by Laren van der Westhuizen

Round 2 of the Full Throttle, Monster energy, Womza MX nationals was held at the Melkbosstrand MX track in Cape Town. After a great round 1 in Gauteng, expectations were up for the Mother city round. And they did not let us down. A great Friday entry session, with the now familiar Snoek braai and bread and jam was the kick-off to the weekend. It set the tone for what was about to be an epic weekend of racing.

Saturday was unfortunately dampened for spectators by the gusting gale force winds and a runaway fire that missed the venue by meters. It didn’t hamper the racing though as the riders set about throwing down some amazing qualifying times and of course heat 1 later in the day.

Sunday was perfect for racing. The weather was slightly overcast and light winds. The spectators poured in and witnessed racing of the highest level on one of the toughest tracks in the country.

The 50cc senior class was absolutely awesome to watch. The local man, Ike Klaasen was on fire and won heat 1, this was after Vincent Van Rooy lead the whole race till the final lap, where he fell with a backmarker. Vincent could only salvage 4th. 2nd went to Jono Mlimi and 3rd was Camden McLellan who fought from a 10th place start. Jono Mlimi hasn’t had the best start to 2013, but somehow he just knows how to ride nationals. Battling for 4ths and 5ths regionally, he goes out in heat 2 of the national and wins. He managed a 2nd in the final heat to claim the win overall and made good strides to improving the number 2 on his board. 2nd went to the Cape town hero, Ike Klaasen and Camden McLellan finally put a start together to win the final heat. Camden is fast and has the pace to win all the time, but has to find a remedy for the inconsistent starts in what is now a stacked 50cc class. Vincent Van Rooy could not find the form of heat 1 and had to settle for 4th overall. AJ Fourie was 5th overall ahead of the PE boy, Zach Newby.

The 50cc junior class was full of entertainment. The track was demanding and saw the little guys fall many times each and the lead would change every lap. Lucas Venter got the holeshot award but wasn’t able to stay on his bike to finish up front. The win went to Kriege VD Merwe who was definitely the fastest and managed to win 2 of the 3 heats, despite several crashes every heat. 2nd went to Iwahn Roux a 3rd went to Lucas Venter.

MX3 Vets Rider #1 Ian Topliss

The first class out on the BIG track was the MX3 class. They were happy about riding first as they knew how rough the track can get. Terence Monk and Alec Combrink were competing in the masters, but with home track knowledge, were in it to win it against the vets. The holeshots went to Geoff Den in all 3 heats and he walked away with the Skullcandy headphones. He also won overall in the grandmasters ahead of Rod Bergstrom. The race win and the vets win went to Ian Topliss once again. He won all 3 heats, but had a much tougher time of things than round 1 at Dirt Bronco. He was under pressure from Roger Bergstrom in heat 1 and 2 and was under BIG pressure from Alec Combrink in the final heat. Alec had a big fan base there with air horns etc, which obviously helped. Roger Bergstrom was 2nd in the vets and Alec won the masters ahead of Terence Monk.

The next race out was the 85cc class. This was a serious 2 horse race between Seth VD Abeele and Slade Smith. Sadly missing from the field was Keegan Hickson-Mahoney who broke his arm after winning round 1. Seth was too strong in the deep sand for Slade Smith, who tried everything to try and beat Seth. Seth won all 3 heats and Slade managed two x 2nd’s and a 3rd. The final heat was a scare for Slade as his fuel pipe jumped off and a DNF was on the cards. They managed to fix it on the side of the track and he fought back to 3rd. Mathew Kruger was solid all day, but could only watch as the 2 top boys rode away up front. He settled for 3rd ahead of Cayle Dormehl and Ruben Aucamp who had problems in the final heat.

MX1 #1 Richard van der Westhuizen

The MX1 class took to the track next and was not quite the Richie VD Westhuizen show we saw at Dirt Bronco. Richie had some serious pressure from Sacha Naude who won heat 2 and ended Richie’s clean sweep streak. Sacha couldn’t quite do it in heat 3 but certainly pushed hard enough to keep Richie under pressure. The battle was on for third as well. This was between Royce Griffen, Ross Branch, Wyatt Avis, Kerim Fitzgerald, Marc Baxter and homeboy Enzo Grande. Royce is on a new Kawasaki and did enough to snatch 3rd away from Ross branch who had a bad final heat. Ross has just climbed back on a bike and did well to run 3rd in the first 2 heats and finish 4th overall. Marc Baxter is a new member on the Fast Kawasaki team and did well at his first national in 2013 to finish in the top 5. Kerim Fitzgerald was 6th and Enzo Grande 7th.

MX High School 125 #810 Dylan Stokes

Grant Hutton was the man to beat in the 65cc class, but little mistakes in the first 2 heats handed the win to Mr Consistant himself, Wikus Van Sandwyk. Wikus almost blew the overall, when he ran 5th in the final heat, but the first 2 wins were enough for the overall. Grant Hutton won the final heat, but did not rack up enough points to beat Justin Sangster who’s strategy was to stay on 2 wheels and pick up places when the rest got tired in the deep sand. Dalton Venter had some fast times, but bad starts and too many falls kept him in 4th place overall. Cameron Durow also showed great speed, but he too made a few mistakes and in this competitive 65cc class, that can cost you many points. Christiaan Cilliers has never ridden sand like Melkbos and rode well to finish 6th.

The 125 highschool class was once again one of the biggest. There were 2 riders way ahead of the rest though, namely Brad Cox and local favourite, Dylan Stokes. Brad Cox only decided last minute to ride the national and really showed he has all round skill on hard and soft tracks. He couldn’t stop the Stokes freight train though, as Dylan rode with lap times that would have seen him in the top 10 of MX2. Dylan managed to win all 3 heats ahead of Cox. Dirco VD Westhuizen seemed to struggle on Saturday, but the advantage of the 2 day format is that you can go home and think about it and try again on Sunday. This is exactly what Dirco did and came out with 2 solid 2nd’s ahead of Connor Fletcher. Nicholas Phelps was fast all weekend, but bad starts left him to fight through the field to 5th place overall.

Pro Mini #14 Jason Visser

The pro-mini class was won by Jason Visser. He holeshotted all the heats and looked too solid to give up the win. He was pressured by Marcus Phelps in heat 1 and even lost the lead momentarily in heat 3 to Bevin Potgieter, but determination kept him up there to win. Marcus had bike trouble in heat 2 and 3 and had to settle for 3rd just behind Potgieter who will be looking forward to his home national. Justin Thompson was 4th and Joshua Mlimi 5th.

The MX2 Start.

The MX2 class was huge and to even run in the top 10 was a tough ask. Richie managed good starts in all 3 heats and would take the sweep, showing that he is really focussed on the MX2 class for 2013. He put on a riding display in the final heat when the track was rough and won by some margin. Perhaps the surprise of the weekend was Tristan Purdon who went 3rd, 4th and 4th for 2nd overall. He was fast all weekend and had some great starts. He is a real prospect for SA and Husqvarna must be proud of their young man. Caleb Tennant had a disaster first heat, but got better as the weekend went on, to finish 3rd overall. The reigning champ Ant Raynard rode with a broken finger and showed great determination to finish in 4th overall. He even had to come back from a fall in heat 3 which must have really hurt. Darryl Fitzgerald showed great pace on the 250F to finish in the top 5 and beat his brother Kerim for a change. Darryl is still strong and really shines on the tough tracks. Wyatt Avis had terrible luck in the MX2 class, but showed great speed and could be a favourite for the next round in PE. Wesley DuPlooy finished a credible 3rd in heat 3 and opened a few eyes. Watch this kid in the future, he has amazing style and natural talent.

The next round heads to PE in May and we look forward to more awesome racing. See you there!

For more pictures click here to see the full event gallery by Paul Conlon

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