Welkom, Free State - Clint Seller has taken his fifth South African national motorcycle championship when he won both premier-class races at Round 7 of the SuperGP series on the Miway R1 at Phakisa Freeway on Saturday, reclaiming the title he last won in 2015 with one round left to run.
Friday’s qualifying saw Seller on pole, almost a second quicker than Greg Gildenhuys on the Autohaus ZX-10R - and he used this advantage to open a substantial gap in the early part of the race, with veteran Lance Isaacs (Supabets S1000RR) and Gildenhuys working hard to reel him in.
Then Isaacs tucked the front going into Turn 3; he was unhurt but the BMW was too badly damaged to continue, leaving Gildenhuys to continue the chase on his own. He finally caught up to the Yamaha with just a couple of laps left to go, but was unable to find a way past and had to settle for second.
Michael White (Consortium Shipping R1), in a lot of pain after a crash on Friday, was able to hang on to third ahead of Cape Town’s David McFadden (Sandton Auto S1000RR), while Brandon Goode (Linex R1) and AJ Venter (Hygenica R1) rounded out the top six.
Seller had things a bit easier in the second outing, pulling away in the opening laps as usual, while Gildenhuys suffered problems with the electronics on his Kawasaki and wasn’t able to close the gap as he did in Race 1. Seller went on to win the race, and clinch the title with two races still to run, while Gildenhuys managed to hold off a determined charge from McFadden to take second overall for the day.
White came home a lonely fourth ahead of Adolf Boshoff, making his premier class debut on a MiWay R1 after a long injury lay off, and AJ Venter rounded out the top five.
Former champion Steven Odendaal (Petra R6) completely dominated the class, qualifying more than two seconds quicker than closest rival Hayden Jonas - who stood in for Boshoff on the MiWay R6 when when the latter was injured and did so well that he kept the ride, which is why Boshoff is now riding an R1 in SuperGP.
As expected Odendaal, the reigning European Moto2 champion, romped away into a huge lead, leaving the rest of the pack to dispute second. For most of the race that was a five-way fight with numerous position changes, but towards the end Jonas got the best of it, taking second from Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor ZX-6R), with Malcolm Rudman (Montclair ZX-6R) less than a bike length behind in fourth.
Uncle Andy Racing team-mates William Friend and Blaze Baker, each on a Suzuki GSX-R600, rounded out the top six.
Race 2 was another Odendaal benefit, but it was all change in the fight for second as Baker, who’d made some major improvements to the handling of his Suzuki between races, took the fight to Jonas, while Rudman crashed out going through the fast sweep at the end of the back straight.
Liebenberg couldn’t match the pace he showed in the earlier outing and had to settle for a distant third, ahead of Jesse Boshoff (Phoenix ZX-6R), Byron Bester (Hi-Tech ZX-6R) and Friend.
Ricardo Otto (Inex RC390) and Taric van der Merwe (Evolve RC390) led throughout practice, with Otto qualifying on pole by the narrowest of margins. They did the same in Race 1, fighting it out at the head of the field, swopping positions on a regular basis - but it was Otto who was in front when it mattered, taking the win by just 0.053s.
Behind them Luca Coccioni (KTM RC390) and Tyreece Robert (Uncle Andy Racing RC390) got into a race-long struggle for the final podium position which eventually went the way of Coccioni, while Chase Hulscher (KTM RC390) came home fifth.
Race 2 started out much the same, but this time it was van der Merwe who took the flag from Otto with Coccioni third, while Robert and Hulscher rounded out the top five.