Vodacom Nashua Yamaha Team Upbeat About East London Racing Chances The three-man Vodacom Nashua Yamaha racing team will be in optimistic mode next Saturday (June 23), when they tackle Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2001 Dark Dog South African Superbike...
Vodacom Nashua Yamaha Team Upbeat About East London Racing Chances
The three-man Vodacom Nashua Yamaha racing team will be in optimistic mode next Saturday (June 23), when they tackle Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2001 Dark Dog South African Superbike Championship in East London.
The races, to be held on the ultra-fast East London Grand Prix circuit, will see the works Yamaha squad mount a strong challenge for the overall lead in the country's most prestigious two-wheeler title chase.
Following the season's first six races, team leader Russell Wood occupies the second place on the Dark Dog points ladder, with fellow Vodacom Nashua Yamaha riders Lance Isaacs and Arushen Moodley in the respective fourth and eighth places.
"That should certainly change in East London - we could well leave the circuit lying first and second in the championship," a confident Wood said this week.
His predictions are based on solid ground. The previous meeting of the year, at Killarney on May 26, saw Lance Isaacs take a historical first Development rider race victory for the Vodacom Nashua Yamaha equip, followed extremely closely by Arushen Moodley in second place.
Isaacs backed his victory with a solid second place on the day, clearly showing that he and Moodley will henceforth be counted among likely Dark Dog Superbike Championship race winners.
"They should both be right at the front end in East London, and anybody who wants to win races will have to get past them first," said Wood.
Meanwhile the multiple former South African Champion will be on an errand of his own.
"I need to take the 2001 Championship lead away from current front-runner Greg Dreyer and his Honda." "With Dreyer, there is only one way to do that - you have to score race victories, and that is what I intend doing at East London," Russell said.
Wood rates the East London Grand Prix circuit as one of local motorsport's toughest challenges.
"The straight, which includes the 230 km/h Potters' Pass and 260 km/h Rifle Range Sweeps, is a serious test of commitment, with a lack of imagination helping." "Then, the tight and tricky infield provides a test of skill, all of which makes this a tough place to get around quickly and consistently," he said.
"As ever, bike setup and engine tuning will be of paramount importance - both areas in which my two team mates are getting better, race by race." "I have no doubts about their - or my own - commitment, and only bad luck should prevent us from at least equaling our efforts of the previous races," he added.