Branch wins Wesbank-Trophy
from Botswana came, saw and conquered! With a maximum of 60 points he took the Wesbank-Trophy with him to his home country. This wasn't the only highlight during this season's opening race at the Gallina Moto Cross Park
: Exciting races in all classes, strong riders, new (old) faces who taught the up and coming riders a lesson or two, and the great number of spectaors which was very pleasing. They were being offered MX-sport on the highest level.
Ross Branch (BOT, Kawasaki)
In the Kings' Class Open/125 absolute top sport was offered. While the acting champion Ronnie Adams
grabbed the holeshot once more, he had to acknowledge during the course of the race, that his competitors were much fitter than him. He fell back relentlessly. Ross Branch seized the lead every time after only a few hundred metres and the only one who could keep up with him was Michael Swanepoel, who at 39 years of age decided to try it once again!
Ross Branch (BOT, Kawasaki)
Swanepoel had already won the South African Championships in the late 1980's, and collected numerous Namibian Champion-titles in all classes ever since. Those who saw him ride, can affirm that Mike hasn't lost a bit of his skill!
An impressive race was delivered by young Alexander Howard
, whom we can reckon with him when we're talking about the 2007 championship-title. He has improved noticeably in the last 3 months!
Alexander Howard (NAM, Yamaha)
Another rider who has found his way back to the sport, after 3 years of abstinence is ex-champion Arno Engels. His achievement was acceptable but his fitness could definitely be better, Engels has to work on that. Sascha Becker was the third in the bunch of newcomers. He too rode splendidly after a two year interval – making a good 7th place in the Wesbank King of the Dirt race.
Frank Klosta, champion in the 125ccm class was dissapointed with his overall 4th rank, which is under his usual level. His Yamaha's engine performance didn't comply with the standard. After this great opening, everyone is already looking forward to the next race on the 10th of March.
Frank Klosta (NAM, Yamaha)
Overall Results Open/125:
- Ross Branch, BOTSWANA, Kawasaki, 60 points
- Alexander Howard, Windhoek, Seasonaire-Yamaha, 47
- Mike Swanepoel, Windhoek, Mike’s Motorcycle Services-KTM, 45
- Frank Klosta, Windhoek, RefrigerationServices-Yamaha, 39
- Ronnie Adams, Kapps-Farm, Suzuki-Namibia, 32
- Arno Engels, Windhoek, J & L Thatching-Honda, 29
- Henry O’Kennedy, Windhoek, Tomar Construction-Honda, 25
- Björn Bierbrauer, Windhoek, EL Sea Products-Suzuki, 23
- Jose Texeira, ANGOLA, Porto do Lobito-Suzuki, 20
- Eckhard Hall, Swakopmund, Coastal Racing-Honda, 17
A novum was the introduction of the Speed-Cross Class, a class for Oldie-riders, initiated by ex-champion Doolie Engels. According to the riders individual handicap, the X-racers start at various positions on the track - which, despite the effort of the track-commentator, wasn't fully understood by the spectators – the qicker rider has to chase the respective rival in front of him and beat him within 4 laps. We will wait and see whether this concept has a future. Ian Kotze won ahead of Stephan Gradtke and Doolie Engels.
In the Clubmen's Class the number of riders was pretty low again, which is sad if one considers the fact that in the past this class had the highest number of participants. These heats were overshadowed by Iwan Esterhuizen's bad crash; he landed askew after the Table-jump, overturned, and landed in the haystacks. Mark Ratheiser from Okahandja made a very strong 1st place, followed by Esterhuizen and Santos.
Despite negative comments, the 50ccm Kindergarden-Class lives! Young Michael Barlow
won with a maximum number of points ahead of William Smith and the siblings from Gobabis, Esranel and Yoshua Becker. Now the Windhoek Moto Cross Club hopes that more parents will opt for this great sport.
The 65ccm Class offered excitement as well. Here Eric Garbers
achieved a maximum number of points, leaving Pauli Loots
on 2nd place. Matthew Nederlof
, last year's champion in the 50ccm class, gave his debut on his big bike and landed on a very good 3rd rank. Behind him, Lee-Anne Smith and Joshua Texeira
made 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Another highlight were the races in the 85ccm Class. Mark Sternagel, last year's champion in the 65ccm Class, lived up to his reputation as "Mr. Maximum" and won with a maximum number of points in front of his rival Jaco Loots
. That left only 3rd rank for the quick artist Schalk Louw from Swakopmund.
And now to the Quads-Classes, which are extremely favoured by the spectators. It was just unbelievable how many participants showed up for this season's opening race. In all 31 riders who offered a high-class performance!
In the Quads-B-Class up to 240ccm, Eugene Slippers lived up to all expectations and won with the maximum number of points ahead of his rivals Ecki Spoerer and Empi Pretorius.
Corneraction Phil Baard vs Ronnie Adams
The protagonists in the Quads-A-Class, 4-Wheelers with more than 240ccm, were all suffering a bit. Especially the acting champion Ronnie Adams, who had to pay the price in the Wesbank Quads-King of the Dirt, for riding both MX and Quads races. In the overall ranking the ex-champion Fanie Steenkamp
won with 50 points, ahead of Ronnie Adams with the same number of points, and Dirk Baard from Walvisbay landed on third place with 47 points. It couldn't get more exciting!
Dirk Baard (NAM)
The races in the Quads-Clubmen's Class were also filled with exciting battles and after 3 heats the overall winner was Wolfgang Rohe, who left Michael Behnke and André Steinfurth behind him.
The former ladies' Powder-Puff Class takes place this season under the title Quads Ladies-Class. Liezl Davies
was victorious over Bollie Bochert and Lee-Anne Greyling.
Miss Maike Bochert (NAM, Suzuki)
The Quads also have a Kindergarden-Class, the Mini-Quads, and here Sune Garbers won ahead of Jaques Maree and Marko Snyman.
A great racing day came to an end. After the award ceremony the party started to the beats of Namibia's DJ-Coco and in the beer barn, hosted by Joker's Pizzaria & Sports Bar, the dancing went on until morning dawned. THANK YOU to the sponsor Wesbank, all helpers of the NMSF
, and the many voluntary helpers of the Windhoek Moto Cross Club.