Cape Town – Round nine of the Mike Hopkins Regional Motorcycle series at Killarney on Saturday produced more surprises than usual, including a number of spectacular crashes, from which all the riders walked away with no worse than bruises.
David ‘McFlash’ McFadden put the Raceprep S1000RR on pole, ahead of Malcolm Rapson’s family-funded ZX-10R, Brandon Haupt on the MX Clean ZX-10R and Trevor Westman’s Mad Mac’s ZX-10R – all of them under 1min12s.
McFlash led the charge down to Turn 1 when the lights went out for the start of the first Superbike race, with championship leader Haupt, former champion Rapson and multiple short-circuit champion Westman in close pursuit.
Haupt was within 0.077s of McFadden and Westman was even closer behind Rapson on lap four, when the rear wheel of Class B racer Terry Murtz’s Wicked Cycles GSX-R1000 spun coming out of Turn 5, snaked out of control and dumped him hard on the track, bringing out the red flags.
There was some concern among the crowd as Murtz lay winded at the edge of the track, but after a few anxious minutes and a thorough check by the medics, he was helped to his feet - to loud applause from the post-race paddock! – and limped away to check the damage to the bike.
At the restart, however, it was Haupt who got the hole shot and led for a lap before McFadden got past, but was unable to pull away from the pack, as Westman put in a personal best lap of 1m1.122 to relegate Haupt to third on the second last lap and they came howling over the line in that order, all three covered by just 0.361s.
Jared Schultz on the ASAP World ZX-6R was the first 600 – and the first Class B rider - home in sixth overall.
The second race saw Haupt leading from McFadden, Rapson and Westman for two laps, whereupon McFlash moved into the lead; he and Haupt were in a class of their own, within arm’s length of each other most of the time until McFadden suddenly went farming at the end of the back straight on lap six.
He explained later that the BMW’s ABS valve had failed, leaving him with no brakes whatsoever. Years of motocrossing helped him keep it upright, but he was lucky Turn 5 has a very large run-off area.
Haupt went on to win, clinching the 2016 Mike Hopkins series with two races still to be run, with Westman putting in the fastest lap of the race to close to within two seconds by the flag, followed by Rapson, Quintin Ebden on the Milu R1 and the 600s of Warren ‘Starfish’ Guantario (Mad Mac’s ZX-6R) and Schultz. In the absence of reigning title-holder Hayden Jonas that was enough to give Guantario an unassailable lead in the 600 Challenge.
Gavin Louw (Kawasaki ZX-10R) chased down early leader ‘Big Harry’ Clifton on the MSD Auto Services ZX-10R in the first Powersport/Clubmans race, passing him four laps from the end and going on to win by a little more than a second, with JP Friederich on the Calberg SV650 a distant third, but comfortably leading the Powersport Class.
The second race, however, was all about Friederich, who took an early lead from Mike van Rensburg (Trac-Mac ER650), Clifton and Paul Medell (Kawasaki ER650), while Louw fought back from a very poor start.
He was eighth at the end of the first lap, fifth at the end of lap two and finally grabbed the lead two laps from home to win by 2.348s from Friederich, Donald Romer – another poor starter, who’d charged through the field on the Quickway CBR1000 RR), Michael du Toit (Wicked Tuning R6) and Wessel Kruger’s
classic Honda VTR1000 SP2, who beat Clifton to the line by just 0.126s.
Breakfast Run Grand Prix
Shamier Alexander rattled a few cages when he put his little Yamaha R6 on pole for the Breakfast Run Grand Prix for amateur riders, ahead of the BMW S1000 RRs of Simon Augustyn and Wesley Procter – but then rattled his own when he lost the front end of the R6 in Turn 5, two laps from the end of Race 1, while running a close second to Augustyn, who went on to win from Proctor and Johan Maritz (Honda CBR1000RR).
The damage to the R6 was all cosmetic, however, and Alexander had his revenge in Race 2, leading for the first two laps and then chasing Augustyn’s much more powerful litre-class machine all the way to the line, finishing just half a second adrift after a superb ride.
Procter came home third, six seconds adrift, with Maritz a distant fourth, 10 seconds further back.
Breakfast Run Grands Prix are more than a fun outing for track-day riders; they’re an important way of attracting new blood to the sport. And with the top Breakfast Runners lapping in less than 1m20s, there’s no lack of talent out there.