Southern Yamaha Mafikeng preview

Boesman a favourite to win Mafikeng 500 Quads 4th Round of the SA National Off-road Championship for Motorcycles and Quads After a convincing victory at the AMU Ngong Hills Enduro in Kenya and with the victor's trophy for the opening round of...

Boesman a favourite to win Mafikeng 500 Quads
4th Round of the SA National Off-road Championship for Motorcycles and Quads

After a convincing victory at the AMU Ngong Hills Enduro in Kenya and with the victor's trophy for the opening round of the 2004 SA National Off-road Quad Championship, Jacques "Boesman" Struwig, racing for Southern Yamaha, is a definite favourite to win the Mafikeng 500, the 4th round of the Quad Championship that will take place in Mafikeng on June 4 and 5, 2004.

Struwig, who has not won the Mafikeng event before, but who has won in other African countries like Swaziland, Lesotho and now Kenya, has proven that his Yamaha YFZ450 can do the job against it's rivals with much bigger engines. At the recent AMU Enduro event in Kenya, Boesman and the current quad championship leader, Hendrik Potgieter, had a race battle, but he beat the rest of the field by lapping every other rider (except Potgieter) while he was also the only rider to finish all four loops while the other riders could only manage to finish three - and the runner-up rider from Namibia was still 26 minutes behind him! Potgieter was disqualified for finishing without the exhaust on his quad which broke off on the route. It was also interesting to note that the first three quads on the podium, were Yamaha YFZ450 quads.

But with less than a week before the Mafikeng 500, the Southern Yamaha YFZ450 has not arrived back in South Africa yet and at the moment, there is some uncertainty as to which quad Struwig will be racing next weekend. He will however be at the Mafikeng 500 with the - now well-known - pink Mohican hair on his helmet and with the famous Boesman-flag on the back of the quad and he will try to better his current fourth place on the championship ladder. He is nine points behind the leader (Potgieter) who has not won an event since the Hluhluwe Queen Pineapple Off-road race in 2003, and only three points separate him from the winner of the last event, the Kalahari, 1000, Carl Wichmann, in the third position.

Struwig also hopes to give Lady Luck a ride in the Northwest Province since she has let him down since his victory in Swaziland. After that, he was chasing the leading quad rider for 170km at the Noodsberg 400 in KwaZulu- Natal until the rear sprocket broke 20km before the finish and he had to settle for a single championship point. And during the gruelling Kalahari 1000, he was the leading quad rider for the first two days and while stretching the gap between him and the rest of the field on the third day even further, the piston on his YFZ450 cracked resulting in his service crew rebuilding the engine in a record time of 45 minutes. Boesman had to play catch-up from the last position and finished in an excellent fifth place overall.

Southern Yamaha together with co-sponsors, IGT Africa and Elf, would like to walk away with the overall laurels after the Mafikeng 500 which starts on Friday, 4 June 2004 with Round the Houses - four laps of 3km each - in the streets of Mafikeng. This will determine the starting positions for the 40km time trial, which will again determine the starting grid for the main event on Saturday.

On Saturday, 5 June, the first motorcycle rider will be off at 07h45 to tackle the first of two 250km loops while the leading quad rider will start at 08h45.

-syr-

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