Noodsberg 400: Yamaha teams preview

Shimwells Yamaha & EPH Shimwells Yamaha 2nd Round of the ATV Powersport ITP national off-road championship for motorcycles and quads 3 & 4 March 2005 Dalton, KwaZulu-Natal SHIMWELLS YAMAHA OFF-ROAD TEAMS WANT TO CONQUER SUGAR CANE RACE IN ...

Shimwells Yamaha & EPH Shimwells Yamaha
2nd Round of the ATV Powersport ITP national off-road championship for motorcycles and quads

3 & 4 March 2005
Dalton, KwaZulu-Natal

SHIMWELLS YAMAHA OFF-ROAD TEAMS WANT TO CONQUER SUGAR CANE RACE IN KZN

The Shimwells Yamaha and EPH Shimwells Yamaha off-road motorcycle teams are planning to continue their winning streak at the Noodsberg 400, the second round of the ATV Powersport ITP national off-road championship for motorcycles and quads, that takes place on March 4 & 5 in the Dalton area north-east of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.

After winning the opening round of the 2005 national off-road championship as well as three classes and the manufacturer's trophy, Teams Shimwells Yamaha and EPH Shimwells Yamaha believe they have the power to win again. Last year, the inaugural Noodsberg 400 was won by Gray Dick on the Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic Car Audio YZ450F and after finishing third overall in Swaziland earlier this year, he would like to repeat his '04 Noodsberg 400 success on his brand-new Open Class off-roader.

Clayton Enslin (EPH Shimwells Yamaha), however, won the first race of the new season as well as the 250cc Class and after winning the recent Bronkhorstspruit Regional Harescramble (Dick was second overall and first in the Open Class), it seems as if Enslin is on a winning spree. He finished the 2004 Noodsberg 400 in the 5th place and although this race suits the more powerful motorbikes better, he will be out there to enjoy the event while he will try to finish on the overall and class podiums.

Last year, the Noodsberg 400 saw Shimwells Yamaha winning the event while they also occupied the second step on the overall podium - Jade Gutzeit finished 19 seconds behind his team-mate, Dick, and won the 250cc Class. Gutzeit, who became a first-time dad with the birth of his son, Seth, early in January, is still recovering from a serious knee-injury and will unfortunately not be able to participate yet. Enslin will be accompanied by the young Super Motard-rider, Zac Botha, in the 250cc Class.

The 200cc Class-champion, Gavin Louw, has proven that he is an off-roader to watch out for this season. After an excellent fourth place overall and the class-victory in Swaziland on the 250cc four-stroke Shimwells Yamaha, the young Nigel rider finished 4th in the Bronkhorstspruit Harescramble. And he would like to prove a point at the KZN race - last year he finished 3rd in the 200cc Class and had to settle for the 10th place overall after a bad time-trial that saw him starting the main race in the 18th place.

In the 125cc Class, the EPH Shimwells Yamaha riders will fly the flag - Kenneth Gilbert (Wasa Racing) is the leader in this class after his first victory in Swaziland and he will be supported by the Botswana rider, Kyle Poppleton, who is still suffering somewhat from a wrist-injury, and the young matriculant, Shannon Frost. These two riders showed real sportsmanship at the Swaziland event when Frost saw to it that Poppleton get to the end of the race after he had a huge crash.

Johnny Lochner will wear the Shimwells Yamaha colours in the Senior Pro Class while the owner of Team EPH Shimwells Yamaha, Enzo Chiocchi, will be his team-mate in this class. Both seniors finished the first round of the 2005 season in Swaziland.

The Noodsberg 400 starts on Friday, March 4, with a 50km time-trial that will determine the starting order for the main race on Saturday. The first motorcycle rider will tackle the 200km loop at 08h00 Saturday morning while the leading quad rider will leave on the same loop at 09h00. The winning motorcycle competitor is expected back at the finish at 13h30.

-www.shimwellsyamaha.co.za

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