Race Report: The WOMZA Monster Energy MX National in Port Elizabeth
4 March 2014

Published with Permission
by Laren van der Westhuizen.

Then MX 2 start at the beginning of day 2.

Port Elizabeth kicked off the 2014 season for the WOMZA national series. Recked Industries have grabbed the bull by the horns and roped in some significant sponsors like Monster Energy, TRP Distributors, Kyocera, DC Shoes, BikeFind.co.za and Drift cameras to name a few. All of this making this the ultimate series to contest in.

Very warm and windy conditions graced the riders on Saturday where they got their practice and qualifying under way. It was interesting to see all the new riders and teams and most importantly, who had done their pre-season training. There were a few surprises after qualifying with some unknown riders posting great times and some top riders struggling. PE is a serious track and will always draw on every bit of experience and stamina a rider has and the first heat showed this.

The 50cc juniors only had 4 riders, but they got their chance to do their thing in front of a national crowd. This is all part of learning for them. The riders were pretty close, but Liam Lambert did enough with 1 x 2nd and 2 x 1st's to pip another Liam, Liam Botha for the overall.

The 50 pro class saw the rise of a new hero. A relative unknown last year, Chase Hanekom, absolutely obliterated the field, with 3 wins out of 3. He was up to quarter of a lap ahead in one race. He is obviously a sand specialist and will use this to his advantage in Cape Town and then time will tell how he does on the hard pack. The rest of the positions were fairly mixed, but Nate McLellan's 2 x 4ths and 1 x 2nd was enough for 2nd ahead of Wian DuPlooy. 3 other riders we have to mention who rode well but had bad luck, was Zimbabwe's Daiyaan Manuel and Emmanual Bako, as well as PE's Zach Newby.

The MX2 class had 28 riders on the line and finishing top 10 here would be a tall order. Tristan Purdon seemed to struggle in qualifying, but had great race pace. The Eastern Cape local, did enough with a 3rd, a 2nd and a 1st to win by 1 point over his Yamaha teammate, Sacha Naude, who looks to be very strong ahead of the 2014 season. Anthony Raynard spent the Friday night in hospital and almost didn't make the event, but rode well to destroy everyone in heat 1. He just didn't have enough strength on the back of his illness, to win the next 2 and had to settle for 3rd. Ross Branch was fast and looked good for a win, but a BIG crash in heat 2 whilst in 2nd, put pay to his weekend. Kerim Fitz-Gerald battled with bad starts and mistakes, but showed signs of form and will be on it come the next national in CPT. Nicholas Adams rode a 125 and managed a 4th overall. This kid is a machine.

No. 41 Tristan Purdon took overall in MX2 for the weekend.

The 65cc class was a tough battle for the little guys. The track was so bad and just staying on the bike was a tall order. Camden McLellan only made 1 mistake all weekend and that put him in 2nd in the final heat, but the wins he had in heat 1 and 2 were emphatic and was enough for the overall. Jono Mlimi showed good pace, but battled to stay on 2 wheels. When he did though, he won the final heat. Ethan Coleman and Hayden Tully battled it out for 3rd and finished in that order. I have to say though, that both were my picks of the day for most improved.

The 85cc junior class is producing some real talent. Dalton Venter and Cam Durow have a great future in the sport and both ride on the edge. Both won heats and had bad heats. Dalton's 2 wins and a 6th was just enough to beat home town favourite, Grant Hutton overall. Cam Durow had some of the fastest times, but fell too many times. He salvaged 3rd overall but with the pace he had, could have been so much more. Regan Wasmuth from Zimbabwe had good speed, but also fell prey to the sand. Wikus Van Sandwyk had 1 x 3rd place, but has to find some consistency to ahead of the next national. There was also a great battle between Justin Sangster and Calvin Jean Jacques for 6th and 7th.

The 125 class was a battle for 2nd, as Nicholas Adams won all 3 heats by some margin. The battle for 2nd was a crazy one though, living up to its name as the Kamikaze class. Jason Visser has found some form that was lacking in the early pre-season and rode his Husqvarna to a solid 2nd. He was constantly under pressure from Dirco VD Westhuizen who gave 100% as usual and a host of other riders who made up the 125 snr and junior class, like Matt Van Galen, Connor Fletcher, Charl Van Eerden, Bevin Potgieter, Joshua Mlimi and Tyrone Nel.

The MX1 class was full of talent. From first to last, were all riders who have won races before. Sacha Naude was the dominant force here and won overall, but his teammate, Michael kok, did manage to win 1 heat and showed off with his famous sprinkler. Team TLB Plant hire's Royce Griffin won the first heat by pulling a big gap early on. He had good starts as well and did enough for 3rd overall after a problem filled 3rd heat of the weekend.

No. 54 Sacha Naude took overall in MX1 for the weekend.

The pro-mini class was the smallest on the weekend, but was action packed the race between the 2 PE locals was epic, but ending Full Throttle, Monster energy's day on a high was Seth VD Abeele who managed to come back from running out of fuel in heat 1, to win the final 2 heats. Keegan Hickson Mahoney was fast but had a few falls and had to settle for 2nd. Janes VanSandwyk won the first heat, but batted to find rhythm after that, so it was the bottom of the podium for him.

The poor MX3 class had to ride last and the track was pretty broken by then. Stuart Laing made a welcome return to the track and showed us why he has national colours to his name. He won the vets class convincingly. Geoff Den used his fitness well and came back from bad starts to win the grand masters class. Terence Monk had a great weekend on his new Honda and did enough to keep his arch rival Alec Combrink behind for all but the final lap of the 3rd heat.

Once again, Rover hosted a successful national and the road show now moves on to Cape Town over Easter weekend.

Facebook Gallery: MX2 Day One Highlights
Facebook Gallery: MX1 Day One Highlights
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