After another title winning FIM Supersport World Championship season, Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team have signed promising South African rider Steven Odendaal for their 2021 championship charge.
Odendaal joins the Evan Bros Yamaha outfit after a strong maiden WorldSSP campaign, where his speed and consistency saw him finish an impressive fifth in the final riders’ standings, having scored top 10 results in 13 of the 15 races entered on the Yamaha R6. With a years’ experience of the championship and bike under his belt, Odendaal is aiming to be in the title battle next season.
Prior to 2020, Odendaal contested two full Moto2 seasons, as well as making various sporadic appearances in the series between 2011 and 2019. The 27-year-old also competed in the FIM CEV Moto2 European Championship and was crowned champion in the highly competitive 2016 season.
The team he’s joining, Evan Bros Yamaha, took the last two riders’ championships and have quickly become the team to beat in WorldSSP, while they also played a key part in Yamaha’s four consecutive manufacturers’ titles.
Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team
“I’m very excited to have this opportunity with such a fantastic team in Evan Bros Yamaha. I visited their workshop for the first time on Monday and it gave me a lot of happiness and joy because they’re such a professional team and understand what it takes to win races and championships. I really can’t wait for 2021 to start. Thank you also to my manager Jorge Lis for all his hard work and effort to help me get to where I am today.”
2020 National Motocross Champions Crowned in Bloemfontein
The country’s 2020 National Motocross champions were crowned in Bloemfontein this weekend. The series came to a close with an exciting double-header round where Red Bull KTM’s Tristan Purdon took top honours in the premier MX1 Class. Effectively dubbing Purdon as the best Motocross rider in the country.
The victory came especially sweet for Purdon after last year’s season finale where he finished as runner-up. In a bid to set the record straight this time around, Purdon lined-up in Bloemfontein leading the MX1 Class by a single point. In excruciatingly hot conditions with temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius, the rider launched his attack. With consecutive victories in the first three heats and a third place in the final moto, Purdon took the victory overall in both rounds to secure the 2020 title.“I can finally say it – I'm the 2020 MX1 Champion! That is a wrap for the season – thank you is not enough to everyone in my corner,” said an elated Purdon.
Adding to the celebrations in the orange camp was yet another championship title courtesy of young gun Jonathan Mlimi, who stormed to victory in the High School Class. Having fought his way back from an injury that ruled him out of the 2019 season, Mlimi was determined to reinstate himself as the frontrunner in his class.
“We did it! This time I managed to take three hole shots and another four wins – which makes it 8/8 victories since the season restarted. The hard work and training really payed off – thank you to everyone who supported me,” said Mlimi.Rounding out the orange squad this weekend was Kerim Fitz-Gerald. While the rider was unable to make up the 20-point deficit keeping him from the top of the MX2 leaderboard, he finished off the season with an outstanding performance.
KTM South Africa’s Marketing Manager Louwrens Mahoney gave a parting shot as the season came to a close: “What a tough and demanding weekend it was with the track getting so rough, the unbearable heat and two solid days of racing! I am so proud of the team and their achievements, not just at this event but over the entire year. We’re going into 2021 with the MX1 and High School Championship, which is a massive confidence boost for the riders and the team. We will work hard in the off season to maintain this form and to come back even stronger!”
Husqvarna Racing’s Neil van der Vyver could not have asked for a better end to what has been a tumultuous 2020 season. The young gun stormed to victory in an exciting National Motocross season finale in Bloemfontein this weekend to defend his title as the reigning 65cc champion.
This will be the fourth national championship of what is quickly becoming an illustrious career for Van der Vyver. Having represented Husqvarna South Africa since 2016, the rider is a precocious talent stacked with potential. He is not only an exciting prospect for team, but the future of South African motorsport as a whole.
“I won all four heats this weekend – I couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish the season. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and never stopped believing in me this year,” said Van Der Vyver.Husqvarna South Africa’s Brand Manager Fred Fensham waxed lyrical, “We couldn’t be prouder of our young Neil. To be a four-time national champion at 12 years old is an incredible achievement – we look forward to seeing what the future holds for him.”
It was a challenging season for teammate Maddy Malan, who has been fighting his way back up the MX1 leaderboard since a crash set him back in the first round. While he was unable to make up enough points to defend his 2019 title, the rider ended off the season on a high note by snatching victory in the final heat.“It’s been a rollercoaster season for Maddy after that big crash at the start of the year. He never stopped fighting to get back on the top step and proved that he certainly has what it takes to reclaim that red plate after the way he performed in the final heat,” said Fensham.
Rounding out the squad this weekend was Husqvarna’s newest recruit Dalton Venter. Having only stepped up into the MX2 Class at the start of the season, the young rider has seen tremendous improvement in his performances. With a determination to shake off his rookie status in the MX2 Class, Venter will certainly enter the 2021 season swinging.