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MARITZBURG MX THUNDER

What SA National Motocross Round 5 Preview
Where Thunder Valley. Pietermaritzburg KZN
When Saturday 10 August 2019
Community South Africa National

National Motocross heads to KZN

The fifth round of the 2019 TRP South African National Motocross Championship heads to Thunder Valley in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal Saturday 10 August with several spectacular key battles to be played out across the board on a traditional tough and demanding track.

It’s the home race for open class championship leader Maddy Malan aboard his Q4 Fuels Husqvarna and he will be out to open up his 11-point title advantage, but that won’t be an easy task if his pursuers have any say about it. Tristan Purdon (Red Bull KTM), Lloyd Vercueil (Florstore OnTrend Summit Yamaha) and David Goosen’ (Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha) also have each other to worry about with just nine points between them and Wesley du Plooy (Honda) and Royce Griffin (KTM) also in the hunt.

There’s a similar situation in 250cc MX2, where Cape rider Anthony Raynard (Tinswalo Yamaha) holds a 13 point title advantage over Jozi rider Joshua Mlimi (Red Bull KTM) with Kerim Fitz-Gerald (Red Bull KTM) hot on their heels. Don’t ignore Bradley Cox (KTM), Ricky Raaf (Husqvarna), Johan Vogelsang (KTM), Slade Smith (CIT Husqvarna) and Jesse Wright (Yamaha) fighting it our among this lot.

KTM trio, over-40 riders Brett Bircher and Craig Kruger and Over-30 man Tyson Engelbrecht lead the way in madalas MX3, but Over-40 flyer Ian Topliss (Out Of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha) has been on form of late and will be eyeing success in KZN, as will home rider Jono Hubbard and Stuart Laing on two more KTMs.

Kayla Raaff (Husqvarna) is yet to be beaten in SA ladies motocross in 2019, but Natasha Rugani (KTM) has also piled on the points and remains within striking distance in the title race ahead of Jenna Bohling (Husqvarna), Yanke Pieterse (Yamaha) and Tiegan Reed (KTM). Add Megan Jonker back from injury and gaining pace and there may be a ladies upset in the offing

In schoolboy action, Dalton Venter (CIT Husqvarna) has enjoyed dominant form in the 125 High School championship of late and he holds a comfortable title lead over Arnu Saaiman (KTM), Yamaha riders Ethan Hoffman and Christiaan Cilliers, Zimababwean Tristan Grainger (KTM) and Calvin Jean-Jacques (Yamaha).

Blake Young leads a KTM top four in 85cc Pro Mini by ten points over over Leonard du Toit, but third placed Dylan Kirk will miss this round, giving Nate McLellan, Daiyaan Manual (Husqvarna) and Garrick Henley (Yamaha) a look in to that title top three.

There are just seven championship points between 85cc Junior top two Seth Young (KTM) and Deegan Bloomfield (Husqvarna), but Emmanuel Bako (KTM) is playing catch-up and Josh Fletcher (Yamaha) Timo Maximo, Toepfer (KTM) and Seth Whittington are all there or thereabouts too.

Neil van der Vyver meanwhile takes the 65cc Junior championship leader’s red plate to KZN aboard his Q4 Fuels Husqvarna, with the similar Husqvarnas of Liam Botha and Jordan Van Wyk in a tight spat for second, with KTM kids Trey Cox, Damon Garrell and Thor Johnson chasing him down.

The baby 50cc class is another close run title tussle between the KTMs of championship leader Ethan Williamson, Jake van Schoor, Keenan Strauss and last race winner Christian Berrington-Smith, with Logan van Vuuren and Chase Bekker leading the pursuit.

The Maritzburg Motorcycle & Car Club’s Thunder Valley Motocross Track is on New England Road Pietermaritzburg — the action starts with qualifying practice Saturday morning before two spectacular motos per class through the afternoon.

The 2019 South African National Motocross Championship powered by TRP Distributors, in association with Dragon Energy, Prepsol, Out Of Africa, Tintswalo, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Motul, Pro-Taper, Fly Racing, 100%, Ogio Luggage, Racestar Graffix and the Race Shop.

Issued on behalf of SA Motocross

Photography by: Ruben Louw

THE WIN MAHONEY HAD BEEN WAITING FOR

Picture Caption: Louwrens Mahoney storms to his first win of the season.

On Saturday, 27 July, multiple national champion Louwrens Mahoney stormed to victory that cross country fans had been waiting for. The rider walked away with the OR1 win at the fourth round of the championship in Lesotho.

It’s been a journey to the top step of the podium for Mahoney, who made his long-awaited return to the OR1 Class at the start of the 2019 season. As a multi-disciplined star, the rider reached a total of six National Cross Country and Enduro titles before taking a sabbatical in 2016.

He returned to racing the following year and signed up for the OR2 Class. It wasn’t long before Mahoney was back to his winning ways, and he seemed unbeatable as he chased down the OR2 Championship in 2017. Unfortunately, the rider fell short of glory when he broke his collar bone in Koue Bokkeveld.

At the start of the 2019 season, Mahoney made the decision to follow his heart and make the move back to the OR1 Class. He explained, “As much as I enjoyed my time in the OR2 Class, it was also a frustrating season for me. When I came back to OR1 I knew it was where I belonged. Being able to chase down the overall title with guys like Ross Branch really fires me up!”

After his Lesotho victory, Mahoney has taken the championship lead by three points ahead of competitor and fellow Brother Leader Tread KTM teammate Ross Branch. The final stop on the Cross Country calendar will take riders to Vryburg, North West, in November and will serve as a double-header round.

With a championship that could go either way, fans are in for one of the biggest showdowns of the season as battle drums beat for Branch and Mahoney…

Published by: KTM Media

Photography by: http://www.zcmc.co.za

FIRST WORLD TITLE FOR TEAM SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE

After an epic race at Suzuka with Jérémy Guarnoni, Erwan Nigon and David Checa, the Team SRC Kawasaki France claimed its first FIM Endurance World Championship crown.

Starting the Suzuka 8 Hours Grand Finale with a small advantage in the standings, the Team SRC Kawasaki France prevailed to win the FIM Endurance World Championship for the 2018-2019 season. It’s the first world title for the outfit formed by Gilles Stafler in 2009 and a mainstay of the EWC ever since.

Supported by Kawasaki Motor France, the Team SRC Kawasaki France has focused its efforts on two major events in its homeland, the 24 Heures Motos and the Bol d’Or. It has built its reputation as an Endurance racing specialist with six wins in the 24 Heures Motos and four triumphs in the Bol d’Or.

Before taking the reins of the Team SRC Kawasaki France, Stafler was, since 1993, part of the technical staff of the official Kawasaki France Team, which won six world titles between 1981 and 1996.

Despite his team’s title success, Stafler admits he’s not been entirely satisfied: “It’s a really great reward for the whole team. We have won a lot of 24-hour races, but this is our first world title. After our mechanical issue at the Bol d’Or, we worked a lot during the winter and won the 24 Heures Motos. But then we broke the engine in Slovakia so we gave everything in Oschersleben, while the Suzuki Racing Team made a mistake. In Suzuka, our non-attendance at the pre-tests penalised us for the race but the championship ended with a little help of destiny following the Suzuki team’s engine failure. We could have done better.”

With the 2018-2019 EWC title secured, the Team SRC Kawasaki France is already preparing the Bol d’Or, which opens the 2019-2020 season on 21/22 September. “We will be at the start with the same three riders,” said Stafler. “We have solved the electronic failures that affected us last year, so the objective is the win.”

More info on the Team SRC Kawasaki France

CLEAN SWEEP FOR ODENDAAL AT ZWARTKOPS

Picture Caption: SuperBike podium. Lance Isaacs, Steven Odendaal and Clint Seller (l-r)

Steven Odendaal couldn’t stay away from racing while the Moto2 series was on its summer break, so he dusted off his trusty Yamaha R1 and joined the SA Superbike series at Zwarkops Raceway for the Liqui Moly Fifth Round on 26 & 27 July 2019. While Yamaha is very different to the NTS he rides for the RW Racing Team on the world stage, he didn’t have any trouble adapting and went on to take two wins on Saturday after claiming pole position on Friday.

In the SuperSport 600 category, reigning champion Blaze Baker powered his Performance Technologies/The Rossi Sports Bar Yamaha R6 to victory in both heats.

SuperBikes

Clint Seller (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R1) led the qualifying standings going into the final session but he could not improve his time in the final 25-minute session. Both Odendaal and Lance Isaacs (SuperBets Gaming Group BMW S1000RR) were, however, able to improve their times with Odendaal taking pole position by 0.148” from Isaacs. Seller had to settle for third. David McFadden (RPM Centre/Stunt SA Yamaha R1) was a tenth behind Seller in fourth with Garrick Vlok (DCCS Coring Yamaha R6) and Dylan Barnard (Barnard Racing Yamaha R1) rounding out the top six.

Odendaal took the holeshot when the lights went out in the first race, leading a group of four that pulled a gap on the chasing pack. He had Isaacs, Seller and McFadden in his wheel tracks until the brakes on MdFadden’s Yamaha failed and he was forced to retire. Shortly after half-distance, Odendaal put in the two quickest laps of the race to open a gap that, although not comfortable, gave him just a little bit of breathing room. He took the win by just over a second from Isaacs with Seller another second further back. Vlok hade a somewhat lonely race to fourth. Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R1) and Morne Geldenhuis (Race Craft/NCA Plant Hire Yamaha R1) were involved in a tussle for fifth until Geldenhuis crashed out, leaving the place to Bester. Barnard crossed the line in sixth.

The second race was almost a repeat of the first, with Odendaal leading the way except this time Seller led Isaacs and McFadden. Although the Cape Town-based rider had changed almost his entire braking system between races, the problem that ended his first race recurred and his race came to a premature end. Odendaal had the measure of his rivals and dipped below the 61-second mark around the 2.4km Zwartkops circuit on his way to victory. Seller kept Isaacs at by to take second with Vlok in fourth. Bester and Barnard rounded out the top six.

Odendaal topped the day’s overall standings, with Seller and Isaacs joining him on the podium.

SuperSport

Baker topped the standings in all three of Friday’s qualifying sessions, taking pole position from Kewyn Snyman (Hillbilly Racing Team/CGR Yamaha R6). Jared Schultz (ASAP World/FFC/Brown Property Yamaha R6) saved his best for last, setting his quickest time of the day on his final lap in Qualifying 3 to take third ahead of Dino Iozzo (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R6). Dian Nelson (TRD Motorcycles Yamaha R6) and Taric van der Merwe (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R6) completed the second row of the grid.

Snyman was the early leading in the opening race. He was able to hold off Baker until about one-third distance but, once Baker got past, he was able to control things from the front and took the win by almost three seconds. Behind the leading pair, Schultz was joined by Iozzo and they spent the next couple of laps fighting for the final podium position. Iozzo got past with four laps to go and was able to keep Schultz behind him until the flag. Nelson and van der Merwe ended in fifth and sixth.

A better start by Baker in the second heat saw him take a lights-to-flag victory, again chased hard by Snyman. Schultz and Iozzo resumed their Race 1 battle for third, with Schultz again leading in the early stages, but Iozzo was in front when it counted albeit by just over three-tenths of a second. Nelson and van der Merwe had an entertaining battle for fifth with Nelson just ahead at the flag.

Baker took overall victory on the day with Snyman and Iozzo in second and third respectively.

The SA SuperBike series in association with Metzler now heads back to the coast for the sixth round of the 2019 championship. The East London Grand Prix Circuit will host the riders on 30 & 31 August.

Published by: Paul Bedford

HUSQVARNA HITS BACK

Photography by: http://www.zcmc.co.za

What South African Cross Country Moto Round 4 Report
Where Lesotho
When Saturday 27 July 2019
Community South Africa National

Podiums for Bogiages, Swanepoel

Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing bounced back from disaster in the run-up to the fourth round Live Lesotho South African Cross Country Motorcycle race as Brett Swanepoel rode home third in open class OR1 and Taki Bogiages similarly ended third in 250cc OR2. The team was rocked when OR1 championship Kenny Gilbert leader was ruled out of the race following a testing crash, but substitute Swanepoel delivered the goods, while Bogiages scored his best result of the season too.

“I am delighted with my result today,” Brett Swanepoel beamed. “That one’s for Kenny — to be ruled out like that while leading the championship really is a cruel blow — I know, I have been there so this one is for you mate! “Thanks to Pepson Plastics Husqvarna, not just for a brilliant bike today, but also for entrusting me with Kenny’s weapon — I am honoured to race it.”

Bogiages was similarly buoyed by his result: “I have worked so hard to get back to full strength since my injury late last year and today is starting to show real results,” Taki confirmed. “This is just the start — today was great for my championship too — I’m now in striking distance of third and second is still mathematically plausible, so let’s see — I’m really excited for the rest of the season. “Thanks to the team for a great machine and incredible support as always!”

“It’s been a really tough week for the whole Pepson Plastics Husqvarna team, “Husqvarna Motorcycles South Africa brand manager Fred Fensham concluded. “But Taki and Brett delivered fine results in Lesotho and we can now look ahead to the last few Cross Country rounds. “We also wish Kenny Gilbert a speedy recovery — you will be back champ!”

Issued on behalf of Husqvarna Off Road