8 July 2013

by Laren van der Westhuizen

Round 3 of the MSA nationals was held at the oldest circuit in Gauteng, being Syringa MX Park. Many changes have been done to the track of late to bring it back up to national spec and Jannie has done a great job. It is one of the shorter tracks around, but very technical and gets really “choppy”.

The 50cc class was great to watch. 2 riders have really moved to another level through this year, and that is Camden McLellan and Jono Mlimi. Camden got a bad start in heat 1 and whilst making his way to the fron, ran into some bike trouble. He almost lost a lap and had to fight hard to get back towards the front. He incredibly managed to come back to 2nd. The man he couldn’t catch was Jono Mlimi, who was a comfortable winner in heat 1. Hayden Tully was 3rd, a position he has been making his own this year, as well as the holeshot king. In heat 2, Camden and Jono went bar to bar. Camden was able to pull off the win, but not before Jono made a pass with 2 laps to go. This woke Camden up and he fought back to the front to win the race and the overall. Hayden Tully was 3rd again and Ethan Segal was 4th.
The support class was won by a flying Nate McLellan, with Tyler Tarantino in 2nd and Barend DuToit in 3rd.

The 65cc class was a KZN battle up front. Cameron Durow holeshotted both heats. He won heat 1 but under pressure from Wikus Van Sandwyk. Christiaan Cilliers was 3rd, but only just ahead of Camden McLellan who finished strong. Heat 2 saw a change for the lead in the final lap. After Durow holeshotted and lead the whole heat, Wikus Van Sandwyk found a way past in the final lap. Wikus won the heat and the overall. Camden McLellan continued his good form, to finish in 3rd. Christiaan Cilliers made a few mistakes in heat 2 and had to settle for 4th overall, just ahead of the Zimbabwe rider, Davin Cocker.

The 85cc class was small, but great to watch. Ruben Aucamp lead the race till the midway point when Slade Smith made the pass. Slade was fastest in practice and would prove that he was fastest in the heat by pulling about a 5 second gap. Ruben was left to battle with Cayle Dormehl and it would go down to the wire, but Ruben would just hold out. In heat 2, it was Cale Dormehl’s turn to lead as held off Slade Smith till about the halfway point. Slade cleverly made his move and the race was spread out after that. Ruben Aucamp made a last lap charge at Dormehl, but it was too late. Ryan Pelser finished up 4th.

The Pro-mini class saw Marco DeVrye holeshot and pull away in heat 1, that was until he fell over in a rut and couldn’t get the bike started. He ended up DNFing that heat. There was a lot of carnage in heat 1 as riders were chopping and changing positions. Justin Thompson also has some bad luck as he suffered a rear wheel puncture. When the dust settled, Josh Mlimi was way in the lead and won heat 1 in style. Janes Van Sandwyk rode really well to finish 2nd ahead of the “TEZA kid”, Charl Van Eerden. Marco DeVrye made up for his heat 1 misfortune by winning heat 2. Josh Mlimi was his cool and collected self, as he breezed home to 2nd and the overall for the day. Justin Thompson came back for 3rd. Charl Van Eerden was 2nd overall ahead of Janes Van Sandwyk.

The 125 class had a new winner. It’s been all about Brad Cox this year, but at this national, Full Throttle Yamaha rider Dirco VD Westhuizen went out and blitzed the field. He won both heats. Brad had some bike issues in heat 1, but held on for 2nd ahead of Jason Visser. In heat 2, Brad made too many mistakes and could only manage a 3rd which put him 3rd overall for the day. Jason was strong at the end of heat 2 but not good enough to beat Dirco. Tristan Cuthbert was a solid 4th overall.

The MX2 class was as big as the 65cc class, with 15 riders. Some big names from around SA graced the start line, but after practice, it was clear it would be a 3 horse race. Wyatt Avis, Sacha Naude and Kerim Fitzgerald. Not far off them was Grant Frerichs, Brad Fenton, Danny Lailvaux and Darryl Fitzgerald. In heat 1, Sacha Naude was really fast and was an easy winner. There was some issues with the gate and caused problems for some of the big names, like Danny Lailvaux, who had to come from the back. Kerim aslo had a disaster heat 1 and could only manage 5th. Wyatt Avis had a lonely ride in 2nd and Brad Fenton got the better of Grant Frerichs for 3rd. In heat 2, Kerim fought back hard and won which was enough for 2nd overall. Sacha would finish 2nd and take the top step of the podium. Wyatt could only manage 3rd, but is looking fitter than he has been for a while and could be a serious factor in the MSA national champs. Grant Frerichs finished 4th overall.

The MX3 class was dominated by a former SA legend, Ryan Hunt. He rode like he was still 25 and showed the youngsters some incredible corner entry speed. Tony Riddell was 2nd on a track that seemed a little tight for him. He does like the fast and flowing circuits. The reigning champ, Billy Flanagan was 3rd.

The MX1 class was small, but had the most talent. Every rider in that class has won many races in their carreer. Kerim Fitzgerald won heat 1 ahead of a hard charging Sacha Naude. Kerim has become a strong MX1 rider and will be looking for this title in 2013. Wyatt Avis was 3rd ahead of the sand specialist, Royce Griffen. Sacha rode and incredible race in heat 2 to come from 4th to first. That would give him the overall for the day. Kerim had to settle for 2nd and Wyatt again in 3rd. Royce Griffen is proving that he can ride the hard stuff too and was most impressive.

The track got pretty rough and tested the riders to the max. It is now a great venue for motocross and with 2 more events there in July and the FIM Africa event in August, we going to be seeing a lot of the old circuit.

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