‘RYSMIERBULT’ RACE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR JUNIOR OFF-ROAD COMPETITORS
The ‘Rysmierbult Junior National’, an all new event on the 2013 Junior National Off-road Championship calendar that takes place on 25 May between Ventersdorp and Carltonville in the North West, will level the playing field for all competitors as it will be the first time young off-road motorcycle and quad competitors will compete on national level in this area. This event will form the second round of the season and will be extremely important for all riders – those who have already scored points as well as those whose championship onslaught got off to a rocky start.
Competitors will travel from as far as Richard’s Bay and KwaZulu-Natal; Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Matatiele, Kokstad and Tzaneen as well as Gauteng and the Free State to participate in this event that is being organised by the Gauteng Off-road Club (GOC). The national leg of the race will be combined with the second round of the PS Portable Shade Junior GOC Series and more than 140 talented young off-road riders will tackle the route in the junior and senior categories respectively.
One of the riders who have his work cut out for him is the 2012 125cc Motorcycle Class champion, Travis Teasdale (Alfie Cox Racing Husaberg Portable Shade TLB Plant Hire) who will start towards the back of the field after mechanical problems resulted in him not finishing the season opener. The KZN rider would hope to make his way through the field (and the dust) to get to the front as he will have to catch up with Open Motorcycle Class leader, Damien Scott (Criterion Yamaha Portable Shade) who won the first race and Scott’s team-mate, Kyle Flanagan, who is second.
If ‘Rysmierbult Junior National’ competitors finish the race and score points – Teasdale included – they can move up the point’s ladder as a few riders who have scored points earlier this season, have not entered this event.
The names of newcomer, Jason Jones (KTM), who is fourth, do appear on the list as well as Mauritz Meiring (McGee Yamaha) who is also competing in his first national season. Meiring won the GOC Junior Club Series last year and this terrain will suit his style while it will also suit another GOC regular, Craig Wishart (Diamond Trailers Racing KTM). Meiring and Wishart are the only two riders in the top 10 who are from the ‘north’ (Middelburg and Johannesburg) while the rest are from KZN, the Eastern Cape and Cape Town and they would like to do well at a race in their area.
The competition in the 125cc Class will be as tough at the front as it will be in the rest of the class. Three points separate Criterion Yamaha / Portable Shade team-mates Dylan Barker and Angus Coetzee at the front while Cullim Symons (Ekerold Yamaha/ Central Waste / Flowe-Pac Yamaha) is only two points behind in third place. They will fight to hang on to their positions or better it while the rest will chase them. Aeron Thompson (Kargo Racing KTM) is fourth and Barker/Coetzee’s team-mate, Alex O’Donnell, is currently fifth, but the name of former champion, Brendon Fourie (Jaag Spinnekop Husaberg) appear for the first time this season on the list and he can cause an upset at the front.
Regular top five finisher, Corbin Lamb (Husqvarna Racing) will hope for better luck than what he experienced in Lesotho and he aims to better his 10th place in this class where the current positions might look different after the Rysmierbult race.
The Senior 85cc Class has received a healthy amount of entries again and except for Keagan Coetzee, who finished second in this class earlier in Lesotho, all the riders will be on the start line again. Coetzee broke his collarbone during a practise session and will not be competing. The race is on the doorstep of class leader, Dean Lindsay (Manhand Shimwells Yamaha) from Rustenburg who will eye another victory. With Coetzee out of the picture, Pretoria’s Eduan Bester (Nuts Racing/ Century Civils/ Diamond Trailers KTM) can overtake him into second place, but only one or two points separates the riders from each other and the battle for positions and points will be tough.
The current champion of the junior category, Tristin Asher-Wood (KTM) is used to finishing at the front and would like to forget his fourth place in Lesotho. He will aim for a better result while newcomer Daniel van Zyl (Alfie Cox Racing KTM) is currently fifth after his first Junior National Championship attempt. They are leading a handful of experienced riders who know they do not have much time to make it into the top five.
The 2012 junior runner-up, Calvin Hume (Fast Power Sports Kawasaki), has also moved from the Junior 85cc Class to the Senior 85cc Class, but was not happy in the Lesotho mountains where he finished sixth. The ‘Rysmierbult Junior National’ might suit him better. The competition in this class for young riders between 13 and 15 years who compete on 150cc four-stroke or 105cc two-stroke bikes, will reach new heights this weekend and a shuffle in the current standings is on the cards.
The Junior 85cc Class might have received fewer entries than for the first event, but the 17 riders (all between the ages of eight and 12) all scored points at the season opener and will be ready to do so again. Kayde Mante (KTM) leads the junior category (Junior 85cc Class and 65cc Class combined) as well as the Junior 85cc Class, but Pa Ma Racing team-mates David Odendaal (KTM) and 2012 65cc champ, Stefan van Deventer (Yamaha) will be chasing him from their second and fourth positions respectively. Matthew Green (Kargo Racing KTM) is third and also in the mix for another podium position.
The rest will do their best to better their positions and score more points towards the championship onslaught.
Four fearless young riders, all between the ages of seven and 11 years competing on 65cc-powered bikes, will tackle the two-hour race with Noah Maartens (Pa Ma Racing KTM) leading the pack after winning this class at the Junior Roof. Blaine Coetzee (Roost ECS KTM) is just behind him on points while Gunter Foit (Carleton Fridge Elec Racing Kawasaki) has also scored points. Newcomer Shaun Wallis (KTM), also from Team Pa Ma Racing will tackle his first Junior National Championship race.
The names of only six quad entrants appear on the national list – there will be 21 quad riders in total as the competitors in the GOC Club Series will race together with the national riders. The Richard’s Bay’s girl rider, Jade Schutte (Perry Yamaha) and Jordan Levendale (KTM) from Swaziland are travelling the furthest with Pretoria’s Berne Bester (Nuts Racing / Century Civils / Diamond Trailers Suzuki) aiming for another victory. He can expect opposition from Rustenburg’s Johan Venter (Diamond Trailers Racing Yamaha). Wilmarie Moller (Extreme ATV Suzuki) and Janco Joubert (Evolution Racing Honda) will also compete on national level.
The ‘Rysmierbult Junior National’ will start on Saturday when the quad competitors tackle the race at 9:00. Motorcycle riders will start at 12:00. All the action will take place at the Farm Rysmierbult (S 26° 18’ 33.65” E 27° 08’ 36.53”) and spectators are welcome to experience a day filled with racing action.
BY: Elza Thiart-Botes