Category Archives: FMN News South Africa

BULLISH BRAD BACK ON TOP AFTER BREAK

National Cross Country Championship – Vryburg

The cold and damp third round of the National Cross Country Championship did little to slow a storming Brad Cox, back from a break after missing round 2 due to a knee injury. Cox who won the opening round was back to his old self and put in a sterling performance in OR1 taking the overall win on the day on what was described as one of the toughest and longest routes in a good while.

“Today was one of those days where you never give up until you see the flag, that last lap I just went all in and managed to catch and pass Kerim again” Cox beamed after the event. “this was just incredible, the disappointment with my knee and coming back like this after missing a round my emotions at the finish were very visible!” He added. “The track was the roughest route I ever did in a cross country, I’m over the moon taking the win here” he said adding that he will be heading off to Spain for some Rally Racing during the short break between rounds.

What made the performance stand out even more was the effort from the mechanical team who managed to completely swop front suspension during decontrol. “We made it by 15seconds in decontrol and big thanks to our team in the pits for helping me take the win in the end” Cox mused.

Gunning his way through OR2 was Kerim Fitzgerald who nearly stole the show after claiming P1 in the time trail and also leading the overall on the day after a good battle with Cox to eventually finish in 2nd overall. Team manager Louwrens Mahoney said he felt the sand track might have suited Fitzgerald going into the event due to his background in MX which proved to be almost prophetic in the end.

Team mate Scott Heygate finished in 4th overall and 3rd in the OR2 class saying “that sure was five long laps and it got really rough out there”. He went on to say “I’m happy with my result both personally and for the team, it was a real team effort out there getting me through the tough and cold conditions”

Young Matthew Wilson kept it clean and made sure he brought the bike home to finish second in the OR3 class consolidating his championship lead. “I’m happy to take the championship lead into the next round after a really hard day out on the bike today” he commented clearly drained from a big effort.

Louwrens Mahoney adds “This was a great weekend of racing for us, all our planning and preparations really paid off well and I would like to say a big well done to our riders, Kevin and everyone involved, I am truly thankful and proud of everyone in the team!”

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney

Photography by: Justin Reinecke for http://www.zcmc.co.za

KAWASAKI BEATS THE DESERT CHILL

What Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Round 3 Report
Where Ganyesa, Northwest Province
When 20-21 May 2022
Community South Africa National

Cross Country Wins, Podiums for Team Green

The Northwest Kalahari is not supposed to be a cold place, but unseasonably chilly conditions did not prevent Kawasaki Racing from scoring a couple of wins and a number of podiums in the second round Trademore South African Cross Country race in the Northwest Province over the weekend.

Topping the successes, King Kenny Gilbert remains unbeaten in 2022 as he once again dominated the Seniors aboard his Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki KX 450 X en route to ninth overall. Warrick van Schalkwyk made it a Kawasaki double victory in Masters aboard his Franchise Co. CIT KX 450 X. Fifth overall, Michael Pentecost meanwhile consolidated his open class OR1 championship advantage with second in OR1 on his Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki KX 450 X.

Jaycee Nienaber made it three Kawasakis in the overall top ten and two green machines in the OR1 top three on his wildcard appearance on a Spherical Bearings KX 450 X. And on the other side of the age scale to Gilbert and van Schalkwyk, young Jake Pretorius rode his Pepson Motul Kawasaki to third in the baby 65s. Taki Bogiages’ Pepson Motul Kawasaki KX 250X ended fourth in OR3, while John Botha’s similar Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki ended sixth in the quarter-litre class.

Kenny Gilbert was in crushing form as he dominated Seniors on his Kawasaki to ninth overall. “It was a cold and rainy weekend!” Kenny reported “I really enjoy Vryburg’s terrain. “It was 100% sand and the track was very safe and loads of fun, even though it became very rough and demanding to keep the pace high. “A huge thanks to Pepson Plastics Kawasaki for its efforts, sponsorship and passion for our sport, and to the organisers for another amazing event.”

Michael Pentecost was also happy with his result on a difficult day in the desert. “That was a great race “I had so much fun out there and another consistent ride to second in class and fifth overall, so I’m happy with that,” Mike admitted. “My team was on point, but our opposition outsmarted us by running sand tires, which gave them a little pace advantage that I just couldn’t match. “So well done to them and the organisers for a super fun track and a great weekend all round.”

Taki Bogiages was satisfied with his performance aboard his Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki KX 250X. “I ended fourth in the 250cc OR3 class yesterday, that was a solid one. “It was extremely cold, but the track was awesome and the racing was really good, but best of all I felt really good out there and my bike was absolutely awesome. “Thanks to the team for everything they do and to the organisers for a great event.”

“Two wins, five podiums and great progress in the various championships, we’ll take that!” Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Kawasaki Motul team boss Iain Pepper concluded. “Well done to our riders and the whole team on another great job.” Franchise Co. CIT team principal Harry Grobler added, “Now we head to Carletonville on 9 July, and that’s another round that should favour our team. “Bring it on!”

Issued on behalf of Kawasaki Cross Country

BAPTISM OF FIRE BUT HUSQVARNA RACING BOLSTERS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP – VRYBURG


The third round of the National Cross Country Championship proved to be a tough and challenging route. However, Husqvarna Racing still managed to walk off with the overall championship lead after a solid performance by Brett Swanepoel. The sand style track seemed to suit a strong Swanepoel who finished third overall and second in OR2 which means he still leads the championship overall

“I had quite a good pace on the first loop and while trying to push, I was struggling a bit with my setup, but we managed to make some changes during decontrol and that put me back in the game to try chase down the two leaders,” Swanepoel said. “We go out of here knowing we had the speed and just a bit of bad luck, but happy to extend my class lead and overall championship” he added.

It was a baptism of fire for Michael Docherty according to Husqvarna brand manager Fred Fensham. “Docherty has never raced a cross country and to bring him to this route that is really tough and really long was a tall order” he commented. Docherty had a tough start suffering from a wire that tangled in his back wheel placing him 40th in the Time Trial and still managed to get up to 7th at one point before tweaking his knee and dropping back a bit but still managed to bring back the bike according to Fensham.

Docherty said, “It was a pretty good day, it was certainly a new experience for me and very happy with the bike. Cross country is a lot tighter, intense, and more technical than Rally racing that I’m used to”.

Published by: Grant Frerichs

Photography by: Justin Reinecke – ZCMC Media

KTM FIGHTERS IN DAMP DESERT SHOOTOUT

What Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Round 3 Report
Where Ganyesa, Northwest Province
When 20-21 May 2022
Community South Africa National

Cox Overcomes Fitz-Gerald in Dramatic Trademore Duel

There was a surprise awaiting the Trademore Group South African Cross Country circus when it arrived at Ganyesa’s third round, 55 kilometres north-west of Vryburg on Saturday. The normally arid semi desert of the Northwest Province was far from hot and dry as unseasonal cold, damp and muddy conditions prevailed. With a fantastic venue set out by Farm owner, Wim Scholtz, and run by the efficient KZN Racing team, the stage was set for an emphatic weekend of racing. What prevailed was a battle of the KTM giants as Bradley Cox fought back to defeat upstart former motocrosser Kerim Fitz-Gerald for the win.

250cc OR2 class Red Bull KTM rider Fitz-Gerald opened the action with the fastest run in Friday’s time trial from Cox’s open class OR1 bike, Brett Swanepoel’s OR2 Husqvarna, MCA Honda OR3 lad Peter Karam, Scott Heygate’s OR2 Factory KTM and Kawasaki OR1 man Mike Pentecost. Brother Leader Tread KTM star Cox then moved ahead of Fitz-Gerald as the two KTMs diced hard up front on Saturday morning with the others holding a watching brief.

But Fitz-Gerald emerged 42 seconds clear of Cox at the end of lap 3 and extended that to 48 seconds following the fourth tour. Cox however, struck back when Fitz-Gerald made a mistake and took a tumble. So Brad took a comeback win after missing the previous race to injury and re-ignite his championship charge with his second overall victory of the season. He ultimately beat Fitz-Gerald by a minute and 33 seconds. Brett Swanepoel was always there to pick up the pieces on his factory Husqvarna as he ended up a couple minutes adrift in third.

Third in 350 cc OR2, Zambian Brother Leader Tread KTM rider Scott Heygate was fourth overall from Michael Pentecost’s OR1 Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki. OR3 trio, Peter Karam took a welcome maiden win for the returning Honda team from Matthew Wilson and Ryan Pelser’s KTMs. Kenny Gilbert was crushing in Senior victory in ninth overall aboard his Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki as Jaycee Nienaber closed off the top ten on his OR1 Pepson Plastics Spherical Logistics Kawasaki.

In the classes, Cox took OR1 from Pentecost and Nienaber in his guest Kawasaki outing, Husqvarna newcomer Michael Docherty and Hayden Louw on a Yamaha. Always in the hunt, Fitz-Gerald took his maiden Cross Country class win from Swanepoel, Heygate, Erik Merry’s Husqvarna and KTM rider Kyle Eggar in OR2. Peter Karam took a massive maiden National class win in OR3 for Honda from KTM Factory rider Wilson, Pelser, Taki Bogiages’ Pespson Motul Kawasaki, Haydn Cole’s Sleepover CIT Honda and John Botha’s Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki.

Gilbert dominated Seniors on his Kawasaki from Wade Blaauw’s Sleepover CIT Honda, Marco Cocci’s Yamaha, Ronald Venter and Alain du Toit on a Husqvarna. Warrick van Schalkwyk made it a Kawasaki double in Masters from Husqvarna trio, Greg Nairn, Mielies Le Roux, Wayne Farmer and Martin Poole. Derek Karam won High School on his KTM to make it a family double from Husqvarna duo Wian Wentzel and Cobus Bester and Rory Donaldson and Ross Ramseyer’s KTMs.

Brandon Clarke’s Husqvarna took primary school 85cc honours from Bruno Niebuhr and Murray Smith’s KTMs and Husqvarna duo AJ Louw and Franco Fourie and Werner Kleinhans and GJ Coetzee made it a Husqvarna 1-2 in the baby 65cc class from Jake Pretorius’ Kawasaki, Matthew Meyer on a Gas Gas and Liam Scheepers’ Husqvarna. The Trademore Group South African Cross Country will remain up north for the GXCC-run fourth round in Carletonville on the 9th July.

Issued on behalf of Trademore SA Cross Country

MSA MOTOCROSS NATIONAL ROUND 3

Round 3 of the MSA South African MX National Championship was hosted by the Bloemfontein Off-Road Club on the 14th of May. A sunny winter’s day with a well-prepared circuit delivered some sensational racing which showed why the popularity and health of the series is on the rise.



MX 50cc: Ross Mackenzie #85 took a double win, by taking full profit from critical errors made by his championship rivals Rayden Woolls #345 and lightning starter Lou Rademeyer #25. Woolls and Rademeyer crashed into each other while battling for the lead. They both remounted for the top 10 finishers. A battered and bruised Woolls lined up to fight again in race 2 but suffered another early crash and a damaged collarbone but still managed to rejoin for valuable points. Lou Rademeyer took 2nd overall with Rhys Carl Wentzel #404 3rd overall on his season debut.
 
 
MX 1: It was the Red Bull KTM show once again in MX 1 with Cameron Durow #58 and teammate Tristan Purdon doing battle with the likes of Michael Docherty #19, Anthony Raynard #23, and Jesse Wright #14.


 Durow took the race 1 hole-shot and pulled away to a comfortable win ahead of Purdon working his way through the field to P2, Raynard in 3rd and Docherty taking 4th after a mistake early in the race cost him a podium. KTM team manager Kerim Fitz-Gerald #108 impressive podium in heat 1 with a 3rd place. Purdon was out for revenge in race 2 as he fought all race long with his teammate Durow. Durow applied pressure all race long but could not find a way through on the #1 plate before the chequered flag. Jesse Wright made a big step forward into 3rd, while Docherty was forced to settle for another error-induced P4 which took him to 3rd overall for the day. Jayden Proctor put on a solid effort in both heats on his CRF 450 Honda and finished 6th overall.
 
 
MX High School: Luke Grundy #450 continued his dominant start to the season with another set of double wins challenged only by Swaziland’s Blake Young #44 who went 2-2 and Out of Africa/Monster Energy/Yamaha Hayden Tully who went 3-3 with two consistent rides in the highly competitive class. Barend du Toit #101 was once again a contender for the podium but some technical problems cost him dearly forcing him into 2 DNF’s. Kyle Townsend #89 had an outstanding day on his Cannabis Energy Drink sponsored KTM pushing through to P4 overall with Bryce Petersen #12 in P5
 
 
MX 65cc: Evan Frost #5 followed up his Round 2 double with another double at Round 3 by absolutely crushing his competition in heat 1 with a 32-second winning margin. Trent Valsecchi slashed that margin down to 4.3 seconds in heat 2 doing his best to pressure the easy-going Frost. Kabelo Ledwaba #80 could have had a much better day but was slowed down by early tangles with other riders in each heat. Valsecchi 2nd overall with reigning 50cc Champion Trenton Kretzmann continuing his adaptation to the 65cc class with 3rd overall.
 
 
MX 3/MX Ladies/MX Senior Support: With a carbon copy of the Pietermaritzburg result it was Tintswalo Yamaha’s Anthony Raynard #23 who took the MX3 class double win with Dean Wheeler #135 closing the gap to Raynard this round going 2-2 and Tyson Engelbrecht #100 earning 40 points going 3-3 for 3rd overall.
 
Kawasaki’s multiple SA champion Kayla Raaff #1 fought off the charges from the De Lima sisters, Leah Heygate #76 as well as the returning (and on form) Puck Klaassen #88. Raaff finished P1 in both heats followed up by Heygate. Cheyenne De Lima #4 came out on top on this occasion of the sibling rivalry with a 3rd overall and Jadene De Lima #77 and Klaassen completing the overall top 5.
 
An increase in entries for the MX Support class saw some new contenders in action to challenge veteran Quentin Foster #51. Zaydrian Grace#74 beat out Foster for P1 with Cristopher Warner #141 completing the MX Support podium.
 
MX 2: The best racing of the day undoubtedly came out of the MX 2 class. Some newer faces showing their pace while the established names in the championship went to war. Cameron Durow #58 maintained his form out the gate this season with a hard win race 1 victory. Tristan Purdon was 4th in heat 1 after a late crash 2 corners after taking the lead from Durow. Stav Orland and Jono Mlimi were the only two other riders to challenge the top 2 riders from 2021. Orland was strong all race long leading early and eventually finishing 2nd. Class Rookie Mlimi #259 found his first podium finish of the season in 3rd.
 
Race 2 saw the top 4 from race 1 exchanging positions early on until Durow and Purdon pulled away and focused on their inter-team battle for supremacy. After stalking each other for a couple of laps fireworks would eventually spark between the teammates. Purdon and Durow would engage in an intense and incredibly entertaining battle which could easily remind one of the classic Stewart VS Reed battles back in the day. With a few laps to go the KTM teammates would collide with each other and both riders going down. They remounted still leading the race with Mlimi #259 briefly squeezing into 2nd position before Durow would come back through to continue his battle with Purdon. After a series of on-the-limit back and forth overtakes the duo would clash again on the final lap with Purdon coming out on top ahead of Durow. Mlimi #259 watched the chaos unfold in front of him and made his way onto the podium for the 2nd time that day. Stav Orland #265 was 4th overall with the returning Joshua Mlimi #411, back in SA National MX (this time in Husqvarna colours) finishing 5th overall.
 
 
MX 85cc: With some of the 85cc juniors returning from a recent outing racing in Europe, it would mean that the level would only get higher in the ultra-competitive 85cc class. The top 3 riders on the podium and the championship were in a class of their own finishing both heats and battling amongst themselves a long way ahead of the chasing pack. Neil van der Vyver #18 and Jordan van Wyk #747 shared P1 and P3 in each race finishing the day equal on points with van der Vyver finishing 1st overall courtesy of his race 2 wins. Trey Cox completed a solid points haul with a 2-2 result on his Red Bull KTM. Jake van Schoor had a really good day in 4th overall ahead of Christian Berrington-Smith and Matthew Correia
 
Another day of world-class motocross racing, with much more still to come this season. We’re all looking forward to Round 4 which takes place at Rover Circuit in Port Elizabeth on the 2nd of July 2022.


Published by: Themba Khumalo

Photography by:  Ruben Louw