13 February 2012

by Laren van der Westhuizen

The first round of the WOMZA, Full Throttle National Motocross Championship was held at the exotic Sun City resort. Unfortunately rain the night before and all the way through the morning, made things a little difficult for the organizers and for the riders. The event finally got under way with the MX2 class having to brave the muddy conditions first. By the end of practice, the sun had come out and racing became an actual possibility!

The Sun City track was initially built to host world championships events and all the riders were excited to ride a former GP track. The ruts formed really deep and track conditions were tougher than most hoped for for the first round of a long season.

The 50cc class was really exciting. Christiaan Cilliers stamped his authority on the championship, by winning both heats. Justin Sangster proved he was a title contender by being the fastest on the track, but just has to work on starts and consistancy. 2 other riders who really showed great form, was Vincent Van Rooy and Jonothan Mlimi. Unfortunately, the transponder wires were kicked out by a spectator and due to no 2nd heat result, an official overall has yet to be posted.

The 65cc class was the Slade Smith show, as he ran away with both wins. The rest were left to battle for 2nd. Wikus Van Sandwyk earned that honor as he finished 2nd and 3rd for 2nd overall. Grant Hutton was 3rd in heat 1, but mechanical problems put him down the field in heat 2, which gave Dalton Venter 3rd overall.

The junior 85cc class saw Marcus Phelps win heat one with the pocket rocket, Justin Thompson on his tail. In heat 2, Marcus could only manage a 7th after a crash and left him in 2nd place overall, just ahead of the KZN rider, Janes Van Sandwyk. The win overall went to the pre-season favourite, Justin Thompson and with his robot like consistancy, he will be a hard man to beat. Slade Smith had a great result to finish 4th after winning the 65cc class.

The 125cc class was a close affair. The pre-season favourite, Bradley Fenton crashed hard in heat 1 and chose to sit out of heat 2. This left the door open to some hungry "dogs". The hugriest of the them all, being the Monster Energy rider, Jesse Wright. He finished 1st and 2nd, for first overall. Justin Mittens struggled a bit in heat 1, but came out firing in heat 2 to win and take 2nd overall. The Honda rider Callum McMaster finished in 3rd.

The Masters class saw Wayne Smith win his millionth race (LOL)! He just cannot be stopped, and claimed yet another overall win. Geoff Den finished in 2nd with him and Gary Killian finishing on equal points. The better 2nd heat counted for Den and left Killian in 3rd. The oldest guy in the field finished 4th, Rod Bergstrom, and looked like he really enjoyed the tough conditions.

The Vets class was a runaway victory for Ian topliss. Bruce May, who won the holeshot for headphones from Skull Candy, finished in 2nd. Craig Kruger had some bad starts, but managed to round out the podium. The reigning champion, Roger Bergstrom had a disaster 2nd heat and could only manage 4th overall.

The Pro-mini class was a Honda affair. With Tristan Purdon winning the first heat and his teammate for PS Honda in 2nd, it was clear that they will be hard to beat. In heat 2 though, tristan Purdon suffered a front tyre puncture and could only manage 9 points. This left Dirco VD Westhuizen on the top step of the podium and a consistant 3-3 left Joshua Mlimi in 2nd place. Dylan Mostert had a great day, to finish in 3rd.

The MX1 class was a 2 way battle in both heats. A resurgent Ross Branch put the pressure on Richard VD Westhuizen in heat 1, but just had no way through. Wyatt Avis finished 3rd. In heat 2 Van Der Westhuizen won a little easier as Branch didn't get such a great start. Branch would still finish up 2nd with PS Honda rider Michael Kok chasing him down for 3rd. Kerim Fitzgerald holeshoted heat 2 to get the Skull candy headphones, but could only manage 4th place overall. Wyatt Avis had a big crash in heat 2 and DNF'd, which will leave him with some catching up to do.

The MX2 class picked up a new sponsor for the championship, Contiki tours SA. The winner of the championship will get a fully paid for international trip for 2 to either Thailand or skiing in Austria. This meant the pace was frenetic, but was quite clear that Kerim Fitzgerald would be the man to catch as he won both heats. Richard VD Westhuizen finished 2nd in both heats, but showed great speed and if he can get better starts, he will be a serious race factor. Wyatt Avis also sufferd bad starts, but was able to race to a 4th and a 3rd for 3rd overall. Darryl Fitzgerald was 4th, PS Honda rider Raynard in 5th and Merik Sparg in 6th.

Despite a few teething problems, the race day was a great success and we looking forward to an even bigger and better national in Bloemfontein on the 24th of March.

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