Category Archives: FMN News South Africa


It was a rollercoaster of emotion for the Husqvarna Racing team this past weekend at the fifth and final round of the National Cross Country Championship conquering the relentless heat and challenges. In a race marked by adversity, Davin Cocker’s remarkable performance in the OR2 class and the team’s determination stood as a testament to their unwavering commitment to excellence and the sport.

Despite facing a couple of difficulties, Davin Cocker showcased his exceptional riding capabilities and commitment by piloting his Husqvarna FX350 to the top spot in the OR2 class after dealing with setbacks and unfortunately losing the formidable Overall Championship. Clawing his way back from 16th to 12th overall and first in OR2 class in just two laps.

Cocker’s tenacity and talent ensured that he maintained his remarkable form and secured another victory for round 5, further solidifying his status as a force to be reckoned with in off-road racing.

He commented, “2023 ended with a twist, not necessarily what we wanted but still happy with my end result. I’m super stoked to come away with the victory in OR2 and 2nd in the overall championship. I can’t wait to get back into the racing next year with new changes and improvements, thanks to the Husqvarna Racing team, everyone behind me, and for all the support they give. I couldn’t do it without you all.”

Group Marketing Coordinator, Megan Prinsloo, commended Davin Cocker’s remarkable achievement, saying, “Davin’s performance in Bloemfontein was nothing short of remarkable. He faced a challenging race with the odds stacked against him, but his determination and skill prevailed. Winning the OR2 class is a testament to his talent and the exceptional capabilities of the Husqvarna FX350.”

Ryan Pelser, competing in the OR3 class, having a solid day in the saddle, secured a seventh-place finish. Despite the challenges encountered, Pelser stayed committed to the race and the team to persevere in challenging conditions.

Pelser said, “It was my first time racing in Bloemfontein and it was the fastest race of the season. I enjoyed the Time Trial and finished 3rd in OR3. The main race was fast and challenging. I will work hard to come back stronger!”

Closing off the season Megan Prinsloo commented, “It was a long and hard year of racing, and we are very proud of our riders. We will come back strong and fight for the Overall Championship win next year!”

Published by: Grant Frerichs

Photography by: ZCMC Media


The Brother Leader Tread KTM racing team achieved remarkable success at the battle royale round of the National Cross Country Championships held in Bloemfontein, braving scorching temperatures and challenging dusty conditions to clinch three red plate championships! This triumphant performance showcased the team’s tireless dedication to excellence in off-road racing.

In a grueling race that tested the mettle of every rider, the team demonstrated their prowess and never-ending dedication to emerge victorious.
Bradley Cox, a formidable force in the OR1 class, not only secured the OR1 championship and overall championship but also celebrated his remarkable 10th championship, cementing his legacy as one of South Africa’s finest riders.

“I am super happy to wrap up the title, what a crazy day today, first off with me just being pretty useless in the time trial and having to come from behind in the field. The tyre issue we faced for more than half of the time, really had my nerves on an all-time high,” Cox commented.

He went on to say, “To cross the finish line and find out I also won the overall title was just the cherry on top of my year. It has been a big goal to get this 10th title, especially after my crash at Dakar and the injury that followed. Big thank you to Brother Leader KTM team for a great year and helping me achieve this amazing goal.”

Kerim Fitz-Gerald, no stranger in the racing industry snatched up his very first cross-country championship in the Seniors class. This milestone victory serves as a significant stepping-stone for Fitz-Gerald as he prepares to embark on the prestigious Dakar Rally next year.

Fitz-Gerald said, “The day was quite tough, and I had an unexpected race day which is also good so we know how we can be better and prevent it from happening again. Saturday wasn’t an easy race day for me, we all had a couple of setbacks out of our control but all in all I’m so happy to have won. So stoked to say that I have a cross-country championship under my belt now. We will give it another go next year and return swinging in 2024.”

Flying the orange flag high in the OR3 class, Matthew Wilson, displayed exceptional skill and consistency to claim his second championship, further establishing himself as a rising star in the sport and someone to keep an eye on. Wilson stated “The final round of the national cross-country championship was an all-or-nothing day for me. The time trial went great for me, I qualified 1st in class and 5th overall, and the main race was one of my most enjoyable races ever! Peter Karam and I were dicing for first place all day long and I knew I had to win to have any chance at the championship, so I put my head down and came away with the win by 10 seconds and the OR3 national title.”

He further went on to say, “My Brother Leader Tread KTM ran like a dream all day long and we were able to put it on the top step once again. It was a rollercoaster of a season for me with bad results at the beginning of the year but after the doubleheader in Ganyesa, I was back in championship contention. Thank you to my amazing team for another great year and clinching that championship.”

Rounding off the array of achievements, Scott Heygate delivered exceptional skill and stability to claim a step on the podium and securing that well-deserved third-place finish in the OR1 class. Heygate’s tenacity and skill contributed significantly to the team’s overall success and putting KTM on top step.

“What an end to an up and down season for myself. Really happy to end on a high note and run up front again for a while. Moving up to the OR1 class came with a few extra challenges but I adapted well and looking forward to hopefully riding the 450 more and getting more comfortable. Just want to say a big thank you to the whole Brother Leader Tread KTM team for everything this season” Heygate commented.

Megan Prinsloo, Group Marketing Coordinator closed off the weekend saying, “It was a long day of racing in very challenging and hot conditions. I am very proud of the hard work and dedication that the team and riders put in to wrap up all three championships. We will be back to defend our titles next year!”

Published by: Grant Frerichs

Photography by: ZCMC Media


What Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Final Report
Where Bloemfontein, Free State
When Saturday 9 September 2023
Community South Africa National

Honda ends national Cross Country on a championship high

Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda Wing Racing in essence came, saw, and conquered at Saturday’s Bloemfontein Trademore South African Cross Country Motorcycle Championship finale. Not only did Team Red win four classes in the Free State, but it also took a championship and several title podiums, while Honda ended a close second in the coveted 2023 SA Cross Country Manufacturers championship.

“Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda Wing Racing is delighted with an exceptional 2023 National Cross Country Championship result,” team boss Harry Grobler explains. “Not only did Mike Pentecost win Bloemfontein’s finale overall, but Louwrens Mahoney dominated Seniors and Kobus Jonck won the Masters class, while Murray Smith made it a 100% season by winning every 85cc junior race en route to that championship title. Mike, Louwrens and Kobus ended up runners up in class too, and Honda also ended second in the Makers championship.”

Mike Pentecost ultimately emerged the dominant overall winner of a dramatic Bloemfontein race. “What a day!” Mike enthused. “My Franchise Co. Tork Craft team was flawless, my Honda CRF 450 RX never skipped a beat and I was on rails all day to take a fine victory to wrap up my National season. Pity we only just missed out on both the overall and OR1 class championships, but that’s racing! Thanks to my great team for all the effort and most of all, I salute my boss Harry Grobler and the entire Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda team for a job brilliantly done!”

Louwrens Mahoney was in likewise dominant Seniors form to win the Masters class aboard his Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda. “That was a great weekend,” Louwrens admitted. I have worked really hard since I made my racing comeback mid-season, and I’m delighted to now crown that with a first Masters class win for Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda Racing. Thanks to Harry for his belief in me and to the team for the huge effort as always. Man, it’s cool to be back on top!”

Kobus Jonck rode his Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda to his second Masters victory in as many races to wind up runner up in the Masters class. “That was a hard, dusty, and challenging race, but I’m delighted to close my Masters season with a double victory to reward my team for all the incredible effort they put in through the year. Thanks to Harry and the guys for all that, and to Honda Wing for my incredible Red Rocket. What a bike!”

The real team hero was however schoolboy racer Murray Smith, who scored a 100% clean sweep to dominate the 85cc Junior class for Franchise Co Tork Craft Racing. “Wow, what a season,” young Murray smiled. We had a golden National Cross County year and I am so proud to have won five races from five starts. I am grateful to be a part uncle Harry’s incredible team and I thank everyone who helped make this wonderful dream come true!”

The winners were not the only Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda riders to star at the Bloemfontein finale. John Botha enjoyed a strong national debut to bring his the big CRF 450 RX home eighth overall behind Senior teammate Mahoney, and fifth in open class OR1. “What a day, I had a so much fun and I’m really happy with my result. A big thank you to my team and Uncle Harry for all the support and an awesome year of racing!” OR1 teammates Gareth Cole and Hayden Louw came home seventh and eighth in class.

Wynand Delport thoroughly enjoyed his podium run to third in Seniors. “It was hot, it was dusty, it was fast but boy, was it fun!” Wynand grinned after the race. “I had a terrible time trial, but safely picked off riders one by one which made for a great ride. My Franchise Tork Craft Honda CRF 450 RX had zero issues, even when asked for every last ounce of power to haul down those long fast stretches. Thanks to Harry and the team for making sure we could compete at the sharp end of the field.”

Tyron Beverley brought his Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda home sixth in OR3. “The National Final series was a long day in the saddle after a tough time trial, but my Honda CRF 250 RX never skipped a beat all day and allowed me to push hard till the very end and a decent top six result.” Teammates Haydn Cole ended seventh in OR3 and Noah Maartens eleventh. Young Liam Scheepers meanwhile came home seventh in 85cc Juniors.

Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda is duly proud to come home a strong second in the 2023 SA Senior Manufacturer’s championship in the team’s maiden Cross Country racing season. “That wraps up an incredible first season of racing for our Honda team, “Harry Grobler concludes.

“We are proud of the stunning effort that every one of our Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda Wing Racing riders and crew put in throughout the Trademore MSA South African National Cross Country season. Especially at the Bloemfontein finals, where we won no less than four classes overall, while young Murray took his title among a whole lot of second places.

“Off a foundation like this we can only look to the future with great optimism and look forward to starting afresh in the new year. Well done to every last one of you, you have made us most proud!”

*Honda Racing salutes its partners, Tork Craft Tools, The Franchise Co, Sleepover Motels, CIT Accessories, Motul Oils, Mitas, Leatt Protectives, Pollisport, TNT Nutrition, Galfermoto brakes & Nitro Mousse

Issued on behalf of Honda Cross Country

Photography by: Action in Motion


What SA Cross Country Motorcycle Championship Round 5 Report
Where Bloemfontein, Free State
When Saturday 9 September 2023
Community South Africa National

Four National Cross Country titles in three years for Kawasaki

Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Factory Racing with Scottish Cables and Motul came home from Bloemfontein with a fourth Trademore South African Cross Country Motorcycle title in three years since Kawasaki returned to dirtbike racing in 2021. 2023 Masters champion Pieter Holl joins Pepson Plastics 2022 Masters champion Kenny Gilbert and Kawasaki’ double 2021 and ’22 OR1 champion Mike Pentecost on Team Green’s roll of honour.

“2023 was another vintage year for Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Factory Racing with Scottish Cables and Motul,” team principal Iain Pepper confirmed. “Not only did our Master Peter Holl ensure that Kawasaki has taken a title in every season since returning to National Cross Country Motorcycle racing, but the rest of the team enjoyed a great weekend too.

“Pieter came home second in Masters and both Jaycee Nienaber and Wian Wentzel rode into the top ten en route to sixth in OR1 and third on OR3, respectively. In the junior classes, Jake Pretorius was fifth in the National 65cc race and Jayden Boyce took the IPC High School win.”

Masters champion Pieter Holl was proud to fix the red number one plate to his Kawasaki on Saturday afternoon. “I was delighted to come home second in Bloemfontein to wrap up the 2023 South African Masters Cross Country Championship,” Pieter confirmed. “That was another great weekend of racing on a hard and fast track. “I must thank my incredible Pepson Plastics Kawasaki team for a brilliant machine at every race, and Iain for everything that has made this incredible result possible. Thank you all so much for a great season!”

Wian Wentzel was similarly delighted to return to National action in a fine third on OR3. “I really enjoyed another awesome weekend ripping my Kawasaki KX 250 X in Bloem,” Wian admitted. “The bike ran smoothly all day on a fast and flowing track, but the heat made racing conditions very challenging. Still, I pushed through to finish a strong third in class and tenth overall. “I’m stoked to end my national season on a high and big thanks to the whole team, my family and supporters for always backing me to enjoy doing what I love!”

Jaycee Nienaber was also happy with his top ten finish. “That was a hot, dusty, and challenging day in the saddle, with a combination of fast racing and some twisty challenges in between. My Pepson Plastics Kawasaki KX 450 X was ran strong as always, getting me to the finish line ninth overall and sixth on OR1. Huge thanks to the team as always for a fantastic bike and the opportunity to race it flat out!”

Pepson Plastics Kawasaki High School lad Jayden Boyce also enjoyed a positive outing as he picked up the IPC 125 cc win in the Free State finale. “It was hot and dusty, but I had a blast at Bloemfontein,” Jayden admitted. “Congratulations to oom Peter and all my teammates on a great weekend, and a huge thank you to my Pepson Plastics team!”

“That successfully wraps up another great Trademore South African National Cross Country Championship season for Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Factory Racing with Scottish Cables and Motul,” team boss Iain Pepper concluded. “There’s still the matter of the Gauteng GXCC championship to wrap up, but we must congratulate all our riders, and our whole team on another great national effort. Thank you, guys!”

*Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki Factory Racing salutes Gilberts Mining & Engineering, the Reinhardt Transport Group, Michelin, Arai, Bikewise, Acerbis and Renthal handlebars for their support.

Issued on behalf of Kawasaki Cross Country


What Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Finals Report
Where Bloemfontein, Free State
When Saturday 9 September 2023
Community South Africa National

Bradley pips Cocker, Pentecost to his second national title

The 2023 Trademore South African National Cross Country Championship came to a dramatic head at a brilliant Bloemfontein finale on Saturday. In an epic outcome, Bradley Cox followed overall winner and OR1 rival Michael Pentecost home to not only clinch that open title, but he also stole the overall championship from a devastated OR2 champion Davin Cocker.

Husqvarna rider Cocker had dominated the race from the outset and looked set to clinch the title with a deserved win, but the fickle finger of fate had other plans. First, a radiator hose disconnected, forcing Davin to stop and make a repair. And then if that was not enough, he ran out of fuel and wasted more precious minutes sorting that dilemma. He then chased flat out, but ultimately ended up three positions shy of where he needed to be.

That meant that Michael Pentecost took an emphatic eight minute overall Bloemfontein race victory for Honda over 450cc OR1 KTM rivals, one could say a fortuitous Bradley Cox and Scott Heygate. OR3 KTM top two, new champion Matthew Wilson and Peter Karam followed ahead of Ian Rall’s OR1 Gas Gas, while Seniors winner Louwrens Mahoney came home seventh on another Honda. OR1 duo, Honda rider John Botha and Kawasaki man Jaycee Nienaber were next up ahead of his OR3 teammate Wian Wentzel and Erik Merry’s Honda. Still the OR2 winner, Davin Cocker came home twelfth.

Pentecost only just failed to topple second man home Cox to the OR1 title, but he still had a great day in the saddle as he ultimately rode his Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda to an emphatic overall victory. Bradley Cox rode a calculated race to second to not only clinch that class title for Brother Leader tread KTM, but also to steal that overall championship. Teammate Scott Heygate ended third in the open class from Ian Rall’s Gas Gas, OR3 graduate John Botha’s Honda and Jaycee Nienaber on a Kawasaki. Francois de Greef’s Yamaha meanwhile took the Interprovincial OR1 win.

Husqvarna factory rider Davin Cocker’s OR2 win to wrap up his class championship year did little to console him losing the overall title in the end. He however still took the OR2 winner’s trophy and red plate from KTM trio Kyle Eggar, lady Cross Country heroine Leah Heygate, Juan Niebuhr Terri Hodge riding a Sherco and Barend Pretorius on another KTM. Zander King took OR2 IPC honours on a Yamaha.

Matthew Wilson took another 250cc OR3 victory for Brother Leader tread KTM, which was just enough to take the title from consistent Honda rider Peter Karam, who followed Wilson home in second. Wian Wentzel returned to action in Bloemfontein to take third for Pepson Plastics Kawasaki, ahead of Erik Merry on a Honda, Derek Karam’s Yamaha and Honda rider Tyron Beverley.

Louwrens Mahoney was in dominant Seniors form aboard his Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda, but it was never going to be enough to beat second man Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s Brother Leader Tread KTM to the title. That championship was already wrapped up at the previous round. Wynand Delport’s Honda ended third from Marco Cocci’s Yamaha and KTM men Fraser Couper and Ryan Smit. Husqvarna duo, Marcell Swart and Arnu Welgemoed took the Senior Club and Leisure wins.

Kobus Jonck rode his Franchise Co Tork Craft Honda to Masters victory over Pepson Plastics Kawasaki rider Pieter Holl, who had likewise already wrapped up that championship in the previous round. Wayne Farmer ended third on his Husqvarna from Anthonie van der Walt on a Sherco and KTM Man mielies Le Roux.

KTM did enough through all that to hold Honda off and clinch the 2023 South African Senior Cross Country Motorcycle Manufacturer’s championship over Honda.

In Junior action, Blake Young led Luke Walker and Nathan Westerdale home to a KTM High School 125cc 1-2-3 over Daniel Peckham’s Sherco and Rory Donaldson and Alecz Grobbelaar on another two KTMs. Jayden Boyce took the IPC win on his Kawasaki. Walker’s second place crowned him as 2023 South African Cross Country High School Champion.

Murray Smith made it a 100% season by winning every 85cc junior race of the year en route to a dominant title on his Franchise Co Tork Craft Husqvarna. He beat KTM duo Bruno Niebuhr and Franco Fourie, Nicol Smit’s Husqvarna, Jake Pretorius on a Kawasaki Drikus van der Merwe’s KTM to the Bloemfontein win.

GJ Coetzee Husqvarna similarly never lost a 65cc race en route to a clean sweep in the baby class title. He beat Ruald Potgieter’s Kawasaki Wilco Du Plooy on a Yamaha, KTM duo Cambeul du Preez and Joshua Fotheringham, and Travis Levey Yamaha over the weekend.

Husqvarna took the Junior Manufacturer’s title, while junior Interprovincial action saw Lekhela Mpharoane take 85cc honours on his KTM and Louwrens Alberts’ Yamaha taking the IPC 65cc win. That concludes the 2023 Trademore South African National Cross Country Championship.

Issued on behalf of SA Cross Country