Once a year the Western Province Motorcycle Section takes over the Killarney circuit north of Cape Town for a day reserved entirely for racing on two wheels, the aptly named All Bike Race Day. The short-circuit riders get a chance to try their lightweight machinery around the fast corners and long straights of the main circuit, there are races for amateurs who've never held a racing licence (the Breakfast Run Grand Prix) and the day culminates in a one-hour endurance race open to any machine bigger than 400cc and any combination of one or two riders.
That was dominated by the Slamet family from Namibia as brothers Richard and Ronald (aided by a very slick Racebase pit stop) reeled off 42 amazingly consistent laps on Ronald's I-S Freight S1000RR, with solo rider Malcolm Rapson, out for the first time on his 2013 Kawasaki ZX-10R, the only rider to finish on the same lap, 56 seconds adrift.
Jacques Britz and suspension guru Martin Paetzold were running third on Britz' BMW S1000RR, one lap down, until an unplanned and poorly executed pit stop just two minutes from the end dropped them to seventh on the road and out of contention on penalties.
Also one lap down, despite a long pit stop to repair a broken gear lever, were Colin Teppler and Trevor Westman on Teppler's Suzuki GSX-R1000. Concerned for Teppler's safety with the jury-rigged lever, Westman elected to ride the full hour, which moved the bike into the Solo Class and cost Westman enough penalty laps to drop him off the leaderboard, despite an epic ride.
Also with 41 laps 'on the road' were Ian Willis and Brandon Storey on Willis' Triumph 675 Daytona, and Hayden Jonas and Gerrit Visser on Jonas' Suzuki SV650 - a superb result given that it was the first time 2012 600 Challenge champion had ridden a V-twin of any description.
AFTER THE PENALTIES
Penalties incurred by top riders for fuel spillage, speeding in pit lane and starting engines inside the restricted area, however, elevated Willis and Storey to an unexpected second overall, with Rapson third and the Jonas/Visser SV650 fourth.
Breakfast Runners Jacques Ackerman and Joachnus Swanepoel, on Swanepoel's BMW S1000RR wound up fifth, ahead of Vossie Vosloo and Lee Erasmus on Erasmus' Competition Bikes GSX-R750 (Vosloo's DEA R1 had eaten yet another clutch earlier in the day), Kashief Mohammed and Shamier Alexander on Yamaha R6, Franco Santoro/Eric Phillipson on a Suzuki GSX-R750, Junior Joubert and Dominic Nessling on the ex-Carl Liebenberg Calberg F800, and Liebenberg's son Andrew, sharing the first of the 2013 Calberg ER-6n's with tuner Raymond Alexander.
After an astonishing rookie Class A season on the I-S Freight S1000RR, Ronald Slamet had tied up a sponsorship deal from series backer Mike Hopkins, and was out for the first time on the ex-David McFadden Kawaski ZX-10R in the unlimited Superbike Races, with older brother Richard, who hadn't ridden a bike all year, on the I-S S1000RR.
New bike or no, Slamet walked away with both races, chased all the way by Rapson - also on a new Kawasaki. Richard Slamet got a brilliant start in Race 1, running third in the early stages, but his lack of saddle time soon told, and he faded at the end to finish in the lower half of the top 10.
Emile van der Merwe (Suzuki GSX-R1000) and David Bolding (PJ1 ZX-10R) put up a splendid tussle for third in Race 1, with Bolding in front when it mattered.
Another notable dice was between the identical machines of Mike Wilhelmi (Fast Fence ZX-10R) and Cordell McQueen (Stunt SA ZX-10R) for 11th place; they finished less than two tenths apart after eight thrilling laps.
In Race 2, however, Bolding came home five seconds ahead of Van der Merwe to finish third overall for the day, while Richard Slamet improved on his earlier performance to come home fifth, only three seconds behind Van der Merwe.
POWERSPORT / VINTAGE SUPERBIKES
Newly-crowned Powersport champion Hayden Jonas (Suzuki SV650) put up two magnificent rides, battling it out all the way in both races with Warren 'Starfish' Guantario (Fibreprod SV650) to take his first double win, by 0.071sec in their first clash and by 0.143sec in Race Two.
The two young riders - who have immense mutual respect - delivered a master class in racecraft, swopping the lead on almost every lap, side by side into practically every corner, yet never once bumping elbows or fairings.
Third overall for the day was Junior Joubert on the Calberg F800, while Frans Maritz on his brother Danie's 1985 Suzuki GSX-750, Les van Breda (yes Cyril, that Les van Breda!) on the ex-Alan Mouton Suzuki Katana and John Kosterman, also on a GSX-R750, took the overall Vintage Superbike honours for the day.
Most of the machines in the CBR150 races were, in fact, survivors of the previous week's RST 8 Hours - including Martin Paetzold's amazing 80cc KTM SX65 special, which was among the frontrunners until its fuel tank split.
However, it simply did not have the legs for the main circuit; Hayden Jonas rode the wheel off it but was forced to give best to Tony Sterianos (Honda CBR150) in Race 1 after an epic six-way battle for the lead, and to both Tony Sterianos and arch-rival Warren Guantario in Race 2, where all three finished within 0.178sec!
In Race 1 of the Super Single contest the finish between Tony Sterianos, riding Alan Westman's Yamaha-based AWR500 and Lynton di Meola (Honda XR650R) was so close that the timekeepers couldn't separate them. The steward's nod eventually went to Sterianos after much debate over the photo, but the official time-sheets still show it as a dead heat.
Third, after a race-long duel with Paul Combrink (Yamaha X7) went to the Yamaha SR 500 of Simon Portlock - by just 0.133sec. The first two-stroke home was the immaculate Yamaha TZR125 machine of Kevin Stpratley, who actually had two big singles between his bike and the second 'stroker, Jacques Norval's Suzuki RG125 Wolf.
Sterianos, by now dialled in on the AWR500 (which he'd never ridden before) walked away from the field to win by almost five seconds, but nobody was watching - all eyes were on the battle for second between Neville Hagan (Yamaha XT500) and Di Meola, which went Hagan's way right on the line by a margin of 0.03sec, less than the width of a tyre.
Portlock trailed home in fourth, 40 seconds in arrears, just ahead of Shawn U'Ren (Yamaha SR500) and Spratley, once again leading the two-stroke brigade.
Di Meola, however, was excluded from the overall results - his XR650R was way over the class limit of 500cc - so the official top three for the day were Sterianos, Portlock and U'Ren.
Luke Acey (Suzuki GSX-R750) took the overall win in the Amateur Dramatics, with Joachnus Swanepoel (BMW S1000RR) second for the day and Jacques Ackerman (Yamaha R1) third. There were, amazingly, no crashes in either race.
HISTORIC MOTORCYCLE GROUP
The All Bike Race Day attracts riders from all over South Africa, including legendary 1960s racer Les van Breda from Gauteng - now 63 years old - who brought the ex-Alan Mouton Katana back to its home circuit to lead the Historic Motorcycle Group Parade.
He was joined by a motley bunch of vintage machines, including two big air-cooled Kawasaki Zeds in the hands of Etienne Louw, a Suzuki GT750 (Mike McSkimming with serious ground-clearance issues), Kevin Spratley's immaculate RZ350R, Alan Turner on an ultra-rare Yamaha RZ500, Andreas Gildenhuys' seriously impressive Honda CB1100RC, George Bence on a Bimota KB1 and Casey Wolters, out for the first time since his enormous crash a year before on the same Yamaha RZ350 YPVS.
There were also parades for scooters and Triumph motorcycles, and as always, it was astonishing how some riders found it so important to finish their parade laps before their friends did.