Msanzi rid­ers are best

Team SA crowned cham­pi­ons at the BMW Mo­tor­rad 2016

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

AF­TER seven days of in­tense, yet friendly com­pe­ti­tion, nearly 1 400 kilo­me­tres of mem­o­rable rid­ing and a whole week’s worth of un­for­get­table daily Spe­cial tests, the GS Tro­phy South­east Asia 2016 reached its con­clu­sion with Team South Africa crowned the de­serv­ing win­ners by a mar­gin of 31 points.

The trio of John Har­ris, By­ron Coet­see and Charl Mool­man had led the com­pe­ti­tion since its se­cond day and al­though they were pushed hard by both Team Ger­many and Team UK un­til the very last Spe­cial on the fi­nal day, they kept their cool un­der con­sid­er­able pres­sure and in so do­ing, took the tro­phy home to South Africa for the first time.

In a his­tor­i­cal first for the GS Tro­phy, two teams were tied for se­cond place — Team Ger­many and Team UK.

“I speak for the en­tire BMW Mo­tor­rad com­mu­nity when I say that we are ab­so­lutely de­lighted and very proud of Team South Africa’s vic­tory.

“The In­ter­na­tional GS Tro­phy is a show­case of rid­ing skills and team spirit and Team South Africa rose to the chal­lenge.

“We have al­ways per­formed well at the Tro­phy, but this vic­tory con­firms that the cal­i­bre of South African rid­ers is world­class,” said Alexan­der Baraka, gen­eral man­ager of BMW Mo­tor­rad South Africa.

Hav­ing come close to tro­phy hon­ours sev­eral times be­fore ( se­cond place in 2010 and 2014), Team South Africa were de­lighted win­ners: “Re­lief is the first emo­tion, then hap­pi­ness,” said By­ron Coet­see.

“South Africa’s track record in the event has been sec­onds and thirds, we even missed out on the win in 2010 by as lit­tle as one point, so to fin­ish like this, it’s like the weight of the world is lifted off our shoul­ders. We share this achieve­ment with our pre­vi­ous GS Tro­phy team rid­ers.”

The fi­nal Spe­cial test took place at a neigh­bour­ing mo­tocross train­ing track, much to the de­light of the teams, who made it their busi­ness to show ex­actly how a big ad­ven­ture bike like the BMW GS can be hus­tled around a tight, twisty track with a skilled rider at the con­trols.

With crowds of en­thu­si­asts lin­ing the cir­cuit and cheer­ing the teams all the way from their Le Mans- style starts through bumps, turns and whoops to a chal­leng­ing steep up­hill fin­ish, it was an ex­cit­ing and apt way to end the rid­ing part of the Tro­phy.

The big GS mo­tor­cy­cles held up re­mark­ably well con­sid­er­ing the ex­treme hard use they were sub­jected to over the seven days and more than 1 300 kilo­me­tres of com­pe­ti­tion.

De­spite be­ing dropped off “bro­ken bridges”, dragged through boul­der- strewn river cross­ings, hauled over huge logs, and rid­den hard across ev­ery type of ter­rain and ob­sta­cle imag­in­able, there has been hardly any dam­age at all to the fleet of over 100 bikes. A few tyres were changed due to punc­tures, a cou­ple of clutches and cool­ers re­placed, as were a few mir­rors and levers, but there were no tech­ni­cal fail­ures at all. — WR.

BMW Mo­tor­rad top 10:

1 South Africa 299 2 Ger­many 268 2 UK 268 4 CEEU 254 5 Latin Amer­ica 244 6 Brazil 242 7 China 234 8 USA 229 9 France 208 10 Italy 200


Team­work on dis­play dur­ing the BMW Mo­tor­rad In­ter­na­tional GS Tro­phy in South­east Asia. The GS Tro­phy South­east Asia 2016 reached its con­clu­sion with Team South Africa win­ning the tech­ni­cal chal­lenges over 1 300 km with a mar­gin of 31 points.

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