15 April 2013

by Laren van der Westhuizen

Polokwane is fast becoming a preferred stop on the MX regionals. Great venue, great crowds and awesome hospitality. The track was prepped well and some gnarly ruts formed and was great for the top rider and the beginner and beginners there was aplenty!!!!

The 50cc class was ablaze with talent again. It was great to see top Zimbabwe 50cc rider, Kuda Mhene in the mix and he had great pace. No one could stop a high flying Camden Mc Lellan though as he ran away with both heats. Jonathan Mlimi was 2nd in heat 1 but could not manage the same in heat 2 after a bad start. Second for the day went to Vincent Van Rooy. Jonathan Mlimi was third and the holeshot kid, Cody Tebbutt was fourth. Tough day for Hayden Tully who placed fifth.

The 50cc junior class was dominated by Barend du Toit again. He did however have some pressure from local boy, Willem Hough who had the fastest time in heat two. Lucas Venter was third.

(Left: 50cc #122 Camden Mc Lellan)

There was a huge surprise in the 65cc class. Jonathan Mlimi mastered the tough rutty conditions best and won overall. The fastest man, Dalton venter had big problems in heat 1, but mamged to win heat 2 for 8th overall. The 50cc winner, Camden Mc Lellan had his best race ever in 65's, finishing 2nd and posting some fast times. Christiaan Cilliers was 3rd and the man who should have won the day, Calvin Jean-Jacques was 4th. Calvin was fast all day, but some bad luck cost him the overall. Keagan Kochs had a great day fighting from the back in both heats to finish 5th.

Slade Smith won both heats in the 85cc class, but had some pressure from a talented field behind him. The Zimbabwe rider, Regan Wasmuth finished 2nd and the man who's second home is Polokwane, Ruben Aucamp, finished in 3rd. Ricky Raaf was fast, but bad luck put him down in 9th.

The open support class was nice and full again. Dices all through the field is the nature of this class. It was won once again by David van der Westhuizen who will no doubt be competing in MX2B from now. Bevan Christie was 2nd and Rudolf Pretorius 3rd.

The MX4 class raced on their own this time and the class was won by Zimbabwe rider, Victoria Van Breda who was in a class of her own. Amy Sawyer was 3rd and a great ride for 3rd for Libbie Janse van Rensburg who rode in her first MX race.

Geoff Den pulled his now customary holeshots to win the Masters class ahead of Gelen Hermon. They were combined with the vets and it was a nice size class. The vets was won by Marc Ansley who is having a great season. There was great racing in the vets and Nicolaas VD Linden was 2nd and got rider of the day. Charlie Stebbing was 3rd. There was carnage in heat 1 as the race was restarted twice. Once for a jump start and once for a pile up on the 2nd straight. So much for the old guys taking it easy!

Jason Visser has really adapted well to the 125cc. he won the MX2B class and even scared some of the MX2 riders. Nicholas Phelps was 2nd and is definately a candidate for most improved rider of the year so far. Graham Obery made a welcome return to MX, finishing in 3rd.

MX1 & MX2: #54 Sacha Naude

Sacha Naude doesn't often compete in MX2, but decided to improve his fitness and do both MX1 and MX2. He managed to go 2nd and 1st, for 1st overall. He was great to watch and definately has the best corner entry speed in the country. If he holeshots, he is gone. Richie VD Westhuizen was 2nd overall with a 1st and a 2nd. The new sensation, Wesley DuPlooy was 3rd, Dillon Charalambous was 4th on his 125 and Danny Lailvaux was 5th.

The MX1 class saw Sacha win both heats. When he has clear track, he is just so strong. Richie finished 2nd in heat 1 and then a big off in heat 2 just off the start sent him home before the checkered flag. The rider of the day in this class was Kerim Fitzgerald as he showed metal we havent seen really this season from him. He had great pace and was almost there on fitness. Looking forward to seeing Kerim with this new energy at the next national. Watch out SA. Wes DuPlooy was 3rd and Chad Taylor was 4th.

The 125 class was stacked again. Jason Visser won heat 1 and Charalambous was won heat 2. That gave the overall to Charalambous. Phelps was in the hunt again and finished on the final step of the podium. Tyron Nel raced without dad there for a change and got the rider of the day. He was fast and aggressive and is a real force for the future.

Marcus Phelps really dominated the pro-mini class. Without Jason Visser, Marcus got to the front and made both heats his. Justin Thompson did keep him honest, but just not enough in the tank to make any sort of challenge. Marco DeVrye had a great day and for once didn't have any bad luck with his machine. He is really fast when he wants to be and needs to find a way to ride that pace for an entire heat. Josh Mlimi had a crash at the start of heat 2 and could only manage a 4th overall.

Overall, the event was a great one. A few injuries put a slight damper on an otherwise well run event. Hope the bones heal fast and heal well ahead of round 4 at Dirt Bronco in May.

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