The National Motocross Championship came to an unforgettable close for Red Bull KTM in Pretoria this weekend. The team snatched up three national titles as Tristan Purdon took top honours in both the MX1 and MX2 Championship respectively, and young gun Jonathan Mlimi stormed to victory in the High School Championship. Adding to the celebrations at the orange camp was some silverware from Cameron Durow and Trey Cox, who finished second in their respective classes.
As a fairly new track on the racing circuit, Legends MX leveled out the playing field and ensured that there were no favourites on Saturday. With a comfortable lead and one hand on the MX1 Championship, Purdon put on one of his best performances of the season to secure the prestigious title for the second consecutive year. With a flag-to-flag win, the rider was elated with his performance. He commented: “What a special moment. Thank you to everyone that has helped get me here and especially to my awesome team for everything that they provide for me. Now let’s get 2022 on the road!”
With a slightly less comfortable lead in the MX2 Class, Purdon lined up to fight tooth and nail with teammate Cameron Durow. As one of 2021’s newest recruits, the talent-stacked Durow held nothing back as he raced to not only set the fastest qualifying time, but take the victory in both motos. All Purdon had to do to snatch the championship, however, was to closely follow his teammate to the finish line. With a performance that showcased the promising future of both riders, the Red Bull KTM team couldn’t be more excited for what next year has in store.
“It was one of my best races of the season – I gave that last round everything I possibly could. Only four points kept me from winning the championship. I’m also really proud of my progress in MX1– I managed to finish second in both heats. I am more motivated than ever and can’t wait to see what next season has in store – a huge thank you to my team and everyone that’s in my corner,” said Durow. In yet another stellar performance, Jonathan Mlimi took a clean sweep to win the High School Championship. All the rider had to do was put the finishing touches on the 46-point lead that he’d established by the final round. With yet another double win, Mlimi takes the prestigious title for the second year in a row.
“To be honest, I didn’t start the year off too well. I managed to get it together throughout the season and achieve what I’d set out to do. This is a back-to-back championship, which makes it even more special! Thank you to my sponsors and everyone that’s been behind me,” said Mlimi. Like Durow, Red Bull KTM’s Trey Cox only narrowly missed a national title. With a slender lead, he entered a three-way battle for the Pro Mini Championship this weekend. After a demanding day in the saddle, the rider missed the top step by a mere three-point deficit. “It’s a tough pill to swallow to know I missed the championship by only three points, especially after I had the red plate for five rounds. That’s racing, though, and I can only come back stronger! I’m still stoked with how my rookie Pro Mini year went. Thank you to my team for the opportunity and believing in me,” said Cox.
KTM South Africa is proud to announce a star-studded line-up of riders that have been added to the Brother Leader Tread KTM and Red Bull KTM team for 2022. In a massive scoop for the team, Blake Gutzeit will be stepping onto a KTM 300 XC-W TPI from November 2021.
Hailing from the small town of Oslo Beach on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal Natal, Gutzeit has rapidly become one of the most technically gifted riders in the world. Gutzeit's first memory on a motorbike is at the age of three, but his racing career only actually started from about the age of 14. The rider is a former Junior World Champion in SuperEnduro and currently lies fifth in the World Championship Prestige Class. His glittering resume includes a National Enduro title, a fourth place at the Roof of Africa and finishing the Erzberg Rodeo. By his own admission, he mentions that his performances in the extreme Enduro races around the world haven't quite lived up to his own lofty expectations - something he will be desperate to set right with his new team at the Roof of Africa. While Gutzeit has had minimal time to switch his preparations from the upcoming SuperEnduro season to training for this year’s Mother of Hard Enduro, he reveals his plan to win the prestigious event.
"Joining an official factory team is going to make it so much easier to focus all my attention on winning at the Roof, which is my number one focus with the team. I just love to win and it is one hundred percent my goal to stand atop the podium at the Roof of Africa next year and to attempt to do the same this year,” he said.
After the call to join the team from KTM CEO Franziska Brand, he added: "Brandl has been instrumental in bringing such a fire back to KTM and also the National Enduro Championship. She is a big part of the reason why the sport is going through a revival in South Africa."Brother Leader Tread KTM have also managed to capture the signing of the hugely exciting Enduro prospect Matthew Stevens, who will be riding in the J1 class on the KTM 125 XC next season. Stevens is the youngest ever finisher of the Gold Class at the IMPI Enduro and is already a two-time national Enduro Champion.
Stevens has massive dreams and tells the story that at the age of nine he wrote his goals on the ceiling above his bed in permanent marker - one of those goals being to win the Roof of Africa in 2023. Stevens has a hugely impressive work ethic and he stands by the ethos that his father has put in place for him: “Any goal is 100% doable if I have a plan, put in the work, surround myself with good people, and have a never-say-die attitude,” he said.
In the highly competitive field of Cross-Country riders, Brother Leader Tread KTM will unleash the flying Zambian, Scott Heygate. The rider will represent the orange squad in the OR2 Class aboard a KTM 350 XC-F. The 20 year old lives on a farm on the outskirts of a small town in Zambia called Chingola and practically grew up on a 50cc that his grandfather bought him at five years old. Heygate has since gone on to win the Zambian Motocross Championship the last five years in a row and in 2021 finished second in the South African National Cross-Country Championship in the OR3 class.
The team will also be adding young gun Matthew Wilson to their cross-country roster, who will competing in the OR3 Class next season. The 17-year-old has been winning championships since the age of nine with multiple Gauteng Regional and National Championships under his belt.
Wilson first stepped onto a bike at the age of three and by age eight was already going bar to bar with his rivals on a 65cc. The rider does most of his riding at Rhino Park and is also dedicated to putting in the work off the bike with a rigorous gym schedule. Joining the fray on the motocross scene is Luke Grundy. The young gun will represent the Red Bull KTM team in the High School class in 2022 aboard a KTM 125 SX with his sights firmly set on being crowned the National Champion next year.
Grundy lives in Amanzimtoti, Durban, and does the large majority of his training at Cato Ridge, Thundervalley and Hammersdale. The prodigious young talent has represented South Africa at the FIM Junior World Championships in Italy in 2019 and attributes his already lengthy list of successes to a relentless work rate.
Grundy expressed his immense admiration for the Red Bull KTM team and admitted that he is honoured to race for what he considers the best racing team in the country. Grundy will bring a massive dose of youthful energy and pace to the team and he will be frothing to fight for his first holeshot for his new team.
The remaining riders of the Red Bull KTM and Brother Leader Tread KTM team will be announced at a later stage.
The “hard lock down” and closure of the NaTIS system in April and May 2020 and a significant catch up of sales and registrations during June and July 2020 made it difficult to draw meaningful comparisons with the comparative trading periods of 2020 versus 2021.
At YTD October 2021 we have a much clearer picture in that the market size at 21 608 new units is not only 25% up on comparative 2020, but importantly 15% up on 2019. Forecasting to the end of December, the motorcycle market is likely to experience its best year since 2016 with a market estimate of 24 850 units in respect of 2021.
All segments are performing well with growth varying from 3 to 40%, the one exception being the 250-500cc leisure/commuting motorcycles which is down 30%. This is perhaps indicative of a perception that this segment is expensive relative to what one can buy, but also that the typical buyer in this segment is experiencing financial stress. ATV and Side by Side sales are still affected by stock shortages but has nonetheless experienced good growth. Unsurprisingly, the commercial segment continues to grow.
Electric motorcycles and 3 wheelers form a statistically insignificant portion of the market and sales are flat compared to 2020.
Used motorcycle sales are up 15% on 2020, but down 6% on 2019 on average.
The industry remains positive to end 2021 off on a high. With exciting new models on the horizon, manufacturers are looking forward to continuing the growth pattern in 2022 and beyond.
Issued by Arnold Olivier, National Director, AMID