NEW regulations, the return of two marques, and a variety of new rider/ motorcycle combinations will typify this year’s South African Motorcycle Racing Championships.
The series is set to start at Kyalami on Saturday, February 23.
The title chases, divided into separate championships for Unlimited Superbikes and 600 Supersport machines, will be run to international Super Stock regulations.
That fact has prompted the return of Yamaha and MV Agusta to the local racing fray.
Heading up the Unlimited Superbike entry list at Kyalami will be reigning Manufacturers’ champion BMW.
They will run two brand new HP4 models under the Motorrad banner, ridden by Chris Leeson and Ryan Ottens.
BMW’s current South African Superbike champion Greg Gildenhuys will be in Europe this year, campaigning the World Superstock championship.
Yamaha will return to local circuit racing under the Emtek banner, running new R1 models for Robert Portman and Dylan White.
Meanwhile Kawasaki SA has linked up with Pta North, to race Ninja ZX10R entries in the hands of Nicolas Grobler, Nick Kershaw and Stephen Steenkamp.
They will face direct competition from the identical Kawasaki of Clint Seller, who will lead the Anassis Portable Shade team’s efforts this season.
Other confirmed entries for the opening Kyalami race are Colin Lehman (Storm Kawasaki ZX10R) and Ettiene Nelson (Cabac Engineering BMW S1000RR).
Heading up the 600 Supersport entries will be veteran Lance Isaacs, leading the Pta North Kawasaki team on a ZX-6R machine.
The Portable Shade Anassis equipe will enter MV Agusta F3 models for Brent Harran and Cameron Petersen, with the new entries’ efforts to be watched with keen interest.
Emtek Yamaha will oversee R6 models for Dean Vos and lady racer Jeanine Mitchell while teenager Anthony Shelley will race a semi-works Kawasaki ZX-6R in the livery of Shop 74.
Both the Unlimited Superbikes and the 600 Supersport machines will race on Pirelli rubber this season.
Pirelli SA will provide a race tyre fitment facility at every race, transport tyres to all the events and offer technical back up and information at each event.