NATIONAL ENDURO – ROUND 4 FINALE Brett Swanepoel made sure Husqvarna Racing had a special weekend as the National Enduro championship culminated in the sweltering hot and dusty lowveld town of White river. Swanepoel surged to an unprecedented 8thNational Championship title on Saturday after what he described as a real testing weekend of racing.
“It was a real tough track and the heat was brutal” he said. “We only had one goal this weekend and that was to bring home the championship title, it was a great team effort and I’m pleased to claim the E2 class title” he commented and went on to say that the team and his bike were faultless for the entire season.
Kyle Flanagan who raced alongside Swanepoel for the last couple rounds after joining the team mid-season said: “Saturday I made a mistake at the beginning of the race and went on the Junior loop for a bit so I played catch up for the majority of the 1st lap, I was feeling pretty good until about halfway through the 3rd lap when the heat caught up to me.” He added that the heat was really a killer and that by the end of the race he was dehydrated. “I am happy with the ride and result on Saturday considering but glad I made it to the finish line after another scorcher of a day and all in all happy with the weekend and pumped for Brett with winning a well-deserved championship.” Husqvarna Racing extends their thoughts and sup
port to the family of Evert Grobbelaar who passed away this weekend at the event.
KTM RC16s will fill slots on the fourth and fifth rows of the start grid after a humid, cloudy and damp day of qualification at Misano for the Gran Premio Gryfyn di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Brad Binder was limited by the weather conditions and was 15th.
The tight curves and fast kinks of the Misano World Circuit – Marco Simoncelli provided the stage for the fourteenth round of MotoGP in 2022 and the penultimate racing date in Europe before the series begins a continental swing. Warm but cloudy skies on the Rimini coastline threatened to deliver rainfall and the runs through Q1 and Q2 for all three classes took place in mixed conditions.
Brad Binder and teammate Miguel Oliveira both stalked the MotoGP top ten during Free Practice. Brad had to negotiate Q1 and was undone by a shower in the last five minutes of the session that prevented the South African attempting a flyer. He settled in 15th.
MotoGP begins at 14.00 local time on Sunday with a 27-lap distance. Moto3 at 11.00 and Moto2 at 12.20 CET will set up the stage for the premier class spectacle.
Brad Binder: “A bit tricky today. A chaotic FP3. We tried stuff and had a little issue and then I ran into three yellow flags in a row when trying to make a fast lap! It meant he didn’t get anything for FP3. FP4 was better but qualifying was ruined by the rain. I’m really keen for tomorrow so we’ll see how we get on.”
National Cross Country Championship – Porterville | Round 5
The Porterville leg of the Cross Country National Championship which took place in the Western Cape this weekend turned out to be a weekend rather to be forgotten. The trouble riddled event saw in what can only be described as a disastrous turn of events was a tough day for the team.
Grant Frerichs from KTM South Africa said: “The guys showed real character fighting all the way to the end no matter what, we really had some serious gremlins to deal with but we managed to pull through and score valuable championship points.” He added that the team are now looking towards the last round in a few weeks’ time and will make sure they are all ready and come out swinging.
Matthew Wilson salvaged some hope and did enough to go into the final round with an eight point lead. “I felt very confident coming into round 5 of the National Cross Country series, my day started off very good for myself qualifying P3 overall and P1 in class. I had a great first lap but disappointingly my day went downhill from there when I got sick during the 2nd lap and couldn’t seem to shake it off, the track got super rough making it a long day in the saddle.”
He went on to say ”All in all I finished 4th on the day in my class, heading into the final round with a 8 point lead hungry to be back where myself and the team are supposed to be… on top! “
Scott Heygate commented: “Round 5 in the bag started off well qualifying P4 overall and first in OR 2 which set me up for a good start. In the main race a few early mistakes cost me slightly but I regathered in lap two and had to conserve fuel as the track was longer than anticipated and on lap 3 I moved into the lead and led for a bit and had an awesome battle with Brett Swanepoel.” He will go into the final round in P2 overall and class and will be looking for a strong finish to the season at the last round.
Fuel frustrations ruined the day for Kerim Fitz-Gerald but still remained positive saying: “My day started off well and went downhill from there running into problem after problem, that said all things considered I am glad I am healthy and will be ready for the last round.”
Brad Cox had to abandon his hopes of a podium due to a race ending crash which forced him to get evaluated for a concussion injury as a precaution. “I felt really good on my bike in terms of comfort and I had good pace throughout the time trial until a small error resulted in a massive crash and I hit my head pretty hard, I had to make the mature decision to sit out the main race because I will never play with a head injury and my championship is already over after my bad luck earlier in the year, that said I look forward to some redemption at the final round.”
NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP – PORTERVILLE | ROUND 5
The penultimate round of the Cross Country National Championship that took place near Porterville in the Western Cape this weekend was a bitter sweet one for Husqvarna Racing.
In what was described as a very challenging weekend on many fronts ranging from fuel shortage problems due to longer and faster than expected laps. “It was Brett Swanepoel’s crafty approach and smart race craft that saved the day and he fought back to claim the overall win once again,” said Grant Frerichs from Husqvarna Motorcycles South Africa.
“We came away from Cape Town National with a good points lead, it was a real challenging day in all aspects but we managed to put up a good fight to the end and bring home the overall,” a clearly relieved Swanepoel said. Heading into the final round it bodes well for him to retain the red plate when the championship heads to Virginia trails KZN.
“Another challenging weekend with a whole host of bad luck but I showed I have the speed in time trial lapping a minute faster than anyone else but the fuel was a problem for us and unfortunately ruined my chance for another overall win but there is 1 more round left for redemption and I will make sure I give myself and the team the best chance possible” commented a despondent Michael Docherty.
The events will be organised in the region hosting the Awards, and are part of a territorial synergy project that sees the FIM working together with the Emilia-Romagna Region, Visit Romagna and the Municipality of Rimini to promote the region, the Motor Valley and the Riders’ Land.
This will provide the opportunity to address and explore issues that are fundamental for the future of motorcycling, together with industry experts, journalists, representatives of the motorcycling industry and institutions. The professional training of young riders; motorcycle touring as an enabler of environmental soundness and sustainability; the development of technical solutions and innovations towards an ever-increasing sustainability of motorsport will be the topics addressed during this series of courses.
“With the aim of promoting the motorcycle World Champions and, at large, the motorcycling culture the FIM wants to enhance the FIM Awards brand” said FIM President Jorge Viegas, “The flagship event for the motorcycle world reinforce its ties with the territory that will host a series of events underlying motorcycling and its role in the future of ociety. These are paramount opportunities for highlighting synergies and cooperation between the world of motorcycle sport, the industry, media together with its cultural and social aspects.”
The first event will be held on Thursday 1 September at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, on the occasion of the MotoGP Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, and will be intended for a group of young riders from the Italian national selection, the Italian Junior Circuit Racing Championship and the FIM Europe Women’s European Cup. Personalities from the world of media, training and human resources, team principals and technical managers from the MotoGP paddock and WSBK will convey advice and methods to young riders already involved in track racing.
The second step towards the FIM Awards will be held in Rimini on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September at the FIM hospitality, on the occasion of the “Transitalia Marathon”, an event that brings together enthusiasts from all over Europe who are committed to discovering the beauty of the central Italian territory with their own motorcycles. On this occasion, a roundtable discussion will focus on “Motorcycle touring as an enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
There will be two moments of discussion; on Saturday, the focus will be on the contribution that the motorcycling industry brings to sustainable touring, on Sunday, strategies to promote motorcycle touring will be addressed by representatives of local, regional and national institutions.
The third stage of the journey towards the celebration of the World Champions will be dedicated to a topic of great timeliness and importance where the FIM, National Federations and motorcycle manufacturers are now actively focused: “The future: sustainability and motorcycling”. This will be done through a reflection on themes such as energy transition, alternative energies, sound emissions and sustainability strategies in general, to which the FIM has been committed for years.
The roundtable discussion, dedicated to communication professionals, will be held on 29 November at the Ducati Museum; in addition to the presence of the FIM President, Jorge Viegas, and the CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, Claudio Domenicali, leading experts from the FIM, FMI and the academic world will discuss the theme.
And finally, to conclude the Ride to FIM Awards, the most eagerly awaited moment will come: that of the gathering of World Champions from all disciplines with their fans and enthusiasts. On Saturday 3 December at the prestigious Teatro Galli in the historic centre of Rimini, each and everyone will be able to meet their heroes, ask questions, get autographs and take souvenir photos.
Access to this event will be by pre-registration – details will be confirmed in due course.
Ride to FIM Awards events
1 September, Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” – Workshop “How to be a professional rider”.
24-25 September, Rotonda Fellini, Rimini – Roundtable “The future: Motorcycle touring as an enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
29 November, Museo Ducati Borgo Panigale, Bologna – Roundtable “The future: Sustainability and Motorcycling”
3 December, Teatro Galli, Rimini – Meet&Greet FIM World Champions.