After blitzing past the world’s top hard enduro riders for a Roof of Africa podium, bringing home three National Enduro titles, and defending their overall National Cross Country crown for the second consecutive time – it’s safe to say that the Brother Leader Tread KTM team had an exceptional year of riding in 2017.
The start of a new season dawns this month, and the unrelenting hunt for championship titles is about to begin again. The rider line up has been confirmed, and fans are rallying up as the 2018 Brother Leader Tread KTM squad prepares to take on one of their biggest seasons yet.
Scott Bouverie will lead the way for his team in the National Enduro series. After fighting tooth and nail for the E1 championship last year, a new coveted title has caught his eye. The rider has made the move to the E2 class this year on a KTM 300 EXC TPI:
“I wanted to win the E1 last year and I did it, and now I plan to do the same in E2. I'm excited - I've raced this class before, and really enjoyed the bike!” he said.
Bouverie will also be doing selected races abroad this year. Having conquered Erzberg Rodeo in 2017, the rider will attempt to finish with a solid overall position this year. He will also be competing in Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea To Sky.
Brother Leader Tread KTM teammate, Dwayne Kleynhans, narrowly fell short of E1 glory when Bouverie beat him to the top step of the podium in 2017. With a laser focus on taking the championship this time around, Kleynhans will once again compete in the E1 class on his KTM 250 EXC-F.
“My mindset is to do one thing, and one thing only – win the 2018 National E1 title. I really believe in my abilities and work ethic and don't see why it's not possible,” said Kleynhans.
He will also compete in Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea to Sky, and comments on one international ambition in particular:“Another main focus this year is to finish Erzberg Rodeo. It would honestly mean the world to me to achieve that,” he said.
South Africa’s enduro queen Kirsten Landman has raised her hand for a daunting challenge in 2018. After blazing through the Silver Class with a whitewash last year, she has signed up for the E2 class in an attempt to up her pace and refine her technical skills.
As she takes on new territory with a KTM 250 EXC TPI as her weapon of choice, she said: “I need to keep raising the bar, so I’m aiming to gain more experience this year on a bigger and faster bike. There’s a lot to learn, and I want to get onto equal playing grounds with my competitors.”
To add to her ambitious pursuits, Landman has also decided to represent the Brother Leader Tread KTM family in the National Cross Country OR3 class.
After a high-speed accident that almost ended her career, she has openly expressed a fear of speed that has haunted her for years: “Going back to offroads is something I thought I would never do again. But here I am, preparing for a full National Cross Country season. It’s time to conquer my fears because I have my heart set on much bigger challenges in the future,” she said.
Landman will be part of a massive six rider line up committed to the National Cross Country season for Brother Leader Tread KTM.
Following Jonas Folger's declaration not to contest in 2018, the entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 was trying to find the best solution to replace the German, thereby evaluating available riders. Finally, the French-based squad is very happy and proud to announce, that Hafizh Syahrin will be their second MotoGP rider this season, alongside Johann Zarco.
After having impressed everyone with his rapid progress, his high motivation and his extraordinary learning curve during his first ever test aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 last week in Buriram, Thailand, Monster Yamaha Tech3 is eager to continue the great work together with the talented Malaysian youngster.
The PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team is rallying up for the start of the 2018 season. The six man squad has been announced and is preparing to blaze a path of glory in the National Enduro and Cross Country series.
With the action set to kick off in just under a month, devastating news hit the Husqvarna camp last weekend when leading rider Brett Swanepoel suffered from a serious crash at a Gauteng Xross Country Club race in Bronkhorstspruit.
Swanepoel had planned to use the local cross country event as preparation for the national season ahead, but had a fall in the first lap that resulted in severe injuries to his arm.Matt Green is determined to stand tall for his team as the only other PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING rider in the National Enduro series.
If his name was not already on the cards, the youngster certainly made a grand entrance to the local enduro scene in 2017 with his debut attempt at the Roof of Africa, the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro.’
At just 16-years old, not only did Green jump straight into the daunting gold class, but managed to finish in the top 20. With a fearless approach to some of the most technical terrain in the world, international riders at the event went as far as to describe Green as a “mini version” of enduro legend Graham Jarvis.
After winning the High School Championship in the National Enduro series, the rider will make a step up to the E1 class this season on a Husqvarna TE150.
“I’m racing a big class this year, and I’m obviously hoping to achieve as many podiums as I can. My main focus is just to allow this year to grow me as a rider. I also plan to get some exposure overseas at Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea to Sky,” said Green.
The rest of the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team will take on the National Cross Country series.
The hunt for championship titles will be spearheaded by offroad legend, Kenny Gilbert.
Unusual for riders of his calibre, Gilbert did not grow up riding motorcycles. The first time he learned to ride a bike was at the age of 14, and he rapidly became a household name in the South African world of cross country.
By twenty-years old Gilbert had two national championships in the bag, and left to race in the Grand National Cross Country series in the USA for a few years.
He returned to South Africa to sweep up three consecutive Overall National Cross Country Championships.
Gilbert has finished second overall for the last two years, and is itching for the familiar glory of a cross country win: “I feel comfortable this year. What I’ve realised is that the championship isn’t won in the first few races, it’s how you finish the entire season. Last year I crashed out in the beginning, so this year I want to try build into it,” said Gilbert.
A podium hopeful in the OR2 class is Travis Gehlig.
The rider was first exposed to the world of cross country when his father put him on a motorcycle at the age of four. His relentless pursuit of this sport inevitably opened the door to the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team in 2017.
Things seemed shaky for Gehlig at first when he crashed at the start of the national season last year, cracking two vertebrae in his lower back in the process.
Iain Pepper, owner of PEPSON PLASTICS, was a pillar of encouragement for Gehlig during his recovery and helped him pave a path to the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team.
The opportunity ignited a new level of motivation for Gehlig, who upon his mid-season return to racing in 2017 managed to snatch up an OR2 podium position.
“Coming into 2018 I’ve really changed my approach to training, and have spent a lot of time riding with Iain and Kenny. I’m excited to battle it out for the OR2 championship with my Husqvarna FX350!” said Gehlig.
Iain Pepper will represent the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA team as a Master rider this season with a Husqvarna FX350 as his weapon of choice.
Pepper has years of experience in this sport, and first started racing MX in the mid 70’s. He made the move to an offroad bike in 2016, initially just for the fun.
As the title sponsor for Husqvarna last year, he would enter the occasional cross country race when time permitted.
For the first time in 10 years, Pepper has decided to compete competitively again: “It feels so good to be training like this again! I would really like to step onto that podium a few times this season,” said Pepper.
The first round of the National Motocross season opened up in Port Elizabeth today.
Results wise, it was a mixed bag for the Red Bull KTM squad.
Kerim Fitz-Gerald is pleased to have finished on the podium in MX1 today.
The rider admits to being slow off the starting blocks in Moto 1 and worked hard to fight his way back to third place: “By the time I got to third the top guys had a good lead, which is hard to close down on a rough track like this,” he said.
He managed to get the holeshot in the second heat, but fell back into third after making a few mistakes halfway through the race.
A similar story unfolded in MX2, where Fitz-Gerald ended the day in fourth place: “It honestly feels like a win to end the day like I did. I had a rough start to the season in PE last year, so I’m really happy to have walked away with some decent points this time around,” he commented.
It was the orange young guns who dominated the first race of the season.
Rising star Camden Mc Lellan made his High School class debut, and is elated to have taken third.
Jonathan Mlimi blazed his away over the rough terrain to take the overall Pro Mini win. Not far behind him was teammate Nate Mc Lellan who snatched up the second spot on the podium.
“I had a really good start in the second heat and managed to take the lead. It was my race after that and it felt really good! I enjoy this kind of rough terrain, but I’m glad to have PE out of the way,” said Mlimi.
It was a tough day out in MX2 for Joshua Mlimi, who did not start the season as he had hoped.
Glad to be done with the notorious track of Port Elizabeth, Mlimi has taken some valuable lessons from the race: “I’ve had much better starts to the national season, but I’ve taken a lot of positives out of today. A few silly mistakes let me down, and I’ll come back swinging in the next round,” he said.
Missing from the Red Bull KTM team was MX legend Ross Branch, who had to sit the event out due to a lingering foot injury.
Preliminary Red Bull KTM results:
1 Purdon, Tristan (47 points)
2 Tennant, Caleb (47 points)
3 Fitz-Gerald, Kerim (40 points)
1 Raynard, Anthony (47 points)
2 Tennant, Caleb (41 points)
3 Purdon, Tristan (39 points)
4 Fitz-Gerald, Kerim (39 points)
13 Mlimi, Joshua (17 points)
1 Sangster, Justin (47 points)
2 Durow, Cameron (45 points)
3 Mc Lellan, Camden (42 points)
1 Mlimi, Jonathan (47 points)
2 Mc Lellan, Nate (47 points)
3 Tully, Hayden (40 points)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales ended the third and final day of MotoGP testing in Buriram, Thailand, securing 10th and 12th place respectively in today's rankings.
Using his time from yesterday as a benchmark, Rossi had a clear target whilst completing his testing schedule. He tried some tyre specs, evaluated various settings and worked on the electronics, so by the end of the day his pace was noticeably quicker on the final run.
The Italian completed 70 laps in total and wrapped up the third day of testing in tenth place, posting a best time of 1'30.511s on lap 69, 0.730s off the front. This result put him in 12th position in the combined timesheets.
Viñales started the session again as soon as the green light at the end of pit lane went on. He was eager to try out the new setting he found yesterday, as well as making some final decisions on the engine and the chassis. However, he was unable to find the same feeling he had the day before.
Though he was unable to beat his time from yesterday, the Spaniard went the extra mile to provide feedback, completing 69 laps in total. His best effort, a 1'30.590s set on lap 66, put him in 12th place in today's testing results, 0.809s from the top. His best Day-2 time, a 1'30.274s, earned him eighth place in the combined Day 1-2-3 standings.
The wait is almost over, and South African riders are about to unsettle some dust as the 2018 motocross season begins. The Red Bull KTM Racing team have announced the rider line-up that will kick start the first race of the season in Port Elizabeth this Saturday, 17 February.
With a wealth of experience and knowledge, team manager Darrel Fitz-Gerald will once again lead the hunt for championship titles.
“In my 28-year career of MX racing I was fortunate enough to travel the world and witness first-hand what it takes to be successful in this sport. I know the physical and mental demand that MX riders face, and will guide and advise the team in every way that I can,” said Fitz-Gerald.
Kerim Fitz-Gerald is considered by sports reporters as the ‘usual suspect’ for a podium finish in both MX1 and MX2.
Since first taking a seat on a bike at the age of four, Fitz-Gerald has dominated every age group on the South African motocross circuit in various championships.
As the most experienced rider on the team, he will take his place at the start line with nine national championship titles to his name.
He set off on the back-foot last year when he suffered from an injury during the first race of the season. Unsurprisingly, he managed to claw his way back through the ranks to finish the overall MX1 and MX2 season on the podium.
It is no secret that the 31-year old local hero has stepped into the latter season of his MX career. It has been a year since he walked away with a national title, and Fitz-Gerald is determined to make the most of every opportunity for MX glory that he can get.
“Right now I’m still racing to win. And when I can’t do that anymore, I’m going to keep giving back to the motocross community and give other youngsters the same opportunity to race that I’ve had,” said Fitz-Gerald.
Team manager Darrel Fitz-Gerald notes: “From what we’ve seen, Kerim’s consistency really starts to pick up mid-season. This year we want to change that and have him come in better from round one.”
This season marks the start of Joshua Mlimi’s third year in the MX2 class, where he plans to break through the elusive barrier that has kept him from the podium.
The young gun has edged painfully close to an overall third spot for the last two years, and is determined to throw off his “rookie” status as an MX2 rider and raise his competitive edge.
“I want to finally crack the podium in the overall standings. I’m no longer a rookie in the MX2 class and have enough experience to get the job done now,” said Mlimi.
He mentions making fitness a priority in his pre-season preparations and adds, “I’m feeling good on and off the bike right now. Fitness is a huge aspect of racing – both mentally and physically. I noticed a big change mid-season last year when I suddenly stopped worrying about what everyone else was thinking, and started believing in myself.”
Ross Branch will be a hot contender in the MX1 class this season. The Botswana native, who is suitably known as the ‘Kalahari Ferrari’, is no stranger to the world of motocross.
He boasts an array of titles as the 2011 FIM Motocross champion and a multiple African Motorcycle Union (AMU) winner.
“I’m really looking forward to the 2018 MX series – this year marks 25 years of racing for me so it’s really nice to be lining up with the best riders in South Africa,” said Branch.
The rider was welcomed to the Red Bull KTM team last year, and balanced the motocross season with a determined pursuit of a back-to-back Cross-Country victory.
He has a narrow focus on the MX podium this season, and said, “I’m giving it my best and want to see that KTM 450 SX-F on the podium!
Camden Mc Lellan will step into the new season with a high level of confidence after raking the Pro Mini class in a complete whitewash last year.
The youngster has been ear-marked as the next best thing for the South African motocross scene, and will represent his country overseas for a large portion of the 2018 season.
“It’s a big year for me. I can race in the ADAC and European Junior Championship, where I’ll be working hard to get podium results. My sights are also set on Junior Worlds again in Australia this year – I want to win that title,” said Mc Lellan.
He spent two weeks at the end of 2017 training in Germany to get used to what he describes as “different conditions and gnarly tracks.”
Locally, the youngster will make a step up to the High School class this season. He will only race four out of the seven rounds in South Africa on his new KTM 125 SX.
After witnessing his brother’s unrelenting pursuit of a championship title, Nate Mc Lellan will have the opportunity to blaze his own path of glory in the Pro Mini class this season.
The rising talent faced a seven-week setback after he broke his collarbone last year, but managed to fight back enough points to bow out of the 85-cc class with a respectable fourth place.
“I will be one of the younger riders in the Pro Mini class, and I know there’s many quality riders that I’ll be up against. But age is not a problem and my ambition is still to win the Pro Mini championship,” said Mc Lellan.
KTM has held the Pro Mini title for the past two years, so it will be up to Mc Lellan and Jonathan Mlimi to maintain that winning streak.
Mlimi is another young gun aiming for glory. He will make the step up to the Pro Mini class after ending the 85-cc chapter of his career on the podium.
Mlimi has high hopes of making 2018 one of his most memorable seasons yet. With a laser focus on the Pro Mini championship and another AMU title, he comments: “’I’ve put in all the work I possibly could, both on and off the bike. I just love my KTM 85 SX and can’t wait for the first gate to drop!”
2018 MSA National Motocross dates to diarise:
17 February: Rover Raceway, Eastern Cape
07 April: Thunder Valley, KwaZulu-Natal
19 May: BORC, Free State
07 July: Terra Topia, Gauteng
11 August: Zone 7, Western Cape
08 September: Welkom MX Track, Free State
20 October: Dirt Bronco, Gauteng
MT-10 SP, TMAX DX and XMAX 300 awarded in the product category
Yamaha Motor are pleased to announce that its MT-10 SP hyper naked sports motorcycle as well as the TMAX DX and XMAX 300 sport scooters have all received the internationally prestigious 'iF Design Award 2018'*. Each of these awards has been achieved in the product category, with 2018 being the fifth consecutive year for Yamaha Motor to receive this honour.
The MT-10 SP represents the pinnacle of the MT range. Designed for global roll out, the MT series of Yamaha hyper naked models delivers powerful and unique engine characteristics together with agile performance and a dynamic, naked style. Fully kitted out as a top-class model, the MT-10 SP is equipped with Öhlins electronically-controlled suspension and full colour TFT instruments - and its exclusive 'Silver Blu Carbon' colour scheme is inspired by Yamaha Motor's supersport flagship model, the YZF-R1M.
In 2001 the original TMAX pioneered the sports maxi scooter concept, and today the TMAX DX sport scooter brings the ultimate fusion and balance of two styles in one package. With its dynamic acceleration together with agile handling and outstanding braking, this premium maxi scooter delivers sports motorcycle levels of performance. Featuring a comfortable riding position and equipped with deluxe features such as cruise control and an electronically adjustable screen, the versatile TMAX DX is ideal for long distance commuting as well as weekend fun riding.
The XMAX 300 is the successor to the XMAX 250 that enjoyed great popularity in Europe, thanks to its fun ride and sporty character - along with its combination of comfort and functionality for efficient city travel and commuting. The new model offers even higher levels of comfort and daily practicality, while also delivering dynamic MAX family styling, responsive performance and a premium finish that all work to reinforce the pride of ownership associated with Yamaha scooters. Positioned in the middle of the sport scooter range, the XMAX series models are being rolled out globally.
* The iF Design Award is a design award organized by the iF International Forum Design, the world's longest-established independent design organization based in Hannover, Germany. Every year since 1953, superior designs are selected from industrial products etc. from around the world.
*KTM MY RIDE Navigation is not only exclusive to those with 2018 machines as owners of 2017 KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S & R can also benefit by activating this feature at an official KTM dealer. This requires with the purchase of the KTM MY RIDE app and the cost of installation
You’ll need to download a App before they can use the Navigation (App will cost 8.49 Euros). On ktm.com website he needs to register for the app and follow instructions. For easy access you can share http://www.ktm.com/my-ride/
Keep in mind:
For Android you need to visit https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ktm.navapp after you have been added to the test users list (which may take up to two working days) to finally activate the app for your account. You can download it (search for MY RIDE) afterwards via the Google Play Store on your smartphone.
For iOS you need to install the official Testflight app from Apple. Insert the code that you will receive via e-mail (may take up to two working days) in the Testflight app and the KTM MY RIDE should appear for installation.
Yamaha Motor Europe is offering all talented YZ125 riders that were born between 2002 and 2005 an extended chance to enter the 2018 YZ125 bLU cRU Cup where he or she could win a professional contract with Yamaha Motor Europe to race the 2019 EMX125 European Championship. Registration will now close on the 28th of February.
In search of new motocross talent, Yamaha is running a competition where one promising young rider will be awarded a place within the Official Yamaha EMX125 team, where he or she will be supplied with a GYTR kitted YZ125 to compete in the 2019 EMX125 European Championship season.
The competition is open to all registered YZ125 riders who will be racing in 1 of 15 approved national championships. Up to 44 of the best performing riders will then be invited to finish the season by racing in The YZ125 bLU cRU Cup Superfinale, which will be held on the 29th and 30th September at the final round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Imola, Italy. The riders who finish inside the top three in the Superfinale, plus two wildcard riders selected by a jury, will be invited to attend the bLU cRU Masterclass at the end of the season.
The Masterclass is designed to inspire, educate and develop the next generation of motocross riders by providing an exclusive insight as to what it takes to be a champion. It will be run by a highly acclaimed bLU cRU ambassador and will take place over three days where the jury will select and reward one lucky rider who has proved he has the talent, motivation and desire to be something great, with a contract for the 2019 European Championship EMX125 season on the MJC Yamaha Official EMX 125 team.
As an official bLU cRU member you will receive a free bLU cRU welcome pack following your registration. The pack contains: two T-shirts, a hoody, an umbrella, a cap, a backpack, a bLU cRUwater bottle and an exclusive YZ sticker kit that all European YZ125 bLU cRU Cup contenders are obliged to use whilst racing in their national championships, and, in case qualified, in the YZ125 bLU cRU Cup SuperFinale and Masterclass.
Suzuki Auto South Africa is going to be issuing a recall of all 2017 GSX-R1000 and
There is a risk of selecting neutral when changing from first to second gear. This can result in damage to the chain and sprockets. To counter this we are going to be replacing the ECMs on these motorcycles and conducting inspections of chains and sprockets.
Until the recall has been carried out, all GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R sales have also been put on hold and all current owners have been advised to either stop riding their bikes or ride them with care.
The Implementation date of the recall is still to be announced.
To find an authorised Suzuki Dealer close to your area please visit www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za.