The Free State Goldfields provided a perfect early summer’s day of bright sunshine and a cooling breeze to mark the penultimate round of the Monster Energy SuperGP Champions Trophy at Phakisa Freeway near Welkom on Sunday. And it was 2013 SA Superbike champion Clint Seller (Portable Shade Race! Kawasaki ZX10R) who took home the gold when he won both 16-lap Monster Energy SuperGP races to move closer to claiming the inaugural SuperGP championship with one round remaining.
Seller was in peerless form, taking the opening race around the 4.24-kilometre high-speed Phakisa circuit by 0.540 sec from Lance Isaacs (Black Swan Energy BMW S1000RR) with Portable Shade Race! Kawasaki team-mate Dylan White a distant third 12.184 sec in arrears.
Seller won race two by 66.596 sec from White with Isaacs, battling with worn tyres, a distant third, 13.609 sec in arrears.
His back-to-back wins today take Seller’s total for the season so far to 10 from 14 individual races. He now enjoys a 24-point lead over Isaacs with a maximum of 50 on offer in the final round in November.
Steven Odendaal (Portable Shade Race! Kawasaki ZX6R) became the first South African Super600 champion when he did the double ahead of 2013 SA Supersport champion Cameron Petersen (EmTek/Brother Yamaha R6) and Darryn Binder (IndyOil Suzuki GSXR) in race one and by edging out Portable Shade Race! Kawasaki team-mate Mathew Scholtz by two tenths of a second in an epic battle in race two that saw the lead change five times in the last two laps as the pair battled it out not only for the race win, but also the championship. Third was Nicholas Kershaw (Tsunami Beach Bar Kawasaki ZX6R).
With just one round and two races remaining in the championship, at RedStar Raceway in Mpumalanga on November 30, Odendaal has 306 points to the 229 of Scholtz, an insurmountable gap of 77 with a maximum of 50 still available. His championship victory is well deserved and follows nine individual race wins from 14 races.
The opening 14-lap race was red-flagged twice and ended up being run in two parts, an initial five-lapper followed by a nine-lapper. Dylan Barnard (Yamaha YZF R6) went down and the race was halted to allow the marshals to remove his bike from the middle of the circuit. The grid lined up for the restart in the order at the end of lap five: Odendaal, Petersen, Binder, Dean Vos (EmTek/Brother Yamaha), Scholtz and Michael White (Civ Build Kawasaki ZX6).
The second red flag came out with five of the remaining nine laps to go when Vos went down and crawled painfully off the tarmac. With 75 percent of the race distance completed, it was decided to end the race. Scholtz was fourth ahead of Vos and White.
Nicolas Grobler, who scored two runner-up finishes in the opening round of the Monster Energy SuperGP Champions Trophy at Phakisa Freeway in March aboard a BMW S1000RR, made a triumphant return to the new-look stand-alone national championship motorcycle tour on a Black Swan Energy/Golden Mile Estate BMW HP4 in the SuperM national challenge, taking pole position for the first of Sunday’s two 25-minute races ahead of Challenge leader Kyle Robinson (Fantech Kawasaki ZX10R) and Beau Levey (Motos KTM Klerksdorp KTM RC8).
Grobler strolled to a 7.644 sec win over Levey and Robinson, with the latter wrapping up the inaugural Challenge title in the process. Darien Kayser was again quickest of the 600 riders on his Uncle Andy Racing/DNA Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX6R, but was forced out of the race with technical problems.
It was a different story in race two, with Grobler, running on worn rubber, struggling to match the pace of Robinson on new tyres. The new champion wrapped up a successful day’s racing, held in warm and sunny conditions with a light breeze providing some relief from high temperatures, by leading from start to finish to cross the line 0.805 seconds ahead of Grobler.
Third was Levey, a distant 19.882 sec behind the winner, with lone female rider Janine Davies (More Money/Enbridge-Torque-sure Consultants BMW S1000RR) coming through the field from seventh on the grid to finish fourth ahead of Justin Gillesen (Portable Shade Kawasaki ZX10), who she caught and passed on the last lap, and Kayser.