The 2019 TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship blasted off to a new tune as Port Elizabeth’s Rover MX Club hosted the first round of the series amid the double dilemma of the usual sandy PE conditions and new for 2019 longer race formats on Saturday. As exhausting a prospect it may have been, that did not prevent a brilliant day’s racing on Nelson Mandela Bay.
The new twenty-five minute plus one lap open class format means significantly longer races than what South African motocrossers are used to, but that also brings the local sport in line with international standards and the PE opener proved that we have plenty more to give on the world stage.
The action was fraught as Lloyd Vercueil (Summit Racing Yamaha) delivered stunning 450cc MX1 qualifying pace before powering to the first moto win following early pressure from Q4 Fuels Husqvarna star Maddy Malan. Malan ultimately tumbled to end his charge, but picked it all up to race home second from an impressive Royce Griffin (RPG KTM) and Red Bull KTM duo, Tristan Purdon, who fought back after a turn 1 off, and Kerim Fitzgerald.
Malan pulled the Moto 2 holeshot to lead Vercueil until Vercueil was slowed by puncture, before his rear wheel collapsed and he struggled to fifth behind Purdon, who fought David Goosen (Tintswalo Yamaha) off for second ahead of Griffin. That leaves Malan to carry the championship leader’s red-backed numbers to round 2 in Cape Town, 4 points clear of Vercueil, with Purdon, Griffin, Goosen and Wesley du Plooy (Honda) in close pursuit.
High School graduate Cameron Durow (OC KTM) was the man to beat in a packed 250cc MX2 opening race, taking advantage of sand master Anthony Raynard dropping his Tintswalo Yamaha on the first turn before Raynard fought back to beat KTM four, Kerim Fitzgerald, Bradley Cox, Johan Vogelslamg and Joshua Mlimi to second. Q4 Fuels Husqvarna freshman Nick Adams bounced back to take heat 2 from Durow, Fitzgerald, Raynard, Mlimi and Slade Smith (Husqvarna) as Durrow took the day and claim the MX2 red plate ahead of Raynard, Fitzgerald, Adams, Mlimi and Smith.
Durrow made it a double when he shared High School honours with SA’s German MX champion Camden McLellan’s similar KTM while Dalton Venter (Husqvarna) edged international visitor Aviv Orland (KTM) for fourth ahead of Ethan Hoffman and Amy Saaiman in another full field as 24 machines took to the track.
Barend du Toit took his Raceworx KTM to double 85cc Junior honours ahead of the similar bikes of Seth Young, Seth Whitington and Deegan Bloomfield, while Dylan Kirk (TRP KTM) and Nate McLellan shared 85cc Mini Pro honours ahead of Blake Young, Daylaan Manual, Stav Orland and Leonard du Toit’s KTMs.
Niel van der Vyver made no mistakes as he opened his national campaign is faultless style, riding his Q4 Fuels Husqvarna to double victory in the 30-strong junior school 65cc field, ahead for the similar Husqvarnas of Liam Botha and Jordan van Wyk each time. Troy Cox ended up fourth from Timo Maxino Toepfer and Pieter Brink on a trio of KTMs.
Ethan Williamson (Husqvarna) rode to a double 50cc win in the youngest SA Motocross class ahead of a foursome of KTMs ridden by double-second placed Jake van Schoor, Keenan Strauss, Christian Berrington-Smith and Riley Wium and another Husqvarna in Coby Hart’s hands.
MX3 delivered great action as Stuart Laing (Slake Enduro KTM) rode to double over-30 victories over Dillon Simpson (KTM) while Wade Wright and Jonathan Hubbard shared the thirds and fourths. Craig Kruger (KTM PE) and Brett Bircher (Alfie Cox Motul KTM) rode in second and third overall en route to the over-40s 1-2 ahead of Quinsley Sale (KTM), while Kayla Raaf (DForce Racing KTM) beat the similar machines of Leah Heygale and Natasha Rugani to win the popular Ladies class.
There is no respite for the 2019 South African National Motocross Championship delivered by TRP Distributors in association with Dragon Energy, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Motul, Pro-Taper, Fly Racing, 100%, Ogio Luggage, Racestar Graffix and the Race Shop. The next round goes down at the just as sandy and challenging Zone 7 in Cape Town, where another great crowd is set to be thrilled by extreme motocross action come Saturday 30 March.