SA's Dirt Bike wars resume in N CapeComment on this story
Kimberley, Northern Cape - South Africa's Dirt-Bike Wars will continue on 12 April at the Windsorton 400, Round 2 of the SA Off-Road series and a level playing field, not so much in terms of topography but as an all-new addition to the calendar.
OR1 (Open Class), OR2 (250cc), OR3 (200cc) and Senior Class motorcycle competitors will tackle the 59km Blue Loop first and will change to the 57km Red Loop after they have completed it three times.
Four-wheeled competitors in the Q1, Q2 (for riders older than 28 years) and Senior Quad Class competitors will start on the Red Loop and change to the Blue Loop after they have completed it three times - after a 15-minute de-control that will be welcomed by riders as the race organisers, Central South Africa, have laid out a tight and twisty route that will take riders out towards the Vaal River.
Louwrens Mahoney won the season-opening Diamond Route 400 with KTM team-mate Ross Branch and defending champion Kenny Gilbert (Yamaha) on his heels.
Dillon Inggs (Kawasaki) is fourth overall (and fourth in OR1 behind Mahoney, Branch and Gilbert) with Ruan Roberts (Yamaha) fifth after a close battle in Warrenton. Timmy Young (Yamaha) was leading the previous round until he crashed - he's still sixth - while enduro specialist Wesley Redinger (KTM) surprising everybody with his current 10th place overall (second in OR2).
They'll have to fend off challenges from KTM team-mates Tyron Miller and Louw Schmidt are also in the overall top 10 and leading the OR2 and OR3 championships respectively, with another team-mate, Juan 'Bollie' van Rooyen leading the Senior Class championship - and just one point outside the top 10.
Kimberley rider, Franco Smith (Kawasaki) will hope to make use of a home advantage while Bloemfontein rider, Wade Blaauw (Yamaha) is one of only a few riders who have raced in this area before. Altus de Wet (Husqvarna) picked up a mechanical gremlin last time out and will hope to open his account at Windsorton.
Defending Senior Class champion, Pieter Holl (KTM) will not only have Van Rooyen in his sights, but also former champions Guy Henley (KTM) and Wayne Farmer (Gas Gas) as well as his team-mate Kobus Jonck - all of whom are ahead of him after a disastrous first race.
Defending champion Jurie 'Botter' Meyer (Yamaha) will try to reel in former title-holder and current overall leader, Brian Baragwanath (Yamaha). André du Plessis (Yamaha), like Meyer and Baragwanath also from Polokwane, will hope for better luck (he was sixth at the first race) and will have his eye on a podium position.
Tzaneen youngster, Jaco Moller (Yamaha) will not only aim for another podium result, but would welcome a victory, while David Hollis (Yamaha) finished just off the podium at the first event after not racing in 2013 and will be the dark horse at the Windsorton 400.
Current Q2 title holder, Justin Robert (Suzuki) will chase the season's first winner, Hannes Saaijman (Yamaha), while Stuart Freeman (Yamaha) will go for his second victory in the Senior Class. His team-mate Russell Ferreira (Honda) is currently second and will be chasing him as well as Paul dos Santos (Suzuki) who was third in the Wolmaransstad race.
Defending champion Jurie Meyer Snr (Yamaha) had to settle for second place last time out, behind the similar quad of George Twigge - who hails from Hartswater, north of Windsorton, and will be hoping for home-turf advantage, while regular finisher Tony dos Santos (Suzuki) cannot be left out of the picture.
With class leader Maryna Venter unable to compete, defending Ladies Quad Class title-holder, Liezel Barnard (Can-Am) and arch-rival Chardri Monk (KTM) will to make the best of the situation.
On two wheels Nanda Swiegers (Yamaha) took an early lead in the class (she is second behind Venter in the Combined Ladies Championship for motorcycles and quads) but can expect uphill from Taye Perry (KTM) and current title holder, Toni Jardine (KTM) who each had problems last time out/
WHERE AND WHEN
The Windsorton 400 will start at 8am on Saturday 12 April from the Dutch Reformed Church in Windsorton, which will also be the designated service point and finish.