Review: Quad Roof of Africa & Lesotho 400 (motorcycles) First Round of the SA National Quad and Bike Off-road Championships 15 - 16 February 2008 PIENAAR WON SECOND CONSECUTIVE QUAD ROOF OF AFRICA ON NEW CAN-AM DS450 Bloemfontein...
Review: Quad Roof of Africa & Lesotho 400 (motorcycles)
First Round of the SA National Quad and Bike Off-road Championships
15 - 16 February 2008
PIENAAR WON SECOND CONSECUTIVE QUAD ROOF OF AFRICA ON NEW CAN-AM DS450
Bloemfontein businessman, Leander Pienaar, won the Quad Roof of Africa for the second consecutive time and scored a victory for the newly launched Can- Am DS450.
The two-day Quad Roof of Africa formed the first round of the SA National quad off-road championship and incorporated the Lesotho 400 for motorcycle competitors who had to complete a 300km route on Saturday (16 February).
The 2007 national enduro champion, Barry Kriel (DCM AGA LG Red Bull KTM), recovered from a crash and hitting a cow to win this race on two wheels as well as the 250cc Class. He was followed by his team-mate, Riaan van Niekerk, who won the 200cc Class. Clayton Enslin (Natro Freight Motorite Yamaha) finished in third place, only 23 seconds behind Van Niekerk, and was the victor in the Open Class.
Although Team ABSA Can-Am did not have much time to prepare and test the brand new Can-Am DS450 that was launched earlier this year, all four riders finished this 550 kilometre race in the top ten despite small teething problems. Former champion, Hendrik Potgieter, finished fifth overall with Carl Wichmann ninth. Their team-mate, Clayton du Plessis, made a welcome return to off-road racing by finishing 10th overall.
Pienaar and Brian Baragwanath (Quad Worx Yamaha) had a race-long ding-dong battle with Baragwanath having to settle for second place overall as well as in the Pro 450 Class. Jacques "Boesman" Struwig (Polaris Racing Outlaw) was third and won the Open Class after losing time in a ditch on the first day.
Juan Coetzee (Honda Race Nation Quad Revolution) brought the fourth manufacturer home when he completed his first Roof of Africa while Bloemfontein scholar, Chris Meyer (Yamaha) also completed his first Roof when he finished sixth overall. The rest of the top ten was made up by the consistent Pieter Breedt (ATV Powersport Can-Am DS650) and Glen Loubser (Team Yamaha) who had to fly the flag for the Loubser brothers as Vincent experienced mechanical problems early on day two and had to withdraw.
On two wheels privateer rider, Brett Lewis finished in an excellent fourth place overall on his 250cc four-stroke KTM in the 200cc Class when he beat Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Out of Africa Campbell Kawasaki), who is now competing in the Open Class, by a mere 10 seconds after almost six and a half hours of racing in the mountains of Lesotho.
ORD Honda Racing's team-mates, Wade Blaauw, and the current 250cc champ, Wynand Kleynhans, scored their first points for their team and in the Open Class when they finished in sixth and seventh places respectively. Zac Botha (Shimwells Yamaha) is now also competing in the Open Class and finished just over a minute behind Kleynhans while local Lesotho rider, Seamus McCarthy (Yamaha) was ninth. Kyle Poppleton (DCM AGA LG Red Bull KTM) struggled with suspension set-up problems, but stuck it out and rounded off the top ten.
The 125cc Class was won by Ruan Roberts (Arrow Racing TM) who was 17th overall. He was followed by his team-mate, Dillon Inggs with Christopher Gomes (Shimwells Yamaha) third in the class. Wayne Farmer (World of Accessories Racing Gas Gas) has recovered from a serious crash in 2007 and has won his first race in the Senior Class. He was followed by Kevin Fisher (Electric Worx Beta) while Brian Bader (The Roost Racing Kawasaki) put the third manufacturer in this class on the podium.
Heine van der Walt (KTM) was the first Master Class two-wheeler home while Jurgens Potgieter (Linex Yamaha) won the Silver Cup Class for less experienced competitors.
The Master Class (national non-championship) in the quad category received a lot of entries with only one rider not finishing the event. Peter Jack (Suzuki) was the first quad rider over 46 years of age home and was followed by Pietro Cutino (Cutino Bros Eng Can-Am Renegade) who beat veteran two- and three-wheeler and hot-rod racer, Jurie Human (Polaris Racing Sportsman) by only 12 seconds.
Colin Joubert (Suzuki) won the Senior Quad Class when he beat the regular Roof of Africa visitor, the Frenchman, Patrick Armabessaire (Team ABSA Can- Am). The Silver Cup Class was won by Richard Kaplen (Honda) while Amanda Eardley (Team ABSA Can-Am) beat Tarryn van Rooyen (Yamaha) in the Ladies Class - quite a remarkable result for female quad riders who completed the Roof of Africa on four wheels.
In the class for Side-by-Side quads, Kiri Oberholzer and Eugene Geyser (Polaris Racing RZR) not only had the most fun in their two-seater quad, but they were the only team to finish the race and won this new and exciting class.
According to most quad racers, the 2008 Quad Roof of Africa was one of the toughest in years - the 304 kilometre route on Friday kept the front runners busy for just over seven hours and 12 minutes.
The second round of the SA national off-road quad and motorcycle championships is the Red Cherry 400 on 15 March in the Port Elizabeth area.