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National MX News : Namibian MX Championships
30.03.2007 3rd WESBANK Motocross Challenge in Swakopmund (NAM) - Preview

"Speed Weekend" in Swakopmund

This year`s Easter-weekend is dedicated wholly to motor sport. On Friday the 6th of April another Wesbank Moto Cross Championships race will be held on the race-track near the salt pans. On Saturday a Rally-event will be held and on Sunday, 8th of March, the Enduro-Working group (WMCC) will host a CTM-Enduro race with start and finish also located on the MX-track at the salt pans.
According to the information received from the Coastal Racing Club, the MX-track is in excellent condition. The configuration was changed completely and it is now more spectator friendly. Chris Hall, spokesperson of the CRC, informed about the great work effort his men put into it and guarantees finest Moto-X sport on this track. One can almost speak of an international race: 3 riders from Botswana are expected, among them the multiple MX-champ Ross Branch on a Kawasaki, as well as southern Africa's "Black MX-Pearl" Carr Lebatha. Jose Texeira and Eitsch Santos will ride for Angola. The young American, Keith Weaver is presently in Namibia again and won't leave out the race in Swakopmund. Chris Hall also expects some MX and Quad- riders from South Africa.
Ronnie Adams
Ronnie Adams
In addition to the above mentioned riders, Namibia offers the best riders she has got. In the Open-Class, reigning champion Ronnie Adams starts on his mighty Suzuki 450. Ronnie expects a lot of himself... the recent defeat by the weaker 125cc riders scratched his ego! Arno Engels' fitness isn't in peak condition yet, but he is getting better and better, he may well achieve a breakthrough in Swakopmund. Sascha Becker shows climbing tendencies after two years of abstinence from racing. Tony Viljoen - now on a Honda - is just too occupied in his professional life; one cannot expect miracles, but he is a Top-5 rider!
I will set a question mark behind Heino Windisch. He paused for 4 years due to pilot training, but who knows, maybe he's the Joker who will surprise us all. In the case of Rudi Brand, his doctor will have to decide on short notice whether or not he will be able to ride. If Rudi participates, one can expect him way up front and on a podium spot.
Alexander Howard
Alexander Howard
The best riders in the 125cc Class will start together with the Open-riders. We don't expect any dramatic changes in this class after Mike Swanepoel re-established the hierarchy during the previous championships-race. Alexander Howard on his four-stroke Yamaha should be the biggest contender. The reigning 125cc champion Frank Klosta must continue to get good points, because in the end every point counts! Henry O'Kennedy also made a strong appearance during the previous race on Gallina, he landed amongst the Top-10 in the "WESBANK King of the Dirt".
Eckhard Hall represents Swakopmund. Being the local hero, he knows the track by heart - one can expect a surprise! Another question mark appears behind the name of "Animal" Wise, who suffers from a concussion after a crash during practising at Gallina.
Gino Rossi
Gino Rossi
But let's not only focus on the protagonists of the MX-Pro-Classes. The youngsters are also riding for points. In the Kindergarden-Class, the 50cc Class, the favourite is Michael Barlow. However, strong opposition is expected in the form of the siblings Yoshua and Esranel Becker. And let's not forget William Smith with his podium ambitions.
In the 65cc Class Eric Garbers leads the way. Pauli Loots made an overall 2nd place during the previous race, but now has to reckon with a considerably improved Tristan Muller from Okahandja. Little Matthew Nederlof apparantly has bike-adaptive difficulties, but he will fasbyt. Joshua Texeira from Angola will be Matthews biggest opponent.
For me, the "Rookie of the Year" is "Mr. Maximum" Mark Sternagel - one rarely witnesses a climber who from the beginning dominates the 85ccm Class in this way! Jaco Loots will do everything in his power to break through Sternagel's dominion. Since the race will be held in Swakopmund, one shouldn't underestimate the local heros - they could become the spoilsports of the above mentioned riders! Riders like Schalk Louw, Niki Rossi or Gundolf Lang will want to use their home advantage.
Dirk Baard
Dirk Baard
The various Quad-classes have strongly developed! As they don't ride for championship-points they are part of the supporting programme. Nonetheless, they are loved by the spectators! The following classes will go to the start: Quad-Clubmen's Class, Quad Ladies Class, Mini Quads, Quad-B-Class up to 240cc and of course the Quad-A-Class over 250cc, here the protagonists of the 4-Wheeler sport will let their engines roar! Ronnie Adams could become the day's winner, since Fanie Steenkamp cannot take part due to a fractured wrist. Ronnie nevertheless has to watch out for Dirk Baard from Walvisbay and also Jan de Haan, whose performance had improved greatly during the previous race. Another one who is always keen on a podium spot is Wilber Ockhuizen. In this class the CRC expects participants from South Africa.
So don't forget the Wesbank-Moto-Cross race at the salt-pans, aprox. 7 km north of Swakopmund, situated on the road to Hentiesbay. The first heat will start at around 11am. Food and beverages will be offered at the track.
The CTM-Enduro will take place two days later, on the 8th of April. All noteworthy riders will take part. The organiser expects the acting Enduro-Champion Ingo Waldschmidt, ex-Flattrack-champ and MX-rider Andreas Brendel, Kai Hohmeier, Henner Rusch and local hero Gino Rosi - just to name a few stars. The start is set for 10:30am, on the MX-track.
Author: Bernd Kroemer ... [back]
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