Branch from Botswana wins 2nd Wesbank-Challenge
The 2nd race of the Namibian Moto Cross Championships took place last Saturday at the Gallina Moto Cross Park
, in front of a sparse audience. An explanation for the lack of spectators could be a performance by music star Bok van Blerk in Windhoek the previous night. It was said to be the biggest Boere-Party in 50 years!
Ross Branch (BOT)
The sport was first-rate and the racing day held a couple of surprises in store. The Wesbank-Trophy went to Botswana once again, Ross Branch
was unbeatable. Michael Swanepoel convinced spectators and sponsors with three 2nd places and was therefore the best Namibian rider. It must have been somewhat humiliating for the young stars to be beaten by a 39year old racer.
Let us start with the Open/125-Class. In the 1. Heat Ronnie Adams
lived up to his reputation as Holeshot-King. He was the first to shoot into the first bent but already after the Table, Branch on his Kawasaki assumed the lead. Swanepoel on his strong KTM rode hard against the "young wild guys" and only Björn Bierbrauer
stayed on his tail. That was a great, convincing performance by Björn. Alexander Howard
managed to get past the finish line ahead of Frank Klosta. Acting champion Ronnie Adams on his Jägermeister Suzuki could not keep up, landing on rank 6, which isn't what is expected of him. US-Boy Keith Weaver on his underpowered 2-stroke Suzuki landed on a noteworthy 7th place.
José Texeira (ANG) vs. Keith Weaver (USA)
In the 2. Heat we witnessed a start to finish victory by Ross Branch. Swanepoel in second, initially had to battle it out with Yamaha riders Howard and Klosta, followed by Ronnie Adams ahead of Arno Engels on a Honda. What a great heat!
Frank Klosta vs. Mike Swanepoel
Moving on to the "Wesbank King of the Dirt" race: Ronnie Adams grabbed the holeshot, but was passed by Branch and kept himself on 2nd spot for several laps. Mike Swanepoel was the last to leave the starting gate, however he used all his skills and tricks and demonstrated a seldomnly seen art of riding, manoeuvering himself all the way through the pack, leaving one after the other behind him! 2nd place for the former Champion! As already mentionend: It must have been humiliating for the youngsters!
Björn Bierbrauer was convincing once more: He had a crash behind the Pepsi-Tower and started an awsome chase, leaving Engels, Adams and Klosta behind him and getting pretty close to Howard prior to the finishing jump. What an exciting finale for this spectacular MX-racing day.
Overall results Open/125 Class:
- Ross Branch, Botswana, Wreckers Campbell Kawasaki, 60 points
- Michael Swanepoel, Windhoek, Mike’s Motorcycle Services-KTM, 51
- Alexander Howard, Windhoek, Seasonaire-Yamaha, 43
- Björn Bierbrauer, Windhoek, E.L. Sea Produkts-Suzuki, 38
- Frank Klosta, Windhoek, Refrigeration Services-Yamaha, 35
- Ronnie Adams, Kapps-Farm, Jägermeister-Suzuki, 31
- Arno Engels, Windhoek, Investment Cars-Honda, 25
- Henry O’Kennedy, Windhuk, Tomar Construction-Honda, 23
- Jose Texeira, Angola, E.L. Sea Products-Suzuki, 19
- Eckhard Hall, Swakopmund, Coastal Racing Honda, 15
The races in the 50cc Class (Kindergarden-Class) were also held on national championship-level. Little Michael Barlow
won with a very convincing maximum number of points ahead of Yoshua Becker and his sister Esranel Becker. The Windhoek Moto Cross Club is looking for new faces in this class! Join the WMCC, it’s fun!
also achieved a maximum number of points in the 65cc Class, leaving Pauli Loots
in second spot. The surprise however was Tristan Muller from Okahandja on 3rd spot! It was Tristan's first race in this class. Matthew Nederlof
came in 4th ahead of Joshua Texeira
"Mr. Maximum", Mark Sternagel won the 85cc Class once again with 60 points maximum. Jaco Loots
fought really hard and made it on 2nd spot on the rostrum. Schalk Louw from Swakopmund landed on a very good 3rd place. The surprise in this category was the strong performance by Niki Rossi
. He was never before seen with such a fighting spirit! He landed on a deserved 4th place.
The Speedcross-Class lacks interested participants. At the beginning of the season this category consisted of ten X-racers, who believed this class to be the right thing for them because they could enjoy the sport without intensive training. Now this interest has been dwindling. The winner was Ian Kotze, ahead of Heino Windisch and Doolie Engels.
In the supporting programme races of all Quad-Classes took place. Especially this category has expanded enormously. In the Quad-B-Class up to 240cc Eugene Slippers won ahead of Ecki Spoerer and André Maree.
In the first heat of the Quad-A-Class above 240cc Fanie Steenkamp
went over the bars and hurt his hand. Bad luck for the whole family Steenkamp, since his wife Anneke
had to be brought to hospital during practising that morning with a double fracture of her lower leg. With that, Ronnie Adams had a clear path to a maximum victory. Dirk Baard came in 2nd, and Jan de Haan
– who landed on a convicing 2nd place in the first heat – ranked third.
The main contingent of riders is to be found in the Quad-Clubmen's Class. Michael Behnke won ahead of Nokkie Maree and André Steinfurth.
During the finishing "Wesbank King of the Quads" race, Ronnie Adams lived up to his role as favourite and won ahead of Dirk Baard from Walvisbay and Michael Behnke.
Following the official races, the Powder-Puff race took place, due to the great demand. This is a race for girls and ladies without racing experience. Melody Loots won ahead of Sonja Keil and Jay Maree.
Many thanks goes to the sponsor Wesbank, as well as all helpers and supporters of the Windhoek Moto Cross Club and the NMSF. A big thank you must also be extended to Namice, E-MED and Rent-A-Drum.