Clint Seller (MiWay Yamaha Racing R1) claimed his fifth South African national motorcycle championship when he won both premier class races at the seventh round of the 2017 DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy, held at Phakisa Freeway on Saturday, 26 August. Seller, who had a 47-point lead at the start of the weekend, claimed victory over Greg Gildenhuys (Autohaus Towing / Transport.co.za Kawasaki ZX10R) in the day’s two heats to reclaim the title he last won in 2015 with one round left to run.
In Friday afternoon’s qualifying session Seller emerged on top, 0.783” quicker than Gildenhuys although the Kawasaki rider was confident that he would have pace in the latter stages of the races which would allow him to challenge Seller on Saturday. They were joined on the front row by Garrick Vlok (Diamond Core Drilling / Shop #74 Yamaha R1) with Lance Isaacs (Supabets / Sandton BMW Motorrad S1000RR) getting the better of David McFadden (Sandton Auto / BMW Motorrad S1000RR) to head the second row of the grid. Brandon Goode (Linex Yamaha R1) completed the second row.
As he has done so often in the past, Seller opened up a substantial gap in the early stages of the first race. Isaacs, with Gildenhuys close behind, was closing the gap until he tucked the front going into turn three. While the veteran was unhurt, his bike was in no state to continue. This left Gildenhuys to continue the chase on his own. He did catch Seller a couple of laps before the end, but was unable to find a way through and had to settle for second. Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1), in a great deal of pain after an accident on Friday, was able to hang on to third ahead of McFadden. Goode and AJ Venter (Lekka Racing Team Hygenica Yamaha R1) rounded out the top six.
Seller has things a bit easier in the second race. He again opened up an early gap but Gildenhuys had problems with the electronics on his bike and wasn’t able to close the gap at the front this time. Seller went on to win the race, and the title. Gildenhuys managed to hold off McFadden to take another second place on the day. White ended a slightly lonely fourth ahead of Adolf Boshoff, who made his premier class debut on a MiWay Yamaha Racing R1 after a long injury lay off. AJ Venter took another sixth place.
While the SuperGP title has been decided, the same thing cannot be said for the SuperMasters championship. Beau Levey (Motos Blu Cru Yamaha R1) took both race wins from Heinrich Rheeder (BMW Motorrad / Rheeder Racing S1000RR) and Johnny Krieger (Lekka Racing Team Hygenica Yamaha R1). This leaves the trio with just two points between them heading into the final round at Red Star Raceway.
Former champion Steven Odendaal (Petra Yamaha R6) completely dominated the Super600 proceedings. His qualifying time on Friday afternoon was over two seconds quicker than closest rival Hayden Jonas (MiWay Yamaha R6) with Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor Construction / Shop #74 Kawasaki ZX6) next up another four tenths back. The Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GXSR600 pairing of Blaze Baker and William Friend were fourth and fifth with Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Elements / Grange Workwear Kawasaki ZX6) rounding out the top six.
In the opening race Odendaal did exactly what was expected, opening up a huge lead and leaving the rest to fight over second place. This battle was a five-way affair for much of the race with various riders at the front. Towards this end it spread out slightly with Jonas taking the runners-up spot from Liebenberg with Malcolm Rudman (Montclair Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX6) less than a bike length behind in fourth. Friend and Baker rounded out the top six.
Race two was more of the same, with Odendaal out front and a battle for the minor placings going on behind him although some of the protagonists had changed. Rudman crashed out through the fast sweep at the end of the back straight, while Liebenberg couldn’t match the pace he showed in the opening race. Jonas again took second, this time from Baker who had made some major improvements to the handling of his Suzuki between races. Jesse Boshoff (Phoenix Payroll Systems Kawasaki ZX6) ended in fourth ahead of Bester and Friend.
Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing / Inex Construction KTM390) and Taric van der Merwe (Evolve Nutrition KTM390) were the quickest of the SuperJunior contingent, with Otto slightly quicker in qualifying. Tyreece Robert (Uncle Andy Racing KTM390) and Luca Coccioni (KTM390) were next up with Chase Hulscher (KTM390), making a welcome return to racing after a huge practice accident earlier in the year, in fifth.
Otto and van der Merwe fought it out at the head of the field in the first race, swapping positions on a regular basis. Otto was in front when it counted, taking the flag by just 0.053”. Behind the leading duo Coccioni and Robert were involved in a race-long struggle for the final podium position which eventually went the way of Coccioni. Hulscher came home in fifth.
Race two was similar to the first in that Otto and van der Merwe were in a fight for the win with Coccioni and Robert again in a tussle for third. This time it was van der Merwe who took the flag from Otto with Coccioni in third. Robert and Hulscher were fourth and fifth.
In the support categories Shaun Jubber (KTM) and Jade Gutzeit (Ducati) shared the BOTTS wins with Antionio Iozzo (Ducati) taking third in both races. Augustin Ntwari took two victories in the Brunch Run category which gave him an unassailable lead in the 2017 championship.
In the 250 Cup Luca Balona (Hi-Tech Racing / Grange Workwear Kawasaki) held off Deegan Claasens (Team Hygenica Kawasaki) and Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing / Inex Construction Kawasaki) to take the first race win but he crashed on the opening lap of the second race. While he was able to remount, he finished off the podium. Claasens took the win from Otto with Ryno Pretorious (Pretorious Blomme Kawasaki) completing the podium.
Red Star Raceway, outside Delmas, will host the final round of the 2017 DOED SuperGP Champions Trophy on Saturday, 23 September.