Category Archives: FMN News South Africa

2022 ROOF OF AFRICA – WADE YOUNG WINS A MAGNIFICENT SEVENTH

As the overnight leader in the Gold Class, defending champion Wade Young (Sherco Factory Racing powered by Motul), led from the off today to cross the line in first place and notch up his seventh Roof victory. This was no procession, however, as he was pushed hard the whole way by Mani Lettenbichler (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and for some part of the morning, Travis Teasdale (ASP Rope Mclarens Racing), who finished second and third respectively.


With heavy overnight rain once again necessitating a change of route due to swollen rivers, conditions on the whole were much better than the previous day, with riders able to adopt a more flowing style as the route dried out slightly in the sunshine.


In Wade’s own words, he went out ‘hot’ and tried to ride as smoothly as possible, maintaining his intensity and minimising mistakes so that the riders in pursuit would have to push hard, and take more chances on the unforgiving terrain. By halfway, just after Soldiers Way, he had pulled a 4:30 minute lead but Mani clawed some of that back to just over 2:24 minutes by the finish.


Mani was happy with his result, being only his 2nd Roof, and while he pushed hard in the morning to stay with Wade, he conceded that navigation was a challenge for European riders like him who are not used to the Roof’s race format of pure GPS routes with limited marking. ‘With so many bushes and so many different paths to choose from, reading the terrain around you becomes so important and I’ve definitely learnt a lot for next time.”


This year’s Roof of Africa podium featured not only the 7-time winner of the Mother of Hard Enduro, but the 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Champion and 2022 SA Extreme Enduro Champion. With seven Roof wins under his belt, Wade is now just two wins away from equalling the all-time record held by Alfie Cox, whose last victory came in 2001.


“The Maloti Mountain weather presented us with some serious logistical challenges this year – even more so than usual,” commented Charan Moore, Roof Race Director and Founder of Live Lesotho. “We’re therefore especially proud that we were able to deliver another classic edition of the Roof, and that we could provide a rewarding challenge for everyone from the world’s top Enduro riders to the weekend warriors in the Iron Class,” he added.


Once again, it was the riders in the Silver Class who had the longest day in the saddle, and this is where perhaps the greatest upset happened. Overnight leader Austin Stuart (Orange County KTM) saw his 25-minute lead whittled away due to technical difficulties, leaving the way open for a trio of young Durban riders to occupy the podium.


Luke Walker (Motorex Alfie Cox KTM)  and 16-year-old prodigy Thomas Scales (Ride KTM Durban) both passed Walker’s teammate Daniel Schröder, with Walker’s winning time being 9h32:27 across the three days of the Roof.


The battle for the Bronze Class honours was hard-fought to the end, with Tate Ströh ultimately emerging victorious on one of just four Yamahas in the finishing field of 200 bikes. His winning margin was just over 22 minutes from Stiaan Potgieter (KTM), and Stefan Tolmay (also KTM) in third.  


Meanwhile, riders in the Iron Class completed the full route for Day 2 with the winner being Tom Classen (KTM) who led from start to finish. He was joined on the podium by Pieter Kritzinger in second and Jack Brotherton in third, both also on KTM bikes.


To see the full results of the 2022 Roof of Africa and a gallery of great Enduro racing images, visit the official website: https://roofofafrica.co.ls//

Published by:  Listen Up on behalf of Live Lesotho

SWANEPOEL TO STAR SOLO AT THE ROOF OF AFRICA 2022

The notorious Roof of Africa is back in full force and star rider Brett Swanepoel will be flying the Husqvarna flag high in the Maluti Mountains.

An excited Swanepoel commented on the weather conditions, “Looks like it’s going to be another wet Roof, but the team and I are ready for whatever gets thrown our way. Feeling strong and ready for some tough racing ahead, bring on the week.”

Group manager Grant Frerichs said “This is the smallest team we have ever had at the Roof of Africa but it means there is 100 percent focus on Brett and all the teams attention can be on him to get the best result possible” He went on to say, “Brett has had a phenomenal year on a national level but really bad luck at all the international races he competed in. We are hoping the stars align this time around and he gets the result he deserves.”

We are excited to see how the 2022 Roof of Africa unfolds and wish Brett Swanepoel the best of luck.

Published by: Grant Frerichs

WILLIAM SLATER JOINS BROTHER LEADER TREAD KTM TEAM

William Slater has joined the Brother Leader Tread KTM team heading into the Roof of Africa next week.


Slater is no stranger in the enduro scene and boasts a host of accolades uncluding IMPI hard enduro overall titles and a 4th place finish at last years Roof of Africa race in the Gold class. The likeable man from KZN is looking to stomp his authority at this years event as well as accross the enduro calendar in 2023 for the team. William is very well known for his impecable mechanical skills as well as his technical riding ability and looks forward to showing up at the Roof with a brand new 2023 KTM 300 XC-W ready to race the best in the world. He commented, “I’ve got the right people backing me and I am looking forward to racing my bike in Maluti mountains”.

Grant Frerichs, KTM marketing manager, commented “Having Willaim join the team is a great investment for us. He has been helped by KTM Durban for the last few years and has shown great potential especially in the technical hard enduro races. We look forward to supplying him with all the tools to get the job done and hope to help him reach his live long goal of being crowned South African champion in 2023.:

Published by:  Grant Frerichs

HUSQVARNA RACING REFLECT ON 2022 MX CHAMPIONSHIP

This weekend saw the 2022 MX National Championship draw to a close giving Husqvarna Racing some time to reflect on what on all counts was a challenging season. Grant Frerichs from Husqvarna South Africa summed it up saying he has every reason to be proud of the team. “2022 is a wrap and we faced some significant adversity this season like losing star rider David Goosen to a career-ending injury mid-season and being forced to try patch things up, yet still managing some solid results,” Frerichs said. Both Josh Mlimi and Davin Cocker showed promise moving on to the 2023 season he commented. “Phenomenal result from young Neil van der Vyver who went out swinging bringing home 1st places in both heats, he did everything possible but he had to settle for 2nd overall in the Championship kind of sums up our season” Frerichs added. “We are all looking forward to some downtime to recover and refocus for the 2023 season,” he said.
 
Van der Vyver had the perfect weekend and got some redemption by taking the win ahead of rival Trey Cox in both heats. “The first heat went smooth for me being able to control things from the front but the second heat I had to battle from mid-pack and bashed bars with Trey for a couple of laps before managing to pass him and take the win,” he said.  “It is frustrating that I still fell short with a few points, but it was a great season with a lot learnt in the process. Of course, I need to thank my Husqvarna team for all the effort they put in for me this year” van der Vyver said.
 
Cocker and Mlimi battled bravely and both brought home solid results as they continue to build for what is set to be a significant 2023 season.
 
Mlimi finished 2nd in MX1 and 4th in MX2 saying “I had a few hiccups and made some mistakes that cost me, but nonetheless I’m really happy with how I’ve progressed over the last couple of nationals, the team and I have a really good base to build on for 2023.”

Cocker, in turn, said, “So happy to be back racing MX again, I’m slowly getting back to where I left off and I can’t wait for more of that next season “.
 

Published by:  Grant Frerichs

Photography by:  Sage Lee Voges – ZCMC Media

RED BULL KTM RED PLATE RAMPAGE

It was another bullish weekend results wise for the Red Bull KTM boys after a very successful outing at the final round of the Motocross National Championship held at Chestnut Hill this weekend. The team walked off with the laurels in all the classes they competed in. Grant Frerichs from KTM South Africa said the team delivered incredible racing. “The guys wrapped up all of their respective championship title battles!” He went on to say, “It was significant and special walking off with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the championship in the MX2 class on board our brand new 2023 model bikes giving a glimpse of what is to come next season.”
 
Tristan Purdon rounded off a flawless weekend of racing wrapping up his journey with KTM South Africa in fine style. “I really had a good day, I knew I had to win MX2 to have any chance at the championship and did just that” a pondering Purdon said. “I won both heats, closing down a 7-point gap to just 1 point difference” he mused. Purdon added that he has every reason to be happy with his performance on the day saying, “In the end, I managed to win all 4 moto’s as well as being fastest in qualifying in MX1 and MX2, so really happy to end things like that.” Purdon who will be racing in Europe next season in a moment of reflection said, “I want to thank the whole team for the awesome 4 years we have had racing for Red Bull KTM bringing home 4 championship titles together.”
 
It was a roller coaster of a season for Cameron Durow. “It was a long season with loads of travelling, many highs, broken collar bone, and some low mixed in with some seriously intense close racing the 2022 season is certainly one for the books,” Durrow said.


That said, Durrow still managed to finish the season with the MX2 National Championship title and is clearly happy about that. “Round 6 was a tough round for me in both MX1 and MX2, Chestnut is a track I have always struggled with but this weekend I managed to do exactly what I needed to, finish it off with two 2nd places to bring home the MX2 Championship,” a clearly relieved Durow said. “This was my first full season on the KTM 450 SX-F and it is really amazing to be part of this orange family, I can’t thank my team enough for the support throughout the season,” Durow said.
 
Jono Mlimi battled with bad luck during his season’s final race. “I am happy to get the last round done and dusted, I got a flat tyre during the first race that forced me to fight back to end up in 12th’he said. “In the second race I wanted to get a better result and I fought through the field to get a 5th place which I’m happy to still get 3rd overall in the championship in my first year of racing the KTM 250 SX-F” he said.
 
Luke Grundy claimed his first-ever Championship title. “The last round was a good one for me, I managed to secure the overall with a 1stand a 2nd and already knew I had the championship in the bag after the first moto,” he said. He went on to say, “I’m beyond stoked about winning the Championship since it’s my first one and I can’t put into words how happy I am, massive thanks to my team and family behind me!”

Young Trey Cox also managed to bring home his first National Championship title. “This year has been so solid for me from leading the championship the whole year and pulling off not finishing worse than second in a moto the whole year” Cox commented. “I’m so stoked to take home the championship, I have been working for this for so long and I can’t thank everyone involved enough,” Cox said smiling.
 
 
Special mention must go out to Evan Frost, Dean Wheeler, and Lou Rademeyer also winning their respective championships on board KTM Motorcycles.
 
Published by:  Grant Frerichs

Photography by:  Sage Lee Voges – ZCMC Media