German Kolberg wins Air Namibia-Trophäe und prize-money
Blood, sweat & tears, tears of joy and frustration ... all this we could witness during the 2nd racing day of the Air Namibia Inter-Series 2006. The organiser was able to smile again for the first time since 2003, since more than 2000 spectators lined the race track on Gallina. Apart from the international MX-races, an extensive supporting programme was offered with exciting races in the Winston Pit-Bike Clash, Aerobatics by the Freestylers in the Red Bull X-Fighters Show Namibia, as well as the big conclusion of the day: the Tafel Lager Battle of the Bands, which was very well received by the youngsters. There was dancing, singing and a great atmosphere.
Benjamin Kolberg (GER)
But let us move on to the racing day as such: In the MR Repairs Open Class & Seasonaire 125cc Class, Ross Branch
rode to the start as the favourite. He won in two heats and already saw the 8000 Dollars in front of his inner eye. Behind Ross, the German Benjamin Kolberg enden the heats on a 2nd place, both times ahead of Namibian Ronnie Adams. He was followed by Björn Bierbrauer
, Tommi Gous (NAM)
, the German-Girl Steffi Laier, Geoff Den from South Africa and US-Boy Keith Weaver. It looked so clear and predictable on paper but then Carsten Köllings saying "It`s not over till it`s over" was confirmed!
rode his final 4-Wheeler race, already fighting hard to push off the South African Juan Coetzee in the heats, and was only third at the big Table-Top after the start. At the paralell traverse he landed in a hole with his front wheel and was thrown from his bike, breaking his collarbone!
One less aspirant to a podium spot in the E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt race. Brannigan Wise
, who in the previous week had to quit due to technical problems, wanted to show in this race what he`s made of. In the first heat he was doing good when suddenly another defect on his bike threw him out of the race. Carr Lebatha from Botswana wanted to end amongst the top 10, but spectacularly crashed in the Whoops. The remaining riders went to the all-deciding E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt, a race lasting 20 long minutes plus one lap - the highlight of the day!
Steffi Laier (GER)
At the starting gate, the riders prepared the optimal position for their bikes, stomping the soil with their boots. Five seconds-board appears ... the engines roar, the gates fall and the pack heads towards the needle-eye in the first bent. Benjamin Kolberg leads! All are still on their bikes but after the big Table-Top it happens: The American Weaver and Tommi Gous collide and crash. When they get back on their bike, the pack is already up and away.
Benjamin can hold his position lap after lap, closely followed by Ross Branch. Everybody knows, that Ross is waiting for his chance... and he grabs it! Behind the southern bent, a latecomer appears in front of Kolberg, who wavers a second too long, and Branch passes. Kolberg doesn`t quit and assumes the role of the pursuer, but ultimately has to let Branch go. Then the unbelievable happens: Only a few laps to go, when Ross Branch drops out due to an engine failure on his Kawasaki. That`s a real shame! Now Kolberg is in the lead again and the German lets his Kölling-Yamaha fly! In the meantime Tommi Gous pushes through the field in an untamed fashion, overtaking one after the other and finally he lands on 2nd place! What an achievement.
Kolberg wins the Air Namibia Trophy ahead of Tommi Gous, a sensationally quick Steffi Laier, Frank Klosta, Björn Bierbrauer and the South African Geoff Den. The sought-after title "Namibia International Champion" results from the addition of all heats and Kolberg can take this title with him back to Germany.
Namibia International Champion - Total Points:
- Benjamin Kolberg (GER, Yamaha, Open) 106 points
- Ross Branch (BOT, Kawasaki, 125) 91
- Tommi Gous (NAM, Yamaha, Open) 86
- Steffi Laier (GER, KTM, 125) 68
- Björn Bierbrauer (NAM, Suzuki, 125) 62
- Ronnie Adams (NAM, Suzuki, Open) 62
- Frank Klosta (NAM, Yamaha, 125) 59
- Ben Kinkel (GER, Yamaha, 125) 50
- Alexander Howard (NAM, Yamaha, 125) 37
- Jose Teixeira (ANG, Suzuki, Open) 30
- Keith Weaver (USA, Suzuki, Open) 27
- Geoff Den (RSA, Suzuki, Open) 24
- Shawn Bruwer (NAM, Suzuki, Open) 21
- Carr Lebatha (BOT, KTM, 125) 11
- Narciso Jose (ANG, Yamaha, Open) 8
In the remaining national classes, there was fighting for honour, but also for prize money. In the 50cc Zenner Class Matthew Nederlof
lived up to his reputation as winner. The only flaw was his defeat in the 1st heat against the little man from Zimbabwe, Wade Ashwell. The Namibian Michael Barlow
was third on the podium.
In the 65cc Radi Electrical/Sternbau Class, Mr Maximum, Mark Sternagel achieved the maximum number of points and won ahead of Eric Garbers
and Pauli Loots
A strong international bunch of riders started in the 85cc Bar One Class. Erhard Pajewski
, a Namibian now living in South Africa, won the first heat ahead of Zimbabwean Jayden Ashwell and Namibian Jaco Loots
. In the 2nd heat Ashwell performed better and won ahead of Pajewski and Wade Den from South Africa. The final heat was to be the all-deciding one. Ashwell assumed the lead and was followed closely lap after lap by Pajewski. The pressure got unbearable and then it happened: Ashwell`s front wheel landed in a dip, the bike turned awkward and Ashwell flies over the handlebar. A shame for the boy from Zimbabwe. Erhard Pajewski won this class ahead of Wade Den, Daniel Pajewski, Jayden Ashwell and the best Namibian Eckhard Hall
landed on 5th place.
In the Bar One Clubmen`s Class Henner Rusch gave all he got. On his strong Husaberg 500 he was able to keep the German Carsten Kölling at a distance. Carsten fought off Henry O`Kennedy and Heiko Hennes
made 4th place.
The Quad-classes had some strong riders to offer. In the Paramount Healthcare Quad Class B, Pearce van Wyk won once more ahead of Eugene Slippers and Marko Röbke, while South African Juan Coetzee won the maximum number of points ahead of Ronnie Adams in the In Your Face Marketing Quad Class A. Rodney Davis ranked third. In the G+N Trading Enterprises Clubmen`s Quad-Class the Namibian Dennis Raines won the Air Namibia Trophy; Gavin Margatroyd and Phillippie Baard landed on 2nd and 3rd respectively. All these riders met for the highlight of the Quad-category, the Bar One King of the Quads. The South African Juan Coetzee was unbeatable! Dirk Baard from Walvisbay also displayed a great performance. Dirk appears much more in the head of the pack and one can reckon with him in the next season. Dirk finished in second, followed by Jean Venter
This concludes the 10 years Air Namibia Inter-Series anniversary event. Let`s hope for another 10 years and enthusiastic sponsors! A THANK YOU goes to all the voluntary helpers, in front and behind the scenes, A big Thanks goes to all sponsors. Without your financial support an event like this would not be possible. Many Thanks goes to the printmedia as well as the electronic media, who promoted this Air Namibia Inter-Series in an excellent way.