Montagu, Western Cape
JUNIORS TO TACKLE POPULAR MONTAGU JUNIOR NATIONAL OFF-ROAD RACE NEXT
“Matt van Galen Copyright: Elza Thiart”
Young off-road motorcycle and quad riders competing in die 2012 Junior National Championship will travel to the Western Cape to tackle the Montagu Junior National, the second round of the championship that takes place on Saturday (3 March) and while the pressure will be on the front runners and early class leaders, quite a few riders would like to put their first points on the scoreboard.
While motorcycle riders from KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Regions have been dominating these classes at the season opener, quad competitors from the Western Cape would like to keep their stronghold in both the junior and senior quad categories. The Cape riders might have a point to prove in front of their home crowd, but the ‘visitors’ would want to take home good results after travelling all the way to the fairest Cape for this race.
Tzaneen’s Jaco Moller (PS Storm Racing Suzuki) is leading the Senior Open Quad Class for riders between the ages of 14 and 17 competing with 450cc-powered quads. Vanderbijlpark’s Wayne Smith (Honda) is three points behind him with Adrian Uys (Water Rite Racing Kawasaki) from Fochville fifth on the standings. The rest of the riders are all from the Cape with Joshua Schenk (Yamaha) third and Jean-Claude Vlok (JAG Quad Racing Yamaha) fourth. Cape riders like the former junior champion, Melchior Huskisson as well as Colin Meder, both on Can-Am quads, experienced bad luck at the first event. Huskisson is currently ninth, but Meder would like to get back into the game and to add a healthy amount of points to his name.
Western Cape riders took the early lead in both the Junior Modified Quad Class and Junior Open Quad Class where Yamaha riders, Brodie Jacobs and Tyrone Renwick are the respective leaders. Renwick is the overall leader of the Junior Quad Category followed by another Cape rider, Dylan van Eden (Avoprop Yamaha) while the KZN lady, Jade Schutte (Perry Yamaha) is currently rounding off the overall podium in this category for quad riders between 10 and 15 years of age. Ruan Combrinck (Yamaha) is fourth overall while two of his fellow Cape riders both competing with Yamaha quads, Eathan van Rensburg and Tristan Joubert, will aim to finish their first race of the season.
KZN riders are leading most of the classes in the motorcycle category with Port Elizabeth’s Andrew Wren (Xtreme Yamaha Support) the only non-KZN rider in the lead. He leads the Open (250cc) Class after a victory on home soil at Humansdorp. Like at the first race, he will again be chased by Louw Schmidt (Dirtstyle Honeydew Suzuki) who is now just three points behind him in this class with Estiaan Steenkamp (Water Rite Racing Yamaha) only two points further back in third place and ready to set the record straight in the Western Cape.
More riders from KZN, Donovan Farley (Ekerold Yamaha) and Damien Scott (Fever Criterion Yamaha), will protect their fourth and fifth places respectively from a gaggle of talented riders behind them whose aim it will be to move up on the championship ladder. This includes Cape riders Jason Helm (Honda) from George who is ninth as well as the national championship newcomer, Dirk Swanepoel (Yamaha) who rounds off the top ten.
The competition in the 125cc Class was extremely tight at the Humansdorp event and this trend will probably continue in the Western Cape. Fever Criterion Yamaha team-mates, Travis Teasdale (from KZN) and Angus Coetzee, are first and second respectively with KZN rider, Brett Swanepoel (JOAT KTM) third. The rest have scored their first points, but they would also like to get onto the podium. Jan Human (Roost Gemini KTM) is currently fourth with KZN’s Dylan McGovern (Fever Criterion Yamaha) rounding off the top five.
Two Cape Town riders are in the top ten in this class – Eamonn Sullivan (Droomers Yamaha) and Aeron Thompson (Kargo Racing KTM) who are sixth and eighth respectively – and to move up on the points’ ladder at their home event, will suit them perfectly, but for that Thompson will have to squeeze past the 2011 junior champ, Brendon Fourie (Jaag Spinnekop Husaberg) who is seventh.
Four of the top ten riders in the Senior 85cc Class are from the Western Cape with two – Helderberg Yamaha team-mates Matt van Galen and Calvin Wiltshire – third and fourth respectively while Ryan Yates (Yamaha) and Jeandre Radyn (Yamaha) are ninth and tenth. Motocross star, Bradley Cox (Red Bull KTM) might be new to off-road racing, but after tasting victory, he will aim for a second win while Alastair Drennan (Roost Gemini KTM) will chase him to improve his second place while he would want to stay ahead of the local riders. Dean Lindsay (Roost Gemini Kawasaki) is currently fifth overall in this competitive class.
The battle in the junior motorcycle category will again continue with the Montagu Junior National that will be a new event for most of these brave youngsters. KZN’s Matthew Green (Kargo Racing KTM) and Tristan Asher-Wood (KTM) are leading the 65cc and Junior 85cc Classes respectively after scoring their first national victories this season. In the overall junior motorcycle category where the 65cc and junior 85cc classes are combined, Asher-Wood is leading Keegan Coetzee (Roost Gemini KTM) who finished behind him in the Eastern Cape while Calvin Hume (Perry Yamaha), who is third, would like to show his true colours after mechanical problems resulted in him finishing third behind Coetzee.
The Montagu Junior National, organised by the Western Cape Junior Off-road Club (WCJOC) will also form a round of the regional series with classes also catering for even younger riders on 50cc and 100cc bikes as well as 50cc quads. For the national championship, the organisers have laid out a 30km track for junior motorcycle and quad competitors while the senior route is 32km long.
Some riders, who competed in this event last year, might recognize certain sections of the routes, but these sections will be run in the opposite direction. All the national quads classes will be run from 08h30 in the morning while the motorcycle riders will tackle the race at 12h30. All the action takes place from the farm Eendrag just off the R318 outside Montagu. Spectators are welcome.
(The Montagu Junior National is an MSA sanctioned event.)