Three legends in SA offroad racing, Iain Pepper Pepson Plastics, Harry Grobler the Franchise Co, Ryan Hunt Vermont Sales/Tork Craft and their blue-chip sponsors, Motul, Kawasaki create the largest Cross-Country dream team, since the early 1900’s
The green machines will be back with a star-studded 20-bike twin Pepson Plastics Motul and the Franchise Co/Tork Craft team attack on all the 2022 championships and the South African National and GXCC Gauteng Cross Country series
Kawasaki made a quiet return following a few decades out of cross-country racing at the beginning of 2021 with the brand's all-new KX X cross country machines. D’Artagnan Lobjoit however soon made his mark on the OR1 grid aboard his Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX 450 X, while Taki Bogiages and Kyle Mackenzie were immediately competitive on their KX 250 Xs in OR3. Then the Franchise Co. took delivery of a KX 450 X, signed Michael Pentecost to ride it and the rest is history.Pentecost immediately dominated, taking three of the final four open class OR1 wins to steal the '21 title with Lobjoit third. The pair doubled up with first and second in the Gauteng GXCC chase as Pentecost took the overall title too. Bogiages bounced back from a bout of Covid to take second in the Gauteng title chase with Mackenzie, who took third in the nationals, fifth in GXCC.
“The plan going forward to next year is to go for gold, dominate and win everything, it's time to look forward, onward and upward,” said Iain Pepper CEO Pepson Plastics and sponsor of the Kawasaki Motul team. “We are delighted to confirm a splendid 20-bike twin-team effort for 2022. “Harry Grobler will be running nine bikes under the Franchise Co. Tork Craft banner, and we will have eleven machines out in Pepson Plastics Motul colours.”“We will be racing hand in hand as two teams in both the National Cross Country and Gauteng Regional GXCC Regional championships with Kawasaki’s backing next year," The Franchise Co. Tork Craft Kawasaki Racing boss Harry Grobler elaborated. “Kawasaki will be fielding riders in the 450cc OR1 and 250cc OR3 classes, as well as in the Ladies, Masters, Seniors, 85cc Juniors and 65cc Juniors.”
“Our aim is to work together with the help of Kawasaki to defend our titles won this year, and to win every class we enter,” Iain Pepper added. “2021 was our learning year, which turned out way better than expected. “We won both the OR1 national and regional titles with Franchise Co. star rider Mike Pentecost. “He was backed up on the podiums by Pepson Plastics Motul man, Dart Lobjoit. “They will be back and supported by Tyron Beverly and Craig Alcock in 2022.” With legends such as Ryan Hunt a springbok and multiple national champion and Harry onboard, we have it all,” said Pepper "The big news is however in the Senior class, where we have two big names joining the Kawasaki ranks,” Harry Grobler confirmed. “Multiple South African Cross Country champion King Kenny Gilbert and cross-country debutant, but multiple SA motocross champion, Wyatt Avis will be back on a pair of Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul machines. “Kenny will ride a 450 and Wyatt a 250 and these two should without doubt be front runners for overall National wins.”
Kenny will be supported by Lee Thompson in Regional Seniors, while National and Regional Masters class Franchise Company Tork Craft regular Carel ‘Mielies’ Le Roux and his will take the fight to the likes of Wayne Farmer. Kawasaki also has exciting Ladies Regional Pro-Am news, where four-time National Ladies MX champion Kayla Raaf will be out on a Pepson Plastics and reigning Pro Ladies champion Che Dee Grobler raced and won the class she will race in Franchise Co. colours, backed by Danel Delport in Pro Am.
Kawasaki will also chase 85cc Senior and Junior class victories with Jaden Els and Johandré Vermaak riding for the Franchise Company. “They will be supported by Pepson Plastics Motul novice rider Clayton Human. Pepson Plastics, Jake Pretorius and Dylan Human will chase the baby 65cc title, and on the other side of the scale, expect team boss and Veteran motocross rider Iain Pepper to make some Veteran Regional class appearances too, as well as his co-sponsor and team partner Ryan Hunt who, along with Pepper is still winning races today.“We have no shortage of talent in both our Franchise Co. Tork Craft, or Pepson Plastics Motul teams,” Iain Pepper concluded. “That, coupled with Kawasaki's incredibly powerful and robust KX 450 X and KX 250 X machines leaves us with no reason to doubt that any of our 2022 cross country racing aims cannot be achieved.”
Vermont Sales and their key brands continue their partnerships, sponsorships, and support for the popular events - the Enduro World Madalas events, The Franchise Co C.I.T team, Tony Riddell RTR team and training programs, the Lowveld Enduro series, and a
” We will continue to support these events going into the new year,” said Ryan Hunt Springbok and Multiple National Motocross Champion and Director at Vermont Sales. They are all great events and programs well supported by the riders, teams, and families, drawing huge entries for all their well-organized event.”
“Our RTR junior team and rider training program run by my fellow Springbok Moto Crosser Tony Riddell has grown to over 60 riders and will continue to grow in the new year. It’s important to put something back into the sport certainly with the junior race team and training program. The other events, series, and teams, such as The Franchise Co C.I.T team, that we support with our key partners. These team riders compete in most of the popular race events countrywide. The other events include the Enduro Worlds, Madalas, the Lowveld Enduro series, and a recent addition the PORC Series, all these are made up of fun events, local series, and regional championships. They are all staged at great venues and are extremely well organized by experienced organizers that have everything in place for the riders, teams and families and they cater for all types of riders from beginners to experts, the pros and veterans,” said Hunt.These events have various titles Enduro Cross, Motocross, Off road Enduros, Cross country series etc. with riders competing with all types of motorcycles Enduro, Motocross, and Off-road made up of all the various categories and capacities machines from 50 cc to 500cc. There are some official factory teams, but the bulk of the riders and team entries are made up of private sponsors, such as The Franchise Co CIT, Tork Craft/Vermont Sales RTR team, Iain Pepper Pepson Plastics team another successful veteran MX rider like Ryan Hunt that has put back into the sport
“Our support to all these organizers is a much-needed mix of services financial, race and team/rider equipment from our key brands Tork Craft WORX, and AirCraft, The Marketing support for all the events and programs, that include pre- and post-race communication, pit equipment, tools, team/rider gazebos, junior training, and our team entry support at all the events.” Said Hunt“My personal plans for 2022 are to race in as many events as possible with my son Reece and possibly the odd full-blown race, these I will select over the year to keep my hand and eye in off-road racing as long as I can and stay young and strong”, said the 50-year-old veteran champion Ryan Hunt
Or to contact the organizers
Lowveld Enduro Club
RTR Team and rider training
The Francize Co CIT