Brilliant Bike Racing, Lap Records At East London
This year’s most exciting South African motorsport, thus far.
That is how enthusiasts will remember Saturday’s rounds nine and ten of the 2013 South African Motorcycle racing championships at the East London Grand Prix circuit.
The two-wheeler brigade produced awesomely close racing, the quickest motorcycle lap in the circuit’s history, plus this year’s most fearsome crash, by far.
The opening Superbike race saw Chris Leeson (Motorrad BMW), fight for the lead with Clint Seller (Czank Kawasaki), Nicolas Grobler (Pta North Toyota Kawasaki) and veteran Stewart MacLeod, on an once-off appearance with his SEW Eurodrive Kawasaki.
Drama struck after five laps when Heinrich Rheeder (Bavarian BMW) and Dylan White (Brother Yamaha) touched going into the circuit’s scary fast Potters’ Pass sweep.
Rheeder’s BMW left the tarmac at around 250 km/h, slid over some 60 metres of grass without losing speed and ploughed into a tyre wall.
Both rider and bike flipped over the wall, and the medics were amazed to find Rheeder limping around in a dust cloud, reasonably intact.
The race was red-flagged, Rheeder was taken to hospital for observation, and marshals collected the widely scattered parts of his BMW.
After the restart Clint Seller took the lead and went on to win, marginally ahead of Chris Leeson, Nicolas Grobler, Stewart MacLeod, Dylan White and Ryan Ottens (Motorrad BMW).
Heat two produced a race-long fight between Seller, Leeson and Grobler, with the three riders taking turns to set quickest lap times as the race went on.
Leeson broke free on the very last lap and he won, setting the East London circuit’s quickest ever two-wheeler lap record of 1 min 18,88 seconds in the process.
He led home Seller, Grobler, MacLeod, Dylan White and Ryan Ottens.
The highly experienced Lance Isaacs won the opening 600 Supersport race on his Pta North Toyota Kawasaki.
Behind him, Liqui Moly MV Agusta riders Brent Harran and Cam Petersen narrowly beat Dean Vos (Brother Yamaha) into the fourth place.
Race two saw Isaacs, Harran, Petersen and Vos fighting tooth and nail throughout, tackling the Potters Pass sweep side by side at over 230 km/h on various occasions.
With the crowd on its feet, it came down to a last lap charge for the finish line and Vos won from Isaacs, Petersen and Harran.
The four motorcycles were covered by half a second across the finish line.
The next round of the South African Motorcycle racing championship will be held at the Free State Phakisa Raceway on Saturday, August 4.