- REVIEW : KAMBERG JUNIOR NATIONAL
- Rounds 4 & 5 of the 2013 Junior National Off-road Championship
- 28 & 29 September 2013 : Kamberg area (KwaZulu-Natal)
TITLES AND TEARS FOR YOUNG OFF-ROAD RIDERS AT TESTING ‘KAMBERG JUNIOR NATIONAL’
There were titles for some and tears for others after the Kamberg Junior National that formed the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2013 Junior National Championship on 28 and 29 September in the Kamberg area in KwaZulu-Natal where young off-road motorcycle competitors challenged each other for the last time this season. For many this race was the end to their ‘junior’ racing careers as they will move on to other forms of dirt-bike racing while the younger riders will follow in their footsteps.
The 2013 titles were determined at the Kamberg Junior National with the young riders being tested over two days. Competing for two consecutive days proved to be a challenge for most riders while the weather conditions did not make it any easier. The heavens opened the night before Sunday’s race (the final round of the 2013 series) causing a few sections to become quite slippery, but most of the young competitors – all between the ages of seven and 17 – enjoyed the event that was organised by the South Coast Cadets Club.
In the Open Motorcycle Class there were two consecutive victories for the defending champion, Andrew Wren (Extreme Yamaha Support), but two third places after rear brake problems for Travis Teasdale (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing) secured him the title for 2013. Criterion Yamaha Portable Shade team-mates, Kyle Flanagan and Damien Scott each scored a second and a fourth place while Mauritz Meiring (McGee Yamaha Lydenburg) finished fifth on both days to complete his first year in the Junior National Championship.
Pa Ma Racing’s Henco Botha (Kawasaki) also produced consistent results with two seventh places as did Brendan Swanevelder (Team Brother KTM) and Bradley Nortje (Manhand Shimwells Yamaha) who both scored a ninth and tenth place during the weekend to round off their consistent racing seasons – it was Swanevelder’s first junior off-road season. Ryan van Munster (Yamaha) managed a sixth place on Saturday, but could not finish on Sunday while Dylan McGovern (Kargo Racing KTM) was eighth on the first day and 13th the day after he injured his knee against a rock. Gerhard Grove (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing); Tyler Robins (Yamaha) and Driekert du Plessis (KTM) all completed both days while Jason Jones (KTM) crashed early on Saturday and could not continue, but he managed a sixth place the next day albeit an injured knee.
Like Teasdale, Angus Coetzee (Criterion Yamaha) also claimed his second Junior National Championship title in his short career by winning the 125cc Class Championship. He did so by scoring a victory and a second place (he experienced a small mechanical issue) while two more victories during the season supported his cause. His team-mate, Dylan Barker, finished second behind him on Saturday, but panic set in early the following morning when his race bike would not start. He was forced to get his practice bike ready for the race and claimed a fourth place.
Bradley Cox (Red Bull Alfie Cox Racing Husaberg) competed for the first time this season and claimed the 125cc Class victory on Sunday (he started toward the back on Saturday and had to play it safe in the dust finishing fourth) while Cullim Symons (Central Waste / Flowe-Pac Ekerold Yamaha) rounded off the podium on both days. Kargo Racing KTM team-mates, Aeron Thompson (fifth and sixth positions) and Ross Blackwell (sixth and seventh place) both claimed top ten spots as did Joe Moolenschot (Suzuki) who was seventh and eighth. There was some more bad luck for Corbin Lamb (Husqvarna Racing) who experienced spark plug problems and could not complete either day’s racing section while Chayse Orsmond (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing) and David Matthews (KTM) could only finish one event.
There might not have been a title for Pretoria youngster, Eduan Bester (NUTS Racing Century Civils Kawasaki), but he scored his first two victories of the season in the Senior 85cc Class after a tough season. The 2013 class title belongs to Dean Lindsay (Yamaha) who ‘outgrew’ his bike early this year – a third and fourth place were enough to secure him the title. The winner of the previous event, Michael Wolhuter (Alfie Cox Racing KTM) finished second on Saturday, but did not compete the next day while the 2012 Junior Champion, Tristan Asher-Wood (Alfie Cox Racing KTM) claimed a fourth place on the first day and a third place the next day to complete his first season in the Senior 85cc Class.
Daniel van Zyl (Alfie Cox Racing KTM) was second (day two) and fifth (day one) with the motocross rider from East London, Christopher Renwick (Suzuki) claiming a fifth and sixth place to round off his first off-road season. Tristan White (KTM) had a few mechanical problems, but still managed a seventh and eighth place during the weekend while Josh Bailey (Yamaha) scored a seventh and eighth place. Calvin Hume (Fast Power Sports Kawasaki) crashed on Saturday and had to call it a day, but managed a sixth place the next day.
In the junior category of the competition, Kayde Mante (KTM) would have liked to win both races, but he managed to add another victory to his list of two wins this season to secure his first national title. The Margate rider claimed the Junior 85cc Class title for the year with a victory on Saturday and a second place behind local Kamberg rider, Matthew Green (Kargo Racing KTM) the next day. Green, who finished second behind Mante the day before, revelled in the tricky conditions on Sunday while Mante fell early in their two-hour race and lost valuable time.
David Odendaal (Pa Ma Racing KTM), who won the second round of the season, struggled somewhat, but a third and second place will secure him the second place behind Mante for the season (provisional results and points) while Eric Mclean (Barnard Vervoer KTM) rounded his first off-road racing season off with a third and fourth place. Also in the top ten were Erik Merry (NUTS Racing Century Civils KTM) and Rory Lutz (Kawasaki) who both scored a fifth and a sixth place; the MX rider, Ryan Pelser (RKM WaterJet Profiling KTM) who rounded his first season in the Junior National Championship off with an eighth and ninth place; Stefan van Deventer (Pa Ma Racing Yamaha) who was ninth on Saturday after a crash and finished the next day in seventh place albeit still being bruised and Dylan Ackhurst (Yamaha) who was tenth on the first day and eighth on Sunday.
Welkom’s Maarten van Jaarsveld (Yamaha) slipped down an embankment on Saturday and struggled to get his bike back on to the route, but still finished 13th. He had a better race the next day and finished 10th. There was some bad luck for Zane do Amaral (KTM) and Francois Albrecht (Kawasaki) who could only finish the race on Saturday with Do Amaral scoring a seventh place and Albrecht finishing 14th. Barend Pretorius (Team Pesti Racing KTM) claimed a 12th and 11th place with Ethan Bailey (KTM) finishing 11th and 12th after two testing days in the field.
The 2013 Junior 65cc Class title belongs to the 10-year old Noah Maartens (Pa Ma Racing KTM) who made a clean sweep this season by winning the class at each of the five events. His team-mate Shaun Wallis finished each day in second place with Gunther Foit (CFE Racing Husqvarna) third even though he got stuck and lost a lot of time the last day.
The official standings for the season will be calculated by Motorsport SA and will be released soon.
There will unfortunately not be a Junior National Championship series next year, but the various regions (Western Cape, Northern Regions and KwaZulu-Natal) will host a racing series for young competitors in 2014.