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National MX News : Namibian Inter-Series
18.10.2008 Moto Cross Inter-Series 2008: Nam ITcc - Team Germany
Messrs Nam ITcc is sponsoring the team from Germany. Nam ITcc is supplying a bike, parts as well as accomodation for the riders of the Kölling Yamaha Team.
In the 125cc Class Germany will be represented by Benjamin Kolberg who hails from Templin in eastern Germany. Benjamin was born on 15 July 1987. He raced his first MX-Race at the age of 8 years on a Kawasaki. In 1996 he became runner-up in the Regional Championships Berlin-Brandenburg. One year later he became Regional-Champion.
Benjamin Kolberg
Benjamin Kolberg
In 2001 he finishes as runner-up in the 85cc Super-Cup Championship and he finishes 5th overall in the German Championships. In 2002 and 2003 he rides for the Jef Jansen Honda Team with mixed results before he joins the Kölling Yamaha Team in 2004. Towards the end of the season he manages some Top-15 results in the German Championships 125cc. That same year he raced the Namibian Inter-Series where he finished in a good 6th position.
In 2005 Benjamin again raced in the Namibian Inter-Series and finished in an astonishing 3rd on the rostrum. In 2006 Benjamin participated in the German Championships with mixed results, still waiting for the breaktrough, but that same year in Namibia he fullfilled himself a dream, by becoming “Namibia International Champion”. A title he could not defend in the 2007 Inter-Series, because he was hampered by a neck-injury! But in 2008 he will try a second onslaught.
The second guy is Mr. Carsten Kölling personally, who was one of East-Germany’s best in the 80’s. He still is racing Veteran-Classes in Germany and in Namibia he will represent Germany in the Clubmen’s Class. His spot on the rostrum is booked annually!
Björn Bierbrauer
Björn Bierbrauer
Next in line Namibian Björn Bierbrauer who is part of the German Kölling-Team since early 2008. Björn won his first Namibian Champion title in 1999 in the 60cc Class. More titles followed in 2002 and 2003, when he won the 65cc category. In 2003 he also finished 7th in the Junior World Cup in Germany and he came overall 3rd in the AMU Africachampionship. In 2004 he finishes the Namibian Championship as runner-up in the 85cc Class behind old rival Wise.
2005 was an extraordinary season for Björn, he finished 3rd at the AMU Africachampionship in Zambia and he won the AMU Southern Challenge. In 2006 he moved to Germany to race for Suzuki Europe. The year after he chased points for the Bodo Schmidt Team. In 2008 he joined the Kölling Yamaha team but stopped racing towards the middle of the season and had to undergo an operation to his shoulder. Now he’s fit again and he should be a force to reckon with in the 125cc Class.
One German rider that excelled already in the past in Namibia is Gunnar Schuster. Gunnar was born on 25. November 1975. At the tender age of three Gunnar started riding a Peewee. In 1988 he started his racing career and in the same year he finihed 3rd in the North German Championship 80cc Class. This fine result he held till the year 1990. In 1992 Gunnar won the German Championships 125cc Class, finished overall 7th in the Motocross Pokal Championship and he became North German Champion. In 2000 Gunnar raced for the first time the Namibian Inter-Series. Partnered with Germany’s Markus Volz the two won the silver-medal in the nations rating "Namibia Trophy of Nations", behind Team Russia.
Gunnar Schuster
Gunnar Schuster
The following year Gunnar finished the Inter-Series as runner-up behind Champion Boyd Karsmakers from the Netherlands. The year after was meant to be Gunnars year with an onlaught in the World-Championships as well as the German Championship Open Class. The prerequisites in the Jef Jansen Honda Team were perfect…when fate hit him really hard. A stupid tumble, a far cry away to be called "crash", resulted in a broken leg in such a serious way that the doctors wanted to amputate! Later he struggeld with an infection in his leg and it took him 14 month before he mounted his Honda again.
In 2005 he signed again for the annual Namibian Inter-Series. In the first two heats he was found up front again, in the King of the Dirt Gunnar was lying in 3rd position when he landed the finish-table his foot came under his peg and broke his heel-bone. Again Gunnar had to fight infections in the open wound and it took 18 month convalescent. Now he’s back again and he’s yearning for winning the title.
Steffi Laier
Steffi Laier
The absolute “Star” in the German line-up is the multiple American AMA Womens Champion, the 2005 FIM Womens’s World Champion and the 2006 FIM Women’s Vice-World Champion, Steffi Laier! Her Rider-Profile is much too long, we just reflect the major achievements. Steffi was born on 12. August 1985 in Heidelberg. She started racing in 1992. For a long time she represented the famous Becker-Team. In 2001 she finished 13th in the DMSB-Pokal 125cc. Inbetween she travelled to the USA to win most of her races. In 2002 she won some Series in the US and finished 8th in the German DMSB-Pokal 125cc. In 2003 she found her love for Enduros and finished the German Enduro Championship in 8th position. In 2004 she won the 1st UFO’s Women’s European MX-Championship, she became European Champion in the Enduro-Championship and she won the German Woman’s MX-Championship. The year after she won the UFO’s European MX-Championship, the FIM Women’s World Championship, the DMV Fox Ladies German Championship and she won the International Ladies Cup in Heerde in The Netherlands.
In 2006 Steffi finished as runner-up in the FIM Women’s World Championship and she won the German Championshhips. In Namibia she finished third in the 125cc Class. No small feat versus the best riders from Europe and southern Africa. In 2007 Steffy had to settle for FIM Vice-Worldchampion because a technical problem prevented her from winning the crown. 2008 was meant to be her year, but the world-crown got lost in the very first GP already when she missed out because of an injury. So she travels as Vice-Worldchampion, or runner-up as we say, to beautiful Namibia to “test” the boys once more. Her participation in Namibia was made possible by Messrs Electroligt Contractors in Okahandja as well as KTM-South Africa.
Bernhard Ekerold / Photo by: Jens Pohl
Bernhard Ekerold / Photo by: Jens Pohl
The Junior in the German Team is Bernhard Ekerold. His father is no other then the ex worldchampion in road-racing Jon Ekerold. Bernhard went through the ranks, always mingling with the best, be it Regionals or German Championships. In the previous year his breakthrough came, when he finished in the Top-10 of the German Championships 85cc. In 2008 he surprised his father and his mentor Bodo Schmidt by finishing overall 3rd in the German Championships. Bernhard gets sponsored in Namibia through Alfi Cox-KTM from South Africa.
Author: Bernd Kroemer ... [back]
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