Cape Town – The record books will show that David McFadden and the RPM Centre S1000 RR pulled off a clean sweep in Round 7 of the Mike Hopkins Motorcycles regional series on Women’s Day at Killarney with pole position, two race wins and the fastest lap of the day, a superb 1m11.172s in Race 2.
But McFadden would be the first to tell you it wasn’t that clear-cut. He got a disastrous start in Race 1 and wound up third behind arch-rivals Ronald Slamet (Helderberg Yamaha R1) and Trevor Westman on the Mad Mac’s ZX-10R. He passed Westman on lap two but it took him two attempts to get by the determined Slamet.
After that McFadden was able to put a small but crucial gap between himself and Slamet - who soon had more immediate concerns in the shape of an unusually aggressive challenge from on-form Westman. Slamet was able to hold off the Kawasaki, but the gap at the line was less than half a second.
Thirteen seconds later, Andre Calvert on the superfast KC Transport 1299S just got the better of Gerrit Visser’s Samurai R1 after a race-long dice, with Hayden Jonas, in his first outing on the Samurai R6 (borrowed for the occasion from regular rider Wesley Jones) and Warren Guantario on the Mad Mac’s ZX-6R next, the first 600 Challenge machines home.
Mike du Toit was the first Class B rider home on the Appleberry ZX-10R, at the head of a four-bike train that included Shane Field (Field Cupboards ZX-10R), Shawn Payne (Slamet Racing ZX-6R) and Peter Haupt’s Yamaha R1; all four finished within half a second after a thriller dice.
Between races Westman and his team were checking the ECU on the ZX-10R when the lap-top to which it was connected went down. After that the ECU resisted all attempts to get it back online and a bitterly disappointed Westman was forced to miss the second race.
McFadden got a good start when the lights went out for the second time - but Slamet got an even better one, going around the outside in Turn 1 to grab a lead he was to hold for nearly half the race, before McFadden finally got past on lap four. Even then, despite setting the fastest lap of the day, McFadden was unable to put a significant cushion between them, coming home little more than second clear to complete his clean sweep.
Visser came home third, just ahead of Calvert, only to be penalised 30 seconds for jumping the start, which dropped him down to 16th. Next were Jonas, Alex van den Berg on the Auto Watch CBR1000RR and Guantario, who finished in that order in little more than two seconds, while Haupt aced Class B to take class honours for the day.
Willem Binedell (Dog Box GSX-R600) qualified on pole for the Clubman’s races, but got a big wake-up call in Race 1 when he was chased all the way by Derek Hendricks (Bikers Delight R6), who even briefly held the lead, and rookie Les Sim (Kawasaki ZX-6R) who came out of nowhere (well, Clubmans Class B, actually) to finish third, less than a second behind Binedell.
Hein Kroese fought back from a dreadful start to grab the lead of Race 2 on the final lap from Sim, who’d led all but the first lap, with Binedell within a second of the leader in third, while a disappointed Hendricks, sixth on lap one, finished a distant fourth.
JP Friederich may be struggling for sponsorship (he doesn’t have a name sponsor and is reliant on a few smaller sponsors for his Suzuki SV650) but that didn’t seem to slow him down as he walked away with both Powersport races. He finished Race 1 an emphatic 12 seconds ahead of Chris Williams’ DEA/Trac Mac ER650, with Ezio Miglietta (Kawasaki ER650) third, less than a bike length ahead of Maxi Mandix (ASAP World ER650).
Samurai Racing wunderkind Sam Lochoff, on a KTM RC390, beat four of the 650cc twins to take the Class B honours (and seventh overall) with Jared Schultz (ASAP World 300) second and Gareth Dawson (KTM RC390) third in class.
Williams got the better start in Race 2 and led for the first three laps, but that didn’t change the outcome as Friederich surged past to open a gap of five seconds in four laps. Mandix finished third, a further 12 seconds adrift, with Lochoff seventh again, to the embarrassment of the four Class A competitors who finished behind him.