A highlight of the opening round of the 2013 Motorsport South Africa-sanctioned national motocross championship at Cato Ridge in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday saw the renewal of the rivalry of two of the country’s most talented teenage riders.
Last year Bradley Cox of Cato Ridge won the Pro Mini class for riders aged between 12 and 15 after a season-long battle with Pietermaritzburg’s Dirco van der Westhuizen, who finished a close second. The pair dominated the championship and were in a class of their own. And so it was last weekend.
Making their first appearance in the High School class for riders aged between 14 and 17, Cox, 15, rode his KTM 125 to two wins with Van der Westhuizen, 14, claiming the runner-up spot on both occasions on a brand new Yamaha YZ 125 backed by Full Throttle, Bridgestone and SupaQuick. They showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels in both races, finishing a lap ahead of their rivals.
“It’s a little frustrating finishing behind Bradley again,” admitted Van der Westhuizen. “But I’m not unhappy with my performance this weekend. It was my first time on the Yamaha, which I only received three weeks ago. It’s a bigger, more powerful bike than the 85 cc Honda I raced last season. I was able to match Bradley’s lap times and was fastest in the first moto, so this was an encouraging start.
“The Cato Ridge circuit is a single-line circuit and overtaking is difficult. Bradley got the better of me in both starts, so all I could do was try and hang on and hope he had a problem. I’m confident I’ll be a lot more competitive as the season progresses and I get used to the Yamaha.”
Van der Westhuizen will be juggling his first year at high school with competing in both the MSA national championship and the World of Motorsport series (WOMZA). The opening WOMZA round is at the Dirt Bronco circuit in Krugersdorp this weekend. A change in race format sees practice and moto one on Saturday and motos two and three on Sunday.