Delmas, Mpumalanga - Yamaha rider Mathew Scholtz took his first South African title in style with a double win in the final round of the 2016 SuperGP series at Red Star Raceway at the weekend.
It was a different story in the Super600 category, however, as Adolf Boshoff, who'd already clinched the title at the previous round, had a really bad day at the office, with a crash in qualifying and a fuelling gremlin in Race 2.
All Scholtz needed to do take the title was to follow defending champion Clint Seller, also on a Yamaha, home in both races - but racers don't think like that and Scholtz put in a superb run in Friday's qualifying to annex pole position, ahead of Seller and Greg Gildenhuys' Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Race 1 started with drama as the front wheel of Seller's bike touched Scholtz's rear wheel coming on to the long back straight for the first time. Scholtz managed to stay on - and on the track - but Seller's title defence ended in the Delmas grass on the exit of the corners.
The race then developed into a three-way battle for the lead between Scholtz, Gildenhuys and Michael White (Yamaha) before Scholtz slowly edged away to take the win and the championship. White got the better of Gildenhuys to take second with Brandon Goode (Yamaha) posting his best result of the season in fourth, while Brent Harran (Yamaha) got the better of a race-long duel with Themba Khumalo (Yamaha R1) for fifth.
Race two saw more of the same with Scholtz leading White and Gildenhuys on the opening lap; it looked like the trio would pull away from the chasing pack as they did in the previous outing - until White, chasing enough points to leapfrog the injured Seller into second in the championship, went down. He was able to remount and work his way back through the field to seventh but that wasn't enough to overtake the 2015 in the final standings.
With White out of contention Scholtz was able to control the race from the front, celebrating his first race as a South African champion with a win, followed by Gildenhuys and Goode.
Lance Isaacs, who'd missed Race 1 after damaging his BMW in a crash during the morning warm-up, got back on track to finish fourth ahead of AJ Venter (Yamaha R1) and Capetonian David 'McFlash' McFadden (BMW).
That was enough, however, to secure the SuperMasters title for the Capetonian Superbike veteran, who'd won the category in every race of the season until the final round. In his absence Hendrik de Bruin (Yamaha) won the category in Race 1 from Damion Purificati (Kawasaki) who just managed to keep Johnny Krieger (BMW) behind him when it counted.
Normal service was resumed in Race 2, however, with Isaacs winning from Purificati and de Bruin.
Boshoff spoilt what should have been a celebration of his Super600 championship when he crashed before he could set a time in qualifying, which meant he had to start from the back of the grid.
Pole-sitter Steven Odendaal (Yamaha) and Blaze Baker (Suzuki) set the pace in Race 1 while Boshoff worked his way through the field, until Baker was slowed by electrical gremlins, eventually dropping back through the field to finish 12th.
That gave Odendaal an untroubled run to the flag, while Boshoff, despite the pain from the right foot he injured in his qualifying accident, was able to pass Malcolm Rudman (Kawasaki) in the closing stages to take second. Byron Bester (Kawasaki) got the best of a race-long battle for fourth with similarly-mounted Dylan Barnard, with Capetonian teenager Kewyn Snyman sixth, also on a Kawasaki.
There was more drama at the start of Race 2 when Baker's bike wouldn't start for the sighting lap; his crew got it going, but he was relegated to the back of the grid alongside Boshoff.
In the opening stages of the race Odendaal and Rudman contested things at the sharp end while Baker and Boshoff worked their way up through the field - they were seventh and eighth respectively by Turn 3 on the first lap!
By the end of lap three Odendaal had opened a substantial lead, which he was to hold to the end, but Boshoff and Baker were already at the front of the pack and dicing with each other for second. They swopped places throughout the remaining nine laps until Boshoff pulled off the circuit just a few corners from the flag with fuelling problems.
That handed second to Baker, with Rudman completing the podium. Bester and Barnard were again fourth and fifth with William Friend (Kawasaki) sixth.