|What||SA Cross Country Moto Round 1 Preview|
|When||7-8 February 2020|
|Community||South Africa National|
SA off-roaders in unique Lesotho opener
The South African off-road bike race season starts with a pioneering double header in Lesotho over the weekend of 7-8 February with the opening round of the South African Cross Country Moto series on Friday followed by SA national Enduro pipe-opener Saturday. This unique format allows riders to race in both series to score points in the new Super Series championship, while at the same time delivering welcome cost cuts for both riders and teams.
The two races will race on separate Cross Country and Enduro specific routes over the two days, with Friday's Cross Country action commencing with an early 30km time trial to set start positions for four laps of a tough 50km loop around Maseru through the day. Big news there is that Kenny Gilbert will be back in National OR1 action for Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing — Gilbert was leading last year’s title chase when he was eliminated following a testing crash and he will be raring to go against old rival and Dakar hero, Botswana’s Ross Branch and his KTM.
There’s a new team in SA Cross Country racing as Pepson Plastics Motul Husqvarna Racing joins the fray in an effort to develop fresh talent alongside a madala effort and Ryan Ripley is the man charged with the team’s open class OR1 machine, He will be up against the likes of Charan Moore (KTM) Jaycee Nienaber, John-Care de Lange and Wynand Delport. Moving on to the quarter-litre OR2s, Taki Bogiages has shifted across to Plastics Motul Husqvarna Racing, where he will race against factory rider Brett Swanepoel, KTM man Gareth Cole and Ian Rall and Jason Venter (Husqvarna).
The smallest open class OR3 will see Haydn Cole (KTM) up against Scott Heygate, Sven Pretorius, Stefan van Deventer and Zimbabwean Husqvarna rider Davin Cocker, while Yamaha lads Dylan Cox and Kevin de Kock will race against Dylan Jonker and Matthew Wilson (Husqvarna) in the High School class. Another 2020 Cross Country novelty is a brand new 85cc Junior kids class that will see the likes of Husqvarna quartet Krige van der Merwe, Cobus Bester, Johny Luck and Brandon Clarke taking on Reinier van der Merwe and Thomas Scales
Over-30 Seniors Achim Bergmann (Pepson Motul Husqvarna), Werner Kennedy and Marco Cocci and over-40 (or is that 60?) Masters men, Wayne Farmer, Harry Grobler, Martin Poole, Iain Pepper (Pepson Motul Husqvarna) meanwhile prop up the other side of the SA Cross Country age spread.
It is likely that many riders will race both days, but expect the Live Lesotho Enduro SA men to rule the roost from first thing over four tough enduro laps in Roof of Africa country Saturday morning, where Kyle Flanagan (Bidvest Blu Cru Yamaha) takes on the rejuvenated Brett Swanepoel (Pepson Husqvarna), Luke Walker (Yamaha), Troy Sullivan, Jaycee Nienaber, Calvin Hume and Zander Goosen. SA champion William Oosthuizen (Pepson Husqvarna), teammate Matthew Green and Lloyd Kirk (Bidvest Yamaha) will fight it out for 200cc E2 honours, with Kayde Mante, Rynard Otto and Heinrich Aust also in attendance.
Bruce May (Bidvest Yamaha) and KTM riders Graham Hedgcock and Dwain Barnard will race in Seniors, while Denzil Torlage (Bidvest Yamaha), Martin Poole, Chris Rawlins and Brett Stevens will be out in Masters. The future of enduro is in good hands considering the number of High School class entries including Dylan Bauer (Yamaha), Blake Young (Sherco), Cayden Purchase (KTM), Matthew Wilson (Husqvarna), Reinier Swanepoel, Aldo Louw and Dumél du Plessis.
Issued on behalf of SA Cross Country Moto
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