|What||Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Round 1 Report|
|Where||Legends Motocross Park, Pretoria|
|When||Saturday 26 February 2022|
|Community||South Africa National|
Pepson Plastics Riders Kenny Gilbert & Jake Pretorius Win
Kawasaki enjoyed an excellent start to its 2022 Trademore Group South African Cross-Country Motorcycle Championship campaign at its Pepson Plastics 200 home race in Pretoria on Saturday. Two riders on each end of the team’s age range, Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki duo, Masters legend Kenny Gilbert and 65cc Junior young gun Jake Pretorius both won their classes in a great outing for the entire team.
It was a good day all round as Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki’s 2021 champion Mike Pentecost also ended second in OR1, Pepson Plastics Senior rider Wyatt Avis came home fourth in Seniors and Pepson Plastics OR3 duo, Kyle McKenzie and Taki Bogiages ended fourth and fifth in class too. Two more Kawasaki men, Pepson lad Wade Den and Franchise Co. rider Tyron Beverley furthermore ended fifth and sixth in OR1.
Kenny Gilbert made the Senior class his own, storming to seventh overall in the time trial, before biding his time on the verges of the top ten as he led his class from start to finish to end up eighth overall after a splendid final lap. “This race was very challenging as it had a bit of everything,” Kenny pointed out. “That’s how Cross Country should be! "I am really happy with my Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki KX 450 X — it was a great day out for our team.”
Gilbert’s young teammate, Jake Pretorius similarly dominated the 65cc IPC class as he raced home to a four and a half minute 65 Junior Interprovincial victory aboard his Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki KX 65 X. Third in the time trial, Mike Pentecost was in the fight up front for overall honours throughout the day on his Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki KX 450 X. He ended a fighting fifth overall and second in OR1, to get his title defence off to a fighting start.
“It was a very tough day for me in the saddle,” Mike Pentecost explained. "I got lost while leading on lap 1 and then had a silly fall in the rocks while trying to make up time. That damage my oil cooler and put me on the back foot as we had to keep filling the bike up with oil and I'd lap lose my clutch later every lap. “Thanks for my amazing team and family for making sure I finished — I'll take second in class with both hands this time!”
Wyatt Avis also enjoyed a competitive ride in and around the Senior top three as he continues to learn the lay of the Cross Country land on his Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul KX 250 X. “It was a tough day yesterday,” Wyatt admitted. ‘I learned so much about this type of racing and what I need to be better at. “And I cannot thank my awesome team enough for their wonderful support!”
Kyle Mackenzie was also happy with progress in OR3 in his Pepson Plastics team’s home race. “I had a really fun day at our Pepson Plastics national,” Kyle explained. “The track was really tough and demanding but my Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki KX 250 X felt super good all the way and we bagged some crucial championship points. “There’s still some work to do, but we're slowly but surely getting there. “Can’t wait for the next one!”
Taki Bogiages was delighted to come fifth in OR3 as he minimised championship damage riding while still recovering from a pre season injury. “We achieved what we set out to do and finish the race to bag some good points, considering everything on such physical and demanding terrain,” a relieved Taki revealed. "I can't thank the team enough for all the help and giving me an absolute weapon of a bike. “Now we must keep building in the month before we race again.”
“That was a very positive home race for our team,” Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki team boss Iain Pepper confirmed. “A double win and a podium is a fine way to get the ball rolling for 2022. “Well done to the whole team.” Franchise Company Tork Craft Kawasaki Racing boss, Harry Grobler concluded: “That’s a great start to the season — the guys delivered great results. “Now we look forward to the next round in KZN on 26 March.'
Issued on behalf of Kawasaki Cross Country
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