Championship contender Chris Leeson (BMW Motorrad Motorsport HP4) had to be content with second place overall behind championship leader Clint Seller after finishing third and second in the two races that made up the sixth round of the South African Superbike Championship at Phakisa Freeway in the Free State on Saturday.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport team-mate Ryan Ottens was fourth overall after finishing fourth in both 10-lap races.
“After our win in the last race in the previous round in East London, we were expecting a bit more today,” admitted Leeson. “This was my first appearance with the BMW HP4 at Phakisa and I have to say I didn’t do myself or the bike justice.
“The team under the direction of BMW Motorrad general manager Rob Holder put in a lot of hard work for this race meeting, particularly with the electronics. The bike was good, but the problem was I just didn’t make the best starts and once again had to come from behind.”
Leeson showed his and the BMW’s class with fastest laps in the second half of each race, but by then double race winner Clint Seller was well out of reach. Leeson came closer in the second race, finishing just three hundredths of a second in arrears.
Ottens declared himself well pleased with his day’s results. “I’m really enjoying the BMW HP4 and am riding it better each time out.” Backing up his claim was the fact that he qualified the BMW 1,5 seconds faster than his previous best time at Phakisa. He got a flyer of a start in the second race and ran in second place for a few laps.
After 12 races at Kyalami, Killarney, Aldo Scribante, Zwartkops Raceway, East London and Phakisa Freeway, Leeson (228) trails Seller (265) by 37 points. Ottens is fourth with 156 points.
The next round of the championship is at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on August 31.