Category Archives: FMN News South Africa


Almost five months ago Clint Seller (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R1) won both heats at the second round of the 2020 NGK Spark Plugs SA Superbike championship. The series, which is supported by Bridgestone, returned after the Covid-19 lockdown on 8 August and Seller didn’t let the break worry him. He continued where he left off back in March, taking another two wins to take a slender, 2-point lead at the top of the championship standings. In both races, he was followed over the line by Garrick Vlok (DCCS Coring, Cutting and Sealing Yamaha R1) and David McFadden (RPM Center/Stunt SA Yamaha R1). In the SuperSport 600 class, Jared Schultz (ASAP World Yamaha R6) took both heats from Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing Yamaha R6).

The first of Friday’s three qualifying sessions came to a premature end when Blaze Baker lost the front of his JBR/Rapid Bike Kawasaki ZX10R through turn one, giving himself a concussion and bringing his race weekend to an early halt. He wasn’t the only one to miss the weekend’s racing. Dino Iozzo (King Price Extreme Yamaha R6) broke his collar bone in a training accident on the Wednesday before the event and a day later Brett Roberts (Lights by Linea Yamaha R6) had a massive high-side through turn 7 at Zwartkops, destroying his bike and concussing himself. Conditions were not ideal in the first session – it was cold with a gusting wind – but Seller put down the early marker, eight tenths quicker than Vlok with Damion Purificati (Andalaft Racing BMW S1000RR), the first of the Bridgestone Superbike brigade, in third. Otto was the quickest of the 600s.

It was a little warmer in the second session, but conditions were still not ideal. A collision between Seller and Schultz brought out the red flag to allow the marshals and medical crew to do their jobs. Luckily both riders were not injured although their crews had a lot of work to do to get their bikes repaired in time for race day. At the end of the session, Vlok was quickest with Purificati second and Seller third. Otto again led the way in the 600s.

In the final qualifying session, Vlok set his quickest time of the day to claim pole position from McFadden with Purificati joining them on the front row of the grid. Dian Nelson (TRD Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX10R), who was having his first outing in national SuperBike class, headed the second row with Seller alongside him in fifth. 2018 champion Michael White and his crew spent most of the day tracing an electrical problem that prevented his Dent Carpets Yamaha R1 revving beyond 2000 RPM. They solved the problem shortly before the final session and he was able to do enough to claim sixth on the grid. Otto’s time in the final session was good enough to give him seventh place on the grid as the leading 600 bike with Luca Bertolini (Izinga Worx/Willcom Racing Yamaha R1), the second of the Bridgestone Superbikes, in eighth. The only lady rider in the field, Nicole van Aswegen (Gem Auto/Andalaft Racing Ducati 1299) completed the third row of the grid. Schultz’ second session time set before his crash was good enough for tenth with Hein McMahon (BDJ Freight BMW S1000RR) and Brian Bontekoning (Jaguar Power Products Ducati) rounding out the top twelve.

After the hard work by his crew to get his bike back on the grid after Friday’s accident, Seller thanked them in the best way possible, charging off the line in the opening race. He was up to second by the end of the first lap and half a lap later took the lead. Vlok didn’t let him get away but, despite a few attempts, couldn’t find a way past, eventually having to settle for second just under four-tenths behind the defending champion. McFadden, who was still getting to grips with some of the new parts on his bike, had a lonely ride to third ahead of a great dice between White and Purificati which eventually went the way of White by a couple of bike lengths. Otto was the early leader in the 600s, but Schultz worked his way past on the third lap. The Capetonian took the class win and sixth overall ahead of Bertolini with Otto in eighth. McMahon was next up ahead of Bontekoning who won the battle of the Ducatis, leading van Aswegen across the line by just three-tenths of a second. Nasief Wadvalla (Fast Bike Racing Yamaha R1) finished in twelfth. Ian Thomas (SA Compressor Hire Kawasaki ZX10R) spent the early part of the race in a scrap with Sifiso Themba (King Price Extreme Kawasaki ZX10R) but was able to find a way through just after half distance. He was then able to open a gap and ended in thirteenth. A first lap incident spoilt Nelson’s fourth place on the grid and he dropped to the back of the field, eventually coming home in fifteenth.

When the lights went out to signal the start of the second race, it was McFadden that reacted quickest, grabbing the hole-shot to lead the way from Seller and Vlok. Purificati lost the front at turn five on the opening lap, dropping him to the back of the field and leaving Nelson, White and Bertolini to fight for fourth. Up front, Seller was looking for a way past McFadden. He got a move to stick on lap five and was able to pull away to take a comfortable win. A couple of laps later, Vlok got past McFadden to move into second, where he stayed until the finish. Once White got past Nelson he was able to open a slight gap, which he held until the flag. Nelson ended in fifth ahead of Bertolini, the leading rider in the Bridgestone Superbikes, with Schultz, again the leading 600, in seventh. McMahon went one better than he did in the opening race, taking eighth ahead of Bontekoning who had Wadvalla and Van Aswegen in his wheel tracks. Otto had to settle for twelfth ahead of a recovering Purificati with Thomas again getting the better of Themba.

In the day’s overall standings, Seller took the national NGK Spark Plugs SuperBike class from Vlok and McFadden. Two wins gave Schultz the overall SuperSport 600 win ahead of Otto while Bertolini took the Bridgestone SuperBike win from McMahon and Bontekoning.

The next round of the NGK SA Superbike series is scheduled to take place at Red Star Raceway in September although, with the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, this could be changed.

Published by NGK SA Superbikes

Picture Caption: Clint Seller leads Garrick Vlok
Photography by: Paul Bedford


Red Bull KTM marked a major racing milestone today at a hot Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky for the third round of the 2020 season. Brad Binder, in just his third outing in the premier class, took the KTM RC16 to a clear victory: the first for the company in MotoGP, the first for the South African (and for his country) and the second trophy from only three-and-a-half years KTM have been on the grid.

MotoGP basked in more elevated summer temperatures for the annual visit to the Automotodrom Brno. Teams and riders had spent the better part of two days refining set-ups in the search for traction and to preserve tire life across the bumpy asphalt. Red Bull KTM saw Pol Espargaro and Brad Binder launch away from the second and third rows of the starting grid with the Red Bull KTM Tech3 RC16s machines of Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona also in the mix.

Both Espargaro and Binder settled into the top five from the outset. While Brad found extra speed to work his way to the front, Espargaro was in hot pursuit until he collided with Johann Zarco in the tussle for 3rd place and crashed out on lap 10. Lecuona was also a faller.

Brad went from strength to strength as he passed the winner of the first two Grands Prix, Fabio Quartararo, and also Franco Morbidelli to control the race from P1 and with authority for the last nine laps of the 21.

Brad Binder:
“Honestly, right now, I’m lost for words. I’ve dreamt of this since I was a little boy and today it came true. It is amazing to win my first GP [in MotoGP]. Thank you to everybody who supported me, and the whole team: they put an insane motorcycle beneath me today! I didn’t know if we could win but I knew we would have a go. It was the craziest ten laps of my life at the end. I was being as soft as I could. It was incredible. Unbelievable.”

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RPM Center riders David McFadden and Brett Roberts will make their third trip of 2020 to Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 8 August when the SA Superbike championship will resume after the Covid-19 enforced break.

The Pretoria circuit has been good to team principal McFadden this year. He has yet to finish off the podium on the Stunt SA supported Yamaha R1, winning both heats in the opening round and taking a second and third place back in March shortly before the national lockdown was introduced.

Speaking before the race weekend, McFadden said, “I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the bars of the RPM Center Stunt SA Yamaha R1. I am excited to see whether all of the training and fine-tuning myself and the bike during lockdown pays off. I am grateful that all our sponsors have stayed on board during these difficult times and thank Light by Linea for their additional support.”

Mechanical problems have made former motocrosser Brett Roberts’ transition to circuit racing difficult, but he has taken the opportunities that presented themselves to lie fourth in the SuperSport 600 championship standings. With the niggling problems solved, he is looking to finish on the podium this time out.

Speaking in the week before the event, Roberts said, “I am very excited to get racing underway this weekend at Zwartkops Raceway. I have been able to get a couple of days of training in however the training situation hasn’t been ideal in Cape Town. Never the less, I’m more than ready to race.”

In addition to the sponsorship from Stunt SA and Lights by Linea, the team acknowledges the support received from RST, Nix Graphics, Arata by Racetec, Forma Boots, TBR Engineering and Schuberth Helmets.

Published by: RPM Center

Picture Caption: Brett Roberts
Photography by: Paul Bedford


Almost 5 months after their last outing, the NGK Spark Plugs SA Superbike Series riders return to Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 8 August for the third round of the 2020 championship. The Bridgestone supported series managed to get just two rounds of the championship in before all motorsport was brought to a halt by the Covid-19 lockdown.

David McFadden (RPM Center/Stunt SA Yamaha R1) has yet to finish off the podium this year and will look to continue that run of good form which put him at the top of the Superbike championship standings. Fellow Capetonian Lance Isaacs is 14 points behind McFadden in second place but he won’t be in action this weekend as he is currently in the USA. This leaves the likely challenge at the front of the field to come from a couple of former champions. Multiple champion Clint Seller (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R1) is only 16 points behind in the standings and will be out to repeat the double win he took in the last round back in March while 2018 champion Michael White makes a welcome return to South Africa’s premier motorcycle racing class on a Dent Carpets supported Yamaha R1.

Blaze Baker (JBR/Rapid Bike Kawasaki ZX10R) made his debut in the litre class at the last round, coming away with a pair of fourth places. With a bit more track time, he could also challenge the front runners while Garrick Vlok (DCCS Coring, Cutting and Sealing Yamaha R1) will be looking to bounce back after brake problems spoilt his last outing. Former Supersport 600 rider Dian Nelson has made the step up to the top class and will join the field on the TRD Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX10R.

With Women’s Day celebrated in South Africa the day after the event, Nicole van Aswegen (Gem Auto/Analaft Ducati 1299) will be flying the flag for the ladies. She will be doing her utmost to get the better of her partner, Damian Purificati, who will be on the Andalaft Racing BMW S1000RR. Sifiso Themba (King Price Extreme Kawasaki ZX10R) has made the move from the Kawasaki Masters Cup and will be joined on the grid by Hein McMohan (BDJ Freight BMW S1000RR), Luca Bertolini (Izinga Worx/Willcom Racing Yamaha R1), Brian Bontekoning (Jaguar Power Products Ducati), Naasief Wadvalla (Fast Bike Racing Yamaha R1) and Ian Thomas (SA Compressor Hire Kawasaki ZX10R) should also be chasing points.

In the SuperSport 600 class, Ricardo Otto (Power Motorsport Yamaha R6) has already built up a comfortable championship lead. His closest rival, Dino Iozzo (King Price Extreme Yamaha R6) will miss the race after a training accident ruled him out but both Jared Schultz (ASAP World Yamaha R6) and Brett Roberts (Lights by Linea/PRM Center Yamaha R6) will be looking to take as many points as possible off Otto.

As usual, there will be three qualifying practice sessions on Friday which will determine the grid positions for Saturday’s races. The first of those is scheduled for 10h40 with race 2 due to start at 14h05.

Unfortunately, due to the government’s Covid-19 restrictions, no spectators will be admitted to Zwartkops for the event, however, regular updates will be posted to the SA Superbike Series’ social media pages.

Published by the SA Superbike Series

Picture Caption:  David McFadden leads the SuperBike championship standings
Photography by:  Paul Bedford


Long five months have passed since the opening round of the 2020 World Supersport campaign in Australia before Steven Odendaal and his team EAB Ten Kate Racing were able to rev up their engines and see the red lights go off again on the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera this weekend for round 2 of the championship.

Two races for the WorldSSP class due to the exceptional circumstances and a reduced calendar meant a jam-packed weekend for all protagonists of the world championship.

Steven Odendaal (Race 1 – 6th, Race 2 – 8th): “After a strict lockdown in South Africa where I was only able to train at home for several weeks, I was really looking forward to being back on the bike! I’ve never had such a long break! We managed to do a test in Barcelona and Assen before to get our feeling back. The test was really positive. We started off really well on Friday in Jerez, we were the second fastest which was encouraging. The scorching hot conditions were challenging (almost 65 degrees track temperature!) but I was able to prove myself that I was physically ready for the comeback because it did not affect my performance at all. We did not have the best qualifying on Saturday, which is something my team and I now have to work on so we don’t have to make up for this in the race every time. In the first race, I was up to 5th from 12th on the grid quite quickly and was able to go with the front group but then I run a bit wide and another rider pushed me off track. I dropped back to 12th position and had to fight my way back through the field once again to finish in 6th position. It was a positive race for us, we had a good pace and were able to recover twice. If I didn’t make the mistake, we could have challenged for the podium. The second race was more difficult. We realised that we battle to get up to speed at the beginning of the race. We need more grip with a new tyre and get a bit more out of the tyres in general. We are always much stronger at the end of the race and the second race was shortened to an 11-lap sprint race due to a red flag, which did not work in our favour. We have analysed our data and we know the direction we need to go in Portugal next week. It is one of my favourite tracks where I have great memories, winning the European Moto2 championship here in 2016 with a double victory, I can’t wait to be back on my Yamaha again and try to get closer to the podium. Thanks to my team for all their hard work this weekend.”

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