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 can’t 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 couldn’t 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 Yamaha’s 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 didn’t 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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