Steven Odendaal made his second appearance of the season in the Metzler supported SA Superbike series and took another pair of wins at a windy East London Grand Prix Circuit. In the SuperSport category Jared Schultz (ASAP World/FFC/Brown Property Yamaha R6) and Kewyn Snyman (Hillbilly Racing Team/CGR Yamaha R6) shared the wins.
Odendaal topped the timesheets on his Yamaha R1 after the second of Friday’s qualifying sessions with Clint Seller (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R1) the closest of his challengers. While Seller was able to improve his time in the final session, Odendaal went even quicker, claiming pole position by just over half a second. Lance Isaacs (SuperBets Gaming Group BMW S1000RR) had to settle for third. Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R1) and Dylan Barnard (Barnard Racing Yamaha R1) rounded out the top five.
When the lights went out at the start of the first heat it was Odendaal who led the way but, half-way through the first lap, Seller slipped up his inside and into the lead. He, however, was unable to pull away and a couple of laps later Odendaal moved back into the lead. Seller’s challenge came to an end shortly thereafter when le lost the front of his Yamaha in Cocabana. While he was able to remount, he had to settle for fifth place. This left Odendaal able to control things from the front and he went on to take the win from Isaacs. Bester just got the better of Barnard to claim his first podium finish of the season.
In the second race, Seller found a patch of oil and took a tumble on the warm-up lap. It didn’t worry him, however, as he got back on his bike and lined up on the grid but the race was stopped before a lap had been completed to allow the marshals to try to clean up the oil that Seller found. Odendaal took the lead from the restart but, in a repeat of the opening heat, Seller took the lead as they made their way through the complex. Seller was able to hang on to the lead until shortly before half-distance, leading Odendaal with Isaacs just a couple of bike lengths adrift. Once Odendaal got past Seller, he was able to pull away to take another comfortable win, breaking the SuperBike lap record on the way. Seller took second with Isaacs completing the podium. Bester, who took the restart from the pitlane after he also found the oil that caught Seller out, worked his way through the field to take fourth ahead of Barnard.
Two wins gave Odendaal the silverware for topping the day’s overall standings, with Isaacs and Seller joining him on the podium.
After using the first qualifying session to have a good look at the circuit, Schultz set the quickest time of the day in the second session to claim the SuperSport pole. While Snyman was able to better his time in the final session, it was not enough to knock Schultz off the top spot and he had to settle for second. Championship leader Blaze Baker (The Rossi Sports Bar Yamaha R6) had to settle for third ahead of Dino Iozzo (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R6). Brandon Staffen (AJH Cooling/ Fueled Racing Yamaha R6) and Taric van der Merwe (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R6) completed the second row of the grid.
Staffen got a great start in the opening race, grabbing the lead from Schultz, but the pole-sitter reclaimed the lead on the exit of Cocabana. Contact between Snyman and Iozzo damaged the former’s brake lever and he had to slot in behind Baker with van der Merwe in fifth ahead of Iozzo. Schultz opened up a gap at the front and had enough of an advantage to take the win despite his tyres losing grip in the final couple of laps. Behind him, Snyman found a way past Staffen, who was starting to suffer from arm pump, and set off after Baker. A final corner move by Snyman demoted Baker to third and allowed Snyman to claw back four points in the championship standings. Staffen’s arm pump got so severe that he was forced to retire, which promoted van der Merwe to fourth and gave fifth to Iozzo.
In the second race, Iozzo’s bike cried enough and Schultz crashed out of the lead on the oil that had also caught Seller and Bester out, which left Snyman to take a comfortable win from Baker and van der Merwe which was also the result in the overall standings.
The SA SuperBike series in association with Metzler moves further down the coast for the penultimate round of the 2019 championship which will take place at Cape Town’s Killarney Raceway on 27 and 28 September.