Character-building weekend for Van der Westhuizen
It was a character-building weekend for young Dirco van der Westhuizen in the second round of the World of Motorsport (WOMZA) motocross series at Melkbos near Cape Town last weekend.
The 14-year-old from Pietermaritzburg scored third place overall for the day in the High School class on his Full Throttle Yamaha YZ125 supported by Bridgestone and SupaQuick, but struggled to match the pace of his two main rivals, Dylan Stokes of Cape Town and Bradley Cox of Cato Ridge in KwaZulu-Natal on the sandy Melkbos circuit.
Saturday saw the 2011 MX85 champion and 2012 Pro Mini runner-up finish a disappointed fifth in race one after his bike seized on the third lap. He’d almost made the perfect start from the gate to take the hole shot into the first turn, but the sand berm gave way beneath his bike, dropping him to third. He managed to restart the engine and resumed the race in fourth place, eventually dropping back another place as he battled with a lack of power.
Local rider Stokes took full advantage of his knowledge of home circuit conditions to win from Cox with Connor Fletcher third and Nicholas Phelps fourth.
Races two and three were on Sunday and it was again Stokes and Cox who dominated, finishing in this order in both races with Van der Westhuizen third, riding his practice bike.
“It was not my best two days of motocross,” admitted Van der Westhuizen. “But I was happy to have finished third overall under the circumstances. I have to improve my performance on the softer, sandier circuits, where I am a lot less effective than on the harder ones.
“Track conditions got very rough after two practice sessions and three races and this took its toll.”
The next WOMZA meeting is on May 3 and 4 at Port Elizabeth’s Rover Raceway, where the conditions will again be soft and sandy.