Excitement, drama and spectacular racing typified rounds seven and eight of this year’s South African Motorcycle Racing championships at the Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday (May 4).
In the process a new model derivative scored its first South African motorsport victory, and the Superbike title chase was left wide open.
The drama started during Saturday morning’s official qualifying session, when current points leader Clinton Seller fell off his Czank Kawasaki at high speed.
Seller was not injured but the motorcycle was badly damaged, and the team could not repair it in time for the day’s opening race.
That left Chris Leeson to score the Motorrad BMW HP4’s first local circuit racing victory.
Leeson finished four seconds clear of Nicholas Grobler (Pta North Toyota Kawasaki), with Ryan Ottens (Motorrad BMW HP4) third, another 11 seconds adrift.
Dylan White (Emtek Yamaha), Heinrich Rheeder (Big Boss Auto BMW) and Robert Portman (Emtek Yamaha) rounded out the top six places.
Race two saw Seller back on track.
Starting from the back of the field, he blasted through in great style, and joined the leaders by the third lap.
The going got tougher there, with Leeson, Grobler and Seller fighting hard over the final three laps.
In the end, Seller grabbed the lead on the penultimate tour, to win from Seller by one tenth of a second.
Grobler finished third, ahead of Ottens, White, Portman and Rheeder.
Qualifying for the 600 Supersport category also provided drama, when the Pta North Toyota Kawasaki of pole sitter Lance Isaacs had less than two litres of fuel in the tank after the session.
The rules demand two litres, and Isaacs was relegated to the back of the grid.
Isaacs started to scythe through the field at the start of the first race, but made contact with the TK Imports Kawasaki of Gareth Davidson on lap two, and both riders fell hard in Zwartkops’ high-speed Turn One.
The race was red-flagged, with both riders sent to the circuit hospital for a checkup.
Nicholas Kershaw (Race Bike Rentals Kawasaki) led after the restart, but he fell off in the pit corner two laps later.
All of which left Cam Petersen to win on his Liqui Moly MV Agusta.
He led home Dean Vos (Emtek Yamaha), Brent Harran (Liqui Moly MV Agusta), Brandon Goode (Adrenalin Powersport Kawasaki), Rhyno Stander (Moneystart Kawasaki) and Anthony Shelley (Full Throttle Kawasaki).
Petersen led the second race from lights to flag, chased by a ferociously fighting Nicholas Kershaw and Dean Vos, who were separated by nine hundredths of a second at the finish line.
Brent Harran, Brandon Goode and Rhyno Stander took the next three places.
The next two rounds of the 2013 South African Motorcycle Racing championships will be held at the East London Grand Prix circuit on Saturday, June 29.