With a number of top competitors out of the running for various reasons, Round 4 of the Mike Hopkins Regional Motorcycle series, this Saturday at Killarney, has been thrown wide open, promising exciting - and unpredictable – racing. And now there’s a late entry from World SuperStock rider David ‘McFlash’ McFadden!
Defending champion Ronald ‘the Red Baron’ Slamet has taken the Mike Hopkins ZX-10R to the East London Grand Prix circuit for the fourth round of the SuperGP National series. He’s never ridden at this intimidating circuit before, and we wish him good fortune and strong nerves.
That should have presented a golden opportunity for arch-rival Aran ‘Captain Vantastic’ van Niekerk and the Stunt SA/Teazers ZX-10R to pick up some valuable points, but Van Niekerk will be in a moonboot for at least another eight weeks after injuring his right ankle in a huge tumble at the previous Regionals.
Which leaves young gun Gerrit Visser, former champion Malcolm Rapson and born-again racer Hilton Redelinghuys - each on a Kawasaki ZX-10R – tasked with keeping McFlash (and us!) entertained in the Superbike races, with veteran David Bolding’s PJ One ZX-10R and wunderkind Hayden Jonas (on the only 600 in Class A) dogging their heels, ready to take advantage of any loss of concentration by the front-runners.
Jonas, of course, also heads the points table in the 600 Challenge, but is likely to come under severe pressure from Brandon Haupt on the MX Clean GSX-R600, Andre Calvert’s KC Transport ZX-6R, Alex van der Berg on the Wicked CBR600, Mike van Rensburg (Pragma R6 and rookie David Enticott, punching well above his weight on the Motorwise Daytona 675.
Class B is likely to deliver a cracker between Calvert, Haupt, Mark van der Berg on the Planet Electronics CBR1000RR, Alex van der Berg and Jacques Brits on the Lize Signs S1000RR, while Class C will, as usual, be fought out between Enticott, Bronte Heinrich’s gorgeous Ducati 996 SPS and class stalwart Wayne Arendse (Honda CBR600RR).
This class holds another potential upset; Andrew Liebenberg is overseas, and his Calberg ER6 will be ridden by the vastly underrated Brandon Storey. Whether Storey will be able to challenge class leader Warren ‘Starfish’ Guantario on identical machinery, remains to be seen - but this is Storey’s moment in the spotlight; anything could happen and probably will.
Also in the frame will be short-circuit star Wesley Jones on the Jack Hammer SV650 and Leroy Malan on the third Calberg Hydraulics machine, while Clubman honours will be settled as usual between Fran Engelbrecht (Omega ZX-6R), Raiel le Roux (BMW S1000RR) and Xander du Plessis on the Hypower ZX-6R.