The Husqvarna Racing team put in a strong display of talent at the fourth round of the Motocross Nationals in Pietermaritzburg this weekend, with Joshua Mlimi and Barend du Toit securing podium finishes in their respective classes. Davin Cocker also put in a consistent performance in the MX2 class finishing in seventh overall.
After some ups and downs this year, Josh Mlimi racing the MX1 class, showed his skill and determination on the challenging Pietermaritzburg track, finishing in second place overall.
Commenting on his performance, Mlimi said, “Overall I had a great day on the track, made more steps in the right direction and I’m really happy with how I rode. I didn’t get the best start in the first heat but came back strong in the second heat to get the holeshot and led the race for a few laps.” He went on to say, “It was so good to get the flow again and remind myself what it feels like to be a podium contender. I’m ready to come back stronger for Round 5.”
Barend du Toit also delivered a strong showing in the Highschool class at the race this weekend after some intense racing and claiming the second overall.
du Toit commented, “I struggled a bit with arm pump in the first heat and not feeling the best due to the demanding track conditions. In the second heat, I had a terrible start but I managed to claw my way back to battle it out and claim the second overall spot for the day.”
In the MX2 class, Davin Cocker, despite some crashes, put in a solid performance, finishing seventh overall for the team. “Today started off good in practice, the track was pretty rough and gnarly but we got through it. I didn’t get the best start for heat one and crashed twice. I felt much better in heat two and got some solid points on the board,” said Cocker. “I’m looking forward to putting in the work over the next few weeks and coming back stronger in the next round.”
“Today was a good day for the team all together. 2-second place finishes is something we can hang our hat on and move forward towards round 5”, commented team manager, Grant Frerichs.
The Red Bull KTM team showcased their dominance at the fourth round of the Motocross National Championships in Pietermaritzburg this past weekend, with star rider Cameron Durow winning all four heats in both the MX1 and MX2 classes. Jonathan Mlimi put in a strong performance, finishing second overall in the MX2 class, while young gun Luke Grundy snatched up the top spot on the podium for the Highschool class as well.
Despite Trey Cox being out due to injury, the Red Bull KTM team proved to be a force to be reckoned with on the challenging Pietermaritzburg track.
Cameron Durow, in particular, was in a league of his own, delivering outstanding performances in both his respective classes. Commenting on his impressive performance, Durow said, “I’m really happy with such a solid day in the bag, and beyond stoked to get 4 – 4 at a home national as well.”
He went on to say, ”The track couldn’t have been better, and we couldn’t have asked for more perfect riding conditions for the day. Thanks to the whole Pietermaritzburg Motocross club for getting the track ready for an awesome day out!”
Jonathan Mlimi also put in an excellent showing in the MX2 class, demonstrating his skill and determination after a trying start to the year. His impressive performance resulted in a well-deserved second-place finish overall after finding his feet in the MX2 class only being outdone by teammate Durow. Mlimi commented, “Such a good day out for me, managed to get second overall. It feels really good to be back on the podium and I’m thrilled about my results. Now to put in some work for round five and go into the next round swinging.”
Another force to be reckoned with, Luke Grundy, displayed exceptional talent after a bar-to-bar battle laying everything down on the track and claiming first overall. A visibly stoked Grundy commented, “Despite being sick I really gave it my best shot for the day. I got great results at the end of both heats going 1-1 and I couldn’t be happier. Im excited to come back for round five stronger and better.”
Grant Frerichs, the KTM group marketing manager rounded up the day by commenting, “The Red Bull KTM team showed pure dominance at round 4 with wins in every class. It was great to see 3 KTM’s on the podium in the MX2 class showing, without a doubt, that KTM is the bike to own. We go into round 5 leading all of our racing classes and look forward to defending those red championship plates once again.”
You’ve heard of dancing in the moonlight, but now Sadac Adventure Travel – the southern Africa adventure bike travel specialists – have partnered with Muddy Face Tours to give you a unique opportunity to ride your adventure bike by moonlight.
The Moonlight on the Move Adventure – proudly sponsored by Motul – will see riders head from Johannesburg to Botswana’s iconic Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, a lunar landscape in northern Botswana that’s so flat and so empty, you can see the curvature of the Earth.
“We’re excited to have this opportunity to show riders the beauty of Botswana and combine one of our signature adventure rides with a festival that we know people will absolutely love,” commented Treffon Smith of Sadac Travel. “Muddy Face on the Pans is an unmissable event, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with my fellow riders,” he added. After departing Motul SA’s Kyalami headquarters on Wednesday 28 June 2023, riders will cover approximately 1 980km of tar and dirt roads, with all the dirt road stages on either orange or red graded tracks. The journey to the Pans is not a guided ride, but an organised and facilitated/supported ride. Participants can choose to break up into smaller groups and navigate their way to the rendezvous point indicated on each day’s track.
The supplied GPS tracks will lead riders to a yet-to-be-revealed location in the Pans for the 3-night Muddy Face on the Pans Festival – the ultimate music and riding lifestyle event. With a night at a safari lodge to break the journey in each direction, the Motul Moonlight on the Move Adventure promises 6 days and 5 nights of awesome riding action and entertainment.
The route to the Pans will consist of a combination of tar, gravel, twin tracks and cattle paths, with adventure bikes of all brands (as well as 4×4 support vehicles for partners) welcome. Routes will be available as GPS downloads to all confirmed participants.
On arrival at the Pans, the true adventure begins. Riders will be sleeping under canvas – if they sleep at all. The clue is in the name – this is a moonlight adventure. Timed to coincide with the full moon, Muddy Face on the Pans will see the Makgadikgadi Pans (which were once the bed of a vast inland sea) transformed into a silvery-blue wonderland. Riding at night across an endless landscape, with your lunar shadow in hot pursuit, is an experience not to be missed. There is something magical and mysterious about the Pans at night making this a ride to remember.
“No other riding experience compares to stirring up dust on the Makgadikgadi Pans by moonlight,” commented Ross Branch, organiser of Muddy Face on the Pans. “As a Dakar Rally competitor, I know the sense of freedom that riding in the desert can bring. This festival will let adventure riders and spectators feel that same thrill,” he added.
Of course, riding isn’t the only nocturnal activity on offer. With local bands including Sunset Sweatshop and Flying Bantu, plus tunes from DJ Bad Brad, festivalgoers can dance until dawn. The entertainment will also feature interactive drumming sessions, fire dancing and multiple competitions for spectators.
The freestyle motocross display riders will provide plenty of thrilling action, with optional extra quad bike hire and scenic helicopter flips completing the line-up of awesome opportunities.
“As Motul’s distributor in Botswana, the Pans are our backyard and we can’t wait to welcome riders from South Africa to this stunning landscape and to the Muddy Face event,” commented Anthony Lambrechts, GM of Team Agencies. “The Pans are beautiful, but also harsh – fortunately, Motul products have got what it takes to help riders conquer the terrain and temperatures,” he added.
“Motul is proud to sponsor the Moonlight on the Move Adventure – it’s an experience that’s completely in tune with our commitment to helping people to get the most out of owning offroad vehicles,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. To secure your place on the Motul Moonlight on the Move Adventure, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about Motul’s product range and how they can help you get optimum performance from your vehicle in even the most challenging conditions, visit https://www.motul.com/za/en
ABOUT MOTUL Motul is a world-class French company with 170 years of experience in the specialised formulation, production and distribution of high-tech engine lubricants (for two-wheelers, cars and other vehicles) as well as lubricants for industry via its Motul Tech division.
Since its inception in 1853, Motul has been recognised for the quality of its products, commitment to innovation and involvement in competition, and is also acknowledged as a specialist in synthetic lubricants. In 1971, Motul was the first lubricant manufacturer to pioneer the formulation of a 100% synthetic lubricant, derived from the aeronautical industry and making use of esters technology: 300V lubricant.
Motul partners with many manufacturers and racing teams in order to further their technological product development through experience gained in motorsports. It has served as an official supplier for teams competing in iconic Road racing, Trials, Enduro, Endurance, Superbike, Supercross, Rallycross and World GT1 events, including 24 Hours of Le Mans (cars and motorcycles), 24 Hours of Spa, Le Mans Series, Andros Trophy, the Dakar Rally and the Roof of Africa.
This year, the Women Bikers Association in collaboration with Inked Sisterhood and Throttle Queens organised a short circuit ride within Nairobi to mark the 17th IFRD attracting over 70 female bikers and enthusiasts who came out to commemorate the day in Kenya.
This was followed by an in-person event hosted to demystify stereotypes of female riders and provide basic information a beginner would be seeking to get into biking.
A diverse panel composing of women as young as 19 and veterans, business owners, and a bike trainer discussed business opportunities in motorcycling, female bikers at the workplace, getting back to biking after an accident, training opportunities, and motocross biking for women.
Later, the ladies had an opportunity to interact and share the realities of women who ride as mothers, professionals, daughters in law, businessmen, etc
The day ended with a highlight of the ladies testing out various BMW demo bikes availed by sponsors and got all necessary information on the various models.
South Africa’s only female superbike racing duo has established a non-profit company called Basadi in Motorsport with the aim of making a lot of noise about motorsport to a female audience.
The directors are Morongoa (Mo) Mahope, aka “Mo83”, and Nicole van Aswegen, aka “Nix21”. Mo only learnt how to ride a bike at the age of 30 but the bug soon bit and she became the 1st black female superbike racer in South Africa in 2016. In 2016 she was also appointed a brand ambassador for Motorsport South Africa and then later also for Ducati South Africa and most recently BMW Motorrad SA. Her partner Nix21, who was also a Ducati South Africa ambassador and is currently a BMW Motorrad SA brand ambassador, is a racing legend, being the first lady to race in the national 600cc championship as far back as 2009 and also the first lady to ever podium in a national Supersport race. Nicole also won the Ladies 600 class in the 2010 Northern Regions Motorcycle Championship.
For these two adrenalin junkies there’s no such thing as work is work and play is play. They’re as serious about motorsport and the future of the sport in South Africa as they are about their day jobs.
Nix 21 explains that Basadi (which is Sesotho for Women) in Motorsport is focused on rider development, safety campaigns and promoting racing among women and others not currently exposed to the sport.
“Our target market is women road riders and aspiring racers. If Basadi can be an overall brand ambassador for motorsport, we can help raise the numbers of female riders,” she said.
“South Africa is relatively far behind most developed countries; female rider numbers have dropped over the years. There is a lot of work to be done to get the numbers up to a level where we can have a good representation of female riders and, ultimately, at least two female-only race classes.”
The pair is confident the initiatives they have planned through their NPC, like rider development, safety clinics and track days, will unearth the ladies out there who may very well be SA’s next big thing in the sport.
Upcoming on their calendar is the Motorcycle Racing Series of South Africa (MRSSA). The goal of this series is to inject the fun back into competitive racing; keeping it simple with minimal rules while still racing in a safe environment.
Nicole explains the MRSSA motorcycle-only racing series is founded on the idea of catering for every kind of racer in an affordable manner.
“In this sense, the series welcomes all riders, no matter their age, skill level, type of motorcycle or preference of tyres. We love the slogan – ‘a motorcycle racing series by the riders, for the riders’. No politics, just affordable racing that’s open to all.
“It’s a cheaper form of racing for street bike riders with uncomplicated rules. There are nice feeder classes to start off in and there is room for progression to other classes as a rider’s skill levels improve.”
Basadi aims to present a programme for women who ride on the road but have never ridden on the track.
“We would start off by taking them on a race simulator, then to a small track on smaller bikes and from there to a big race circuit to help get them faster,” Mo says.
Both agree the sport is still male dominated but use this as extra motivation to perform and prove women are as capable and can succeed.
“Women should never feel inferior to men. They can achieve anything they set their minds to and we are excited to show women this through Basadi in Motorsport,” says Mo.
“The best way for us to promote the sport is by participating in it and competing against the best male racers in the country. We believe we have inspired other women and hope to inspire many others.”
This can be an uphill battle, Nicole adds, as there is still a lot of misconception out there.
“Many people think motorcycle racing is not safe when, in fact, it is much safer than riding on the road. The sport is also not only for ‘rich, white men’ as it is often perceived to be – anyone can take part. Another myth is that it’s just an expensive hobby with no career prospects. The sport is, in fact, diverse and offers many and varied potential career paths.
“Safety in racing is not our biggest concern as there are measures in place to mitigate risks on the track. Of course, there is always room for improvement by upskilling riders, but we feel the biggest risk is on the road adds Mo, being an occasional road rider herself.
“This is why we want to target women riding on the road. Most people buy motorcycles without possessing the necessary skills or training to adequately handle these machines.”
Nix21 was in love with fast cars and motorbikes from a young age, but Mo83 only explored her interest in bikes at the age of 30, oblivious to the fact there was a sporting side to it until two years later.
Adrian Scholtz, CEO of Motorsport South Africa, is firmly behind these two riders’ dream of garnering enough stakeholder support to enable their NPC to promote and build female numbers on the track.
“Basadi brings something fresh and exciting to the table from the perspective of two ladies who are active racers and therefore know what they’re talking about. The potential impact this organisation can have on motorsport, especially in terms of female participation, is enormous. “MSA is exceptionally proud of their vision and fully supports their initiatives,” he said.
Nicole and Mo have certainly proven women can multi-task. Mo is a mom to three daughters and Nicole also has a daughter. Their families are firmly behind their motorsport aspirations and always raring to go when it’s family time next to the racetrack.
Follow Basadi in Motorsport on @basadiinmotorsport or @momahope83 for Mo and @nicole.vanaswegen and @Nix21 for Nicole.