Category Archives: FMN News South Africa

THE 2021 MOTUL ROOF OF AFRICA DAY 1: A RIGHT ROYAL SEND-OFF AS THE MOTHER OF HARD ENDURO RETURNS

There was a palpable sense of excitement at Thaba Bosiu, Lesotho on the morning of Thursday 25 November 2021 as the 2021 Motul Roof of Africa got under way. The adrenaline was tempered by relief – not only that the threatened rain held off for the entire morning, but also that the Roof was happening at all.

This lent itself to a warm and genuine sense of community as old friends and rivals met up again – in many cases, for the first time since the last running of the Roof back in 2019.

Once the pleasantries had been observed, the serious business of the Time Trial got under way. This year, the signal for hostilities (of the riding kind) to be resumed was a wave of the iconic blue, white and green Lesotho tricolor by the King of Lesotho, King Letsie III. His Majesty was accompanied by the Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Moeketsi Majoro and a delegation from the Lesotho Government.

“Despite the clouds, all the Gold, Silver and Bronze Class competitors got to enjoy a nice, dry, clear run, as did most of the riders in the newly introduced Iron Class. With a mix of fast, flowing sections and some more challenging technical areas, this was 55km of classic Lesotho riding and served as an excellent curtain raiser for this year’s event,” commented Charan Moore, Race Director and Founder of Live Lesotho.

Occupying the podium at the end of the Time Trial were Travis Teasdale (Trax TT Racing) who recorded the fastest time of the day with 1:28:51. In the process, he edged out defending champion Wade Young (Sherco Factory Racing) who took second place, just 20 seconds behind Teasdale. Matt Green (TT Racing) finished in third, a further 3 minutes 35 seconds behind Young. Coincidently, all three riders on the Gold Class podium have recently returned from competing on the European Hard Enduro circuit and it showed in their performances today.

“We’re delighted to be back at the Motul Roof of Africa and to see that the standard of riding is as high as ever,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean. “Today’s Time Trial really delivered when it came to excitement, and the stage has been set for an epic showdown in the Maluti Mountains from tomorrow – exactly the sort of racing that has made the Roof a Hard Enduro legend,” she added.

Competition was equally fierce in the Silver Category, with 2019’s Bronze Class winner Austin Stuart (Orange County KTM) making his intentions clear with a blisteringly quick time of 1:42.19, almost 10 minutes quicker than second-placed Anthony Abrahamse (Roost KTM).

Similarly in the Bronze Class, Time Trail winner Rory Gower came in almost 10 full minutes ahead of veteran Pieter Holl (Bert Smit Allstars).

For the first time, the Roof included an Iron Class for ‘weekend warriors’ and this naturally generated a lot of interest, as well as giving rise to some excellent performances – not least Tiaan Rabe who finished ahead of Chris Weideman (Zenga Plant Hire).

“With rain predicted for the next two days, it’s safe to say that the 2021 Motul Roof of Africa will represent a formidable challenge to all those who have entered,” concluded Moore. “The Mother of Hard Enduro is back!”

Follow all the latest action and find awesome Roof images and video on the Motul Roof of Africa Facebook page throughout the race.

LIVE LESOTHO
Live Lesotho is an adventure sports and event management company specialising in motorsports events and tours in Lesotho. They have a successful track record of organising high-profile events and are passionate about encouraging more people to experience Lesotho.


You can learn more about Live Lesotho here: http://www.livelesotho.co.ls/

Issued by Listen Up on behalf of Live Lesotho and Motul:

ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA REIGNS SUPREME

GEARING UP FOR THE ‘MOTHER OF HARD ENDURO’


As the 2021 season slowly draws to a close, riders are gearing up for the Motul Roof of Africa, the pinnacle of the hard Enduro calendar.

After their recent performance in the National Extreme Enduro Championship, all eyes will be on Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Brett Swanepoel and Heinrich Aust. In an unforgettable season finale, the pair took top honours in the E2 and E1 Class respectively.

With a slender one point lead, Swanepoel entered into a winner-takes-all battle with Luke Walker. While he started off with a blistering pace, Swanepoel describes hitting a wall after a few climbs into the route. With his sights set on glory, the rider dug deep and finished third overall and second in his class – a result that secured victory in his class overall.

“I’ve done many races in my career, but I can undoubtedly say that this was the toughest day I’ve ever had on a bike before. By the last lap I was counting down the metres to the finish,” said Swanepoel.

After a recalculation of the championship points it was recently revealed that Swanepoel also claims the title of Overall National Enduro Champion. Combined with his Extreme Championship victory, the rider takes the highest honour in the National Enduro Super Series Challenge (NESS) this year – a combination of the Extreme and National Championship.

“The Extreme Enduro Championship holds a lot of value in this country, so to win it is something I take great pride in. I was gutted when I heard I didn’t win the National series, so to discover I won that too made it one of my sweetest wins yet!” said Swanepoel.

Adding to the team’s bragging rights is another Extreme Championship title from young gun Heinrich Aust. His class victory skyrocketed him to the top of the NESS leaderboard, where he finished right behind his teammate in second.

It’s been an incredible debut season for the rising star who was recruited by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna this year. With the “Mother of Hard Enduro” looming large in Lesotho later this month, the rider will certainly make the most of the opportunity to take the event by storm.

“The final Extreme event was my favourite – it was super technical. Husqvarna made sure I had the best weapon on the start line. My bike felt good and my body felt strong – it was just an awesome day of racing and it gave me a massive confidence boost as the Roof approaches,” said Aust.

Published by: Fred Fensham

Photography by: Sage Lee Voge (www.zcmc.co.za)

KTM BOLSTERS ITS RANKS WITH THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS

New Riders Revealed for 2022 Season

KTM South Africa is proud to announce a star-studded line-up of riders that have been added to the Brother Leader Tread KTM and Red Bull KTM team for 2022. In a massive scoop for the team, Blake Gutzeit will be stepping onto a KTM 300 XC-W TPI from November 2021.

Hailing from the small town of Oslo Beach on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal Natal, Gutzeit has rapidly become one of the most technically gifted riders in the world. Gutzeit’s first memory on a motorbike is at the age of three, but his racing career only actually started from about the age of 14. The rider is a former Junior World Champion in SuperEnduro and currently lies fifth in the World Championship Prestige Class.


His glittering resume includes a National Enduro title, a fourth place at the Roof of Africa and finishing the Erzberg Rodeo. By his own admission, he mentions that his performances in the extreme Enduro races around the world haven’t quite lived up to his own lofty expectations – something he will be desperate to set right with his new team at the Roof of Africa. While Gutzeit has had minimal time to switch his preparations from the upcoming SuperEnduro season to training for this year’s Mother of Hard Enduro, he reveals his plan to win the prestigious event.

“Joining an official factory team is going to make it so much easier to focus all my attention on winning at the Roof, which is my number one focus with the team. I just love to win and it is one hundred percent my goal to stand atop the podium at the Roof of Africa next year and to attempt to do the same this year,” he said.


After the call to join the team from KTM CEO Franziska Brand, he added: “Brandl has been instrumental in bringing such a fire back to KTM and also the National Enduro Championship. She is a big part of the reason why the sport is going through a revival in South Africa.”


Brother Leader Tread KTM have also managed to capture the signing of the hugely exciting Enduro prospect Matthew Stevens, who will be riding in the J1 class on the KTM 125 XC next season. Stevens is the youngest ever finisher of the Gold Class at the IMPI Enduro and is already a two time national Enduro Champion.


Stevens has massive dreams and tells the story that at the age of nine he wrote his goals on the ceiling above his bed in permanent marker – one of those goals being to win the Roof of Africa in 2023. Stevens has a hugely impressive work ethic and he stands by the ethos that his father has put in place for him: “Any goal is 100% doable if I have a plan, put in the work, surround myself with good people, and have a never-say-die attitude,” he said.


In the highly competitive field of Cross Country riders, Brother Leader Tread KTM will unleash the flying Zambian, Scott Heygate. The rider will represent the orange squad in the OR2 Class aboard a KTM 350 XC-F.


The 20 year old lives on a farm on the outskirts of a small town in Zambia called Chingola and practically grew up on a 50cc that his grandfather bought him at five years old. Heygate has since gone on to win the Zambian Motocross Championship the last five years in a row and in 2021 finished second in the South African National Cross Country Championship in the OR3 class.


The team will also be adding young gun Matthew Wilson to their cross country roster, who will competing in the OR3 Class next season. The 17 year old has been winning championships since the age of nine with multiple Gauteng Regional and National Championships under his belt.


Wilson first stepped onto a bike at the age of three and by age eight was already going bar to bar with his rivals on a 65cc. The rider does most of his riding at Rhino Park and is also dedicated to putting in the work off the bike with a rigorous gym schedule.


Joining the fray on the motocross scene is Luke Grundy. The young gun will represent the Red Bull KTM team in the High School class in 2022 aboard a KTM 125 SX with his sights firmly set on being crowned the National Champion next year.


Grundy lives in Amanzimtoti, Durban, and does the large majority of his training at Cato Ridge, Thundervalley and Hammersdale. The prodigious young talent has represented South Africa at the FIM Junior World Championships in Italy in 2019 and attributes his already lengthy list of successes to a relentless work rate.


Grundy expressed his immense admiration for the Red Bull KTM team and admitted that he is honoured to race for what he considers the best racing team in the country. Grundy will bring a massive dose of youthful energy and pace to the team and he will be frothing to fight for his first holeshot for his new team.

The remaining riders of the Red Bull KTM and Brother Leader Tread KTM team will be announced at a later stage.

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney – KTM Motorcycles SA

Picture Caption: Blake Gutzeit signs wih Brother Leader Tread KTM.

PURDON AND MLIMI CROWNED MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONS

National Motocross Championship – Season Finale

The National Motocross Championship came to an unforgettable close for Red Bull KTM in Pretoria this weekend. The team snatched up three national titles as Tristan Purdon took top honours in both the MX1 and MX2 Championship respectively, and young gun Jonathan Mlimi stormed to victory in the High School Championship. Adding to the celebrations at the orange camp was some silverware from Cameron Durow and Trey Cox, who finished second in their respective classes.

As a fairly new track on the racing circuit, Legends MX leveled out the playing field and ensured that there were no favourites on Saturday. With a comfortable lead and one hand on the MX1 Championship, Purdon put on one of his best performances of the season to secure the prestigious title for the second consecutive year.

With a flag-to-flag win, the rider was elated with his performance. He commented: “What a special moment. Thank you to everyone that has helped get me here and especially to my awesome team for everything that they provide for me. Now let’s get 2022 on the road!”

With a slightly less comfortable lead in the MX2 Class, Purdon lined up to fight tooth and nail with teammate Cameron Durow. As one of 2021’s newest recruits, the talent-stacked Durow held nothing back as he raced to not only set the fastest qualifying time, but take the victory in both motos.

All Purdon had to do to snatch the championship, however, was to closely follow his teammate to the finish line. With a performance that showcased the promising future of both riders, the Red Bull KTM team couldn’t be more excited for what next year has in store.

“It was one of my best races of the season – I gave that last round everything I possibly could. Only four points kept me from winning the championship. I’m also really proud of my progress in MX1– I managed to finish second in both heats. I am more motivated than ever and can’t wait to see what next season has in store – a huge thank you to my team and everyone that’s in my corner,” said Durow.

In yet another stellar performance, Jonathan Mlimi took a clean sweep to win the High School Championship. All the rider had to do was put the finishing touches on the 46-point lead that he’d established by the final round. With yet another double win, Mlimi takes the prestigious title for the second year in a row.

“To be honest, I didn’t start the year off too well. I managed to get it together throughout the season and achieve what I’d set out to do. This is a back-to-back championship, which makes it even more special! Thank you to my sponsors and everyone that’s been behind me,” said Mlimi.

Like Durow, Red Bull KTM’s Trey Cox only narrowly missed a national title. With a slender lead, he entered a three-way battle for the Pro Mini Championship this weekend. After a demanding day in the saddle, the rider missed the top step by a mere three-point deficit.


“It’s a tough pill to swallow to know I missed the championship by only three points, especially after I had the red plate for five rounds. That’s racing, though, and I can only come back stronger! I’m still stoked with how my rookie Pro Mini year went. Thank you to my team for the opportunity and believing in me,” said Cox.

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney – KTM Motorcycles SA

Photography by: Sage Lee Voges

SA MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONS CROWNED IN PRETORIA

What South African National Motocross Finals Report
Where Rhino Hills Park, Pretoria
When Saturday 20 November 2021
Community South Africa National

Purdon does the double as MX titles come to a head at Rhino Park

Tristan Purdon was the star of the day as he wrapped up both the 2021 Cannabis Energy Drink TRP Distributors South African MX1 and MX2 senior motocross titles at Rhino Park near Pretoria on Saturday. Grant Frerichs meanwhile won the MX3 title, Kayla Raaf is the ’21 SA Ladies and Joshua Mlimi the High School champion. Emmanuel Bako, Matthew Correia, Blade Tilley and Trenton Kretzman meanwhile took the four Junior SA MX titles.

Red Bull KTM hero Purdon romped to a back-to-back MX1 title with yet another premier class double over teammate and closest title rival Cameron Durow. David Goosen clinched the title third for Energy Drink Husqvarna with a tie on points for third for the day with Yamaha lad Jesse Wright as they shared out the third and fourth places. Jayden Proctor’s KTM, Arnu Saaiman on a Honda and Johan Vogelesang’s KTM were next home.

Cameron Durow did the 250cc MX2 double, but all teammate Tristan Purdon had to do was follow him home to take his second ‘21 title. Which is precisely what he did to take it by a handful of points. David Goosen took both third places too, to end third in the title chase behind Durow, with KTM duo Leonard du Toit and Jayden Proctor who were next up following a day long duel with Cross Country refugee Davin Cocker’s Husqvarna.

Husqvarna rider Grant Frerichs wrapped up the MX3 title with a double win over Ian Topliss’ Yamaha, with the Hondas of Bruce Viljoen and Philip Harper next up. And Kayla Raaff rode her Kawasaki to another South African Ladies Motocross title with a double win over KTM lass Leah Heygate. The de Lima sisters, Jadene and Cheyenne were next up on their Husqvarnas.

Jonathan Mlimi put the finishing touches to another SA High School 125 cc Motocross championship with another double win on his Red Bull KTM. Miguel de Waal’s KTM was second in both motos. Husqvarna rider Luke Grundy and Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha lad Ethan Hoffman shared out the thirds and fourths ahead of Callan Broskie’s Husqvarna and Blake Young and Bryce Perersen’s KTMs.

In perhaps the Cannabis Energy TRP SA Motocross title fight of the year, Emmanuel Bako completed a remarkable come from behind championship win with double 85 cc Pro Mini victories over Neil van der Vyver and Ryan Adler in a Husqvarna 1-2-3. Championship leader leading into the finale, Trey Cox’s Red Bull KTM tied for fourth with Jordan van Wyk on another Husqvarna on the day, ahead of Cobus Bester.

KTM kid Matthew Correia played it safe en route to his 85 cc Junior title. He simply followed Tyler Petersen’s Husqvarna home to second in each race. Tyla Sheppard emerged a surprise third in the small-wheel 85 cc class ahead of regular frontrunners Andrew Venter’s KTM, Caden Weise on a Husqvarna and KTM kid Kassim Hassim.

Aiden Henley’s Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha was unstoppable en route to a double 65cc motocross win over title contender Blake Frost’s KTM and Husqvarna lad Sven Larsen. But none of that was enough to prevent Blade Tilley’s GasGas from scraping home to take the title with fourth on the day. He fought off Chris Brindley and Nicol Smit’s Husqvarnas for those vital points.

And a win and a third en route to second on the day behind Rayden Woolls’ GasGas, was enough for Trenton Kretzmann to wrap up the baby 50cc motocross title. Yamaha lad Cassie van Zyl held Aiden Retief’s KTM off for third ahead of Lou Rademayer’s Husqvarna and Hendrico Barwise on a Gas Gas. James Riley was next up ahead of Kaylin Oosthuizen’s KTM.

2021 proved after another challenging SA Motocross year that evolved as lockdown once again caused the calendar to adapt though the season. Still, SA’s finest put on a stellar show throughout, with most teams and riders already flat out in preparation for the 2022 season. All eight Cannabis Energy Drink and TRP Distributors South African National motocross champions mentioned above remain subject to MSA ratification.

The 2021 South African National Motocross Championship was proudly presented by Motorsport South Africa in partnership with Cannabis Energy Drink, TRP Distributors, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Pro Taper, 100%, Fly Racing, Ogio, Bandit Graffix and the Race Shop.

Issued on behalf of SA Motocross

Photography by: Ruben Louw