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Posted on June 27, 2013 at 8:40 AM





The third and fourth rounds of the South African National Off Road Championship took place this past weekend in Botswana with the Mantshwabisi Desert Race. Made up of two days of five hundred kilometres each, each day was classified as an individual race, and Yamaha came away with a truly dominant performance on both days.


Thursday 20 June – Round 3 of the South African National Off Road Championship


An all Yamaha front row, made up of Kenny Gilbert (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha YZ 450 F), Ruan Roberts (Yamaha WR 450 F), Michael Pentacost (Kargo Yamaha YZ 250 F), and J.C. De Bruin (Yamaha YZ 450 F) set the scene for what would be a real test for both man and machine.


Gilbert led off the line but navigational issues saw him get lost and drop down to six position in the running order. He put his head down and charged back up the order over the next four hundred kilometres to eventually cross the finish line in second position, one minute behind eventual day one winner, Nick Pienaar (KTM).

Ruan Roberts brought his Yamaha WR 450 F home in fourth position, with Chris Webster (Mick’s Motorcycles Yamaha YZ 450 F) in fifth, Tim Young (Kargo Yamaha YZ 250) in seventh position overall and winning the OR2 class, Michael Pentacost (Kargo Yamaha YZ 250 F) in eighth and winning the OR3 class, and Jonathan Webster (Mick’s Motorcycles YZ 450 F) finishing in ninth placed overall.


Of significance were the results in the OR3 class (for 250cc four stroke and 200cc two stroke machines), where Yamaha took the top four positions. Michael Pentacost’s win in this class was backed up by Brandon Yeoull (Kargo Yamaha YZ 250 F) in second position, Jaycee Nienaber (Manhand Shimwells Yamaha YZ 250 F) in third, with Bernard Mc Gee (Mc Gee Yamaha YZ 250 F) bringing his steed home in fourth.


Junior National Off Road Championship competitor, Mauritz Meiring, toughed out the longest race of his career by taking the victory in the National Silver Challenge on board his Mc Gee Yamaha YZ 250 F.


With six Yamaha’s in the top ten overall positions, Yamaha won the Manufacturers Trophy for motorcycles for the day.


In the Quad race, current National Champion, Jurie Meyer Jnr (Yamaha Support YFZ 450 R) led the race right up until the last sixty kilometres when his sprocket bolts sheared off jamming his chain in the bike’s swingarm. In a show of true determination, Jurie spend the next two and half hours repairing his race machine and eventually crossed the line in fourteenth position overall and seventh in the Q1 class. The race was won by fellow Yamaha pilot, Brian Baragwanath on board his Yamaha Raptor 700, with Andre Du Plessis bringing his new Yamaha Raptor 700 home in second position overall.


Jurie Meyer Snr continued his dominance of the Quad Masters class by putting his Yamaha YFZ 450 R on the top step of the podium in that category.


Yamaha were also awarded the Manufacturers Trophy for the quad race for the day.


Friday 21 June – Round four of the South African National Off Road Championship


With the same starting order used in the previous day’s race, it was once again an all Yamaha front row, and once again Kenny Gilbert powered his Proudly Bidvest Yamaha YZ 450 F into the lead. After building up a nearly five minute lead on the chasing pack, Kenny’s navigational gremlins crept in again, and he dropped down to second behind Ruan Roberts on his Yamaha WR 450 F.


Ruan maintained his lead for the remainder of the race, crossing the line victorious for his first national overall win and proving the incredible race prowess of the Yamaha WR 450 F.


Kenny crossed the line in second position, but corrected time saw him loose that second place to Altus De Wet (Husqvarna) by a mere five seconds after more than seven hours of racing.


Michael Pentacost rode an unbelievable race by putting his Kargo Yamaha YZ 250 F into and incredible fourth position overall and also taking another convincing victory in the OR3 class, whilst his team mate Tim Young finished in sixth overall and second in the OR2 class on board his Kargo Yamaha YZ 250.

J.C. De Bruin was the next Yamaha finisher in seventh position overall on his YZ 450 F, making it five Yamaha’s in the top seven overall positions.


Once again the top four positions in the OR3 class went to Yamaha, with Michael Pentacost winning, followed by Brandon Yeoull (Kargo Yamaha YZ 250 F), Jaycee Nienaber (Manhand Shimwells Yamaha YZ 250 F and Bernard Mc Gee (Mc Gee Yamaha YZ 250 F) in fourth.


Mauritz Meiring could not repeat his National Silver Challenge victory of the previous day, but nonetheless still managed to bring his Mc Gee Yamaha YZ 250 F home in second place in this category.


Yamaha were once again awarded the Manufacturers Trophy for Motorcycles.


In the Quad race of day two, Jurie Meyer Jnr made sure of his victory on board his Yamaha Support YFZ 450 R. He was followed home by John Aylward on a similar machine, while Andre Du Plessis and Brian Baragwanath brought their Yamaha Raptor 700’s home in fourth and fifth place respectively.


Jurie Meyer Snr took another convincing victory in the Masters Class on board his Yamaha YFZ 450 R.


And to crown off an amazing trip to Botswana for Yamaha, the marque was awarded the fourth and final Manufacturers Trophy for the second quad race as well!


Picture:  Ruan Roberts piloting his Yamaha WR 450 F to victory on the second day of the Mantshwabisi 1000 Desert Race


Categories: FMN News South Africa, FIM Africa News

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