|What||Trademore Feeds SA Cross Country Round 3 Preview|
|Where||Ganyesa, Northwest Province|
|When||20-21 May 2022|
|Community||South Africa National|
A Change of Scenery for Trademore SA Cross Country
The Trademore Group South African Cross Country Championship emerges from a lengthy break with a total change of scenery from the opening rounds. Far from the rolling verdant hills of KwaZulu Natal, competitors head to the arid semi desert of the Northwest Province for round 3 at Ganyesa, 55 kilometres north-west of Vryburg on Saturday 21 May with one question on any observer’s mind. Will that favour the upcountry riders? Time will tell!
That question is particularly pertinent considering that two of the overall top three are from KZN, and two KZN riders won the opening two rounds. Brett Swanepoel stormed to victory at a tough Dalton, KZN second round aboard his FX 350cc Husqvarna to take charge at the top of the title log. Zambian OR2 Factory KTM rider Scott Heygate was second in Dalton aboard his 350cc KTM to move to second in the chase, with Mike Pentecost’s 450cc Kawasaki third.
OR3 leader and factory KTM rider Matthew Wilson is the top upcountry rider in fourth on his KTM. He has two more KZN riders on his tail for good measure. Round 1 winner Bradley Cox missed Dalton due to an injury sustained racing abroad and he will certainly want to be back with a bang. Gareth Cole’s Honda sits seventh ahead of the next Gauteng men, seniors leader Kenny Gilbert’s Kawasaki and Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s Factory KTM in ninth and tenth, from Hayden Louw’s Yamaha and Ryan Pelser on a KTM.
A slightly different picture emerges in the classes. Michael Pentecost’s gritty season so far and a round 2 class win aboard his Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki has earned him the open 450cc class lead over the plucky Gareth Cole's Sleepover CIT Honda, Hayden Louw's Yamaha and Wade Den's Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki. That leaves fifth placed round 1 winner Bradley Cox with it all to do to stem that Japanese tide aboard his Austrian Brother Leader Tread KTM.
It’s the other way around in 350cc OR2 where Brett Swanepoel's Husqvarna has a perfect score over Scott Heygate’s Brother Leader Tread KTM, Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s Red Bull KTM and Dylan Cox's Yamaha. Round 1 winner, Brother Leader Tread rider Matthew Wilson leads the 250cc OR3 class from fellow KTM rider Ryan Pelser and Haydn Cole’s Sleepover CIT Honda. Husqvarna’s Davin Cocker sits fourth ahead of Taki Bogiages’ Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki.
Second round OR3 winner and current OR3 National Champion, Davin Cocker has however opted to sit out the rest of the season to recuperate from knee surgery which means a new OR3 Champ will be crowned come the end of 2022. Joining Brett Swanepoel in the Factory Husqvarna Camp, will be an interesting contender for the OR1 class as well as the overall, Rally and MX star, Michael Docherty, will board a FX450 for Husqvarna South Africa for the rest of the 2022 Cross Country Season. OR1 Kawasaki man Wade Den will also sit this one out after hurting his knee off the bike.
Kenny Gilbert leads Seniors after winning the class in both opening rounds aboard his Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki. He leads Sleepover CIT Honda man Wade Blaauw, Pepson Kawasaki teammate Wyatt Avis' Kawasaki and Marco Cocci's Yamaha. Second in both opening rounds Greg Nairn's Husqvarna leads the Masters over round 2 winner Carel Le Roux’s Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki opening round winner Kobus Jonck's KTM and Wayne Farmer on a Husqvarna.
In junior action, opening race winner Matatiele lad Ross Ramseyer leads the 125cc High School chase on his Durban KTM from Wian Wentzel's Husqvarna, Rory Donaldson on a KTM, Joss Alexander's Husqvarna and Daniel Peckham on a Sherco. Also keep an eye on round 2 winner Luke Walker’s KTM. Double 80cc Junior winner Brandon Clarke is the kid to beat on his Spherical Holeshot Husqvarna and he will have Bruno Niebuhr, Murray Smith and AJ Louw's KTM on his case.
KTM leads the Trademore Group South African Cross Country Championship maker’s chase to Ganyesa on 307 points from Husqvarna's 255 and Kawasaki on 186 points. Yamaha and Honda are a point apart in fourth and fifth. The Ganyesa race also reverts to a two-day format with the time trial Friday afternoon before the main race on Saturday.
Issued on behalf of Trademore SA Cross Country
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