Picture Caption: SuperBike podium. Lance Isaacs, Steven Odendaal and Clint Seller (l-r)

Steven Odendaal couldn’t stay away from racing while the Moto2 series was on its summer break, so he dusted off his trusty Yamaha R1 and joined the SA Superbike series at Zwarkops Raceway for the Liqui Moly Fifth Round on 26 & 27 July 2019. While Yamaha is very different to the NTS he rides for the RW Racing Team on the world stage, he didn’t have any trouble adapting and went on to take two wins on Saturday after claiming pole position on Friday.

In the SuperSport 600 category, reigning champion Blaze Baker powered his Performance Technologies/The Rossi Sports Bar Yamaha R6 to victory in both heats.


Clint Seller (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R1) led the qualifying standings going into the final session but he could not improve his time in the final 25-minute session. Both Odendaal and Lance Isaacs (SuperBets Gaming Group BMW S1000RR) were, however, able to improve their times with Odendaal taking pole position by 0.148” from Isaacs. Seller had to settle for third. David McFadden (RPM Centre/Stunt SA Yamaha R1) was a tenth behind Seller in fourth with Garrick Vlok (DCCS Coring Yamaha R6) and Dylan Barnard (Barnard Racing Yamaha R1) rounding out the top six.

Odendaal took the holeshot when the lights went out in the first race, leading a group of four that pulled a gap on the chasing pack. He had Isaacs, Seller and McFadden in his wheel tracks until the brakes on MdFadden’s Yamaha failed and he was forced to retire. Shortly after half-distance, Odendaal put in the two quickest laps of the race to open a gap that, although not comfortable, gave him just a little bit of breathing room. He took the win by just over a second from Isaacs with Seller another second further back. Vlok hade a somewhat lonely race to fourth. Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R1) and Morne Geldenhuis (Race Craft/NCA Plant Hire Yamaha R1) were involved in a tussle for fifth until Geldenhuis crashed out, leaving the place to Bester. Barnard crossed the line in sixth.

The second race was almost a repeat of the first, with Odendaal leading the way except this time Seller led Isaacs and McFadden. Although the Cape Town-based rider had changed almost his entire braking system between races, the problem that ended his first race recurred and his race came to a premature end. Odendaal had the measure of his rivals and dipped below the 61-second mark around the 2.4km Zwartkops circuit on his way to victory. Seller kept Isaacs at by to take second with Vlok in fourth. Bester and Barnard rounded out the top six.

Odendaal topped the day’s overall standings, with Seller and Isaacs joining him on the podium.


Baker topped the standings in all three of Friday’s qualifying sessions, taking pole position from Kewyn Snyman (Hillbilly Racing Team/CGR Yamaha R6). Jared Schultz (ASAP World/FFC/Brown Property Yamaha R6) saved his best for last, setting his quickest time of the day on his final lap in Qualifying 3 to take third ahead of Dino Iozzo (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R6). Dian Nelson (TRD Motorcycles Yamaha R6) and Taric van der Merwe (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R6) completed the second row of the grid.

Snyman was the early leading in the opening race. He was able to hold off Baker until about one-third distance but, once Baker got past, he was able to control things from the front and took the win by almost three seconds. Behind the leading pair, Schultz was joined by Iozzo and they spent the next couple of laps fighting for the final podium position. Iozzo got past with four laps to go and was able to keep Schultz behind him until the flag. Nelson and van der Merwe ended in fifth and sixth.

A better start by Baker in the second heat saw him take a lights-to-flag victory, again chased hard by Snyman. Schultz and Iozzo resumed their Race 1 battle for third, with Schultz again leading in the early stages, but Iozzo was in front when it counted albeit by just over three-tenths of a second. Nelson and van der Merwe had an entertaining battle for fifth with Nelson just ahead at the flag.

Baker took overall victory on the day with Snyman and Iozzo in second and third respectively.

The SA SuperBike series in association with Metzler now heads back to the coast for the sixth round of the 2019 championship. The East London Grand Prix Circuit will host the riders on 30 & 31 August.

Published by: Paul Bedford


Photography by:

What South African Cross Country Moto Round 4 Report
Where Lesotho
When Saturday 27 July 2019
Community South Africa National

Podiums for Bogiages, Swanepoel

Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing bounced back from disaster in the run-up to the fourth round Live Lesotho South African Cross Country Motorcycle race as Brett Swanepoel rode home third in open class OR1 and Taki Bogiages similarly ended third in 250cc OR2. The team was rocked when OR1 championship Kenny Gilbert leader was ruled out of the race following a testing crash, but substitute Swanepoel delivered the goods, while Bogiages scored his best result of the season too.

“I am delighted with my result today,” Brett Swanepoel beamed. “That one’s for Kenny — to be ruled out like that while leading the championship really is a cruel blow — I know, I have been there so this one is for you mate! “Thanks to Pepson Plastics Husqvarna, not just for a brilliant bike today, but also for entrusting me with Kenny’s weapon — I am honoured to race it.”

Bogiages was similarly buoyed by his result: “I have worked so hard to get back to full strength since my injury late last year and today is starting to show real results,” Taki confirmed. “This is just the start — today was great for my championship too — I’m now in striking distance of third and second is still mathematically plausible, so let’s see — I’m really excited for the rest of the season. “Thanks to the team for a great machine and incredible support as always!”

“It’s been a really tough week for the whole Pepson Plastics Husqvarna team, “Husqvarna Motorcycles South Africa brand manager Fred Fensham concluded. “But Taki and Brett delivered fine results in Lesotho and we can now look ahead to the last few Cross Country rounds. “We also wish Kenny Gilbert a speedy recovery — you will be back champ!”

Issued on behalf of Husqvarna Off Road


With only days to the fourth round of the National Cross Country Championship, leading rider Kenny Gilbert has faced a devastating blow. Gilbert sustained a serious injury to his elbow during a training ride last week and has announced his withdrawal from the rest of the season.

Having finished in a painfully close second place for the past three years, the rider was determined to reclaim the prestigious OR1 title that he held from 2013-2015.With a 14-point lead in his class, he seemed unbeatable this season.

Having faced the highs and lows that come with racing, Gilbert has made peace with his situation. “There is absolutely nothing I can do to change the outcome and I’ve made peace with that. I know there’s a long road ahead and my ultimate goal at the moment is just to be able to get back onto my bike – whether that’s to race or not. It’s disappointing, but I’m fighting,” said Gilbert.

Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing’s Brett Swanepoel will now step in to represent the team in the OR1 Class for the rest of the season. At 24-years old, the rider has looked up to Gilbert for years: “Kenny has been someone I’ve looked up to my whole career. He was the first guy I really got to know when I got my first pro ride and we’ve been teammates and friends ever since. It’s going to be weird lining up at a cross country without him,” he said.

Having overcome a lengthy injury of his own with Gilbert’s support, Swanepoel added: “Injuries are tough and unfortunately a part of what we do. I’ve just come back from a serious injury and Kenny and his family actually looked after me while I was going through all my operations. I will do my best to represent him and the team while he’s recovering and I hope to see him back up racing soon.”

Riders will line-up in Lesotho’s Maluti mountains on Saturday, 27 July, for the next stop on the National Cross Country calendar.

Published by: Husqvarna Media

Photography by:


South African Cross Country legend Louwrens Mahoney – Photography by:

The National Cross Country standings have been shaken after the withdrawal of injured championship contender Kenny Gilbert. The fight for the OR1 title is as fierce as ever, however, as Brother Leader Tread KTM teammates Ross Branch and Louwrens Mahoney prepare to go to war.

Mahoney and Branch now share the top step of the leader board ahead of the fourth round of the series that takes place in Lesotho on Saturday.

With his convincing of credentials, Branch will be a favourite for the win this weekend. The rider has held the OR1 title for the past three years and shows no signs of slowing down. He is also more fired-up than ever after recently announcing that he will be returning to the Dakar Rally next year.

Teammate Mahoney will certainly not go down without a fight, however. After stepping up to the OR1 Class this season, Mahoney has been relentless in pursuit of his former national glory. While he has finished each race consistently this season, the rider is yet to snatch victory.

“It’s really good for KTM to have two of their riders going for the championship! Ross is a talented rider with great pace. I have a lot of respect for him as both a competitor and teammate,” said Mahoney.

Playing to his advantage will certainly be his wealth of technical experience. As a three-time winner of the Roof of Africa, Mahoney is no to stranger to Lesotho’s unforgiving terrain.

While the championship is being decided, fans are certainly in for some heated racing over the next few months as the pair of multiple national champions go head-to-head.

Published by: KTM Media

National Cross Country Champion, Ross Branch – Photography by:


LOKET (Czech Republic) 24 July 2019 – After two weeks travelling through Indonesia the FIM Motocross World Championship returns to Europe for the 13thstop of the calendar and continues at the old school hard pack circuit of Loket for the MXGP of Czech Republic.

150 Km west of Prague, Loket has been part of the Motocross World Championship calendar since 1995. While the heat of Palembang and Semarang tested the MXGP and MX2 riders, a sudden heat wave in Europe might see the riders get another action-packed weekend.

Joining the MXGP and MX2 classes at round 13 of the 2019 series, will be the EMX65, EMX85 Finals and the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship. For the 65cc and 85cc young talents it will be their unique outing on the MXGP track in 2019 as finals of the European Championships while the WMX championship will be facing its 3rdround.

The New Zealander Courtney Duncan is leading the WMX class and won three of the four races in the series being very much the favourite going into Loket. Also looking to make a good points haul will be Nancy Van de Ven and Larissa Papenmeier. Both are very close to Duncan in the series points standings.

Heading into the MXGP of Czech Republic, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser will be going for his eight GP win in a row and extend his championship lead. Tim Gajser, who had a record-breaking in Semarang with his seventh GP win in a row, being the best ever Honda GP winner in the FIM Motocross World Championship had his best result in Loket in 2016 with a second position while he reached the podium in third in 2017 and 2018. The former MX2 and MXGP champion will line up this weekend not only to win his first MXGP of Czech Republic but ideally go into the next MXGP round in Lommel with step towards to wrap up the championship.

Behind Gajser comes a freight train of blue machines. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team is shaping into form over the past few rounds and is now back at full strength with Romain Febvre who won his first race of 2019 in Palembang and Jeremy Seewer who moved up to second position and extended his gap on the MXGP Championship in Semarang, both are ready to battle for podium spots. Romain Febvre won the MXGP of Czech Republic in MXGP class in 2015 while he finishes 4thin 2018.

Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP rider Arnaud Tonus is riding at the peak of his career and a run of podium finishes and his first MXGP victory could be just around the corner. Also Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Gautier Paulin loves the hard pack and might be able to join his team-mate on the podium. The French won in Loket in MX2 class back in 2009. Tonus and Paulin are running fourth and fifth on the championship chase just a handful of points behind Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass also loves the hard pack of Loket and could spring a minor surprise.Pauls Jonass had a promising race 2 in Semarang and looks confident for a podium finish in Loket. Jonass has good memories from Loket, he missed the MX2 podium in Loket in 2018, but he won the MXGP of Czech Republic in 2017.

Tommy Searle is joining Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team for the remainder of the season and he’ll make his debut in the KRT family this weekend in Loket.

2018 MXGP of Czech Republic MX2 Podium

  • 1. Jeffrey Herlings
  • 2. Antonio Cairoli
  • 3. Tim Gajser

MXGP – World Championship Top Ten:1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 538 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 365 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 358 p.; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 346 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 343 p.; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 299 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 288 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 271 p.; 9. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 268 p.; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 243 p.

In MX2 class it has been Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado who has more or less dominated every single round he has ridden, and he will go into Loket riding the crest of a wave. Jorge Prado has 11 GP win out of 12 and he has good memories from Loket not only because the won the MXGP of Czech Republic in 2018 as in that occasion he took the MX2 Red Plate for the first time in his career.

Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Jago Geerts is one of the few riders this year to have taken a race from Prado, only 6 points separated Geerts to Vialle for the championship podium and you can be sure to see his best to be back on the top 3. Geerts’ teammate Ben Watson is not going to line up in Loket and his return will be announced shortly.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle is also showing good results or late, so he could easily figure in his 6thpodium finish of the season.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen who is the only other rider to have won a Grand Prix in MX2 this year, had solid performances in Indonesia and he is a favourite to make the podium in the Czech Republic.
Team HRC Calvin Vlaanderen, who had a promising return to action in Indonesia picking up his first podium of the season in Semarang, made the podium at Loket in 2018 so expect these two Honda riders to shine in the hot sun of Czech Republic.

Other M2 riders to watch out are Team SM Action Yamaha’s Maxime Renaux who showed good speed in Indonesia, F&H Racing’s Henry Jacobi who had shown brilliance in the early round of the year but struggled with mistakes recently, and his teammate Adam Sterry whocould be looking to make a charge as the season closes down. Honda 114 Motorsports’ Mitchell Evans had a tough time in Indonesia, injuring himself in Palembang, and missing the round in Semarang. He might come back well in Loket having made a trip home to Australia to recover.

2018 MXGP of Czech Republic MX2 Podium

  • 1.    Jorge Prado
  • 2.    Calvin Vlaanderen
  • 3.    Thomas Covington

MX2 – World Championship Top Ten:1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 544 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 466 p.; 3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 366 p.; 4. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 360 p.; 5. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 335 p.; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 246 p.; 7. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 242 p.; 8. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 228 p.; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 227 p.; 10. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 220 p.;

Saturday: 08h30 EMX85 Free Practice, 08h55 WMX Free Practice; 09h20 EMX65 Free Practice, 10h00 EMX85 Time Practice; 10h30 WMX Time Practice; 11h10 EMX65 Time Practice; 11h50 EMX85 Race 1; 12h30 MX2 Free Practice, 13h00 MXGP Free Practice, 13h50 EMX65 Race 1, 14h40 MX2 Time Practice, 15h15 MXGP Time Practice, 16h05 WMX Race 1, 16h55 MX2 Qualifying Race, 17h40 MXGP Qualifying Race.

Sunday: 08h55 EMX85 Race 2, 09h50 EMX65 Race 2, 10h25 MX2 Warm-Up, 10h45 MXGP Warm-Up, 11h30 WMX Race 2, 13h15 MX2 Race 1, 14h15 MXGP Race 1, 16h10 MX2 Race 2, 17h10 MXGP Race 2