Mathew Scholtz (ETR Nashua Yamaha R1) extended his 2016 SuperGP championship lead after following up his second place in the opening heat with a comprehensive win in the second race at Zwartkops Raceway on Sunday, 1 May.
Lance Isaacs (LIR Motorrad BMW S1000RR) continued his winning ways in the SuperMasters Interprovincial championship, winning both races. The Super600 battle that has been raging all season between Steven Odendaal (Petra Yamaha R6) and Adolf Boshoff (Neolife Yamaha R6) carried on with the pair sharing the heat wins.
In the SuperJunior category Brandon Staffen put the disappointment of a poor round last time out at Phakisa behind him to take two hard fought wins and extend his championship lead.
Qualifying for all classes took place on Saturday afternoon. The almost perfect conditions were reflected in the times with some of the quickest lap time ever recorded on two wheels around the 2.4 km long Zwartkops circuit being set.
Scholtz was the quickest of the SuperGP brigade, grabbing pole position by just over two tenths from Clint Seller (Neolife Yamaha R1) with Greg Gildenhuys (Kreepy Krauly Kawasaki ZX10R) completing the front row of the grid. Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1) headed the second row of the grid with Isaacs and Brandon Goode (Linex Yamaha R1) alongside him.
In the opening race Scholtz grabbed the early lead from Seller with AJ Venter, in his first outing on the new Hygenica Racing Yamaha R1, charging into third from eighth on the grid. Seller soon moved into the lead and started opening a gap on the rest of the field. Once Scholtz realized he could not match the defending champion’s pace, he decided to take the points on offer for second rather than risk crashing out. Behind him the battle for third turned into a tussle between Venter and Gidenhuys with White keeping a watching brief not far behind. Venter made it a Yamaha 1-2-3, just managing to hold of Gildenhuys. White remained in fifth ahead of Goode in sixth.
In race two Scholtz again took the lead from the start but this time managed to keep Seller behind him until part way round the fourth lap when Seller crashed out. This left Scholtz with a comfortable lead which he was able to manage from the front to take his third race win of the season. Behind him Isaacs had worked his way up to second on the road but a 30 second penalty for jumping the start dropped the veteran down to tenth in the overall results. The battle for the remaining podium positions eventually came down to a two-way fight between Gidenhuys and White with Gidenhuys just taking second. Venter recovered from a poor start to take fourth ahead of Dean Vos (Trolan Bikes Yamaha R1) with Goode not far behind in sixth.
In the SuperMasters category Isaacs took the first race win from team mate Justin Gillesen (LIR BMW S1000RR) with series newcomer Hendrik de Bruin (Hatfield Yamaha R1) in third.
Despite Isaacs’ jump start penalty in the second race he still managed to open up a big enough gap over his SuperMasters rivals to claim his sixth race win of the season. Gillesen had to be content with third after de Briun managed to cross the line a couple of bike lengths to the good.
Boshoff is proving to be the master of Super600 qualifying this season, taking his third pole position of the season at Zwartkops. Odendaal had to be content with second with Blaze Baker (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR 600) completing the front row. The second row was filled by Dylan Barnard (Kawasaki ZX6), Nicole van Aswegen (Women in Motorsport Triumph 675) and Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Elements Triumph 675).
The opening race was not even a lap old when the red flags came out after Baker had a spectacular accident through turn 7. While he was not hurt the same cannot be said for his bike and he was forced to become a spectator. From the re-start it was all about Odendaal and Boshoff at the front of the field with the pair swapping positions, and paint, in 16 laps of thrilling racing. In the end it was Boshoff who was in front when it counted, taking the win by just 0.111 seconds.
Behind the leading duo Barnard had his best result of the season, taking third ahead of van Aswegen. Bester ended in fifth with Dian Nelson on another triumph 675 in sixth.
Race two provided more thrilling action at the front with Odendaal and Boshoff again pulling away from the rest of the pack. Boshoff’s bike almost threw him off when the rear tyre started to lose grip and, when a back-marker caused him drop further back, he decided to settle for second. Baker’s pit crew had done an amazing job to get his bike back together for the second race although he was forced to start from pit lane after a problem with his bike on the grid. He didn’t let this worry him however, and fought his way through the field eventually joining the battle for the final podium spot, at that time being fought out between Barnard and van Aswegen, with a couple of laps to go. Baker was able to get past van Aswegen just ran out laps before he could find a way past Barnard and had to settle for fourth. Van Aswegen ended the race in fifth ahead of Jesse Boshoff (Kawasaki ZX6).
Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor Construction) and Brandon Staffen were the two quickest riders in the SuperJunior qualifying session, Liebenberg coming out on top by less than two tenths of a second. CJ Hackart (Elite Car Park) filled the last spot on the front row of the grid. There was almost nothing in it between the riders on the second row of the grid, Dominic Doyle (Techron Systems), Jared Schultz (ASAP World Formula Auto) and Tyreece Robert (Autostyling Indy Oil) separated by less than 0.19 seconds.
Staffen and Liebenberg fought it out at the head of the field in race one, opening up a huge gap on the chasing pack. Staffen was in front when it mattered with Liebenberg just over half a second back at the flag. Hackart had a somewhat lonely race to third. Schultz got the better of his battle with Doyle to take fourth with Robert rounding out the top six.
In race two, although the top six finished in exactly the same order, things were far closer with a six-way fight at the front in the early stages. This eventually split into two three-way battles with Staffen taking his second win of the day.
Northern Regions Racing
Ivan van Niekerk (RSA Racing Ducati) had two comfortable wins in the BOTTS class. In the opening race he was followed home by Jason Wessels (Supreme Moto Rentals KTM) with Shaun Jubber (RAD Moto Racing KTM) in third. In race two Thomas Brown (REHAB Racing Ducati) took the runner’s up
Brandon Quaye (IWIS Drive Trains Kawasaki) took boke Formula Xtreme wins from Byron Rothquel (Turnskill Engineering Kawasaki) and Joe Herbig (MV Brutale).
Ricardo Otto (Inex Construction Kawasaki) took the opening 250 Cup win after Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor Construction Kawasaki) crashed out with a couple of laps to go. Luke MacGregor (Hi-Tech Elements Kawasaki) and Luca Balona (Kawasaki) were second and third respectively. In race two Liebenberg took the win from Otto and MacGregor.
Riaan Neveling took both wins in the KTM 390 Seniors class. In the opening race he was followed home by Beau Levey and Jannie Moll while in race two Dave Griffin grabbed second ahead of Beau Levey.
The next round of the SuperGP Champions Trophy takes place at Killarney Raceway in Cape Town on Saturday, 28 May 2016.
Images: Andre Laubscher & Deon Venter