NATIONAL OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLE BATTLE EXPECTED AT VENTERSDORP
- PREVIEW : RYSMIERBULT 200 22.09.2014
- Round 6 of the SA National Off-road Motorcycle & Quad Championship
- 27 September 2014 (Ventersdorp, North West Province)
NAIL BITING FINAL NATIONAL OFF-ROAD BATTLE EXPECTED AT VENTERSDORP
It is time for the sixth and final round of the 2014 SA National Off-road Motorcycle and Quad Championship and the Rysmierbult 200 that takes place this weekend (Saturday, 27 September) outside Ventersdorp in the North-West Province, will serve as the battle ground for this epic event where various titles will be decided.
Competitors have tackled five events so far this season with races taking place from Wolmaransstad and Stella in the North-West Province to Kimberley in the Northern Cape; Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal and the Frankfort / Reitz area in the Free State. They will now travel to the Rysmierbult area outside Ventersdorp for the final round of the series and it will be make or break during the 180 kilometre race. Like at the previous Sprint Event organised by the Gauteng Off-road Club, the quads will again tackle the route first (they will start at 08h00) while the race for the two-wheelers will start at 12h00. The Rysmierbult 200 will also form the fourth round of the Northern Regions Championship as well as the sixth round of the PS Portable Shade GOC Series.
There are only a few competitors in the quad category who can race without pressure – the only pressure they will feel, is adding another victory to their 2014 list as they have already clinched their titles. Brian Baragwanath (Team Rhide SA Yamaha) is the 2014 Q1 Class champion and has secured the overall title while Ramon Lopez (Sign Wonder Racing Honda) has claimed the new High School Class Championship; Liezel Barnard (Barnard Vervoer Can-Am) is the Ladies Quad Class winner for the year and Karl Rost (Honda) has won the Silver Class Challenge.
Behind them a few battles will continue at the Rysmierbult 200 – not only for the titles, but for the rest of the standings as well. David Hollis (Yamaha) is safe as the runner-up in Q1 and on the overall standings, but behind him a blanket of only 13 points covers the riders from third place to ninth place overall. Hannes Saaijman (Team Rhide SA Yamaha) is third and leads Q2, but there is only one point difference between himself and Russell Ferreira (PS Diamond Trailers Honda) in fourth place. Ferreira leads the Senior Class Championship, but he is not home free yet, as his team-mate, Stuart Freeman (Yamaha) trails him by 16 points meaning that if anything happens to Ferreira, Freeman can still take the title.
The overall standings as well as most of the class championships in the motorcycle category are wide open and only Brother KTM rider, Louw Schmidt, is safe as the OR3 (200cc) champion (this is the second consecutive off-road title for the 19 year-old rider). Defending title holder and OR1 (Open Class) champion, Kenny Gilbert (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) has taken the overall lead after round five, but he will have Brother KTM team-mates, former champion, Louwrens Mahoney and Ross Branch breathing in his neck for the Number One plate. Branch lost his overall and OR1 lead when he crashed at the previous event and Mahoney now leads OR1 with six points separating him from his team-mate – Gilbert is two points behind Branch in OR1 and all eyes will be on these three riders.
With his title in the bag, Schmidt will now aim to keep his fourth place overall, but his team-mate, Tyron Miller, is fifth and will fight him for it. Miller leads the OR2 (250cc) Class Championship, but will have to play it safe as Jaycee Nienaber (Manhand Ridgeway Yamaha) is not too far behind. Hein Jnr van Niekerk (RAD Motot KTM) and Nienaber’s team-mate, Roan Lindsay, are third and fourth and will both aim to finish the season on the podium.
Taki Bogiages (Bert Smith All Stars Racing Powered by RAD KTM) is second behind Schmidt in OR3 with 10 points separating him from Bernard McGee (McGee Yamaha Lydenburg) in third place. McGee can move up if Bogiages experiences problems, but he will have to focus on his own game as Caledon rider, Wilhelm Schonfeldt (Helderberg Yamaha) trials him by a single point – the nerves in these camps will no doubt be highly strung this weekend!
The top 10 is being rounded off by the two Kargo Racing Yamaha team-mates, Tim Young (eighth) who finished on the overall podium at the previous event and the consistent Charan Moore (ninth) – only one point separate them – with Dillon Inggs (Kawasaki) in tenth place and want to move up the leader board.
On four wheels, the defending Q2 title holder, Justin Robert (Sign Wonder Racing Suzuki) is only three points behind Freeman overall, but he can still catch Saaijman in Q2 as only eight points separate them. André du Plessis (Yamaha); Jaco Moller (PS Extreme ATV Tzaneen Yamaha) and André Park (Yamaha) are seventh; eighth and ninth overall and have all been on the podium during the year. They are being separated by single points and will aim to overtake Robert and Freeman on the overall standings. Moller and Du Plessis are sharing the same amount of points in Q1 with Park only one point behind them. Exciting racing can be expected with the standings that are so close.
Ted Barbier (Team Rhide SA Yamaha) is fairly safe in third place in the Senior Class Championship, but he will still have to finish if he does not want fourth-placed Paul dos Santos (Factory Racing Suzuki), who experienced mechanical problems a the last outing, to overtake him.
On two wheels, Senior Class leader Juan ‘Bollie’ van Rooyen (Brother KTM) has only lost once this season and he holds a comfortable, albeit not safe, lead ahead of the defending champion, Pieter Holl (Bert Smith Racing KTM*). They are being followed by two former champions, Guy Henley (KTM) and Wayne Farmer (KTM) as well as Ian Venter (Rad Moto KTM) who will all aim for the final podium position.
Despite the Meyer father and son quad racing pairing calling it a year halfway through the season due to Jurie Junior (the defending title holder and Q1 champion) having a knee operation and the defending Master Class champion, Jurie Senior’s business commitments, the battles in the Master Class are continuing. George Twigge (www.twigges.co.za Yamaha) leads and is aiming for the title after three victories, but he will have to play it safe as Peter Schenk (Team Thesens Generators Honda) has an outside chance of winning – IF Twigge does not finish and Schenk wins at Rysmierbult. Tony dos Santos (Factory Racing Suzuki) is currently fourth and will aim to finish the season on the podium.
Adrian Storm (Automation Products KTM) leads the Master Class on two wheels and can win the title if he stays ahead of second-placed Jan Berning (RAD Moto KTM).
The ladies are putting in a huge effort to get enough female competitors in both the motorcycle and quad categories to reach the required number for the new Combined Ladies Championship to qualify. Barnard has a healthy lead ahead of the motorcycle competitor, Taye Perry (Bert Smith All Stars Racing Powered by RAD KTM*), who leads the Ladies Class in her category, but anything can still happen at the front. Toni Jardine (Yamaha) is chasing Perry on two wheels (she is also third in the Combined Ladies Championship) with Chardri Monk (Team Thesens Generators Yamaha) fourth (she is second in the Ladies Quad Class).
The battle for the inaugural High School Class Championship title in the motorcycle category will continue between the class leader, Eduan Bester (NUTS Racing / Century Civils Yamaha) and second-placed Brendon Fourie (FAST Kawasaki Powersports). Both have been victorious this year, but Fourie lost his lead at the previous event when he could not finish due to mechanical problems. Alastair Drennan (Roost KTM ECS) is still third despite a crash and a shoulder injury earlier this season and will aim to round the season off with a podium finish.
While Rost is the 2014 Silver Class Challenge winner on four wheels, Craig Wishart (PS Diamond Trailers Husqvarna) has not confirmed the title in the motorcycle category yet although he has a lead of (only) eight points ahead of newcomer Shaun Mostert (KTM). An interesting battle at the front is guaranteed.
The Rysmierbult 200 will start on Saturday (27 September) at 8h00 at the race venue next to the N14 about 30 kilometres outside the Ventersdorp. Quad competitors will tackle the 180km race first and motorcycle riders will start racing at 12h00. Spectators are welcome.