Category Archives: FMN News South Africa

ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA’S BREAKTHROUGH RACE

NATIONAL MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 3


It was a breakthrough weekend of racing for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. The motocross team took on the third round of the season in Welkom last Saturday and brought home a podium position in the MX1, MX2 and Pro Mini Class respectively.

Leading rider David Goosen admits to entering the round without too many expectations after being unable to train as hard as he had intended due to an illness. Having raced consistently at the front end of the MX1 field this season, Goosen had set the specific goal to narrow the gap on the leading riders in MX2.

In one of his most impressive performances of the season, the rider set off with a blistering pace on Saturday to snatch up the win he had been waiting for in the first moto of MX2. With a third place in the final moto, Goosen was pleased to make progress and take second overall.

Adding to the celebration at the Husqvarna camp was yet another consistent performance from Goosen in MX1. In the highly competitive field, he described both motos as a “heated event that certainly didn’t make for easy racing.” Despite the stiff competition, Goosen went 2-2 to take second overall.

“The track conditions were great! The loam soil gets some nice lines and becomes super bumpy – which suits me quite well. My Husqvarna FC 450 and FC 250 were great – I’m really starting to find the sweet spots on both of them. At this point, I’m feeling really motivated for what you could call the ‘second half of the season’. With every race, I feel more excited to work on something new. There are things I want to fine-tune as I aim to bring home some wins, but I’m also just really happy with how consistent I’ve been,” said Goosen.

For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Neil van der Vyver, the day was off to a challenging start. After a slow qualifying time by his own high standard, the youngster made some adjustments to his setup before lining up for the first Pro Mini moto.

With a strong determination to come back swinging, Van der Vyver set off the take the holeshot in the first heat. From the moment he took the lead, the rider never looked back and stormed to his first win in the Pro Mini Class this season.

“It felt great to go from qualifying 17th in practise to taking my first ever Pro Mini win! It’s something I had been working towards all season,” said an elated Van der Vyver.

After a challenging start in the second moto, the rider had to dig deep to keep his composure and fight his way back to the front end of the field to ultimately claim second place overall.

“We ticked a few boxes this weekend and we’re happy with the progress! My pace felt good, my bike felt good – I’m excited to watch our plan for 2021 keep unfolding,” he said.

Husqvarna South Africa’s Brand Manager Fred Fensham gives a closing comment: “This season has been all about getting our two riders comfortable on the bikes and Welkom was proof that we are on the right track. David was super impressive despite coming off some health issues and Neil finally bagged that illusive Pro Mini win – that will certainly give him the confidence he needs to keep building on the 85cc! I am super proud of our two riders bringing home three second overall finishes against really tough opposition!”

Published by: Fred Fensham

Picture Caption: Highlights from Neil van der Vyver’s race in Welkom.

SA MOTOCROSS’ FREE STATE DYNAMITE

What South African National Motocross Round 3 Report
Where Phakisa Freeway, Welkom, Free State
When Saturday 22 May 2021
Community South Africa National

National championship delivers spectacular Phakisa action

The Cannabis Energy Drink and TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship delivered dynamite of a different kind as the series stunned at Free State mining town Welkom’s Phakisa Freeway with spectacular racing on Saturday. A fair blend of domination, close racing and surprise results also served to shake the championship chase up in several classes.

Double championship leader in both top classes heading to Welkom, Tristan Purdon and his Red Bull KTM picked up where he left off with another clean sweep in open class MX1 with a couple of wins over David Goosen’s Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna. Third man, Yamaha lad Jesse Wright and Cameron Durow in fourth on a KTM shared out the motos’ seconds and thirds to pip Anthony Raynard’s Yamaha to fifth with KTM men, Cross Country star Bradley Cox, Johan Vogelsang, Royce Griffin and Marco de Vrye next up.

There was a shake-up in Moto 250cc Moto2, where Purdon’s Red Bull KTM teammate Cameron Durow and David Goosen’s Rockstar Husqvarna shared out the wins. Purdon was second in the first moto and third in the second to minimise his rivals’ points gains and hold on to that championship leaders’ red plate too. Yamaha trio, champion Anthony Raynard and Dalton Venter, Mark Carty’s KTM, Christiaan Celliers on a Yamaha and Liam Gilchrist on a Husqvqrna followed.

There was another turn up for the books when Dwayne Kleynhans came out with all guns blazing to conquer MX3 as he toppled the so far dominant Grant Frerichs’ Yamaha from his Over-30s perch. Calvin Gloster ended up third for the day after first race third man Ryan Frerichs did not finish the second moto. Yamaha man Ian Topliss Yamaha made no mistakes as he romped to an over-40s double over Honda duo Bruce Viljoen and Phillip Harker and Byron Linaker’s Yamaha.

The battle of the season however has to be the South African Ladies Motocross title fight where Leah Heygate’s KTM and runaway reigning champion Kayla Raaff on a Kawasaki remain tied on points. They once again shared out the first and second places in Welkom. De Lima sisters Jadene and Cheyenne were next up ahead of Kawasaki lass Dakota Grobbellaar.

Jonathan Mlimi’s KTM and the resurgent Leonard du Toit’s similar machine shared the 125cc High School race wins, with Stav Orland third after ending second in both heats. So Mlimi took the day from du Toit and Orland tied in second overall. Ethan Hoffman’s Yamaha came home third from Callan Merrick Broskie, Lukas Venter and Nathan Mayberry’s Yamahas as as championship leader Mlimi’s title rivals Miguel de Waal and Luke Grundy endured days to forget.

Husqvarna duo Jordan van Wyk and maiden class winner in heat 1, Neil van der Vyver shared out the 85cc Pro Mini race wins ahead of Gas Gas rider Emmanuel Bako, KTM trio Trey Cox, Alon Orland and Wiaan du Plooy, to keep that title race ultra close. KTM kid Tyler Petersen was meanwhile unstoppable in 85cc Junior as he left Welkom in that championship lead as Jake van Schoor kept Matthew Correia in third. KTM riders Trent Valsecchi, Andrew Venter and Tyla Sheppard were next up.

Blade Tilley made no mistakes aboard his Gas Gas as he took a dominant 65cc Juniors double ahead of Blake Frost’s KTM and Aiden Henley’s Yamahas, Nicol Smit and Sven Larsen’s Husqvarnas and Trent Valsecchi on a KTM. Second in the first race and championship leader heading to the Free State, Husqvarna lad Jack Pullen failed to finish the second race to hand Tilley the red plate heading to round 4.

Trenton Kretzmann however extended his South African Motocross kindergarten 50cc MX title advantage with a double win on his Husqvarna. He beat Brody Bircher’s KTM, Cobra rider Maxwell Fourie, KTM kids Aiden Retief and Casper van Zyl and Rayden Woolls’ Gas Gas. Husqvarna trio Luke van As, Lou Rademeyer and Josh Peters-Newman, and Ross Mackenzie’s KTM rounded out the baby MX top ten.

The Cannabis Energy Drink and TRP Distributors backed South African National Motocross Championship heads to new ground for the forthcoming fourth round when it heads to the Legends Motocross Park in Pretoria for the first time for a midwinter appointment on Saturday 3 July.

The 2021 South African National Motocross Championship is 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

KAWASAKI PUNCHING ABOVE ITS CROSS COUNTRY WEIGHT

What Mid Season Report
Where Johannesburg
When Friday 21 May 2021
Community South Africa National

Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing has made its presence felt

Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing has only just arrived on the South African Cross Country Motorcycle Racing scene, but the upstart team has certainly made its presence felt in both the National and the hugely popular and competitive Northern Regions GXCC championships.

Star riders D’Artagnan Lobjoit has been in sensational form in the open OR1 class on his Kawasaki KX450XC, while Taki Bogiages his KX250XC has impressed in OR3. The rest of the team has also progressed well as the resurgent Kawasakis bring a welcome flash of lime green back to the Cross Country paddock.

“We are delighted with the way our team has progressed through the first half of our debut season,” team principal Iain Pepper confirmed. “We’re super chuffed with Dart being 3rd in Nationals and leading the GXCC OR1 class. Taki sits a fine third in both the National and GXCC OR3 classes and Kyle Mckenzie is also doing what we set out to do as he learns the ropes on a bigger bike in the top 6 of both OR3 championships.”

“I can’t believe that we are almost halfway through the year!” D’Artagnan Lobjoit admitted. “And wow, what an epic season it’s been so far with Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki Motul Racing! “I’m stoked to be in the GXCC OR1 points lead and lying third in the National Off-road OR1 class and can’t thank my sponsors enough for believing in me. “My Pepson Plastic Motul Kawasaki Motul Racing KX450X is unbelievable and I’m finding that comfort zone now, so it’s time to put my head down — I’m very excited for what the rest of the year holds!”

Third in both the National and GXCC OR3 championship chases, Taki Bogiages is likewise delighted with progress. “I keep growing towards my Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki Motul Racing KX250,” Taki explained. “Ever since I first hopped on, I have felt really comfortable and with the team’s support, my speed keeps picking up and I seem to get quicker race after race. “It’s been an easy progression, so I’m working hard to keep this momentum going and excited to see how my season progresses.”

Kyle Mckenzie is another OR3 Pepson Plastic Motul Kawasaki Motul Racing KX250X OR3 rider who cannot wait for the rest of the season. “Luck hasn’t really been on my side so far this year and I have had a few small problems in the races,” Kyle pointed out. “But my training has gone very well and I’m starting to understand and dial my bike in better every time we test, so my performance is improving.”

“For the rest, Craig Alcock has been progressing steadily and finishing more races in OR1 and Lee Thompson has had some solid podiums in the Senior class,” Iain Pepper added. “Sadly I’ve had another setback and my broken leg requires a long recovery, so we’ll be putting some hot guest riders on my bike at every race to add to Peter Holl’s great effort last time out.

“It’s a pity we won’t be racing as planned in Vryburg next weekend after lockdown issues — I believe we had a perfect chance to get onto the top step of the podium there, but we’ll have another chance soon. “I am really proud of my team — Kawasaki had been out of Cross Country Motorcycle Racing for a couple of decades, so to be right in there so soon after our comeback is a great achievement — well done guys!

“Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing also salutes our sponsors and partners, without whom we’d never have achieved what we have,” Pepper concluded. “So special thanks also to Fasthouse dirtbike clothing, Pizza Perfect, Arai helmets, Pirelli, Acerbis protectives, DID chains and Renthal — we really appreciate the added value all of your top quality products bring.”

Issued on behalf of Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing

ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA BRACE FOR BATTLE IN WELKOM

Image from 2021 MX National | Round 1 | Captured by Sage Lee Voges for http://www.zcmc.co.za

The highly anticipated third round of the National Motocross Championship takes riders to Welkom this weekend. On a track infamous for its unforgiving soil and deep ruts, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna will battle it out in what will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting rounds of the season.

Leading the charge in both the MX1 and MX2 Class respectively is the team’s 2021 recruit David Goosen. The rider has wasted no time establishing himself as force to be reckoned with on his new Husqvarna machines this season and will line-up with less than 10 points separating him from the top of the MX1 leader board.

While his consistent podium results have put him in a prime position to fight for the prestigious national title, Goosen makes it clear that his sights are fixed on nothing less than victory this season:

“I know that consistency is key and that we’re still very early into the championship, but I want to start banging out some wins soon. I’m really enjoying pushing the pace on my Husqvarna machines and we’re in a really good position to fight for both championships. We’re not miles off and will keep getting better. I have a clear game plan going into this round and want to be closer to the front of the race,” said Goosen.

With a third place in the MX2 championship at this point of the season, Goosen mentions “having the most work to do” in this class by his own high standard. While he was happy with his pace and fitness in the last round, the rider hopes to tap into new levels of confidence and speed this weekend.

Also preparing to fight his way to the front of his class is Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Neil van der Vyver. The young gun has been dealt his fair share of blows this season. Husqvarna Brand Manager Fred Fensham explained: “Neil has certainly had the pace this season but just has not had any luck on his side. I have no doubt he will come back stronger this round!”

Undaunted by the Welkom event’s unforgiving reputation, Van der Vyver rates the track as one of his favourites. He commented: “Welkom is one of my favourite tracks – I really like how bumpy the soil gets! I’ve done really well here in the past and I hope I can keep that ball rolling and get back onto the podium.”

While many of the challenges that Van der Vyver has faced this season have been beyond his control, the rider has placed a laser focus on the areas he feels he can improve in. Since the first round, Van der Vyver mentions working particularly hard on his starts and consistency.

Published by: Fred Fensham

RED BULL KTM GEARS UP FOR WELKOM

Image from the 2021 MX National | Round 1 | Captured by Sage Lee Voges for http://www.zcmc.co.za

The wait is over…

Red Bull KTM are gearing up for the next stop on the National Motocross calendar. The highly anticipated third round of the championship takes place in Welkom on Saturday, 22 May, and the orange squad will line-up with three championship leads to defend.

Taking centre stage is motocross star Tristan Purdon, who has been a war path from the moment the gates dropped this season. With a determination to defend his 2020 title, the rider has maintained a winning streak in both the MX1 and MX2 Class respectively.

Purdon has been following a specific training regime to maintain the fitness he built up for the last round in Port Elizabeth. He mentions running the Red Bull Wings for Life event as a build-up to the race this weekend and feeling confident about his fitness level. In addition, he has spent extra time with his mechanic, Kevin Tyrer, to make sure his bike is completely dialled in.

“We’re in for a tough round this weekend. The Welkom track always gets rough and you’re roosted quite badly when you’re behind someone, so goggle preparation is key. Kevin and I have placed extra focus on suspension for this round – he always puts so much work into making sure my KTM 450 and 250 SX-F are fully prepared for the type of track we need to race. I can’t wait to get out there and keep this winning momentum going,” said Purdon.

At the top of the reputable list of MX2 riders that Purdon will be up against this weekend is his Red Bull KTM teammate Cameron Durow. The youngster wasted no time in shaking off his rookie status as he stepped into the prestigious class this season. With only 16-points separating him from the top step of the leader board, Durow will undoubtedly pull out all the stops on Saturday.

As no stranger to the Welkom track, Durow commented: “The Welkom track is really unique because it generally starts off quite muddy and dries up by the time the first race comes around. By the last heat, the soil becomes quite hardpack and it feels like you’ve raced three tracks in one day! I’m so excited to battle it out with my teammate – my training has been consistent and I’m working really hard to get a win this season.”

High School Class hero Jonathan Mlimi will have a target on his back this weekend as he lines-up with the highly sought-after red plate. The rider has been dealt his fair share of blows this season but has fought his way to the front of his class to open a three-point lead on his closest competitor.

“It’s always a good feeling to line up with the red plate – but I can’t get complacent. It’s only the third round into a long season, so the focus is to get the maximum points I can on the day. My bike setup is feeling good – we’ve changed to hardpack tyres and made a few suspension adjustments. I’m really looking forward to getting out there!” said Mlimi.

Rounding out the squad with yet another red plate is young gun Trey Cox. As one of the team’s newest recruits, Cox has made it clear that he’s a force to be reckoned with in the fight for the Pro Mini Championship. With a two-point lead in his class, Cox is in for a bar-to-bar battle this weekend as he looks to snatch up every championship point he can get.

Published by: Louwrens Mahoney – KTM Motorcycles SA