Leading local riders

2011-02-02 00:00

THE South Coast’s two leading motorcycle riders, Jade Gutzeit and Marc Torlage, are ready for the opening race of the 2011 South African National Off-Road Motorcycle and Quad Championships that take place at Wolmaransstad in the North West this weekend.

The season-opening Diamond Route 400 is a brand-new event on the national racing calendar in which competitors will cover a total race distance of just over 400 km.

Port Shepstone-born Gutzeit will begin the defence of his title in the Proudly Bidvest Yamaha colours and says that he’s looking to lay down an early marker with a win this weekend.

“I feel good about this weekend’s race,” he says. “I want to win every race I enter this year, this weekend’s one included. Getting a result is very important for me and my sponsors, so I need to win this weekend.”

Gutzeit was in action in Ifafa last weekend where he won the Ifafa Indaba, which formed the opening round of the KwaZulu-Natal Regional Harescramble Series.

“I felt strong in the race and everything went according to plan,” says Gutzeit, adding: “I got rid of some rust and I’m confident that I’ll start the championship off strongly this weekend.”

Scott Bouverie (Red Criterion Yamaha) of Harding also raced in the Ifafa Indaba at the weekend, finishing third overall and first in the Junior Class.

Torlage (Red Yamaha), the 200cc Class champion in the 2010 Liquorland National Enduro Championship, will be competing in his maiden full off-road championship season and says that he’s buoyant that he can be equally successful in this code.

The St Michael’s standout has made a full recovery from the foot injury that cut his medal chase at last year’s Baboons Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa short and has been back in full training for the past two weeks.

The 21-year-old opted not to risk injury in the Ifafa Indaba and instead formed part of Gutzeit’s pit crew. The two have established a friendly rivalry over the years, which will now boil over to off-road racing as well.

“I’m back to 100% and I can’t wait to return to competition this weekend. The Off-Road will be a new challenge for me but one I’m looking forward to,” says Torlage.

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