Posted: 24 April 2014 | Written by: Laren van der Westhuizen | Pictures: Eric Palmer and Grant Mclachlan
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Round 2 of the Monster, TRP MX nationals headed to a really sunny Cape Town. The series started at the sandy Rover circuit and continues in the sand of the treacherous Melkbos track. Melkbos has probably become one of the roughest most challenging tracks in SA and the riders knew it would boil down to serious conditioning and horsepower.

Motocross in SA has really increased in profile of late, thanks to the social media efforts of Monster energy and the invited VIP media that have been attending the events, like top SA band Van Coke Kartel who spent the day tweeting to their 22000 fans. On the back of all the pre-event marketing, spectators turned out in their droves to watch SA's best MX riders.

The 50cc pro class saw a dominant performance from Daiyaan Manuel from Zimbabwe, who cleaned up all 3 heats. He was 1 of 8 Zimbabweans to make the 25 hour drive to Cape Town. There was quite a mixed bag for the next few places, but Chase Hanekom worked hard for 2nd and another Capetonian was 3rd in John-Henri Vaughan.

The 50cc Junior class was the Liam show, with Liam Botha 1st and Liam Lambert 3rd. Just Neil Van Der Vyver was in the middle of the Liam sandwich. The little guys managed the sand well and we saw some great talent which will filter into the 50cc pro class next year.

The 65cc class produced the junior rider of the day and that was Camden McLellan. He did have a few falls like every other 65cc rider in the deep sand, but was clearly the fastest and dominated the class. Jonothan Mlimi was 2nd in the class but Christiaan Cilliers made a welcome return from injury with a 3rd overall on the day. The 2 Capetonians were next, with the holeshot man, Etan Coleman and Ike Klaassen.

The new Husqvarna signing, Slade Smith, won all 3 85cc junior heats, but was hard pressed by most improved rider of late, Cayle Dormehl. The Kargo racing endure rider, Mathew Green showed his metal in the sand by finishing 3rd ahead of the pre-race favourite, Cameron Durow. This class had great racing and bodes well for the future of MX in SA.

The pro-mini class is worryingly small, but fortunately stacked with talent. Every rider had some good heats and some bad heats, but it was the 2 sand specialists, Set Van Den Abeele and Keegan Hickson Mahoney that finished 1st and 2nd respectively. Janes Van Sandwyk was 3rd ahead of Justin Thompson who leaves our shores for 5 weeks to compete in the USA.

The 125 high school class, or Kamikaze class as they are know, produced some awesome battles between Jason Visser, Bevin Potgieter and Dirco Van Der Westhuizen. Jason is starting to stamp his authority on the class on his Husqvarna 125 and now has the points lead. Bevin Potgieter was 2nd overall and opens a slight gap on Dirco Van Der Westhuizen who was 3rd.

The MX2 class was packed with close on 30 riders. Anthony Raynard went in as clear favourite on his home track, but it was Fast Kawasaki, Rock star entry, Wyatt Avis, who drew on 10 years Dutch experience to win 2 of the 3 heats and take the overall. The racing was insane and some of the best racing we have seen on a mightily tough track. The level of SA motocross when you watch this class is right up there. Raynard was really fast, but could only manage 2nd, but was really beaten by a formidable performance from Wyatt. Kerim Fitzgerald had his best day at Melkbos, with a 3rd overall ahead of his KTM teammate, Ross Branch, who had great starts, but rode the final heat with a sprained thumb.

The MX3 class was a tight battle in the front between Roger Bergstrom and Jan Ryan. Both riders were immaculately turned out and provided us with some tight racing. Jan had some bad luck leading one heat and dropping out with a puncture and leading another and crashing with 1 lap to go. This left Roger with the overall win. The masters was another battle between Cape rivals, Terence Monk and Alec Combrink. Alec proved to be the better prepared and just did enough to beat Terence. Geoff Den won the grand masters class.

Sacha Naude ran away with the MX1 class, but 5 points separated 2nd to 5th. The racing was close and tough between Kerim Fitzgerald, Lloyd Vercueil, Michael Kok and Royce Griffin who finished in that order. Ross Branch showed good form, but an injury to his thumb put him out of the final heat.

The event can be regarded as a major success, with great hype and great racing. The next round heads to the ever impressive TEZA circuit in KZN. The circuit does have a sand section, but for the most, the sand races are done.


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