Msanzi riders are best
Team SA crowned champions at the BMW Motorrad 2016
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.