Kawasaki put the finishing touches to an incredible comeback cross country season. CIT Franchise Co. star Mike Pentecost added the overall GXCC Gauteng, OR1 and Northern Regions titles to his national OR1 championship with overall victory at a muddy Carletonville on Saturday.
It was a winning weekend all-round for Kawasaki, as Pepson Plastics Motul trio d’Artagnian Lobjoit came home second in OR1 and Taki Bogiages, Kyle Mackenzie and CIT lad John Botha ended second, third and fourth in OR3 as Taki and Kyle took second and fifth in that title chase.
“What a wonderful way to end an incredible year,” Pepson Plastics Kawaski Motul Racing team boss Iain Pepper admitted. “We made a brave call to race Kawasakis this season and to say that paid off is an understatement. “Then Mike Pentecost approached us and we made a plan to accommodate him. “The rest is history. ”To Mike, Taki, Kyle and to everyone else who came together to make this happen, a huge thank you. “We came, we saw and Kawasaki conquered. “Fantastic!”
“I had a lot to prove to a lot of people who probably thought I was a has-been!” Mike Pentecost explained. “I reached out to so many people who were never interested. “Then I told Iain Pepper what I wanted to achieve and without hesitation, he introduced me to Harry Grobler. “I must thank Iain for that. “Thanks to Harry and Chris at CIT Franchise Co, not just for their backing, but for setting an example of what a champion should be and leading our team to all these titles.
“My Franchise Co CIT Kawasaki KX 450 X proved itself beyond doubt. “Thanks also to the man with a plan, Mr. Roger Bergstrom from FCR Suspension, who put so much time and effort into my bike to give me that little edge that I needed from the get go. “To my family, who have never ever doubted, and always backed me through thick and thin, thank you! “And to my Kawasaki family, my OR1 teammate, D’artagnan Lobjoit and everyone else, well done. “2022, here we come!”
“Wow, that wraps up a brilliant Cross Country racing season,” D’artagnan Lobjoit explained. “To add a Kawasaki GXCC championship 1-2 to our national OR1 1-3 is a brilliant achievement in our maiden season! Thanks so much to Iain and my incredible Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul team. “My brilliant KX450X ran like clockwork throughout the season — this was a superb year all round!”
It was also a landmark race for Taki Bogiages, who bounced back second in OR3 after missing much of the late season to Covid. “I so enjoyed racing in great conditions with no dust after the rain,” Taki explained. “My Pepson Plastics Motul KX 250 X was awesome on the choppy, fast track and my team flawless with really fast stops. “I am also delighted with my first finish more than 3 months since Covid affected my lungs. “Now we focus on the off season — and 2022!”
Kyle Mackenzie likewise enjoyed a strong finish to his season right behind his teammate in third in OR3. “That was a fine, muddy weekend,” Kyle Mckenzie pointed out. “My Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX250X felt amazing and I had a good run to end up third to close off a close fifth in the championship. “I am delighted with my progress as a rider this season and I’m hugely thankful to my whole Pepson Plastics Motul team for a brilliant season. “Bring on 2022!”
High School star John Botha was fourth on his OR3 debut for CIT Franchise Co Kawasaki and Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Racing Motul ran two guest riders in Carletonville. SA ladies motocross champion Kyla Raaff swapped her regular KX 250 MX machine for an X version and enjoyed a great battle to second with MX rival and cross country regular Leah Heygate. And multiple SA champion, cross country King Kenny Gilbert made a most popular return to the saddle, running in the OR1 top three for much of the race.
“In closing, I must thank our entire Kawasaki cross country operation for making our first season in green a dream come true,” Iain Pepper concluded. “Rest assured, we will be back, bigger and better in 2022!” CIT Franchise Co. Kawasaki team boss Harry Grobler added, “We have great plans for Kawasaki in Cross Country racing in 2022. “Watch this space for more news on our new season plans soon!”