The second round of the DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy takes place at the East London Grand Prix Circuit on 28 and 29 April 2017. This year the bikes shared the billing with cars at the opening round of the championship at Killarney, but things are back to normal for round 2 with a bike-only event. Adding to the back to biking theme is Africa Bike Week™ which is happening in East London from 27 to 30 April.
If the opening event in Cape Town was anything to go by, Clint Seller is going to take some beating this year. The MiWay Yamaha Racing R1 rider took two comfortable wins to lead the championship standings. While he will be aiming for more of the same in the Eastern Cape, there are a number of riders who are out to spoil his party. David “McFlash” McFadden (RPM Centre / Sandton Auto BMW S1000RR) took second place in both races at the first round and will be looking to go one better. He is likely to be joined by Greg Gildenhuys (Autohaus Towing / Transport.co.za Kawasaki ZX10R), Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1) and AJ Venter (Team Hygenica Yamaha Racing R1) with SuperMasters champion Lance Isaacs (SupaBets LIR BMW S1000RR) another rider eager to be at the head of the field.
While Isaacs carried on where he left off last year at the head of the SuperMasters field, there are several riders that could be at the front should Isaacs make a mistake. Heinrich Rheeder (BMW Motorrad / Rheeder Racing BMW S1000RR) and Hendrik de Bruin (Yamaha R1) completed the podium in the opening SuperMasters race in Cape Town, while Johnny Krieger (Team Hygenica Yamaha Racing R1) joind Isaacs and de Bruin on the race 2 podium. They, together with Beau Levey (Moto’s Blu Cru Yamaha R1) and Justin Gillesen (SupaBets LIR BMW S1000RR) are all serious contenders.
Super600 champion Adolf Boshoff destroyed his MiWay Yamaha Racing R6 in a practice accident in Cape Town and had to compete on his spare bike. It didn’t quite match his race bike for pace and he had to settle for two third places. The wins were shared by Hayden Jonas (Samurai Racing Kawasaki ZX6) and Steven Odendaal (Petra Yamaha Racing R6) but Odendaal won’t be in East London. He will be in Spain for the first race of the defense of his FIM CEV Moto2 European Championship. Jonas and Boshoff, together with Blaze Baker (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) are likely to be the riders to beat although there are many more, including Malcolm Rudman (Montclair Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX6), Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Elements Kawasaki ZX6) and Kewyn Snyman (Inex Construction / Otto Racing Team) who could be up there as well.
In the SuperJunior category the Cape Town race wins were shared by Sam Lochoff and Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing / Inex Construction). The two of them, together with Taric van der Merwe and Tyreece Robert are likely to be challenging for the wins in East London.
The national classes will be supported by a full program of regional and local classes. As usual, practice and qualifying take place on Friday with two races for each category on Saturday.
A number of the riders will be down at Africa Bike Week™ in front of the Harley Davidson concert stage from about 4pm on Thursday afternoon for an Autograph Signing Session. The 2016 SuperGP runner up and the 2016 Super600 and SuperJunior champions will be interviewed on the stage from 4.45pm the same afternoon.
For those that can’t make it down to East London the event will be live streamed on www.supergp.co.za.