3rd Round of the ATV Powersport ITP national off-road championship for quads April 1-2, 2005 Lesotho . Dakar-winner won wet Mini Roof . Bombardier quads triumphant in the wet . 73 starters - 36 quads finished Mini Roof ...
3rd Round of the ATV Powersport ITP national off-road championship for
April 1-2, 2005
. Dakar-winner won wet Mini Roof
. Bombardier quads triumphant in the wet
. 73 starters - 36 quads finished Mini Roof
BOMBARDIERS VICTORIOUS AT WET MINI ROOF OFF-ROAD
After a draught of two years, Bombardier was victorious in Lesotho again when they won a wet Mini Roof, the third round of the ATV Powersport ITP national off-road championship for quads. Cornel de Villiers (Bombardier Speed Quad) was the first rider home followed by his two team-mates, Carl Wichmann and Hendrik Potgieter.
Bombardier won the Roof of Africa in 2001 and 2002 (Cornel de Villiers) and the Mini Roof in 2003 (Charles Jonker), but since then, victory has evaded them in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. But they proved that they are the Kings of the Rivers when they walked away with a 1-2-3 overall result as well the manufacturer's award - 36 competitors (15 were racing Bombardier DS650's) from 72 starters finished the 2005 Mini Roof. It was a real endurance event with the winners finishing the 236km in just under 6 hours at an average speed of 40km/h. Due to heavy overnight rain, the route was quite wet and competitors took more time to negotiate the river-crossings which caused the organisers to cut the event to three loops.
After the first 76km loop, it was quite clear that the higher, heavier and rugged Bombardiers are more comfortable at the river-crossings. De Villiers and Wichmann raced together from the first loop with Wichmann in the lead until he had a flat tyre on the last loop and De Villiers walked away with the overall laurels - the first since his 2004 Dakar Rally victory. Potgieter started the race in pole position, but was also slowed down by a flat tyre.
Dallie Terblanche (CIT Honda) had a good event and was the fourth rider home followed by Christo van der Merwe (Bombardier Speed Quad Nelspruit) who scored his third consecutive victory in the Senior Championship. He was chased hard by the 2004 senior champion, Hennie Michau (Bombardier), but three punctures slowed Michau down and he finished second in the Senior Championship and eighth overall.
It was the first Lesotho-outing for Chris Jarvis (Wilrogate Yamaha YFZ450) and Kiri Oberholzer (Polaris SA Racing Predator), but they kept their cool and finished sixth and seventh respectively. Jet Sport team-mates, TJ Meyer and Leander Pienaar, rounded off the top ten. Although it was only Meyer's third national event and his first in Lesotho, his ninth position was the best result for this quiet 17 year-old Bloemfontein-rider. Pienaar lost some time on the first loop when he towed Jacques Struwig (Southern ATV) to the service point - and he had a flat tyre while towing Struwig.
Struwig was leading the race when he burned the clutch on his YFZ450 at a river-crossing. He eventually finished 16th overall. Other riders who scored points towards the national overall championship, was Simon Thesen (Yamaha YFZ450) in 11th place; an injured Charles Jonker (Speed Bike Bombardier) who was 12th, but crashed during the time-trail; Kevern Pelser (13th) who experienced problems with the throttle cable on his Bombardier; Heinrich du Toit (Gas Gas SA Factory Team) who was 14th overall and won the Sportsman Class and Deon Prinsloo (Bombardier) who picked-up the last point in 15th place and finished fourth in the Senior Championship.
The race for the championship-leader, Brendan Badenhorst (ATV Powersport Lonestar 450) as well as his team-mates, Zane Davidson and Ricky da Silva, also ended at the river-crossings while lots more competitors experienced "quad-drowning" and clutch-problems while negotiating the crossings.
In the national non-championship category, Robert Rugheimer (Yamaha YFZ450) was the winner of the 30 Plus Class; Pedro Cutino (Cutino Bros Engineering Kawasaki) won the Master Class while Estie Burger (La Bamba Hoedspruit Racing Yamaha YFZ450) was the first of three ladies home.