|The crowd that made their way to Cape Town’s Killarney Race Track for the fourth round of the of the 2016 DEOD SuperGP Campions Trophy on Saturday, 28 May were treated to some of the most exciting bike racing seen on a South African circuit for years. While the victors may be familiar faces on the top step of the podium this season, they were all made to work for their wins.
Mathew Scholtz (ETR Nashua Yamaha R1) left the Western Cape with a bigger lead in the 2016 SuperGP championship lead after winning both races and setting a new lap record in the process.
Coming into this round Lance Isaacs (LIR Motorrad BMW S1000RR) has won every SuperMasters Interprovincial race this season. He kept that 100% winning record intact with another two victories. In the absence of Steven Odendaal – he is on international duty in Spain – Adolf Boshoff (Neolife Yamaha R6) was expected to break the tie at the top of the Super600 championship log. This he did but he had to work a lot harder than he anticipated.
In the SuperJunior category any one of six riders could have taken the wins but it was Brandon Staffen and Aiden Liebenberg who were in front when it counted, taking a win each.
Scholtz headed an all Yamaha front row after Friday qualifying with Clint Seller (Neolife Yamaha R1) and Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1) joining him. Nicolaas Grobler, having his first national outing on the N+H Golden Mile Estate Yamaha R1, headed the second row of the grid with the Kawasakis of Greg Gidenhuys (Kreepy Krauly) and Capetonian Brandon Haupt (MxClean) alongside him.
It was Scholtz who was quickest off the line when the lights went out to signal the start of the first race, getting the hole shot but his lead did not last long. Seller forced his way through going into the fast Malmesbury sweep and Scholtz lost a couple of positions after having to sit up.
Scholtz worked his way back to second and, when Seller started experiencing problems, was in a position to pounce, taking the lead and slowly pulling away from the chasing pack. Gildenhuys finished the race in second ahead of White who fought his way back through the field after dropping back at the start. Seller managed to bring his bike home in fourth. Lance Isaacs (LIR Motorrad BMW S1000RR), who in his own words had one of his worst ever qualifying sessions, fought his way up from tenth of the grid to fifth, a bike length ahead of Grobler.
In race two it was White who led the way in the early stages with Seller and Scholtz chasing hard. When the leaders caught the back markers the order changed completely. Scholtz used them to his advantage to take the lead while White fared worst, dropping down to fourth behind Seller and Gidenhuys.
The gaps opened and closed as the riders had their bikes on the limit but the positions remained the same until the flag. Brent Harran (MVC Marketing Kawasaki ZX10-R) and Grobler rounded out the top six.
Isaacs was followed across the line by Damon Purificati (Amalgam Welding Shop Kawasaki ZX10-R) in both SuperMasters races. In the opening event Arrie Swanepoel (BMW) filled the last step of the podium while in race two it was Heinrich Rheeder (BMW) who ended in third.
Boshoff continued his run of pole positions this season lapping over 0.6 seconds quicker than his closest challenger. Two Capetonians, Warren Guantario (MadMacs Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX6), who was competing in the regional class, and Hayden Jonas, who was riding Odendaal’s Petra Yamaha R6 for the weekend, joined him on the front row.
Blaze Baker (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR 600) headed the second row with the Kawasakis of Alex van den Berg and Jesse Boshoff alongside him.
In the opening race Boshoff led the way from the start and took advantage of the fight for second to pull a bit of a gap. Baker got the better of that fight to take the runners up spot. Third across the line was Guantario but, as he was only competing in the regional category, the final podium spot when to van den Berg. Jonas, who was not entirely comfortable on the Yamaha, settled for fourth. Boshoff just managed to hang on to fifth, finishing a bike length ahead of Kewyn Snyman (Inex Construction Kawasaki ZX6).
Baker and Boshoff led the charge to turn 1 in the second race, banging fairings on the way as neither gave an inch. It was Baker who took the hole shot and Boshoff tucked in behind. Boshoff used the superior speed of the Yamaha to get past but could not pull away with the pair never more than a couple of bike lengths apart for the entire 15 laps.
Boshoff eventually took the win although Baker did have the satisfaction of claiming the day’s fastest Super600 lap. Guantario again took the regional class win after crossing the line in third. Jonas went one better than in the opening race claiming the final national podium position.
Boshoff, Snyman and Nicole van Aswegen (Women in Motorsport Triumph 675) rounded out the top six in the national class.
Tyreece Robert (Autostyling Indy Oil) was the quickest of the SuperJunior brigade during qualifying, taking pole from championship leader Brandon Staffen and Dominic Doyle (Techron Systems). Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor Construction) was next up, heading the second row of the grid from Jared Schultz (ASAP World) and Luca Coccioni (RAD KTM).
Killarney’s long back straight lends itself to slipstreaming and the KTM 390 riders used that to full advantage with the lead changing almost every lap. The opening race developed into a four-way battle which eventually went the way of Staffen with Robert and Schultz in the other podium positions. Liebenberg, Chase Hulcher (EXIS Engineering) and Coccioni rounded out the top six.
In race two things were even closer with the top five riders crossing the line after 12 hard laps of racing separated by just 0.5 seconds. Liebenberg won the charge to the line out of the final corner taking the win from Schultz and Staffen. Robert was a fraction of a second further back, just ahead of Doyle. Coccioni again finished in sixth.
The teams and riders in the SuperGP Champions Trophy now have a nine-week break before the next round which will take place at Red Star Raceway in Delmas on Saturday, 30 July 2016.