Trademore Group MSA South African National Cross-Country Motorcycle Champion Bradley Cox bided his time aboard his Brother Leader Tread KTM early on, before overcoming OR2 winner, factory Husqvarna man Brett Swanepoel’s late charge to win an epic Pepson Plastics 200 at Legends outside Pretoria on Saturday. OR3 winner Matthew Wilson’s Brother Leader Tread KTM was third in a dramatic season opener that saw action throughout.
OR2 man Scott Heygate was fourth on a good day for the Brother Leader Tread KTM team, ahead of Michael Pentecost’s OR1 Franchise Co. CIT Kawasaki. Sleepover CIT Torkcraft Honda duo, OR1 rider Gareth and OR3 lad Haydn Cole were next home Senior winner Kenny Gilbert Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki, Ryan Pelser’s OR3 KTM and Jaycee Nienaber Spherical Holeshot OR1 Husqvarna in tenth
Kobus Jonck took the Masters win on his KTM and KTM Durban lad Ross Ramseyer grabbed High School honours. Junior action saw Brandon Clarke take 85 cc honours on his Spherical Holeshot Clarke Husqvarna, while Jake Pretorius did the double for Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki as he took the 65cc Interprovincial win.
The action started with Cox leading Davin Cocker’s OR3 factory Husqvarna, Pentecost, Wilson OR3 KTM, Pelser, OR2 man Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s Red Bull KTM and Gilbert in the time trial. Swanepoel had a less than ideal start in tenth. Cocker then moved into an early lead from Cox as racing proper started on a tough and dusty 45 km route interspersed with sticky muddy sections and rocky outcrops too.
Cocker led through to end the second lap, by when he’d opened up a 48 second lead on Cox, with Wilson, Pentecost, Heygate and a recovering Swanepoel in pursuit. But Cocker got stuck in the mud for a quarter hour and then hit another issue to plummet down the order to leave Cox leading Swanepoel, Wilson and Pentecost. Swanepoel then delivered a sizzling final lap to close down on Cox, but that was not enough and his time trial deficit was also too much to overcome.
So Bradley Cox took the day from a storming Brett Swanepoel, Matthew Wilson and Scott Heygate, who pipped Mike Pentecost on the final lap. In the classes, Cox took 450cc OR1 from Pentecost, Gareth Cole, Nienaber and Kawasaki duo, Pepson man Wade Den and Franchise Co. rider Tyron Beverley. Swanepoel took 350cc OR2 from Heygate, Erik Merry’s RAD KTM, Kerim Fitz-Gerald on a Red Bull KTM, Juan Niebuhr’s Rhubein KTM and Dylan Cox’s RBS Yamaha.
Wilson came out on top of a competitive 250cc OR3 battle from Haydn Cole, Ryan Pelser’s KTM, Pepson Kawasaki duo Kyle McKenzie and Taki Bogiages and Peter Karam’s Honda. Kenny Gilbert dominated Seniors from Wade Blaauw’ Sleepover CIT Honda, Marco Cocci on a Shimwells Yamaha, Wyatt Avis’ Pepson Kawasaki, Kyle Potgieter’s Fast KTM and Ockert Swart’s Cow Husqvarna. Kobus Jonck’s KTM surprised to beat Husqvarna duo Greg Nairn and Wayne Farmer to win Masters.
Ross Ramseyer dominated 125 cc High School for KTM Durban, from Cobus Bester’s Spherical Holeshot and Wian Wentzel’s Franchise Co. Husqvarnas, Daniel Peckham’s NWE Sherco, Rory Donaldson’s KTM and Joss Alexander’s Husqvarna. Brandon Clarke took the 85 win from Bruno Niebuhr’s Rhubein KTM and Murray Smith’s KTM. And Jake Pretorius beat Matthew Meyer’s Gas Gas and Mackenzie Bam’s KTM in the Interprovincial 65 race.
The Trademore Group MSA South African National Cross-Country Motorcycle Championship heads to KwaZulu Natal for KZN racing’s second round Saturday 26 March.