Tough Bokkeveld sees titles go down to the wire
THE Koue Bokkeveld 400, the fifth round of the 2016 SA National Cross Country Championship for Motorcycles and Quads, proved to be a testing event with some interesting results after two days and about 480 kilometres of racing.
With only one race remaining in the national series, the championships are now on a knife’s edge and many titles will go down to the wire.
The Koue Bokkeveld received good rains before the event, but dust still played a role last Saturday. The terrain was quite rocky with some sandy sections and was described by competitors as “harsh on the body and the bike”.
In the motorcycle category, Brett Swanepoel (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) walked away with the overall laurels as well as his third victory this year in the OR3 (200cc) class.
Cape rider Calvin Wiltshire (Droomers Yamaha) finished second in OR3 with the championship leader, Dartagnan Lobjoit (Yamaha), third.
On the 250cc, Louw Schmidt (Brother Leader Tread KTM) won an extremely close battle in the OR2 category, with only a minute and a half separating him from Cameron Becker (KTM Centurion Liqui Moly Racing). Brendon Fourie (Sherco SA Racing) rounded off the podium.
The Open (OR1) class also saw lots of action, as defending champion Kenny Gilbert (Kargo Racing Husqvarna) claimed his first class win this season. It was, however, almost not going to happen as a tyre problem 20 kilometres from the finish not only resulted in him having to nurse his bike home, but he also crashed. He beat Ross Branch (Brother Leader Tread KTM) by a mere 32 seconds and this nail-biting championship will only be settled at the final event. Montagu rider Altus de Wet (BCR Arrow Yamaha Racing) took the final step on the podium.
In the senior class, defending champion Juan “Bollie” van Rooyen (Brother Leader Tread KTM), beat class leader Wynand Kleynhans (Yamaha) by just under two minutes. Bruce May (Agrisales Peak Yamaha) followed in third place.
In the High School class, Stefan van Deventer (Alfie Cox Junior KTM Racing) claimed his third consecutive victory, followed by Adriano Catalano (D&H Engineering Works Yamaha) and Maarten van Jaarsveld (Doorzone Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna) on the podium.
There was also a hat-trick for the Master class winner, Pieter Holl (KTM), but a runner-up result keeps Wayne Farmer (Doorzone Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna) in the championship lead. The Cape’s Martin Lourens (Droomers Yamaha) rounded off the podium after a tough event.
Among the quad competitors, only five riders in the Open Quad class could finish, with Hannes Saaijman (Yamaha) claiming his first victory this year despite suffering from flat tyres, with the Cape rider Jean-Claude Vlok (Yamaha) second and Johan Oosthuizen (Vans Racing Division Yamaha) in third place.
The final round of the SA National Cross Country Championship will take place on October 28 and October 29 in Gauteng.
The Koue Bokkeveld experienced good rains before last weekend’s bike and quad racing, which kept the dust, and the riders, down.