East London - Competitors in the Monster Energy SuperGP championship will face their sternest test yet in Round 4 of the new-this year national motorcycle when they take on the historic, ultra-high-speed East London Grand Prix circuit on 15 June.
The inaugural Buffalo City SuperGP will mark the halfway point of the eight-round series after rounds at Phakisa, Red Star and Killarney. The final round in October will be back at Phakisa and will form part of the penultimate round of the World Superbike series.
Each meeting follows the World Superbike format with practice and qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday.
FIVE WINS FROM SIX STARTS
Reigning SA Superbike champion Clint Seller (Kawasaki ZX10) has dominated the SuperGP category for litre-class Evo rules machines with limited modifications so far with five wins from six starts and has accumulated a total of 125 points.
However, he's had to work hard for his results in the face of some outstanding riding by closest rival Brent Harran (Kawasaki ZX10), who has 111 points. Harran won the only race not claimed by Seller in Round 2 at Red Star and has finished second behind Seller in three of the past four races; the gap between them in the second race at Killarney was just 0.12sec after one of the best races seen all season.
Cape Town favourite Lance Isaacs has been in fine form in his first season on a BMW S1000RR and is third in the championship with a second and three third places in the past four races, while fellow Capetonian Ronald Slamet (Kawasaki ZX10) is also enjoying a good run so far and is fourth in the standings with 58 points, including a third at Red Star.
Back-to-back wins at Killarney have strengthened Kawasaki ZX-6RR rider Steven Odendaal's grip on the Super600 championship. Four wins, a third and a fourth have taken his total to 129 and a useful lead of 33 over second-placed Matthew Scholtz (Kawasaki ZX6RR). Cameron Petersen (Yamaha R6) is third on 87 points, just three ahead of team-mate Dean Vos.
Round three at Killarney saw a six-bike battle for line honours in Race 1 and an equally edge-of-the-seat affair in Race 2 that saw the top three finish within just 0,17sec of each other.
RUN WOT YA BRUNG
When the Superbikes, Super600M, Supermasters and Supertwins were combined into one 'run wot ya brung' category after not one of the support classes could attract sufficient entries to stand alone, the naysayers were quick to point out the inequalities of the machines.
In the event, however, this has worked to their advantage, with some bikes quicker at tight circuits such as Zwartkops and Red Star, others doing better on the long sweepers of Phakisa - the only purpose-built Motorcycle Grand Prix circuit in Africa - but battling on the bumpy, Killarney surface.
The result has been close, unpredictable racing with some real surprises.
Kyle Robinson (Kawasaki ZX10) still tops the points standings going to East London despite not making the trip to Cape Town, with 90 points from two wins and two seconds. Second in the class, 27 points adrift, is Janine Davies (BMW S1000RR) the only lady in the series. She’s also the first and, so far, only woman in South African motorsport history to finish on the podium in a litre-class race at national level - despite an almost complete lank of sponsorship.
Justin Gillensen (Kawasaki ZX10R) has moved up to third with 61 points, while Teddy Brooke (Kawasaki ZX10), who didn't race in Cape Town, is fourth on 60.
At East London the bravest of the brave go through the infamous Potters Pass - the fastest bend in SA motorsport - without backing off, let alone touching the brakes; how many of these riders are up to it, on bikes that are restricted to standard suspension, you'll have to see for yourself on Sunday.