Hard-charging Namibian Ronald Slamet, who won three consecutive Regional titles on a Kawasaki ZX-10R and then spent a year in the wilderness proving that the fast, furious and frustratingly temperamental BMW S1000 RR was not the right bike for him, stamped his authority on Round 3 of the Mike Hopkins Motorcycles regional series at Killarney on Saturday, in only his third outing on the new Helderberg Yamaha R1.
He qualified on pole and led every lap of both races to record an emphatic double win, followed home by Trevor Westman (Mad Mac’s ZX-10R) and David ‘McFlash’ McFadden on the Sandton Auto S1000 RR, who missed qualifying and had to start from the back of Class A, in 21st position.
He sliced through the field, posting the fastest lap of the day at 1m11.410 in the process, and had just passed Westman for second when Michael du Toit crashed his Race Prep ZX-10R in Turn 2 and brought a premature end to proceedings.
The results were taken as at the end of the previous lap, however, relegating McFadden to third. Bernard Haupt, better known as a motocrosser, was fourth – also on a new Yamaha R1 – after an electrifying ride that saw him pass five riders in one move on the brakes into Turn 5.
Meanwhile, Samurai Racing’s Hayden Jonas, Warren Guantario on the Mad Mac’s ZX-6R and Jared Schultz (ASAP World ZX-6R) put up the dice of the race for 600 Challenge line honours, finishing in that order within 0.138s, only 10 seconds off the leaders, in 10th, 11th and 12th overall.
McFadden’s charge in the second race lasted only three and a half laps; he was up to eighth when he got a box full of neutrals going into Turn 3 on lap four, ran wide and toured round to retire, unwilling to risk further damage to the BMW’s transmission.
That left Westman to follow Slamet home, less than 3.6 seconds adrift at the flag, while Haupt, seventh at the end of lap one, carved up Jonas, Alex van den Berg (Helderberg Yamaha R1), Gerrit Visser on the much-improved Samurai Racing R1 and veteran former champion Malcolm Rapson (Kawasaki ZX-10R) on his way to superb third on the road – only to be slapped with a thirty-second penalty for jumping the start.
The 600 battle didn’t happen again; Guantario ran off the circuit in Turn 1 and wound up stone last, while Schultz was lucky to walk away from a high-speed fall in the double-apex Turn 4 on lap two, leaving Jonas to romp home as the top Supersport rider in sixth overall, while Guantario put in a lot of overtaking practice among the back markers to finish 15th.
The first Clubmans race had no fewer than four changes of lead as Peter Hobday (Amberphones ZX-10R) and Johan de Lange (Bakgat CBR1000RR) pushed pole-sitter William Binedell’s Dog Box GSX-R600 down to third at the start, only for Jonathan de Lange to blitz them all on lap two and take the lead a lap later.
Binedell muscled his way into the lead on lap five, but crashed out two laps later, leaving Hobday, a late-charging David Carr (Cane Industries GSX-R600), Maritz and Derek Hendricks (Bikers Delight R6) to come home in that order, covered by less than three seconds – and then Hobday was penalised for jumping the start to make Carr the fifth (and final) leader of this race.
Race two was a lot less volatile; Maritz led the whole way, to win by three seconds from Binedell, Hobday and De Lange, with Hendricks half a second further adrift in fourth.
The Powersport races were a JP Friederich benefit, with only Chris ‘The Green Goblin’ Williams to keep the Calberg SV650 rider honest, until the Trac Mac ER650 broke its gearbox on lap four of the first race, leaving Maxim Mandix (ASAP World ER650) and Juan Liebenberg (Trac Mac ER650) to trail home, 30 seconds adrift, each time. Samurai Racing’s teenage hotshot Sam Lockoff led home the Class B charge in both races.