FIM's Continental Union
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Posted on October 28, 2019 at 3:50 AM

What SA National Motocross Finals Report

Where Terra Topia, Midrand

When Saturday 26 October 2019

Community South Africa National

Lightning & thunder shape SA championships

The 2019 TRP South African National Motocross championship came to a dramatic and stormy head at a thunderous Terra Topia north of Johannesburg on Saturday evening, when most of the 2019 champions were crowned. Most because while Kerim Fitzgerald, Ian Topliss, Kayla Raaff, Dalton Venter, Seth Young, Leonard du Toit, Neil van der Vyver and Ethan Williamson went home national champions, the premier MX1 class not only went down to the wire, but the champion will be decided in an MSA court room later…

It was an incredible afternoon in MX1 after Maddy Malan (Q4 Fuels Husqvarna) stormed to the first moto win over David Goosen (Out of Africa Monster Energy Yamaha), Tristan Purdon (Red Bull KTM), Lloyd Vercueil, Blake Gutzeit and Cameron Odendal, to see Malan draw even with Purdon with only the final moto left to race. As if it was scripted, the final gate dropped to the roll of thunder through the valley as Malan led Purdon, only for Malan to take a small tumble at mid-distance and allow Purdon through at about the same time race officials stopped the race concerned about the dangers of lightning and the brewing electric storm.

Malan was initially declared the winner and thus champion, as he was considered to be leading the lap before the red flags flew, but Purdon’s team protested the result and who won the moto, the day and the title will now go down to an MSA courtroom decision. It go any of three ways — the initial results could be confirmed, leaving Malan champion; it may be declared a lap later when Purdon was deemed to be ahead to make Purdon champion, or the race could be scrapped, whereby Purdon would also benefit as he has won more races and that would count as a tie-breaker…

The rest of the weekend proved a touch more conventional as Joshua Mlimi took the opening MX2 race from Red Bull KTM teammate Kerim Fitzgerald, Anthony Raynard (Tintswalo Yamaha) and enduro refugee Bradley Cox (KTM), to see just nine points splitting Fitzgerald, Mlimi and Raynard in the title chase leading into the final moto of the season. Husqvarna rider Slade Smith however turned proceedings on their head to win the final from Raynard and Fitzgerald after Mlimi fell out, all of which means Kerim Fitzgerald is the 2019 SA MX2 champion from Raynard, Mlimi and McLellan.

Ian Topliss (Yamaha) took the first MX3 moto from KTM trio Tyson Engelbrecht, Craig Kruger and Brett Bircher KTM, Calvin Gloster Yamaha, Johnathan Hubbard KTM and Lloyd Vercueil (Yamaha) to set up a stunning final heat with Topliss and Bircher tied in the championship lead and Engelbrecht and Kruger a point apart for third. Topliss then ended his come from behind championship charge with a win over Engelbrecht, Bircher and Kruger to take the title by five points over Bircher in the end, while Engelbrecht edged Kruger to the championship third.

Kayla Raaff (Husqvarna) trotted to another couple of Ladies MX wins to wrap her 2019 SA championship up ahead of closest rival Natasha Rugani (KTM) and wildcard Megan Jonker (Husqvarna) each time. Behind them, KTM trio Jadene de Lima, Tiegan Reed, Cheyenne de Lima and Jenna Bohling (Husqvarna) fought to the last turn for the title third as Jadene followed Tiegan home to nick it by a point, with Jenna fifth in the title another 2 points adrift.

Camden McLellan (KTM) took the opening 125 High School win from Jonathan Mlimi (KTM), Christiaan Cilliers (Yamaha) and Miguel de Waal (KTM) after newly crowned SA champion Dalton Venter (Husqvarna) slumped to tenth, leaving Calvin Jean-Jacques and Arnu Saaiman to close off the top six. The second race returned the same top three as McLellan led Mlimi and Cilliers home, with Jean-Jacque Saaman and de Waal next up as Saaiman secured the title second from Cilliers, Travis Goosen and Thabo Verster.

Emmanuel Bako (KTM) took the opening 85cc Junior race from Seth Young (KTM), who opened his title lead to 15 points over Deegan Bloomfield (Husqvarna), James Thompson (Yamaha), Timo Maxino Toepfer, Tristan Durow and Joshua Williams. Bako did not start heat 2, leaving Young to win from Williams, Toepfer, Ryan Adler and Blake Osner, as Young took the title from Bloomfield, Bako and Toepfer.

Championship leader Leonard du Toit (KTM) made no mistakes as he beat his title rival Blake Young (KTM) to the opening 85cc Pro Mini win to open his title advantage to 11 points ahead of the finale with KTM quartet Dylan Kirk Wesley McGavin, Nate McLellan, Wesley McGavin and Luke Grundy next up. Du Toit then wrapped it up with another win over Young, Lucas Venter, McLellan and McGavin and Luke Grundy next up, leaving Leonard du Toit 85cc Junior champion over Young and McLellan.

Neil van der Vyver (Q4 Fuels Husqvarna) rode to a dominant first 65cc moto win to wrap up the championship. Neil’s job was made easier when KTM trio Trey Cox, Thor Johnson and Damon Garrell beat title rival Liam Botha (Husqvarna) to fifth and third in the chase, while Jordan van Wyk (Husqvarna) did not race as Cox closed to within 6 points of Botha with one moto still to race. Van der Vyver then closed his national season off with a double win for the day ahead of Cox, Johnson, Jack Pullen (Husqvarna) and Blade Tilley (KTM), but there was drama when Botha did not score leaving Cox to jump into second in the championship ahead of Botha and Van Wyk.

The baby 50cc finale proved another sting in the TRP SA National Motocross Championship tail with results against the form book as Christian Berrington Smith rode his KTM to double moto wins over Chase Bekker (Husqvarna) and KTM kids Jake Pretorius and Cruz Martin, while the championship leaders struggled as leader Ethan Williamson ended ninth, but second man Jake van Schoor (KTM) was only seventh. That means Williamson is the 2019 champion from van Schoor, Berrington-Smith, Keenan Strauss, Pretorius and Bekker.

So, while the MX1 title needs to be decided in the courtroom, Kerim Fitzgerald, Ian Topliss, Kayla Raaff, Dalton Venter, Seth Young, Leonard du Toit, Neil van der Vyver and Ethan Williamson are South Africa's 2019 TRP South African National Motocross Champions. Most riders and team will now take a well-earned rest while the MX1 top two limber up for the final moto of the year in the courtroom. Then it all starts again early 2020. Bring it on!

The 2019 South African National Motocross Championship was sponsored by TRP Distributors, in association with Dragon Energy, Prepsol, Out Of Africa, Tintswalo, Bridgestone, Thor, Gaerne, FMF, Motul, Pro-Taper, Fly Racing, 100%, Ogio Luggage, Racestar Graffix and the Race Shop.

Issued on behalf of SA Motocross

Photography by: Ruben Louw

Categories: FMN News South Africa

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