|Posted on September 7, 2018 at 2:25 PM|
Just like that, the penultimate round of the National Motocross Series has arrived. The nail-biting race for championship titles has come right down to the wire with both the MX1 and MX2 title still open to a highly-competitive group of riders.
Red Bull KTM has tasted both victory and disappointment this year, but with only two races left on the calendar is about to put all of that aside. As team manger Darrel Fitz-Gerald explains, there is only one objective that matters at this stage of the season – to finish strong.
“The championship is so close now, and from what I’ve seen in the past the riders with the most experience shine the brightest at this point. I believe this round will pretty much decide how the year is going to end,” he said.
As he savours the last two races with his orange team, Fitz-Gerald added: “At this stage I just want to see them enjoy themselves. They’ve put themselves under a lot of pressure this year, and I don’t want them to miss out on the fun aspect of racing. Going out there and enjoying what you do will bring the best results!”
While it is no secret that multiple national champion Kerim Fitz-Gerald has entered the latter part of his career, the rider is by no means ready to slack off this season.
“I’ve said it time and time again – I race to win. If I’m still taking my place at the start line, then I’m confident in my ability to bring home a victory,” he explained.
Fitz-Gerald’s most promising shot at a championship title will be in the MX2 Class. With the ultimate goal of chasing down leader Caleb Tennant, the rider will be fighting off the likes of Matthew Malan and David Goosen who are within a mere 10 points difference.
Another championship hopeful is youngster Jonathan Mlimi.
While he did not claim the top step of the Pro Mini podium in the Western Cape last month, the rider still holds the championship lead with a comfortable 32 points.
Mlimi has set the field alight this season in what has proved to be a glorious debut to the prestigious Pro Mini Class.
His brother, Joshua Mlimi, will enter the Welkom event with an especially high level of confidence.
The MX2 rider had tongues wagging recently when he stormed to a third place at the Motocross of African Nations in Kitwe, Zambia.
The event started with a disappointing ‘Did Not Finish’ for Mlimi, who had mechanical issues in the first moto. As he took his place at the start line for day two, catching up to competitors was going to be a tall order.
“I knew I would have to win to get as many points for South Africa as I could. When the gates dropped I pulled off the meanest holeshot, put my head down and rode a start to finish heat win!” enthused Mlimi.
Another victory in Moto 3 would secure a podium spot for the rider, who described the achievement as crucial confidence boost as he looks to carry the winning momentum into Welkom.
Also looking to set himself up for a strong season finish is Nate Mc Lelllan. Like teammate Josh Mlimi, the young gun made his Pro Mini debut this year.
While the last few races have not gone according to plan, Mc Lellan is determined to make a comeback and claim a final podium spot in his class this season:
“I started the season strong, but haven’t been back on the podium in a while and I need to change that. I’m not about to let my team down, so I’m going to give these next two races everything I’ve got!” he said.
Published by: KTM Media
Picture Caption: Nate Mc Lellan gets ready to make a Pro Mini comeback
Photography by: www.zcmc.co.za
Categories: FMN News South Africa
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