Youngsters shine in Maseru rain

<b>ROUGH AND ROCKY ROAD:</b> Dean Lindsay (Yamaha) won from Keagan Coetzee (KTM), who had to dig deep in the Junior Roof too score his first podium place in this class.
<b>ROUGH AND ROCKY ROAD:</b> Dean Lindsay (Yamaha) won from Keagan Coetzee (KTM), who had to dig deep in the Junior Roof too score his first podium place in this class.
MASERU, Lesotho - Rain turned the 'Junior Roof' off-road motorcycle race in Lesotho, Round 1 of the 2013 South African Junior National championship, into a slippery and muddy event in which young riders really had to persevere just to reach the finish.

Class winners and finishers worked hard for their first points of the season and the tough competition promises an exciting year for riders aged seven to 17.

Competitors had to complete a 21km time trial on Friday (March 29) to determine the following day's start order in the Matsieng area near the Mountain Kingdom's capital, Maseru. Current 125cc champion Travis Teasdale (Husaberg) posted the fastest time in the Senior category and in the Open Motorcycle class but disaster struck on the second of the three 33km loops when mechanical problems stopped him in his tracks while he was leading. He had to call it a day.


Damien Scott (Yamaha) repeated his 2012 Lesotho result by winning the Open Class, beating team mate Kyle Flanagan by a mere 41sec after racing for almost three hours in pouring rain. Heavy mist and hail in the mountains made the lives of the riders even more difficult.

The kwaZulu-Natal podium in the Open Class was rounded off by Ryan van Munster (Yamaha) and newcomer Jason Jones (KTM). Dirk Swanepoel (Yamaha) was rewarded with fifth place after fighting from the back due to mechanical problems during the time trial.

Also in the top 10 was newcomer Mauritz Meiring (Yamaha) who finished sixth; Tyler Robins (Yamaha) was seventh and Eamonn Sullivan (Yamaha) eighth after also also starting from the back of the field. He crashed early in the time trial and could not post a qualifying time but raced despite painful bruising. Craig Wishart (KTM) finished ninth in his first 'Junior Roof' though with a broken sub-frame.

Matatiele’s Henco Botha (Kawasaki) rounded off the top 10 despite racing two laps on flat tyres.

Scott’s team mate Dylan Barker (both are from Kokstad) clinched his first National victory when he won the 125cc Class in whichcompetition was as tough. His team mate from Port Elizabeth, Angus Coetzee, was second and sandwiched between the KZN riders was Cullim Symons (Yamaha) who rounded off the 125cc podium.

Aeron Thompson (Yamaha) was fourth – his team mates Ross Blackwell and Dylan McGovern were eighth and 11th respectively with McGovern, who returned to the sport after a year's break, losing time when he had to push his bike to the fuel stop after he ran out on lap two.


Alex O’Donnell (Yamaha) was fifth and Duncan de Beer (Yamaha) finished sixth with Reghardt van Nieuwenhuizen (KTM) producing the best result of the riders who have moved up from the Senior 85cc Class. He finished seventh; David Matthews (KTM) was ninth with Corbin Lamb rounding off the top 10 after a scary experience in which his Husqvarna fell down a cliff.

It took six riders to get it back on the road and Lamb was lucky not to have been injured.

The ‘Junior Roof’ was a real challenge for the younger riders on smaller motorcycles, but they braved the weather  and conquered the slippery rocks. Only three in the Senior 85cc Class finished all three loops with Dean Lindsay (Yamaha) winning from Keagan Coetzee (KTM) who had to dig deep to score his first podium place in this class.

Lindsay and Coetzee moved up from from the Junior 85cc Class.

Eduan Bester (Kawasaki) was third after he tackled the race from the back due to time lost when he drowned his bike during the time-trial.

2012 Junior champion Tristin Asher-Wood (KTM) has also moved to the Senior category and finished fourth with newcomer Daniel van Zyl (KTM) rounding off the top five.
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