The 2020 MSA South African National Motocross Championship powered by Cannabis Energy and TRP Distributors kicked off in quite literal flying style at a scorching hot, sandy and spectacular Rover near Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Highlighted by a thrilling premier class MX1 show, the racing was out of the top drawer all the way down the classes with some dominant performances, while other classes proved a fight to the finish every time as searing temperatures nudged 40 degrees.
2019 frontrunner Tristan Purdon opened his season in fine style aboard his Red Bull KTM as he fought off Lloyd Vercueil (Florstore on Trend Yamaha) and David Goosen (Out of Africa Monster Yamaha) to win a thrilling opening open class MX1 race and then went on to do the double over KTM teammate Kerim Fitz-Gerald and Anthony Raynard (Tintswalo Dragon Yamaha) in the second race.
Reigning MX2 champion Fitz-Gerald hit trouble in the first moto, while another favourite, Matthew Malan crashed his factory Husqvarna and struggled on injured to see Vercueil wind up second for the day from Raynard and Yamaha men Jesse Wright and Goosen, KTM riders Cameron Durow, Marco de Vrye, Regan Wasmuth and Johan Vogelesang, and Dylan Mostert, as Fitz-Gerald and Malan languished in 12th and 13th.
David Goosen (Out of Africa Monster Yamaha) got his season off to a perfect start with a double win, over Tristan Purdon (Red Bull KTM) in race 1 and Slade Smith (Summit Yamaha) in the second moto, but the consistent Anthony Raynard (Tintswalo Dragon Yamaha) was third in each race to take second overall ahead of Purdon and Smith for the day. Cameron Durow was best of the rest ahead of fellow KTM riders Kerim Fitz-Gerald, Bradley Cox, and Joshua Mlimi, Yamaha pair Keegan Hickson-Mahony and Ryan Angilley and Seth David van den Abeele (Husqvarna).
MX3 champion Ian Topliss (Motul Yamaha) made no mistakes as he started his over-40 Masters motocross title defence with a double win over over-30 Senior men Tyson Engelbrecht (The Roost KTM), Dwayne Kleynhans (Fast KTM) and Master rider Brett Bircher (Motul KTM). Jonathan Hubbard (KTM), Alec Combrink (Husqvarna), Andre Swart (KTM), Husqvarna men Gerhard Hanekom and Jaco van Zyl and Sheldon Watkins (Yamaha) rounded off the top ten.
Reigning champion Kayla Raaff (SA Bikewise Motul Kawasaki) picked up where she left off with a double Ladies Motocross win over Megan Jonker (Motul Leatt Husquvarna), who shared the seconds and thirds out with Natasha Rugani (KTM). Pegasus Husqvarna sisters Jadene and Cheyenne de Lima were next up from Kylie Kotze and KTM girls Savannah van Vuuren and Kelly Benn.
Ugandan Stav Orland (Orland Brothers KTM) and Ethan Hoffman (Dirt Rider Yamaha) shared the 125cc High School wins, but Orland took the championship leader’s red plate home thanks to his second race second place over Hoffman’s fourth. Liam Gilchrist (RPG Nutritech Husqvarna) took a second and a third en route to third overall ahead of Christiaan Cilliers (Out of Africa Monster Yamaha), KTM trio Mark-Anthony Filip, Jonathan Mlimi and Cuan Conway, Josh de Hutton (Yamaha) and KTM pair Miguel de Waal and Blake Young.
Zimbabwean Daiyaan Manuel (KTM) made 85cc Pro Mini his own over moto 2 second place lad Bryce Petersen (Linex Yamaha), Emmanuel Bako (KTM) and Kyle Townsend, who ended second in the first race on his Cannabis Energy KTM, with fellow KTM kids Luke Grundy and Wesley McGavin next up. Lucas Venter (Husqvarna) was seventh overall ahead of Tyler Tarantino (Motorex KTM), Wian du Plooy (Husqvarna) and reigning SA 85 Junior champion Seth Young (KTM).
Liam Botha (Eco Tanks Husqvarna) stamped authority on the 85cc Junior races with two wins, each time ahead of Alon Orland (Orland Bros. KTM) and Pieter Brink (Orange County KTM). Ryan Adler (Husqvarna) meanwhile fought Timo Maximo Toepfer (Fast Motul KTM) and Joshua Williams (Linex Yamaha) off for fourth ahead of Blake Osner (Husqvarna), Nathan Verster (KTM) and Yamaha duo Louis Mostert and Kodi Goosen.
Jordan van Wyk (CIT Husqvarna) won the second moto to take a surprise overall 65cc primary school motocross win for the day to carry the championship leader’s red plate to round 2in the Cape. Trey Cox (Motul Alfie Cox KTM) was second from Jack Pullen (Husqvarna) after reigning 65cc champion and race 1 winner Neil van der Vyver (Husqvarna SA) hit trouble in the second moto and only ended fourth for the day. Yamaha lighties Aiden Henley and Tyler Petersen, Husqvarna duo Sven Larsen and Christian Berrington Smith, Damien Venter (Yamaha) and Nicol Smit (Husqvarna) rounded off the top ten.
Last but not least, Andrew Wren (Yamaha) took Senior Support honours with a double win over KTM duo Connor Alcock and Denzyl Kennedy and Lario du Toit (Honda) in that order both times.
Chase Bekker enjoyed the perfect start to his baby 50cc Motocross season with two wins to claim the red plate aboard his Summit Racing Florstor on Trend Husqvarna over Trenton Kretzmann (Air Auto Africa Fox Husqvarna) each time, with KTM lads Maxwell Fourie and Aiden Retief sharing out the thirds to go third and fourth overall. Michael Enslin ended fifth for the day over Rayden Woolls (Supernova Husqvarna), Alex Cooper (Husqvarna), Motul Alfie Cox KTM duo Brody Bircher and Evan Frost and Skyler de Kock (iStyle KTM).
The South African National Motocross Championship is proudly presented and sanctioned by Motorsport South Africa in partnership with Cannabis Energy, TRP Distributors, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Pro Taper, 100%, Fly Racing, Ogio, Racestar Graffix and the Sunoco Race Shop. The second round of the 2020 championship will be at Cape Town’s Zone 7 on Saturday 28 March.