The Dark Dog Superbike pack will descend on the Phakisa Raceway on September 29 with Capetonian Greg Dreyer sitting pretty in the championship stakes. Former champion Dreyer (Autopage Cellular Honda) now leads archrival and 12 times SA...
The Dark Dog Superbike pack will descend on the Phakisa Raceway on September 29 with Capetonian Greg Dreyer sitting pretty in the championship stakes.
Former champion Dreyer (Autopage Cellular Honda) now leads archrival and 12 times SA motorcycle champion Russell Wood (Vodacom Nashua Yamaha) by 51 points. Nothing but a full house of points will be good enough for Wood, but the KwaZulu-Natalian will have other worries on his mind in the Free State.
Apart from closing the gap on Dreyer - and a dwindling number of races in which to score points add to his woes - Wood is only four points clear of Dreyer's team-mate Robbie Petersen. And, on top of that, Yamaha is now only 11 points clear of Suzuki in the manufacturers championship, with Wood and team-mates Lance Isaacs and Arushen Moodley the backbone of the Yamaha challenge.
While Dreyer has curbed a penchant for crashing - the former champion has ridden brilliantly all season - and Petersen has come on strongly in recent races, Wood and the Vodacom Nashua Yamaha squad have fallen on hard times. Mechanical failures and accidents have seen Isaacs and Arushen Moodley drop down the points table, with Wood now under pressure to lead a revival.
"We have had our problems recently, but it is not yet over," said Wood. "This is a hugely competitive series in which anything can happen, and we will keep on fighting."
The clash between the Honda and Yamaha squads has enticing possibilities, but throw in riders like Trevor Crookes (Ducati), the consistent Graeme van Breda (Longbeach Racing Suzuki) and the ever improving Alex Laenerts on the third Autopage Cellular Honda and you have an explosive mix.
The dangerman where the Honda and Yamaha runners are concerned, is probably Crookes. Bad luck has robbed the KwaZulu-Natalian of one or two possible wins this season, and he is due a win.
On the privateer front Noel Haarhof (Wayne Heasman Racing Suzuki) has a huge lead over team-mate Jason Wessels. For his part Wessels is well clear of James Barson (Yamaha), but only four points separate Barson, Hudson Kennaugh (Suzuki) and veteran Gavin Ramsay on the Erlang Inana Yamaha.
The privateers have provided for some good racing and, on occasion, have given the factory runners a few headaches. Haarhof and Kennaugh, in particular, have had their moments and will be keen to throw a few more cats in among the pigeons.