|What||South African Cross Country Motorcycles Return to Action|
|When||From 21 August 2021|
|Community||South Africa National|
Matatiele, Delmas & Virginia on the menu as championship resumes
The South African Cross Country Motorcycle Championship is all set to blast back into action following its lockdown lull, with three new National rounds confirmed through to October. The action will start with a brand-new race at Matatiele at the foot of the Berg on Saturday 21 August.
Matat is no stranger to cross country racing, having played host to the good old Roof of Africa overnight stop back in the 1970s and ‘80s and often hosted off-road and enduro races since. The town ready to welcome the cross-country bikers back for what is sure to be a tough and entertaining National organised by KZN Racing in those Drakensberg foothills for the third round of the series.
The 2021 championship commenced according to plan with the first two rounds at the Jolivet, KwaZulu Natal season opener, followed by round 2 at Modimolle in Limpopo Province in April. Those races played to the respective strengths of the KZN and Gauteng competitors and the coming three rounds will likely continue to do the same when the series returns to the Highveld for the GXCC’s 11 September Delmas round 4. Then it’s back to KwaZulu Natal for KZN Racing’s Virginia Trails on 16 October.
Looking at the season so far, KZN superstar and double reigning SA Cross Country and Enduro champion Brett Swanepoel remains the man to beat in open class OR1 aboard his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. Brett also shares the overall championship lead heading to Matatiele, but there’s a surprise behind Brett in the big class. Botswana lad D'artagnan Lobjoit sits second for the upstart Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul team in his tight battle with KZN duo Michael Pentecost’ now on a Franchise Company CIT Kawasaki and Sherco man Hayden Louw. First round winner, SA international Travis Teasdale, also out of KZN, sits fifth in OR1 on his GasGas, although he is not expected to compete in the rest of the series..
Another KZN star, Brother Leader Tread KTM lad Bradley Cox shares both the overall championship lead with Swanepoel and the 250 cc OR2 class lead with MCA Dragon Energy Husqvarna’s Modomode overall winner Ian Rall. Cox shared the overall and class wins and second places with both those rivals in the opening two rounds. Upcountry motocross star Kerim Fitz-Gerald has scored an impressive couple of thirds on his Red Bull KTM, while Husqvarna lad Devan Smith, Kyle Eggar on a Yamaha and KTM rider Ruan Merry are in a tight battle for fourth in the quarter-litre chase.
They may not be related, but KZN RBS Yamaha star Dylan Cox has something else in common with Bradley. Both presently lead a 2021 South African Cross Country Motorcycle championship. Dylan’s two second places so far this season see him heading for Matat tied in the points lead of the tightest-fought 200cc OR3 class with Gauteng rider Matthew Wilson and his MCA Husqvarna. KTM man Scott Heygate sits just two points behind them. After troubles at Modimolle, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna first round winner Davin Cocker, sits fourth, 7 points off the lead while Haydn Cole’s KTM, Husqvarna lad Erik Merry and Taki Bogiages’ Kawasaki are all within six points of Heygate.
Moving on to the madalas, Free State star Wade Blaauw is unbeaten among the over-30 Seniors so far this season on his Roost KTM. Kawasaki man Deon du Toit is keeping him honest in that championship chase with Stuart Gregory’s KTM, Yamaha duo Marco Cocci and Elize Olivier and Brad Clarke on a Husqvarna in pursuit. Greg Nairn’s Husqvarna is likewise unbeaten in over-40s Masters, but he has Carel le Roux’s KTM, Yamaha men Marius de Klerk and Martin Poole, Ernst Slabbert on a KTM and Pieter Holl’s Kawasaki on his case.
And in the school kid classes, first round winner, KTM kid Dylan Jones leads the High School class by a handful of points over round 2 winner, Sherco lad Branden Swanepoel. Dylan’s brother Damon Cox on a Yamaha, shares third with John with Derek Karam fifth on his KTM. Round 2 winner Thomas Scales leads the Junior chase on his KTM ahead of Husqvarna trio, Cobus Bester, Lucian Meyer and first Race Winner Brandon Clarke.
It's super-tight in the manufacturer’s championship too, with Husqvarna leading the way on 307 points and KTM just four behind on 303. Yamaha sits third under pressure from the returning Kawasaki team under the Pepson Plastics banner.
All in all, no single rider is in a safe championship position as the South African Cross Country Motorcycle racers limber up to resume racing following this latest lockdown lull. And where better than Matatiele to get the show back on the road? Bring it on!
Issued on behalf of SA Cross Country Moto
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