The Matatiele WFO National Enduro south of Lesotho in the Eastern Cape was to be the decider once more for the 2014 Liquorland SA National Enduro Motorcycle Championship. Heading into this sixth and final round of the championship most classes were still up for grabs and Matatiele once again had to put riders and machines to the test.
The organisers did an outstanding job in selecting the course and marking the route, that being four timed special test that had to be completed on each of the four laps with a total distance of 48 km’s each. The regularity times were calculated well and all top contenders made their given times, allowing them to focus on the special test for the last time this year. The four special tests were testing different skills and were split into an Extreme test that had to be completed right after the start, a longer Enduro special test, a sand / MX type track as well as an Endurocross course with plenty of man made obstacles that kept the crowds entertained.
All eyes were on championship leader Wade Young. Would he be able to secure the title for a second time in a row? Young came to Matatiele prepared and had gained plenty of international experience by competing amongst the world’s best throughout the year. An impressive third place at the Red Bull Romaniacs Rally earlier this year confirmed Young’s incredible talent and the world’s top riders will have to watch out for this talented youngster. Young had a fantastic day on board his KTM 250 XC-F machine and has proven once again why he’s worthy of the ‘E1’ plate. He won 13 out of 16 specials and came second in the remaining 3 special tests, comfortably securing the overall and E1 win, resulting in another National championship title for Young.
“My KTM 250 XC-F has been strong and got me to the finish line every race. It’s been an awesome year and I managed to wrap up the SA championship for 2014. I am really happy to have such awesome people behind me and such great sponsors supporting me, it’s a privilege to race for the Brother KTM team and all our phenomenal sponsors.”, said an excited Wade Young who left South Africa the day after the National to compete in the Ukupacha Extreme Enduro in Ecuador.
Another dominant rider in the competitive E1 (200cc) class was once again Brother KTM’s Travis Teasdale on board his KTM 250 XCF-W. The 17 year old rider from Pietermaritzburg has shown incredible talent and won the first special stage of the day. He featured in second and third place in most of the other special tests, resulting in a second place in the E1 class behind Young and an incredible third place overall. Teasdale has also secured his third place in the overall championship standings and rounded off the podium for 2014. Teasdale is certainly a rider to watch out for going forward and the upcoming Roof of Africa event in December will give us a good taste of what’s to come for 2015.
In the E2 (Open) class Louwrens Mahoney struggled to find his rhythm initially but then fought back on board his KTM 350 XCF-W. The Nelspruit based multiple SA champion however had to settle for third place in class and has finished the season off in second place in the E2 class and in fourth place overall.
His teammate Scott Bouverie was unable to race the event, as he still has not recovered from a back injury earlier this year. Having missed two rounds of the championship this year the Harding rider however still finished the season in fifth place in the E2 class and seventh place overall.
Offroad specialist Louw Schmidt changed to the KTM 250 XC-W 2-stroke machine for the Matatiele National, a few mistakes and a crash however saw him falling back and he finished the race in 8th place in the E2 class.
Kirsten Landman, Brother KTM’s lady rider, had a great day out on board her KTM 200 XC-W machine. She impressed in the silver class with consistent results and finished the day in 11th place in this very competitive class, ending the season in 11th place in class.
The Masters class was once again dominated by Alfie Cox Racing’s Alfie Cox who has secured 6 out of 6 race wins for the season and was rewarded with the 2014 Masters championship title. KTM was once again awarded with the 2014 National Enduro Manufacturers’ championship, adding to their long list of victories for the Austrian manufacturer.
With the National series’ having come to an end competitors are not preparing for the Roof of Africa event that will be held in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho from 4-9 December.