REVIEW : ‘THE MANTSHWABISI’ DAY 1 (20-06-2013)
Round 3 of the 2013 SA National Off-road Motorcycle & Quad Championship
21 June (Botswana)
PIENAAR (BIKES) AND BARAGWANATH (QUADS) WON FOR THE FIRST TIME IN BOTSWANA
Thursday, 20 June – There were first victories for Nicholas Pienaar (C3 Roost ECS KTM) and Brian Baragwanath (BB Motorsport Lonestar PEP Yamaha) who were the respective winners of the motorcycle and quad categories of ‘The Mantshwabisi’, the third round of the SA National Off-road Motorcycle Championship that took place in the Kumakwane area in Botswana. Round four of the championship takes place tomorrow (21 June) when riders will have to tackle a different route of about 500 kilometres.
In the motorcycle category Pienaar and the current overall leader, Kenny Gilbert (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) were involved in a ding-dong battle till the end with Pienaar beating Gilbert, who last competed in Botswana some nine years ago on his 18th birthday, by just over one and a half minute. This result sees Gilbert keeping his lead in the overall standings with Pienaar moving from ninth to fourth place (provisional results and championship standings).
Local Botswana resident, Ross Branch (Naledi Motors Wesbank Racing KTM) started way back in the field to finish third after just over seven hours in the saddle. Ruan Roberts (Yamaha) was fourth and has now moved to second place behind Gilbert on the overall standings. Both the Webster brothers (Team Mick’s Motorcycles Yamaha) finished in the top ten with Chris claiming fifth place and Jonathan ninth. Altus de Wet (Husqvarna Racing) finished sixth with Kargo Racing team-mates, Timmy Young (he experienced mechanical issues, but made it to the finish) and Michael Pentecost. Pienaar won OR1 (Open Class) with Young and Pentecost the OR2 (250cc) and OR3 (200cc) winners respectively.
Jonathan van Wyk (Brother Broadlink KTM) rounded off the top 10 with his team-mates, Juan ‘Bollie’ van Rooyen 13th ; Tyron Miller 15th after starting way back and Louw Schmidt 18th and winning OR4 (Under 21). Charan Moore (Stoneridge Honda) finished 11th, a mere 10 seconds ahead of JC de Bruin (Ekerold Yamaha Bush View Bike Park) with Dillon Inggs (Naledi Motors Wesbank Racing KTM) 14th. The rest of the top 20 consisted of Brandon Youell (Kargo Racing Yamaha) 16th; Wade Blaauw (Salley’s Yamaha) 17th; Ruan Smith (Sandstorm Racing Husqvarna) 19th and Francois de Greeff (FD Racing KTM) rounding off the top 20 after crashing early in the race.
Only 14 riders managed to get to the finish line in the quad category. Andre du Plessis (Yamaha) also started towards the back of the field and finished second after surviving a huge crash early in the race. Scholar Dino do Amaral (Factory Racing KTM) rounded off the podium after his first racing experience in Botswana – he was third in Q1 behind Baragwanath and Du Plessis – with Rorke Millar (Can-Am Racing SA) fourth after also competing in this event for the first time. Paul Chomse (PS Storm Racing Banshee) won the Senior Class and was fifth overall followed by Russell Ferreira (Diamond Trailers Honda) who claimed second place in this class and sixth place on the overall standings.
Only 25 seconds separated Ferreira from Freddie Taljaard (CHM Carriers Suzuki) after almost nine hours of racing. Newcomer Louis van den Bergh (Yamaha) won Q2 for riders older than 28 years and finished eighth after his first national race of the season. Danie Senekal (Yamaha) was ninth after he lost valuable time getting lost while Justin Robert (Signwonder Form & Fitness Suzuki) rounded off the top 10 and finished second in Q2.
Kobus Erasmus (Suzuki) was third in the Senior Class and 11th overall; Jurie Meyer (Yamaha Support) had to settle for 12th place after experiencing mechanical problems 80 kilometres before the finish while leading the race; Adriaan Uys (Water Rite Racing / Nulandis Kawasaki) was 13th and Peter Walter (Diamond Trailers Yamaha) made it to the finish in 14th place as dusk set upon the desert.
Jurie Meyer senior (Yamaha Support) won the Master (quad) Class and was followed by Vicus Breedt (Suzuki) and Tony dos Santos (Factory Racing Suzuki). Experienced desert racer, Wayne Farmer (LCP Racing Gas Gas) was the first Senior Class rider home on two wheels and was followed by Pieter Holl (Bert Smith Racing KTM Powered by RAD) and enduro and motocross ace, Bruce May (Yamaha) who had his first taste of off-road racing.
On two wheels the Master Class was won by local rider, Neil Gailey (KTM) with Leon Gerber (Bert Smith Racing KTM) second and Jan Berning (Just Sell Properties KTM) third.
Scholars ruled in the Silver Class Challenge for motorcycle riders where Mauritz Meiring (McGee Yamaha) strengthend his lead by winning with Craigh Wishart (Diamond Trailers KTM) second and BJ Scholtz (McGee Yamaha) third. On four-wheels Attie Saaijman (EMD Racing Suzuki) beat class leader, Berne Bester (NUTS Racing Century Civils Suzuki) for a first victory.
Liezel Barnard (Barnard Vervoer Can-Am) beat Adi du Plessis (Suzuki) in the Ladies (quad) Class to strengthen her lead in this challenge while Taye Perry (Bert Smith Racing KTM Powered by RAD) won this class on two wheels for the first time. Kirsten Landman (Brother Broadlink KTM) was second (Roost ECS KTM’s Toni Jardine experienced mechanical problems and could not finish).
The racing will continue when the quads tackle the 420 kilometre race at 7h00 on Friday (21 June) with the motorcycle riders taking on the longer 490km section at 7h30. All the action takes place in the Mantshwabisi area.
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