LOUWRENS MAHONEY AND LEANDER PIENAAR WON GRUELLING ROOF OF AFRICA Final round of the National Off-road Championship for Bikes and Quads Louwrens Mahoney (Mekatrade AGA LG Tyrolit KTM) won the bike category of the Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa,...
LOUWRENS MAHONEY AND LEANDER PIENAAR WON GRUELLING ROOF OF AFRICA
Final round of the National Off-road Championship for Bikes and Quads
Louwrens Mahoney (Mekatrade AGA LG Tyrolit KTM) won the bike category of the Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa, the last round of the national off-road championship for bikes and quads that took place in Lesotho this past weekend, for the second consecutive year and claimed his first national off- road title to add to his national Enduro title for 2006.
Mahoney was under pressure from his team-mate, Riaan van Niekerk, who took the lead during the last day, but Mahoney charged back and overtook him with a few kilometres to go to beat him by 2 min 40 sec. on overall time. Mahoney also secured his championship title by beating Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic) who scored his best result at the Roof of Africa when he finished third overall and won the Open Class title for the year.
In the national quad category, Leander Pienaar (Can Am Bombardier SA) won his first national event when he finished his third attempt at the Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa. He took the lead on the first day of the main race and kept it to the finish to beat the 2004 winner and newly crowned champion, Brendan Badenhorst (ATV Powersport Lonestar). Pienaar's team-mate, Hendrik Potgieter, was third. It was Bombardier's first victory in Lesotho since 2001 and their first for the season.
The bikes and quads shared the same route for Thursday's 100km time-trail that determined the starting order for the first day of the main race on Friday. For the main race on Friday and Saturday, they followed separate routes in the mountains and lowlands of Lesotho with the weather changing from extremely hot to thunder storms and hail.
It was an excellent result for the new Beta manufacturer in SA when Errol Dalton finished fourth overall in the bike category with the Natro Freight Beta 450. It was his 18th Roof of Africa attempt and 15th finish. And after three days and hundreds of kilometres of racing in the mountains of Lesotho, Dalton beat the outgoing champion and 2000 Roof of Africa winner, Clayton Enslin (EPH Shimwells Yamaha) by a mere 20 seconds.
The first 125cc bike home, was Shannon Frost (Mekatrade AGA LG Tyrolit KTM) who finished in an excellent sixth place overall. But it was close as he pip the winner of the 200cc Class, Kenneth Gilbert (Shimwells Yamaha) at the post by only 1 min 24 sec in overall time. But with this result, Gilbert won the 200cc Class title.
Craig Stone (Natro Freight Alfie Cox Racing KTM) finished eighth overall and second in the 200cc Class and was followed by Alex Vowles (The Roost KTM) also competing in the 200cc Class. Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki) finished 10th - 57 seconds on overall time behind Vowles - after he crashed on Friday and injured his hand.
In the quad category, Simon Thesen (Lonestar 450) overcome mechanical problems to finish in fourth place followed by Vincent Loubser (Yamaha YFZ450) who lost time due to a broken rear shock on the last day. Vincent and his younger brother, Glen Loubser, continued their seasonlong battle in Lesotho and Glen finished in a deserving eighth place.
The first Senior Class competitor, Rico Coetzee (Honda 450) was the sixth quad home with the French rider, Christoph K?hnl, who raced for the Can Am Bombardier SA team, seventh. His team-mate, Patrick Armabessaire, was brave enough to tackle the mountains with Cornel de Villiers' 800cc Outlander and finished ninth overall (second in the Senior Class). He was followed in the overall standings and in the Senior Class by Robert Wagner (Bombardier DS650).
Jacques Breedt (ATV Powersport Lonestar) finished his first Roof of Africa in the 11th place and was closely followed by his team-mate, Hennie Michau, who lost valuable time with a broken rear shockabsorber. Michau had to surrender his Senior Class title to Barry Baars (Valvetech Bombardier) who finished 17th overall, but earned enough points to beat Michau. Jason Fairland (Ride High Yamaha YFZ450) was 13th; the 16 year-old Gerrie Prinsloo (ATV Powersport Bombardier) was 14th and Dirk Schwenke on the Suzuki LTR450 was 15th. Juandr