Thunder Valley MX lives up to its name

Photo credit: Ruben Louw

Pietermaritzburg’s Thunder Valley lived up to its name as treacherous conditions played havoc at the Cannabis Energy Drink TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship on Saturday. A major cold front hit KwaZulu Natal overnight to wreak havoc as extreme cold, driving rain and even sleet in each class tested competitors and officials to the limit in the first motos. The meeting was then abandoned and the second heats scratched as conditions deteriorated.

Cape rider David Goosen shrugged the cold, wet and wind off to ride his Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna to the open class MX1 win. He grabbed three points back from his Eastern Cape rival, championship leader Tristan Purdon’s Red Bull KTM. Purdon’s teammates Cameron Durow and Cross Country star Bradley Cox were next up ahead of Anthony Raynard on a Tinswalo Yamaha and Jayden Proctor’s KTM.

Photo credit: Ruben Louw

KZN local Cameron Durow took a 250cc MX2 race of attrition on his Red Bull KTM, two and a half seconds clear of David Goosen’s Rockstar Husqvarna. Championship leader Tristan Purdon’s Red Bull KTM was also close behind in third to limit Purdon and Goosen’s title advances as the top three closed up in the quarter-litre championship race. Leonard du Toit was fourth ahead of reigning champion Anthony Raynard’s Tinswalo Yamaha and Jayden Proctor on a KTM.

Solo over-30s rider in ‘Martizburg, Grant Frerichs did his MX3 title aspirations no harm at all when he overcame conditions to ride his Yamaha home to the MX3 win ahead of over-40 winner, Honda rider Bruce Viljoen’s Honda. His over-40 rivals, Ian Topliss’ Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha, Phillip Harper on a Honda and Stewart Parkes were next up.

Photo credit: Ruben Louw

Kayla Raaff celebrated woman’s month by taking the Ladies Motocross win on her Kawasaki. Raaf’s championship hopes were aided by Jadene de Lima, who put her Husqvarna ahead of co-title leader coming into the KZN race, Leah Heygate’s KTM. Second de Lima sister Cheyenne was fourth on another Husqvarna.

Jonathan Mlimi reigned in the adverse conditions in MX High School aboard his Red Bull KTM. He extended his already handy championship advantage by beating Luke Grundy’s Husqvarna to second ahead of second in the championship race, Ethan Hoffman’s Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha. KTM duo Miguel de Waal and Barend du Toit, Cuan Conway’s GasGas, Blake Young’s KTM and Callan Broskie’s Ridgeway Husqvarna followed.

Photo credit: Ruben Louw

Rockstar Husqvarna lad Neil van der Vyver also mastered the treacherous conditions to take an easy 85 Pro Mini victory over Ryan Adler’s Husqvarna and championship leader Trey Cox on a Red Bull KTM and shake up that title chase. Jordan van Wyk was third on his Husqvarna ahead of Christian Berrington-Smith’s KTM and Kodi Goosen on a Yamaha. Title protagonist Emmanuel Bako was among those to opt not to race.

Caden Weise revelled the conditions to score an upset 85cc Junior win on his Husqvarna ahead of KTM trio, championship second and third lads, Matthew Correia and Andrew Venter, and Kassim Hassim KTM. Championship leader coming in to Maritzburg, Tyler Petersen’s Husqvarna was not running in fifth at the flag.

GasGas lad Blade Tilley dominated the 65cc race to consolidate his championship advantage. Aiden Henley was second on an Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha ahead of KTM lad Blake Frost. Riley Rocher ended fourth on a KTM ahead of Casey Tilley’s GasGas and Evan Frost on a KTM.

Photo credit: Ruben Louw

Championship leader Trenton Kretzmann took a close baby class 50cc motocross win on his Perry Husqvarna. He beat Rayden Woolls’ GasGas and Cobra rider Maxwell Fourie’s, who moved up to second in the title chase. KTM trio Brody Bircher, Ross Mackenzie and Ashton Rawlins were next up.

SA’s national motocrossers won’t have long to wait to get racing again following the disappointment of losing those second heats — the next round is at Chestnut Park in Gauteng on 18 September.

Photo credit: Ruben Louw

The 2021 South African National Motocross Championship is proudly presented by Motorsport South Africa in partnership with Cannabis Energy Drink, TRP Distributors, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Pro Taper, 100%, Fly Racing, Ogio, Bandit Graffix and the Race Shop.