Pmb’s en­duro rider, Bruce May and team rid­ers for Agrisales Peak Yamaha Rac­ing will be pressed hard in the sec­ond round of the KwaZulu- Natal Re­gional and Club Cham­pi­onships for ju­niors and se­niors at Dundee to­mor­row and Satur­day.

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons will have to open throt­tles wide to stay ahead at Dundee

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - PHOTO: ME­GAN ELS

DUNDEE hosts the sec­ond round of the 2016 SA Cross Coun­try Mo­tor­cy­cle and Quad Cham­pi­onship to­mor­row and on Satur­day.

Com­peti­tors will not be shar­ing the race venue with the Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try ve­hi­cles in this SACC Bat­tle­fields Race, in­stead they will rub shoul­ders with the lo­cal fans, as the event is also the sec­ond round of the KwaZulu- Natal Re­gional and Club Cham­pi­onships for ju­niors and se­niors.

Many eyes will be on lo­cal KZN com­peti­tors who took an early lead in the cham­pi­onships and they might feel the pres­sure to per­form in front of their ‘ home’ crowd.

Michael Pen­te­cost ( from Dur­ban) and his Proudly Bid­vest Yamaha team- mate, Brett Swanepoel ( from Bal­lito) are lead­ing the OR1 ( Open) and OR3 ( 200cc) Cham­pi­onships in the mo­tor­cy­cle cat­e­gory.

They will be chased by Brother Leader Tread KTM team- mates, Ross Branch ( OR1) and Jar­ryd Coet­zee ( OR3) while the de­fend­ing OR1 cham­pion, Kenny Gil­bert ( Kargo Rac­ing Husq­varna), who is from Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, will aim to move up from his third place in OR1.

OR3 is packed with young tal­ent like the cur­rent High School Cham­pion, Ed­uan Bester ( KTM Cen­tu­rion Liqui Moly Rac­ing) cur­rently fifth, but ea­ger to show what he is ca­pa­ble of.

Dar­ren Macleod ( D& H En­gi­neer­ing Works Yamaha) is third, but not safe from the hunt­ing pack be­hind him.

In OR2 ( 250cc), the 2015 run­ner- up Jaycee Nien­aber ( D& H En­gi­neer­ing Works Yamaha) leads a class where any­thing can hap­pen. The de­fend­ing cham­pion, Louw Sch­midt ( Brother Leader Tread KTM) had a bad start to the sea­son and will hope for a podium po­si­tion to bet­ter his cur­rent 11th place while the run­ner- up at the Vry­burg Race, Alas­tair Drennan ( KTM) will be out of ac­tion due to an in­jury.

This means that Hein Jnr van Niek­erk ( Door­zone Bik­ers Ware­house Husq­varna) can bet­ter his third place, but he is not too far ahead of Cameron Becker ( KTM Cen­tu­rion Liqui Moly Rac­ing) and Bren­don Fourie ( Sherco Rac­ing SA) while Pad­dock rider, Kyle Flana­gan ( Sherco Rac­ing SA) will hope for his first points on the score board.

The Pi­eter­mar­itzburg en­duro rider, Bruce May ( Agrisales Peak Yamaha Rac­ing) might feel com­fort­able at this ‘ close’ race and will aim for an­other podium po­si­tion in the Se­nior Class where he trails Wy­nand Kleyn­hans ( Yamaha) who is sec­ond and new­comer, War­rick van Schalk­wyk ( Yamaha) who leads the class, but they will all have to watch out for the de­fend­ing cham­pion, Juan van Rooyen ( Brother Leader Tread KTM) who is 10th in the class af­ter a prob­lem­atic start, but he is sure to go for glory at Dundee.

Matatiele young­ster Ste­fan van Deven­ter ( Al­fie Cox Ju­nior KTM Rac­ing) is the cur­rent Ju­nior Na­tional Cham­pion and one of a hand­ful of young rid­ers who moved up from the Ju­nior Na- tional Cham­pi­onship. He is third in the High School Cham­pi­onship and will hope to over­take An­dré Bas­son ( Yamaha) in sec­ond place and chase Adri­ano Cata­lano ( D& H En­gi­neer­ing Works Yamaha) who leads the cham­pi­onship.

An­other ‘ lo­cal’ KZN rider, Den­zil Tor­lage ( Proudly Bid­vest Yamaha) might be a mul­ti­ple SA Na­tional En­duro Cham­pion, but he has a fight on his hands in the Master Class Cham­pi­onship where he is sixth af­ter the first round.

This class is be­ing led by two more mul­ti­ple off- road champs, Wayne Farmer ( Door­zone Bik­ers Ware­house Husq­varna) and Pi­eter Holl ( KTM) while the de­fend­ing cham­pion, Ian Ven­ter ( KTM Cen­tu­rion Liqui Moly Rac­ing) is just one point be­hind.

Taye Perry ( KTM) is a favourite in the Ladies Class while the bat­tle be­tween the younger rid­ers and the more ex­pe­ri­enced com­peti­tors in the 125cc Class, will con­tinue at Dundee where the ex­pe­ri­enced Izak Mans ( Droomers Yamaha) leads the scholar, Michael Glöckle ( D& H En­gi­neer­ing Works Yamaha).

On four wheels

The Open Quad Cham­pi­onship will be wide open as the de­fend­ing cham­pion, Brian Barag­wanath ( Proudly Bid­vest Yamaha), who is third in the stand­ings, will be com­pet­ing in the Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onship in a CR- T ve­hi­cle at Vre­de­fort while Ste­fan Swanepoel ( Yamaha), who is cur­rently sec­ond, has an­nounced his re­tire­ment from the sport. An­dré Park ( Yamaha) cur­rently leads the stand­ings and will hope to have an open road to his first ti­tle.

It might not be that easy as the Kok­stad rider, John- John Ayl­ward ( Yamaha) will make a come- back at this event in his back yard af­ter not rac­ing for two years and would like to start with the same re­sults he fin­ished with – podium re­sults. With Barag­wanath and Swanepoel not com­pet­ing, rid­ers like Rus­sell Ferreira ( Yamaha), who is fourth and fifth placed Jo­han Oosthuizen ( VANS Rac­ing Divi­sion Yamaha) will aim to move onto the podium with more good re­sults.

In the Master Class Cham­pi­onship, it looks like the cur­rent champ, Ge­orge Twigge ( Yamaha) is on his way to a hat trick of ti­tles if the rest of the rid­ers do not find a way to stop him.

Me­gan Stander ( Suzuki) leads the High School Cham­pi­onship af­ter win­ning at Vry­burg.

All the ac­tion will take place from the Bat­tle­fields Coun­try Lodge and Sports Re­sort on the out­skirts of Dundee where the Start/ Fin­ish and cen­tral ser­vice point will be. There will be a va­ri­ety of re­fresh­ments from var­i­ous food stalls at the re­sort dur­ing the week­end. Spec­ta­tors can fol­low the rac­ing on both days from var­i­ous good van­tage points on the loops.

PHOTO: TWIT­TER

De­fend­ing OR1 cham­pion, Kenny Gil­bert from Pmb ( left) with fel­low Kargo Rac­ing Husq­varna rid­ers ( from left) Kyle Eras­mus, Nick van den Berg and Matt Green.

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