30 June 2013

Published with Permission

The final round of the WOMZA Full Throttle National Motocross Championships was held at the TEZA Motocross track just outside Richards Bay on the weekend of 15 and 16 June. This world class facility was indeed the perfect venue to wrap up the 2013 National Championships, and the racing and spectacle were, without doubt, a strong match to this fantastic circuit.

Full Throttle Yamaha’s Seth van den Abeele clinched his first national title in the 85cc Jnr class on board his Yamaha YZ 85. The diminutive Port Elizabeth based rider rode with his head, preserving the strong points lead he had going into the final round, securing a fifth in the first moto and a convincing victory in the second moto. With one moto left in the championship, this was enough for Seth to be crowned the 2013 WOMZA National 85cc Jnr Champion. In the final moto, Seth got a front wheel puncture on lap one. A quick wheel change by his crew at the end of lap 2 enabled him to finish the race, and the championship, with 100% finishing record.

In the Pro Mini class, Full Throttle Yamaha’s Justin Thompson, the 2012 85cc Jnr National Champion, in his first year in the bigger class, went into the last moto lying in second place in the championship, and was on track to secure that very well deserved accolade until another rider jumped on top of him, sending him to hospital with a severe concussion and resulting in his first DNF of the season. This unfortunate incident robbed Justin of the points he was so hoping to earn for the race, which in turn dropped him down to fourth in the final championship standings. The doctors gave Justin a clean bill of health and he now has his sights firmly set on the 2014 National Pro Mini Championship.

In the 125 cc Highschool class, Liquidblast Yamaha’s Dylan Stokes from Cape Town did enough on the day to secure second place in the National Championship behind Bradley Cox (KTM). Full Throttle Yamaha’s Dirco van der Westhuizen, who moved up into this class a year early (he should still be racing in the Pro Mini class based on age) showed that he has really started to gel with his Yamaha YZ 125, and pulled off three second places in the three moto’s. In fact, Dirco was posting lap times six seconds a lap faster than his first lap on his last lap, proving his fitness and race tenacity is out of the top drawer. Dirco managed to finish third in the 2013 National Championship, despite the odds and a mindset of using his first year in this class as a test bed.

Full Throttle Yamaha’s Richard van der Westhuizen (Yamaha YZ 450 F in MX1 and Yamaha YZ 250 F in MX2) rounded off his most dominant season of national motocross by taking both the MX1 and MX2 National Championships, making them his eleventh and twelfth titles in his very illustrious career. In fact, so dominant was the combination of Richie and his Yamaha’s this year, that he took no less than nineteen victories out of the twenty four moto’s that made up the championships in both classes, as well as seven out of eight overall victories.
And now, after twenty two years of campaigning for motocross glory, twelve national titles, his most dominant season ever under his belt, having raced overseas and also represented South Africa at the Motocross of Nations last year, Richie has announced that he will retire from national championship racing at the end of 2013. But, he is adamant that he is not hanging up his helmet for good as he will still compete in regional championship racing, as well as play a significant part in the development of the sport that he loves.

We at Yamaha would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Richie for the role he has played, not only as a brand ambassador for Yamaha over the years, but also as a highly respected and a true example of a professional athlete. We are proud to have partnered with you in our mutual quest for championship glory.

Photo credits: Brodalka Photography: http://www.facebook.com/BrodalkaPhotography.

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