Tough Bokkeveld sees ti­tles go down to the wire

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING - CHAR­MAINE FOR­TUNE

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.

PHOTO: ZOON CRONJE

The Koue Bokkeveld ex­pe­ri­enced good rains be­fore last week­end’s bike and quad rac­ing, which kept the dust, and the rid­ers, down.

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