Race Report: The MSA S.A.
National MX Championship - Round 1: Terra Topia
12 February 2014
Published with Permission
Submitted by Laren van der Westhuizen.
The riders have a great choice of races to choose from in
2014 and around 115 riders chose to kick off their national
season with the MSA national at Terra Topia. There was a fear
of possible flooding leading up to the event, but the weather
played ball and was perfect for the riders.
The 50cc class was action packed and was actually
an international fest one has to say. Heat 1 saw Zimbabwean
ride Daiyaan Manuel dominate the first heat. Swaziland ride,
Blake young was in 2nd for most of the heat, but bike trouble
put him down the field. In heat 2, it was Daiyaan Manuel who
suffered mechanical failure. He was leading with 1 lap to
go when his wheel collapsed. It was Blake Young from Swaziland
who won. It would however, be the SA rider Nate McLellan who
would win overall with two 2nd place finishes.
The 65cc class saw Camden McLellan set the fastest
times in practice. He holeshotted heat 1 and looked good for
a win, but dropped it and handed the win to Jono Mlimi. Christiaan
Cilliers had a great race to the line with Jono and looked
to be on form. In heat 2, Camden made a run for it and won
with ease. This time it was Jono and Christiaan who had the
bad luck. Christiaan hurt his arm in turn 1 and was out of
the race and Jono crashed half way through lap 1. Jono came
back to 3rd but only after Tristan Grainger from Zimbabwe
suffered mechanical failure in the final lap to drop out of
2nd place. Ethan Segal showed great consistency to finish
2nd in heat 2 and 3rd overall.
The 85cc junior class was really competitive and a
few riders have really improved ahead of the 2014 season.
Dalton Venter won heat 1 convincingly, but the battle for
2nd was immense. Kargo racing entry, Matthew Green finished
2nd ahead of Cayle Dormehl and Cameron Durow who had a bit
of bad luck in heat 1. In heat 2, Cam Durow would make up
for the bad luck by winning heat 2. It was Dalton Venter who
had all the issues in heat 2, with 2 crashes. He did come
back to 3rd behind Cayle Dormehl after Mathew Green crashed
out of 2nd place. Dalton did enough to win overall ahead of
Cam Durow and Cayle Dormehl.
The pro-mini class was one of only 3 classes on the
day that had the same winner in heat 1 and 2. Marco DeVrye
was riding like a man possessed and rode away from the competition.
Justin Thompson had his share of trouble, but managed to salvage
2nd overall. Dalton Venter came straight out of the junior
class and finished 3rd in the pro-minis. Janes Van Sandwyk
and Mathew Kruger were also really quick.
The MX1 class has asserted itself as the premier class
for 2014. With not 1 slow rider in the whole field, this is
one tough class to compete in. Heat 1 was won by Kerim Fitzgerald
who flew out of the gate like a rocket. He only just held
off Michael Docherty who charged from 8th off the start. Sacha
Naude rode to a hard fought 3rd after battling to find rhythm
early on. In heat 2, the Yamaha boys got out of the gate like
lightning and rode to the Front with Kerim Fitzgerald. It
was soon evident that Kerim had some sort of trouble as he
dropped out of contention and Michael Kok and Sacha Naude
were setting really quick times in the front. Michael led
till the half way point, when Sacha made the move. Michael
seemed happy to see his teammate go by and make it a 1 and
2 on the podium. Lloyd Vercueil had been struggling with bad
starts all day, but rode well to put his Fast, Rockstar Kawasaki
on the podium in heat 2. Sacha did enough to win ahead of
Keim and Yamaha stable mate, Michael Kok.
The 125 class was the second class that had the same
winner twice, and that was Nicholas Adams. He showed his international
class by dominating both heats. There was a big scrap for
2nd overall between quite a few riders. That honor went to
Dirco Van Der Westhuizen as he battled to a 2nd and a 3rd
for 2nd overall. Jason Visser managed to find some form in
heat 2 to finish 2nd. He has come into 2014 not at his best,
but if he is already finishing 2nd in a heat, we cant
wait to see when he does hit his peak. Jason finished 3rd
overall ahead of Josh Mlimi who is absolutely blowing everybody
away with his form on a 125.
The MX3 class was the 3rd class that had the same
winner twice. Wayne Smith has been out of action for almost
a year with a serious injury, but came back and dominated
the class with 2 wins. Greg Aspinall finished 2nd on his Out
of Africa adventures, Raceworx KTM and recently married, Jason
Jackman was 3rd. The support riders rode with the MX3 class
and was won by Louw Schmidt from Rudolf Pretorius and the
high flying lady rider, Nanda Swiegers.
The MX2 class was absolutely stacked. 25 riders on
the line and a top 10 was going to be a hard feat. In heat
1, the 2 KTM riders got to the front, namely Kerim Fitzgerald
and Ross Branch. They remained unchallenged until the last
2 laps where Sacha Naude was able to close up on Ross, but
couldnt pass. It stayed like that for the finish. Nicholas
Adams was 4th ahead of Wyatt Avis and Jesse Wright who is
looking strong for 2014. In heat 2, things changed as Brad
Fenton got the holeshot and never looked back. Brad was in
3rd in heat 1 when he had to pull out with a collapsed front
wheel. He held on for the win ahead of team Yamahas
Sacha Naude and RedBull Ktm rider Kerim Fitzgerald, who had
done enough to win overall. Sacha was 2nd overall and Ross
Branch 3rd. Jesse Wright had ridden well to finish 4th overall.
Maddy Malan was the quickest in practice, but hurt his wrist
on lap 1 of the first heat and didnt finish both heats.
All in all, the day was fantastic, with great racing and
a great atmosphere. We have to thank the sponsors on the day,
Pac rite and FMF.
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