TOP SA BIKE RACERS TO FACE UNIQUE ZWARTKOP CHALLENGES
The country’s top two-wheeler speed merchants will converge at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria next Saturday (May 4) for rounds seven and eight of this year’s South African Motorcycle Racing championships.
Both the Unlimited Superbike and 600 Supersport categories will expect full fields and close competition around the tight and twisty 2,4 kilometre circuit.
Clint Seller currently leads the Superbike title chase on his Portable Shade Kawasaki, and he will wish to continue on his winning path.
Hoping to disrupt his plans will be Nicholas Grobler (Pta North Toyota Kawasaki), plus Motorrad BMW HP4 riders Chris Leeson and Ryan Ottens.
Grobler, especially, should be a huge threat at Zwartkops, where he regularly competes at club racing level.
Able to chase podium places should the front runners falter will be Heinrich Rheeder (BMW), Dylan White (Emtek Yamaha), Clinton Pienaar (Superbike Magazine BMW), Trevor Westman (BMW), Aran van Niekerk (Stunt SA Kawasaki) and Robert Portman (Emtek Yamaha).
The 600 Supersport category will see Cam Petersen (Liqui Moly MV Agusta) start as victory favourite, with his closest challengers Lance Isaacs (Pta North Toyota Kawasaki), Nicholas Kershaw (Race Bike Rental Kawasaki), Brent Harran (Liqui Moly MV Agusta) and Dean Vos (Emtek Yamaha).
Other riders to watch should include Gareth Davidson (Race Bike Rentals Kawasaki), Jesse Boshoff (Race Bike Rentals Kawasaki), plus lady racers Nicole van Aswegen (SA Triumph), Janine Mitchell (Emtek Yamaha) and Loumarie Grobler (Race Bike Rentals Kawasaki).
Both the Superbike and Supersport riders will compete on control Pirelli tyres, with the Supersport contenders obliged to finish Saturday’s qualifying session plus both races on the same set of rubberware.
“Zwartkops, with its five right handers and three left hand corners, has always created uneven tyre wear. In the old days, we would reverse tyres after the opening race, but current race regulations do not allow that,” said Pirelli’s Wayne Doran
He pointed out that the Zwartkops races will probably be held in lower temperatures than any other experienced by teams thus far this season.
“That will influence grip levels and wear rate. As always, the more experienced teams will utilize conditions in their own favour, with both riders and engineers closely involved.
“Friday’s practice sessions will be of paramount importance for both categories, with setup answers likely to influence Saturday’s race outcomes,” Doran added.