Vryheid to be rocked by off-road champs

2013-07-17 00:00

THE shuffling in the standings of the 2013 SA National Off-Road Motorcycle and Quad Championships after the recent desert race in Botswana will most probably continue at the BELL 400, the fifth round of the national series that takes place this weekend in the Vryheid area.

A few new class leaders emerged at the halfway mark of the season and with only three events remaining, anything could happen in the various title chases.

The Yamaha riders Kenny Gilbert (Proudly Bidvest) and Jurie Meyer (Yamaha Support) kept their respective leads in the motorcycle and quad categories, but they cannot be assured of the titles yet as those behind them can still catch up.

Gilbert is nine points ahead of Dakar Challenge winner Ruan Roberts (Yamaha), who leads both Michael Pentecost (Kargo Racing Yamaha) and Altus de Wet (Husqvarna Racing), both of whom have the same number of points.

Pentecost is also leading the OR3 (200cc) championship while Gilbert, Roberts and De Wet are first, second and third in the OR1 (Open Class) championship. JC de Bruin (Yamaha) rounds out the top five in the motorcycle category, making it two KZN riders (including the Durban pupil, Pentecost) who will be in action in front of their home crowd at the Vryheid event.

John Aylward (Yamaha) from Kokstad represents KZN on the podium in the quad category and is currently filling third spot after he could not finish the third round in Botswana. He is only six points behind Brian Baragwanath (BB Motorsport Lonestar PEP Yamaha), who claimed his second victory of the season in Botswana and jumped on the podium from where he is trailing the defending title holder by 13 points.

Meyer, Baragwanath and Aylward also fill the Q1 championship podium in that order.

The Master Class Championship has received only a few entries, but the battle will continue at the front between the leader, Martin Poole (Yamaha) who leads Jan Berning (Just Sell Properties KTM) by a single point with third-placed Leon Gerber (Bert Smith Racing KTM Powered by RAD) only nine points behind.

On four wheels, Jurie Meyer Sr (Yamaha Support) might be leading this championship, but he is not safe yet as second-placed Tony dos Santos (Factory Racing Suzuki) can overtake him if he puts a wheel wrong.

The event starts at 8.30 am on Saturday when motorcycle and quad riders tackle two separate loops from the Waverly Farm in the Kambula area outside Vryheid. Spectators are welcome.

Visit Off-road & Enduro SA (Facebook) for more information or follow @OffroadBikeQuad on Twitter.

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