|Posted on October 21, 2019 at 9:15 AM|
Back to winning ways as young Motocross star, Ethan Williamson fights his way to the top of the podium.
An incredible start to the TRP South African National Motocross Championship saw Ethan Williamson #171 dominate the podium for the first three rounds. His determination and fighting spirit were tested in the following rounds, as a bike failure and some minor errors saw Ethan fight hard to claim 3rd, 2nd and 2nd place in the following rounds.
After being selected to represent South Africa at the Motocross of African Nations, Ethan was more determined than ever to reclaim gold, not only for himself but also for South Africa.
A hot and sunny Donnybrook in Zimbabwe saw practice go well for the youngster from Cape Town qualifying first followed by regular podium contender Jake Van Schoor and surprise contender Ugandan Malcom Tabula.
It was clear, though, that the soft sand and lapped riders would be a huge factor on Day 1 going into Heat 1. Ethan took an early lead and started to pull a gap on lap 2, the slower riders, being lapped, started to play into the hands of the Ugandan Malcolm Tabula who closed up on Ethan for a period as they slowed him down. Ethan fought hard to manage the race from start to finish, ending Day 1 on top.
It was clear on Day 2 that Ethan was the man to beat. He managed a great start and took the lead in the first few corners but Heat 2 was the all about the lapped riders. Ethan had a comfortable lead over Christian Berrington-Smith when he was caught up by three riders side by side in a hairpin turn with nowhere to go. Christian made a late charge getting right on the back wheel of Ethan where they continued to battle to pass the backmarkers. Ethan managed across the line with a comfortable margin in the end but it was a hard-fought battle with Christian Berrington-Smith in second and Jake van Schoor in third.
The track had now deteriorated where the small wheels of the 50cc machines would struggle to get through. Ethan was well aware that going down on a track like this would spell disaster. With two heat wins in the bag, he was confident knowing that he only needed a 4th place finish to claim the overall. Again Ethan had a good start and lead from early on, but hot on his tail was Malcolm Tabula and Christian Berrington-Smith. A small mistake in Turn 1 saw the Ugandan take the lead but it was short-lived as a lapped rider slowed Tabula down allowing Ethan back into the lead. A late charge by Berrington-Smith saw him pass Tabula and then a small mistake from Williamson saw Berrington-smith take the lead. The battle continued till the very end as Christian Berrington Smith managed to hold on for the win with Williamson second and Tabula third.
Although it was a hard-fought battle between the three riders – Williamson, Berrington-Smith and Thabula – it was Ethan Williamson who managed the weekend’s racing with perfection, taking the overall win convincingly.
When asked about his victory, Ethan said: “It’s a special victory for my whole family. My Dad grew up here, just down the road; my whole family is here supporting me, so to win my first international event here makes it that much more special. It was a tough weekend, we almost never made it here, the 3 000km trip up really affected me, and by the 3rd heat my body was like jelly. I had no more energy. Christian and Malcom were always there breathing down my neck, but I knew I needed to ride my own race keep calm and find clean lines. I love the sand but it’s really difficult with the lappers having to change lines in the thick sand to get around a lapped rider really affects your momentum, allowing the guy behind you to catch up. Christian was a machine this weekend; it was tough to hold him off. I am glad I could help contribute to the South African Teams win and am super proud of all the South Africans 50cc riders.”
The super-competitive Ethan closed off by saying: “I wish I had held on for that last moto win but I leave Zimbabwe on the top step.”
Ethan goes into the final Round of the TRP South African National Motocross Championship at Terra Topia with a strong 17 point lead over Jake Van Schoor.
While chatting to his father Warren ahead of the last round he said “Being as compettitive as he is I think it was nice for Ethan to go to Africa Cup of Nations where there were no points to manage in a championship it was go out and fight for the win. We are so proud of the way Ethan is riding, he is riding with a maturity beyond his years, he seems to understand when he must push for the win and when to salvage points. He pushed hard for the first three rounds to ensure a heathly lead in the points from there it has been about managing that lead and we could not be prouder parents.”
The final round of the SA National MX Championship will be held at Terra Topia Dirt Bike Club / Adventure Park on Saturday 26 October.
Photography by: Lara Williamson
Picture Caption: Ethan Williamson and Triston Purden head into the last round as series leaders
Categories: FMN News South Africa