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
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.
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.