Clint Seller (MiWay Yamaha Racing R1) claimed two comfortable race wins and set the fastest ever racing lap around the new Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit at the fourth round of the 2017 DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy, which formed part of the SA Bike Festival for the first time on the weekend of 26 to 28 May.
Friday afternoon’s qualifying session saw Lance Isaacs (SupaBets / Sandton BMW Motorrad S1000RR) claim pole position for both of the weekend’s races. In each case he had championship leader Seller alongside him.
In Saturday’s race, the pair had Greg Gildenhuys (Autohaus Towing Kawasaki ZX10R) alongside them on the front row of the grid. The second row was headed by Brandon Goode (Linex Yamaha R1) from David McFadden (RPM Centre / Sandton Auto BMW S1000RR) and Daryn Upton (Paramount Tracks / Fourways Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX10R).
AJ Venter (Team Hygenica Yamaha Racing R1) led a trio of Yamahas on the third row, with Morne Geldenhuis (Hi-Tech Racing / NCA Plant Hire Yamaha R1) and Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1) completing the top nine.
Seller claimed his first win at the new Kyalami layout on Saturday when he took the flag at the end of a tough race. Seller and pole-sitter Isaacs pulled away from the rest of the field with Isaacs sitting on the former champion’s back wheel.
The dice between the leading pair looked like it was going to go down to the wire but, with just a lap and a half to go, Isaacs crashed out in spectacular fashion at Clubhouse corner. While he was able to walk away, he has left his pit crew with a lot of work to do to get his bike, which flew over the catch fence, ready for Sunday’s race.
With Isaacs no longer in contention, Seller was able to take a comfortable win from Gildenhuys and White. While Gildenhuys had a relatively easy run to the podium, things were a lot more difficult for White. A disappointing qualifying session left him ninth on the grid and he had to fight his way through the traffic to a well-deserved top three finish.
Behind the leading trio, Goode led the rest of the pack home. He was followed over the line by Venter and McFadden.
Dylan Barnard (consortium Shipping Yamaha R1), Garrick Vlok (Diamond Core Drilling / Shop #74 Yamaha R1), Nicolas Kershaw (Tsunami Beach Bar Yamaha R1) and Geldenhuis rounded out the top ten.
SuperMasters championship leader Hendrik de Bruin (Yamaha R1) was eliminated early on in the race when his bike had a rear tyre problem. This left Heinrich Rheeder (Rheeder Racing BMW S1000RR) to claim the win from Justin Gillesen (SupaBets / Sandon BMW Motorrad S1000RR) and Johnny Krieger (Lekka Racing Hygenica Yamaha R1).
On Sunday Isaacs and Seller again lined up in the top two spots on the grid, this time with Goode alongside them on the front row. Gildenhuys, White and Upton made up the second row while McFadden, Garrick Vlok (Diamond Core Drilling / Shop #74 Yamaha R1) and Venter filled row three.
Seller charged into the lead from the start while the chasing pack was a bit mixed up after a number of riders had poor starts. Venter came through from the third row of the grid to take second with Upton, Isaacs, Barnard and White in close attendance. Race 1 runner up, Gildenhuys, was down in about seventh.
While his challengers were sorting themselves out, Seller put in a series of blisteringly fast laps, one of which was the quickest race lap by any vehicle, two- or four-wheeled, around the new layout at Kyalami. Isaacs worked his way up to second, but by the time he got there Seller had checked out, and before the end of the race the veteran rider was more concerned with keeping Gildenhuys behind him. Years of experience told and Isaacs was able to hang on to take second by just over a tenth of a second.
Goode and White had a great fight for fourth with Goode in front when it counted. Venter was just behind them in sixth. McFadden, Vlok, Upton and Barnard completed the top ten.
In the SuperMasters category de Bruin had sorted out his first race problems but still couldn’t stop Rheeder claiming his second win of the weekend. They were joined on the podium by Gillesen.
The litre class riders will be united with the other categories that make up the DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy when they all make their way out to Red Star Raceway for the fifth round of the 2017 series on Saturday, 10 June.