|Posted on February 26, 2019 at 8:10 AM|
TRP’s round one did not disappoint in delivering nail-biting excitement.
Round one of this year’s TRP South African Motocross championship at the Port Elizabeth Rover Raceway saw both new race formats and the venue’s soft, sandy surface play roles in the outcome.
The new, longer MX1 race format of 25 minutes plus one lap placed a premium on rider fitness, with the tough surface adding to the challenge.
In the premier class, Lloyd Vercueil (Summit Yamaha) set the quickest qualifying time. He backed that up by winning the opening race, 22 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Maddy Malan (Q4Fuels Husqvarna).
Royce Griffin (RPG KTM) finished third, followed by Red Bull KTM team mates Tristan Purdon and Kerim Fitzgerald.
Vercueil led race two as well but suffered a back wheel puncture and slowed. Malan then won, ahead of Purdon, David Goosen (Tintswalo Yamaha), Griffin and Vercueil. Cameron Durow (OC KTM) won the first MX2 race from Anthony Raynard (Tintswalo Yamaha), who fell at the first corner, after which he scythed through the field to second place.
Kerim Fitzgerald (Red Bull KTM) finished third. Q4Fuels Husqvarna rider Nicholas Adams won race two, ahead of Durow and Fitzgerald. Durow won both the 125 High School races.
He emerged as the Pepson Plastics Rider of the Day, being the only rider to race in four back to back heats – two times 20 minutes plus a lap in MX2 and two times 18 minutes plus one lap in the High School category.
The MX3 category for older riders certainly missed injured champion Ian Topliss but never failed to deliver great racing.
Stuart Laing (Slake Enduro KTM) took the overall win ahead of Craig Kruger (KTM PE) and Alfie Cox Motul KTM’s Brett Bircher. In the Ladies MX, 50cc, 65cc and 85cc Jnrs races it was double wins for Kayla Raaf (DForce Racing KTM), Ethan Williamson (VZ LittleBig Productions KTM), Niel van der Vyver (Q4Fuels Husqvarna) and Barend du Toit (Raceworx Ktm).
Finally, in the 85 Pro Mini class Dylan Kirk (TRP KTM) and Nate McLellan (KTM) shared the honours.
The season’s action will stay coastal and sandy as the next round takes place at Zone 7 in Cape Town on March 30.
The Western Cape event tends to attract big crowds, which was also the case at the Rover Raceway on Saturday.
The 2019 South African National Motocross Championship is proudly brought to you by TRP Distributors, in association with Dragon Energy, Prepsol, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Motul, Pro-Taper, Fly racing, 100%, Ogio luggage, Racestar Graffix and the Race Shop.
TRP also brings you all the television highlights which are broadcast approximately two weeks after the event on IgnitionTV Channel 189 DSTV.
Published by: The Citizen - Andre De Kock
Picture Caption: Saturday’s opening stages of the MX2 races at the Rover Raceway provided some close contests. Photography by: Ruben Louw