brake failed, leaving Baker and Isaacs to continue the fight. Isaacs eventually found a way through but could not do anything about the leaders so settled for third. Baker took fourth ahead of Purificati who had Otto, on the first of the 600s, in his wheel tracks. Gehlig and Koekemoer were the last of the classified finished after mechanical maladies sidelined the rest of the field.

In the second race, Seller again grabbed the lead when the lights went out. Behind him, Baker got a great start and moved up to second with Isaacs, McFadden and Vlok right behind him. Vlok’s Yamaha let him down again so it was left to Isaacs and McFadden to put the pressure on Baker while Seller disappeared up the road. Isaacs was the first to get past the Kawasaki but despite being quicker than the reigning champion almost every lap, the lead that Seller had built up in the early stages of the race was too big to close down and the BMW man ended up just under a second and a half shy. McFadden took another couple of laps to get past Baker but by then his chances of closing the gap to the front had gone and he settled for third. Baker took another fourth place ahead of Purificati who again had Otto snapping at his heels. This time Otto didn’t have it all his way in the 600 class, van der Merwe hounded him for the whole race with the two youngsters never more than a couple of bike lengths apart and only 0.132” separating them at the flag. De Bruin was next up in eighth with Gehlig ninth, just ahead of Roberts on the third of the 600s. Koekemoer, who claimed the masters trophy ended eleventh.

The next round of the NGK SA Superbike series is scheduled to take place at the East London Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday, 25 April 2020, however, this could change depending on whether further restrictions are imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Published by: Paul Bedford

Picture Caption: Clint Seller leads the way

INFORMATION – FIM SUPERENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – SUPERENDUROGP IN POLAND CANCELLED, 2020 SEASON OVER

Please find enclosed the Press Release / FIM SuperEnduro World Championships 2020 Calendar UPDATE 17 MARCH

SuperEnduroGP in Poland cancelled, 2020 season over
As the global outbreak of coronavirus continues to develop and restrictions are put in place, the FIM, the promoter ABC Communications and the Polish Federation (PZM) regret to announce that it will not be possible to find an alternative date for the final event originally planned to take place in Lódz, Poland, therefore this will bring the 2020 FIM SuperEnduro Championship to a premature end.

As a result, the championship is declared completed at the end of Final 4 held in Budapest on 1st February, with Billy BOLT (GBR – Husqvarna) in the Prestige Class and Teodor KABAKCHIEV (BG – KTM) – Junior declared as 2020 FIM World Champions.

All parties are pleased to announce that the Polish event in Lódz has already been rescheduled on 12th December as the opening round of the 2021 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship.

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DYED-IN-THE-WOOL MOTORCYCLIST MARK BROADY SCORES FIRST WIN IN DJ CLASSIC RALLY

Binder family at the start

By Roger Houghton

Mark Broady (43), a mechanical engineer living in Randburg, surprised many experienced motorcycle rallyists when he won the 50th commemorative Durban-Johannesburg (DJ) regularity trial for classic motorcycles on March 14. He accumulated an error of only 146 seconds at the time check points on the 596 km route (241 km on Day 1 and 355 km on day 2).

Mark, who had the second best score on Day 1 (behind three-time winner Gavin Walton) and best score on Day 2, is a lifelong motorcyclists, both as a commuter and competitor in all forms of two-wheel motor sport.

This was only Mark’s third DJ Run, having finished 40th in 2018 and 6th last year. The 1935 Velocette MAC he rode is the same motorcycle on which his father, Barry, had been running a close second in the inaugural commemorative DJ Rally in 1970 when a timing gear stripped and he had to retire about 20 km from the finish at City Deep in Johannesburg.

Father Barry Broady was also well known for winning the inaugural Roof of Africa in 1969 and following up with another win in 1970, both times riding a Honda. His son, Mark, is now restoring the Honda he rode in 1970.

This annual DJ Run celebrates the 50th anniversary of the staging of the first of these rallies that commemorated the original, annual Durban-Johannesburg road race for motorcycles which took place between the two cities from 1913 until 1936 when the authorities banned this type of motor sport event due to safety concerns.

The 2020 DJ Run which started from the Heidelberg Museum on Friday, March 13 and finished at the Shongweni Equestrian Centre the following day, attracted an entry of 106 riders, with nine non-starters and 73 finishers. The finishing rate was still impressive considering the “youngest” competing motorcycle was 84 years old and the oldest was the centenarian ABC Sopwith of Peter Gillespie.

Gillespie is a real fan of this little-known British motorcycle brand, which only produced motorcycles from 1914 – 1923. Gillespie’s 1920 machine, which he restored himself, using many specially made parts, finished a creditable 52nd. However, his team-mate, 80-year-old Paul Button, of Britain, who is also an ABC owner and worldwide registrar of the marque, was forced to retire with a broken tappet adjuster. Button still managed to cover more than 400 km on his loaned ABC and thoroughly enjoyed the DJ Run experience.

Second overall this year was Ralph Pitchford on a 1936 BSA Blue Star with an error of 173 seconds. Pitchford, an experienced off-road racer and Dakar competitor, is a preparer of immaculate motorcycles and won the DJ in 2016.

Third place was filled by Keegan Ward (32), who runs a tyre business in Randburg and is another rider with fairly limited experience in regularity rallying on a motorcycle. His error was 188 seconds.

A keen motorcyclist his whole life and son of Mike Ward, a regular DJ Run participant and winner of the 2004 event, Keegan has competed in only four DJ rallies, with the last time being 2018 when he finished 15th. He did much of the work restoring his 1936 Norton himself. He says his rally navigating skills have benefitted not only from advice from his father, Mike, but also from two other experienced rallyists, Stuart Cunninghame, and Martin Davis.

This year’s event was certainly not easy for the big field, although the weather played along on Day 1 and most of Day 2. The exception was a heavy squall of rain and hail which passed over the route on Saturday afternoon and affected the performance of several competitors, including drowning the electrics of some of the motorcycles. The secondary roads that make up most of the route were also rutted and potholed, while many speed humps also put a heavy strain on riders and their machines. On the second day they were in the saddle for almost 11 hours!

The Binder family trio of father, Trevor, and his famous road racing sons, Brad and Darryn, all qualified as finishers. Darryn (23) fared best, placing 43rd on a 1928 BMW R52, and collecting the award for the youngest rider to finish the event. He had previously ridden the DJ on a 98cc Francis Barnett when he was 16 and not permitted to ride a larger capacity motorcycle. He was forced to retire after a number of punctures on that occasion.

His brother, former Moto3 world champion and now a KTM rider in MotoGP, Brad, finished 54th on a 1935 Sunbeam. He had problems with a broken rear mudguard bracket which required lots of cable ties to try and secure it. He also had a bolt come loose in the clutch assembly. However, the big thing is that he finished, as did his father, Trevor, who came 44th on his 1925 Indian Scout.

Six of the seven riders from outside South Africa also qualified as finishers: the Youngman trio from the United Kingdom, Dorian Radue from Australia, Paul Button from the UK, and Anthony Weber from Zambia, while Andy Kaindl, of Germany, was forced to withdraw at the end of Day 1.

Samantha Anderson, who rode a 1918 Harley Davidson, which was the oldest motorcycle entered in the event, had to retire near the finish with a lack of spark for the 1 000cc V-twin engine.

The results on the DJ Run are calculated on arrival times at various checkpoints on the route as the riders try to stick as closely as possible to the set speeds, with them being able to choose to run in one of three speed groups: 50, 60 or 70 km/h. The arrival times were at check points were logged electronically by an instrument carried by the rider and downloaded at the end of each day. The rider with the lowest time penalty was the winner.

The annual, international DJ Run is run under the auspices of the Vintage and Veteran Club of South Africa (VVC), and organised by a committee with members from several local classic motorcycle clubs under the leadership of Clerk of the Course Larina MacGregor, who was doing this arduous task for the third consecutive year.

RESULTS

Overall results: 1, Mark Broady (1935 Velocette MAC), 146 penalty points; 2, Ralph Pitchford (1933 BSA Blue Star), 173; 3, Keegan Ward (1936 Norton Model 18), 188; 4, Gavin Walton (1936 AJS 9), 206; 5, Kevin Walton (1931 BSA Sloper), 219; 6, Martin Davis (1930 Sunbeam 9), 228; 7, Allan Cunningham (1936 Velocette MSS), 237; 8, JC van Rooyen (1936 Ariel NH 350), 255; 9, Adrian and Gerald Hollis (1935 Sunbeam Lion sidecar combination), 257); 10, Mike Ward (1936 Velocette MSS), 259.

Awards: Best performance by a woman rider – Bev Jacobs (1935 Triumph 21); Best performance by a first time rider: Kevin Kohler (1934 Triumph 350); Lowest score on Day 1 – Gavin Walton (1936 AJS 9); Lowest score on Day 2 – Mark Broady (1935 Velocette MAC); Oldest motorcycle to complete the course – 1920 ABC Sopwith ridden by Peter Gillespie; Oldest rider to complete the course – Neville Smith (1936 Ariel Red Hunter) who is 84; Youngest ride to complete the course – Darry Binder (1928 BMW R52) who is 23; Nominated team –  Team Prado (Martin Davis, Keegan Ward and Mike Ward); Club team – Vintage Motorcycle Club (Mark Broady, Ralph Pitchford and Keegan Ward); Most DJ Runs completed – Kevin Robertson (28 out of 30)

INFORMATION – FIM SIDECAR MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – 2020 CALENDAR – FRENCH RACE UPDATE, 16 MARCH

Please find enclosed the Press Release / FIM Sidecar Motocross World Championship 2020 Calendar – French race UPDATE, 16 March

Due to the ongoing outbreak of the Coronavirus, the FIM, the Promoter APO Multimedia, the French Motorcycle Federation (FFM) and the local organizer announce that the French round initially scheduled to be held in Iffendic on 28 June is postponed to 5 July.

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INFORMATION – 2020 MXGP CALENDAR UPDATE: MXGP OF FRANCE, INDONESIA AND ASIA UPDATE

Please find enclosed the Press Release / FIM MXGP/MX2/ Women’s Motocross World Championships 2020 MXGP Calendar Update – 16 March

2020 MXGP Calendar Update: MXGP of France, Indonesia and Asia update

The FIM and Infront Moto Racing would like to inform that the MXGP racing calendar has seen further changes. Due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, public safety of all involved has been put at the forefront which means certain events have been forced to be pushed back to a later date.  

The MXGP of France due to take place on the 9th-10th of May will now be moved to the end of June and will go ahead in St Jean d’Angely on the 27th-28th of June. This change means that also the MXGP of Indonesia in Jakarta will now move from June to 31st October-1st November. Meanwhile the second round of the Indonesian trip will be held as the MXGP of Asia on November the 7th-8th, whose location will be announced shortly.

These new updates of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship Calendar were possible thanks to the complete cooperation with the local organisers, Motoclub Angerien, PT Supersport Sensasion International (SSS) and Lightning Production and PT ARENA SIRKUIT INDONESIA, the national federations and the governments, along with the FIM and FIM Europe.

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