- 2014 OFF-ROAD QUAD CHAMPIONSHIP (2012 & 2013 National Champion)
- Looking back : Diamond Route 400 (8 March – Wolmaransstad)
- What is next : Round 2 of the National Off-road Championship (12 April)
“BRING ON ROUND NUMBER TWO” – JURIE ‘BOTTER’ MEYER…
“Bring on the second round of the National Off-road Quad Championship”, says the defending National Off-road Quad Champion, Jurie ‘Botter’ Meyer. The Diamond Route 400 was just the beginning of a tough season and the 21-year old Polokwane rider is ready for the next round of the battle.
The recent Diamond Route 400 national off-road race held outside Wolmaransstad in the North-West Province, was the first battlefield – there will be six national skirmishes this year – where the quad competitors sussed each other and the season out and the scene has been set for a year full of action. Meyer’s second place on his Yamaha Race Support YFZ450R has laid a solid foundation for him to defend his 2013 Q1 championship and overall title.
“It was quite a fast race although not easy at all,” Meyer said afterwards. Quad competitors had to complete a 60 odd kilometre loop three times before spending a 15 minute ‘De-control’ in the pits before taking on different loop of the same length which they also had to complete three times.
“I started second and was behind Brian Baragwanath on his Raptor 700, but it was not easy to pass. I then picked up a flat tyre when trying to pass him and because we were so close to each other, I decided to race like that rather than spend time on the route fixing it. It was not ideal, but the best I could do,” he explained.
Despite the flat tyre, Meyer finished only one minute and 11 seconds behind Baragwanath after the 360 kilometre race. His total race time was 4 hours 50 minutes and 04 seconds. When going to the second round of the national off-road championship, Meyer will be only three points behind Baragwanath in both the overall standings and the Q1 Championship. He has won the Q1 Championship for the past two years and was the overall winner in 2012 and 2013.
‘Botter’, as he has been known since being a toddler, prepares his own quad for each race as well as dad Jurie Senior’s YFZ450R. Meyer Snr is the defending Master Class Champion for riders over the age of 46 years – he has won this championship already three times. At the Diamond Route 400, Master Class competitors had to complete five of the six loops (75% of the full race distance) and Meyer Snr, who started second behind his main rival, Tony dos Santos, had to settle for the second place with George Twigge taking the first win of the season.
Like father like son – or maybe it is the other way round? – but Meyer Snr has also vowed to be back and is already looking forward to the next race. The pair normally train together on their farm and on tracks, but Meyer Snr spent a week in an icy USA for business just before the Wolmaransstad event with not much time to prepare before the season opener.
Off-road racing is a family business and the whole family – Botter’s mother, his two sisters and their boyfriends – is part of the ‘team’ and they are the service crew for the two men. Both men admit that they cannot do it without their support while the rest of the family will not miss a race. Travelling from Polokwane towing their huge trailer filled with the two race quads and spares, is usually an adventure and seeing the rest of the country, is as much part of the racing as it is of the adventure.
The next journey will see them travelling about 770 kilometres to Windsorton (close to Kimberley) in the Northern Cape for the second round of the 2014 SA National Off-road Quad Championship that will take place on 12 April. In the meantime Botter is also preparing for the Namaqua African Rally, a five day multi-stage rally that takes place from 25 April to 3 May in the Western Cape.