If the fight for the Pro Mini Championship wasn’t already exciting enough, it’s just been taken to a whole new level. South Africa’s rising stars lined-up for a bar-to-bar battle in Bloemfontein on Saturday for the penultimate round of the National Motocross Championship.
It’s been an unforgettable season of grit and determination for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Neil van der Vyver, who after some setbacks has fought to reinstate himself as a frontrunner in his class. Separated by only a few points, Van der Vyver and KTM’s Trey Cox have gone head to head for Pro Mini glory.
Adding to the already intense battle was a comeback from championship rival Emmanuel Bako, who has placed himself back into contention for the title after a double win on Saturday. After what Van der Vyver describes as a “brutal battle” in the final moto of the day, Van der Vyver earned his spot on the podium with a second place overall.
Not only did he bring home silverware at one of his favourite tracks on the national circuit, but managed to narrow the points lead that Cox has on him. Van der Vyver will be left with no choice other than to leave it all out there in the last round as he capitalizes on the last opportunity to be crowned Pro Mini king.
“Wow, what a weekend! BORC hosted the penultimate round of the season, and it came right down to the wire! I managed second overall after a brutal battle with just about everybody on the track, and just want to thank everyone in my corner for the support,” said Van der Vyver.
Adding to the thrill of the weekend was yet another rock-solid performance from David Goosen. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna star pulled off a podium finish in both the MX1 and MX2 Class, finishing second and third overall respectively.
“It was a good event for me in a way, mainly because I was really happy with the technical side of things. I managed to lead some laps, I had great starts, and I was super happy with my motorcycles. I just didn’t have the intensity to take the win and have a great idea of where I need to get better,” said Goosen.
Goosen by no means lacked enough pace this weekend and managed to take the lead multiple times on Saturday. After needing what he describes as “more lungs”, it will be back to the drawing board for Goosen who is determined to match his impressive pace and skill with equally as impressive intensity in the last round.
“I had so much fun racing this weekend – but it would be more fun to get a win or two! I’m determined to find something extra in the tank for the season finale. It’s not over until it’s over,” said Goosen.
What South African Cross Country Moto Round 4 Preview Where Delmas, Mpumalanga When Saturday 11 September 2021 Community South Africa National
Will dusty Delmas serve up a fourth new winner in four races?
Three races into the 2021 MSA South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship, three different riders and three different machines have won the races overall. So the question has to be, will the virgin springtime mielie fields and dusty vleis of Delmas dish up another winner in round 4 on Saturday 11 September, or will we see our first repeat winner?
There’s much more at play. For instance, none of the reigning champions have yet won a round. And then there’s the ongoing Gauteng versus Natal battle to consider.
Pietermaritzburg international hero Travis Teasdale rode his TT Racing Gas Gas to wildcard victory in a muddy Jolivet, KwaZulu Natal season opener in February, before Gauteng OR2 rider Ian Rall restored upcountry honour when he blasted his MCA Dragon Energy Husqvarna to win the second round at Modimolle in Limpopo Province on Saturday. Then lockdown intervened before another KZN rider, Michael Pentecost threw a Franchise Co CIT Kawasaki cat among the pigeons to win ‘at home’ in Matatiele last month.
All three of those riders have scored somewhat unexpected victories in a championship that is seeing consistency, rather than outright results pay off. Overall and OR2 championship leader and reigning OR3 champion Bradley Cox has not yet won a round but leads the title chase on his Brother Leader Tread KTM with a couple of seconds and a third overall. SA Cross Country champion Brett Swanepoel sits second overall on his open class OR1 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna and he has also not taken a win this year.
So the odds are on a new winner. But then overall success has followed local riders and both these KZN men must endure the dust of Delmas rather than their favoured loamy Zululand hills. So this one may just be too hard to predict. Fourth overall and third man in OR1 is d’Artagnan Lobjoit itching to race in those conditions on his Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki. As will be Husqvarna OR3 lads Davin Cocker’s Rockstar Energy and Matthew Wilson’s MCA machines. And motocross refugee Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s OR2 Red Bull KTM.
But don’t ever ignore the Natal lot in any conditions. Swanepoel, Cox and Pentecost, as well as OR3 man Scott Heygate and his Alfie Cox KTM are always going to be in the picture. And then there’s the odd man out — Cape lad Jarryd Coetzee’s and his big banger KTM, who is just as capable of causing an update. All of the above are well within the Cross Country Moto top ten and all are capable of winning in Delmas.
In the classes, it’s Brett Swanepoel versus Michael Pentecost, d’Artagnan Lobjoit and Jarryd Coetzee, as well as Sherco man Hayden Louw. Bradley Cox has Kerim Fitz-Gerald on another Red Bull KTM and second round Ian Rall to deal with in OR2. There’s a significant scuffle in OR3 however, where Scott Heygate, Davin Cocker and Matthew Wilson will fight it out with Erik Merry’s Hudqvarna and Haydn Cole’s KTM, while Kyle Mackenzie will fly the Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki in Taki Bogiages’ absence.
Wade Blaauw will be looking to continue his Seniors domination with a fourth win in four races on his Roost KTM. But Deon du Toit will be out to break his bridesmaid’s streak there on his Franchise CIT Kawasaki, with KTM Durban lad Stuart Gregory and Shimwells Yamaha duo Dirk Olivier and Marco Cocci in pursuit. Greg Nairn’s Perry Husqvarna, Miellies le Roux’s Alfie Cox KTM and Yamaha man Marius de Klerk will have Wayne Farmer’s Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna to contend with in the over-40s Masters championship chase.
In schoolkid action, KTM Durbanlas Dylan Jones leads Branden Swanepoel’s Bike Shack Trademore Sherco and John Botha’s TFC CIT Husqvarna among the High School 125s. Damon Cox, Derek Karam and Joss Alexander are in pursuit. And Thomas Scales’ Dynamic KTM leads Cobus Bester’s Spherical Holeshot Husqvarna and Brandon Clark, Johnny Luck, Lucian Meyer’s similar machines in the 85cc chase.
Watch for the Delmas dust storm on Saturday 11 September.
The Western Cape will welcome riders to the second round of the National Enduro Championship this weekend. Roodepoort Enduro Farm, an area near Worcester renowned for its unparalleled mountain trails and rugged terrain, will host the highly anticipated event.
Lining up with the red plate in the prestigious E1 Class is Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Bradley Cox. The rider opened the season with a blistering pace when he stormed to a class victory and an impressive third overall in the first round. With a strong determination to keep his winning momentum going, Cox commented: “This is the second time in my career that I’ve gone into an Enduro race with the red plate. I’m a lot fitter this time around (last year I had an ankle injury) so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do. From a training point of view, I’ve just made sure to keep my groove going and stick to what’s been working for me.”
Undaunted by the area’s unforgiving terrain, he added: “The goal is to win. Races in the Cape are always rugged and hard on the body – I actually really enjoy them.”
Joining Cox this weekend is Brother Leader Tread KTM’s newest Enduro recruit Charan Moore. The rider is out for redemption after an unfortunate penalty in the first-round cost him a potential podium spot in the E2 Class. Having experienced the racing pace in his highly competitive class, Moore has spent the past few weeks fine-tuning both his Enduro skills and his KTM 300 EXC TPI.
“The Cape is always a unique place to race – the terrain has a good mix of loose rocks, sand and fynbos. I’ve spent a lot of time practising on a 6km loop that I marked out close to where I stay in Land Brand to prepare for this weekend. I’ve also put in a lot of work fine-tuning my bike. I had a really good base setting after the first round, so I’ve just made some small tweaks to suit my riding style. I’m running a slighter harder and more aggressive setup this time so that I can push the pace. I really want to fight for that E2 win – with consistent laps from start to finish a spot on the podium isn’t out of reach,” said Moore.
Rounding out the orange squad is Kirsten Landman, who will join Moore in the E2 Class. After a year on the side-line due to injury, Landman made her long-awaited comeback at the start of the season. Having used the event to gauge her fitness levels, Landman has been hard at work conditioning her body for the second round of the series.
“My main focus has been to work on my conditioning for this kind of intensity and duration on the bike. The last race gave me a good idea of where I need to be and I’m very motivated to narrow the gap that the front guys have on me,” said Landman.
MXGP continues the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship season with a trip across Europe to the beautiful Italian area of Faenza, for a trio of races in Italy for the MXGP of Italy, MXGP of Città di Faenza and the MXGP of Emilia Romagna.
Following the success of the Latvian Grand Prix’s, including the new racing format and the mid-week races, which offered a 10-day full of incredible actions, MXGP carries the momentum with more triple-headers to come this season!
Located in the Emilia Romagna region, known for its passion for motorsports, the hard-pack circuit of Faenza first hosted the FIM Motocross World Championship back in 1979, with the 500cc Championship which that weekend was won by the four-time World Champion Heikki Mikkola.
Over the years, numerous MXGP events have taken place in Faenza, with past winners including the likes of Eric Geboers, Max Nagl, Gautier Paulin and Antonio Cairoli.
2012 was the last time that the Italian circuit saw a world championship race and that time around it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli who was the overall winner in MXGP (then known as MX1) with Christophe Pourcel and Clement Desalle of Monster Energy Kawasaki MXGP joining Cairoli on the podium in second and third.
Meanwhile in MX2, it was Jeffrey Herlings from Red Bull KTM Factory who was victorious, followed by Tommy Searle in second and Jeremy Van Horebeek on the third step of the podium that weekend.
Though a lot has changed since then and following an eight-year break from the MXGP calendar, Faenza will welcome back the MXGP and MX2 riders, with the added bonus of the EMX125 and EMX2t Championships Presented by FMF Racing running alongside, for an even more action-packed week in Italy.
The Italian races have always been among the top favourites for the teams, riders and fans and with such fierce competition this season in MXGP and MX2, Faenza will be no exception as fans will be treated to three times the fun, as the world’s top riders battled it out for top positions.
The EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing riders will take to the track in Faenza for round two of the championship and championship leader, Liam Everts of KTM Liamski will be looking to extend his Championship lead over Kevin Brumann of iXs MXGP Team.
While it has been a while since the opening round of the 125 European Championship, Everts has had plenty of race practice, having competed in the EMX250 division at the Latvia triple header. With some solid results under his belt, he will be feeling confident and ready to go to Faenza as he chases more race wins and podiums.
Brumann has also been training hard during the last 5 months with the help of Max Nagl, who has kept the youngster fit and made sure he’s ready to challenge for the title.
KTM DIGA Junior Racing’s Florian Miot is currently third in the championship and another rider to look out for in Faenza. He had a strong ride in Matterley Basin with a 6-3 result, proving himself as a strong competitor in harder conditions.
Though a rider like Meico Vettik could get in the mix of things at the Italian round. Following his podium finish in Latvia a couple of weeks earlier in the higher 250cc class, Vettik will be feeling confident and hoping to impress in the EMX125 class in order to move up the ranks in the championship.
Haakon Osterhagen from Creymert Racing is another rider who could make things interesting this weekend. He finished 4th overall at round one, just a few points off the podium and had some good battles within the top 10 and even scoring a 4th in race two.
Meanwhile in EMX2t Presented by FMF Racing the championship is going to see a new winner with Mike Kras not there to defend his title. And with Kras out of the picture the door will be open for a new contender to battle with Brad Anderson of Verde Substance KTM for the golden plate.
Anderson will be the favourite going into this round, following a close battle for the championship last year, which he missed out on by just a mere point. This season he will be determined to seal the deal and there is no doubt that he will be charging in Faenza this weekend.
Andero Lusbo could also be a strong contender this season, as he has already had some race practice in, having competed in the EMX Open class in Latvia. During the first round in Kegums he finished 3rd on the podium, which has undoubtably given him the confidence to challenge at the front.
Another rider to look out for is Gianluca Deghi. The Italian rider will begin the series at home in Italy and having competed in the series last season, where he finished 7th, he sure will be keen to put on a good performance and score some valuable points for the championship.
Johannes Klein is a rider who had a solid 9-8 result in Lombardia last season in the group, so it will be exciting to see whether he can push for some more top 10 results this time around in Faenza.
Though with some fresh faces to the group, it will be good to see who the real challengers for the championship this season really are, as we kick off the EMX2t championship.
As we head into the first Italian event of the 2020 season, there is no doubt that Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli will be looking to impress at his home Grand Prix. Having won his first GP of the year in Latvia at the previous event, the 9-time world champion will for sure be hoping to add a few more race wins while at home.
While his team-mates, Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado will be looking for their own success on Italian soil, as Herlings will continue to push in order to extend his championship lead in MXGP and make up for lost ground in Latvia, while Prado will be aiming for more strong starts and races in order to get back on the podium, following a tough start to the season.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser will be looking for redemption following a tough time in Latvia. Crashes and technical issues cost the Slovenian vital championship points, as he enters round six of the series. Though having proven to be strong on hard-pack throughout his career, for Gajser it will be a case of getting out of the gate and staying on his bike through the race, in order to get back on top.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Arminas Jasikonis will be able to carry on strong as he did previously in Latvia, as he claimed his first race win and his best podium finish of second overall at the MXGP of Kegums. Though known to be strong in the sand, the different track conditions in Faenza could be a test for the Lithuanian, who is currently third in the championship, just four points off the defending world champion, Gajser. It will also be interesting to see whether Clement Desalle of Monster Energy Kawasaki MXGP will be able to excel in Faenza, having previously placed on the podium back in 2012. Desalle has always been strong on hard-pack and was looking really strong in Latvia, so the MXGP of Italy this year could be the GP we see Desalle back on the MXGP podium.
The Kawasaki MXGP squad have a strong line-up for the upcoming events in Faenza, as Romain Febvre is also another promising rider. His season debut in Latvia was a good one, with a podium and some top five results in the races. Being from France, Febvre is also no stranger to the hard-pack circuits and could see him perform well in Italy this time around.
It will be interesting to see whether Jeremy Seewer, Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin, of the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing squad, could get up in the mix and finally get their opportunity to lead the field.
Both Tonus and Paulin have placed well at Faenza in previous years, with Paulin winning a GP in his MX2 days back in 2009. Though for him it will all depend on whether his recent broken finger will play a part in the races.
In 2012 Tonus placed 5th overall in Faenza and despite some mistakes at the previous round this year in Latvia, he showed some potential. Though his team-mate Seewer has also been pushing this season, as he chased for the race win several times in Kegums, so it could be a matter of time before we see another factory Yamaha on the podium.
Local riders Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Racing, Samuele Bernardini of Racing S.S.D S.R.L, Michele Cervellin from SDM Corse Yamaha and Standing Construct GasGas MXGP’s Ivo Monticelli will be looking for their own success as they aim to impress at home. For Monticelli, he will be keen to keep his momentum going after his achievements in Latvia, with two FOX Holeshots and some strong battles in the top 5.
Fellow Standing Construct GasGas MXGP rider Glenn Coldenhoff could be another threat for the podium during the first Italian triple-header. Coming off the back of his first GP victory of 2020 in Latvia, Coldenhoff is looking strong for the rest of the season, despite having a moment in Kegums that saw him pull out of a race.
Last season he also performed well on hard pack going on to take a double race victory and the overall in Imola and then again in Sweden the following round, with a 1-2 result which also handed him another GP win. Having proven that he can perform well on the hard surface as well as sand, it will be interesting to see what he can do in Italy this year.
Meanwhile in MX2, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Tom Vialle will aim for more race wins as he takes to the hard-pack circuit, a familiar terrain for the Frenchman. Though Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts will sure put up the challenge as he will aim to close down that 8-point gap between him and Vialle who currently leads the championship. Despite growing up in the sand, Geerts’ strong performance in Matterley Basin was enough to show that he can be a threat on the harder surfaces too, and going into the Italian trio of races with two GP victories in his pocket from Latvia, he sure will be feeling confident and be pushing for those race wins.
All eyes will also be on Roan Van de Moosdijk and Mathys Boisrame of F&H Kawasaki Racing to see whether the pair can respond and return to the podium following their string of podium appearances in Kegums. Over the winter Boisrame has put in the hours on the sand to improve his sand riding, as he has always been known to be a good hard pack rider. So, for him, Faenza should be a good suit.
The third rider of the Kawasaki squad, Mikkel Haarup, has had a tough time during the recent trip in Latvia. Though having shown good speed in Matterley Basin earlier this season, where he took 3rd overall, hopefully these last few weeks off have given the Dane enough time to re-group and come back strong in Faenza.
Another rider who can make things interesting and get in the mix is Maxime Renaux of SM Action M.C Migliorini Yamaha J1 Racing. Last season the Yamaha rider claimed his maiden GP podium, finishing 3rd overall in Imola and has been on the podium once already this year and has comfortably been battling in the top 5 during the last few races as well.
For the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing duo of Jed Beaton and Thomas Kjer Olsen the next few races will be a time to make up for lost ground in Latvia. Beaton showed speed in the Time Practice sessions, though in the races it seemed like luck wasn’t on his side. And it was the same for Olsen, who has found himself injured once again. Though with these past few races in the rear-view mirror, it will be good to see the team move forward towards some more positive results this weekend.
Then there’s the SDM Corse Yamaha rider Ruben Fernandez, who without a doubt was the hard charger in Latvia. He clearly had the speed in Kegums and coming from a country known for its hard surface tracks (Spain) for Fernandez it will be the case of whether he can tie it all together in Italy and have some solid races.
Meanwhile, Alberto Forato from Team Maddii Racing Husqvarna will also be pushing for top results on home soil, following some top 10 results in Latvia. This season he has shown some promising moments and had some strong battles with the top runners of the championship. The closest hard pack race that we’ve had this season has been at the MXGP of Great Britain, where Forato had two solid races, finishing 6th overall.
Though if the last few races in both MXGP and MX2 have taught us anything, is that predicting an outcome for the races is really hard and anything can happen.