Sport has no colour, says Zulu

CityPress - - Sport - SIL­VER SIBIYA sil­[email protected]­

Mo­tor­cy­cle racer Phiwe Zulu plans to im­prove his record at the Mo­tul Roof of Africa in Maseru next week and fin­ish in the top 10 this year.

Last year, he fin­ished in the top 40. But, this time around, he be­lieves the ex­pe­ri­ence he got last year will be enough to pro­pel him to a podium fin­ish.

The 32-year-old Zulu races with his part­ner, Tha­bang Ka­tees. This year, the pair fin­ished third in a na­tional rac­ing event in July.

The Her­bal­ife Nutri­tion bLU cRU Yamaha rac­ing team stars, Ka­tees and Zulu, both ended up among the top 10 at the Powa­sol Nite-X2.

Zulu fin­ished eighth and Ka­tees in 10th po­si­tion in the ex­pert class.

“I en­joyed the race very much and was op­ti­mally tested as the in­ten­sity in­creased with ev­ery lap. I thor­oughly en­joyed rid­ing bar to bar with my team-mate Tha­bang and some of the other pro rid­ers,” said Zulu.

Powa­sol Nite-X 2 was round six of the South­ern Africa En­duroX Se­ries and took place last week­end in Jo­han­nes­burg. It was their last test be­fore they face the Mo­tul Roof of Africa, which is con­sid­ered to be one of the tough­est off-road en­durance events in the world.

“I am look­ing for­ward to it,” said Zulu. “I am get­ting all my lo­gis­tics in place, but ev­ery­thing is go­ing well.”

He said there would be about 300 rid­ers from dif­fer­ent parts of the world com­pet­ing, but that would not in­tim­i­date him or stop him from achiev­ing his goal.

On be­ing part of a sport con­sid­ered to be a “white sport” he said: “Sport has no colour. When I am in KwaZulu-Natal, I meet a lot of black mo­tor­bik­ers.”

He said most of them do not race pro­fes­sion­ally, par­tic­i­pat­ing mainly in so­cial con­tests.

Zulu said the sport was open to any­one as long the per­son was in­ter­ested and starts rac­ing at a young age. He con­ceded that a racer needed to have spon­sors.

Zulu started rac­ing late in his life, but said that, when he was young, his father, who had a bike, used to take him for rides.

“I started rac­ing when I was 24 as a hobby, but the love grew.

“The in­ter­est first grew when I was be­tween the ages of nine and 11, and I en­joyed it even more when my dad took me for a spin.”

He said his re­la­tion­ship with Ka­tees was work­ing well.

“Ka­tees is strong – we plan how to race and he is usu­ally faster than I am.”

The Mo­tul Roof of Africa starts on Wed­nes­day and ends on Sun­day.

CLIMB­ING THE LAD­DER Phiwe Zulu (left) and Tha­bang Ka­tees are rid­ing the wave of suc­cess

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